Originally Posted: 07-10-2014
Pellet counting typically begins at Mountain Home Biological with a 5-gallon bucket of raw, unsorted pellets from the field, poured onto our pellet counting table. This will usually yield 300 – 400 good pellets, depending on the skill of the field collector… a beginning collector may pick up clods of dirt, rocks, pine cones, horse poop, and other nasty stuff, while a veteran collector will have very little waste.
On the grading table, we sort the pellets. Every owl pellet sold by Mountain Home Biological has been hand-picked. Broken pieces and pellets that are very fragile are discarded, with the intent that the all specimens contain complete skeletal remains. Pellets that pass the inspection are sorted by size by size with a small plywood gauge.
From the counting table, the pellets move to the sterilizing room, and finally the foil wrapping station. At every step of the process, our goal is to provide top quality specimens to our teachers, at the same time to be completely fair count to our collectors.