Mutton-bird Processing Shed (1920s)

Re-creating a bygone era

The Mutton-bird Processing Shed is a replica of a 1920s birding shed.

It was constructed at the Museum in 1984 to illustrate the mutton-birding culture, which was - and still is - an important tradition for both Aboriginal and European populations in the Furneaux Islands.

The replica shed was built on advice from local mutton-birders and modelled on their shed on Big Dog Island. It is faithful to the original in all respects except the concrete floor, which in the original shed would have been dirt, covered daily with fresh tussock grass. The artefacts on display are genuine.

Inside the shed, from plucking room to brine barrels, the steps in mutton-bird processing are re-created as they were carried out in the 1920s on the Outer Furneaux Islands, before the advent of refrigeration.

Loading barrels of mutton-birds, 1920s

Birders, 1920s