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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Skulls and Skeletons  |  Topic: Duck skulls/bills?? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Duck skulls/bills??  (Read 1923 times)
bulldog4949
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Location: TEXAS
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"Mounting your Memories"

« on: January 16, 2012, 12:17:43 PM »

I shot a few cool ducks. Wanna clean the skull and keep the bill the original color.   Do I need to sweat the bill off or will the beetles not harm it?  Never done a duck skull. Thx.
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Skull Designs
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Location: Salem, Utah
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Skull Designs

« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 12:21:34 PM »

Im not sure if the bill will come off, the beetles will eat it, it is like a skin on bone, not like upland birds
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Skull Designs
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bulldog4949
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Location: TEXAS
Posts: 5472


"Mounting your Memories"

« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 12:23:42 PM »

Yea it feels like alligator heads. Rubbery. Dont want to lose the color on them. I am planning on degreasing like a turkey skull.
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Wouter
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 12:34:01 PM »

Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove the covering of a duck's bill. Only the tip is ceratin like the beak of most birds, but the rest is a kind of leathery skin. I prepared a few ducks and flamingos with a stuff called "L10 maceration fluid". This a chemical solution which can clean a skull of all soft tissue in about 1-2 hours, and I kept the bill above the fluid surface. Afterwards I let the bill dry and it usually stays intact (although not well protected against bugs). However, like the beaks of mounted ducks the colours will fade over time. On mounts the bills are usually painted, but in my opinion, this doesn't look very nice on skulls. In this message I'll post a few pics of such skulls. The L10 stuff can be bought at a Dutch taxidermy supplier, but unfortunately they cannot ship it to the USA.
By the way, macerating the skull with the beak above the water line won't work, the bill will rot partially and get soft and sticky, and it will keep stinking for years.

Wouter


Velvet Scoter


Whooper Swan


European Flamingo
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Guus
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Location: Norway
Posts: 532


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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 01:00:10 PM »

Great explanation, Wouter. See also this topic that I started for a couple of months ago:

http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,283713.0.html

It covers the same issue with some other pics. You can also try to paint some nailpolish on the bill and then let your bugs eat the rest of the head clean. When they are done you can dissolve the nailpolish with some acetone and degrease the rest of the skull in it as well. Then whiten it with the bill above the surface of the H2O2. The L10 Wouter talks about is a kind of lye, and you should be able to get some kind of the same lye in the States as well. McKenzie or another big supplier should have it in their catalogue, I think. Hope this helps!
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Toxic
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Location: Cusseta Georgia
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Jim

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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 03:10:13 PM »

working on a few myself, and yes its skin on bone, only the very tip will have color on a few
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I carry a gun, because a cop is too heavy
bulldog4949
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Location: TEXAS
Posts: 5472


"Mounting your Memories"

« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 03:30:33 PM »

Thx guys. Guess it will be a series methods. Will see what I can do.
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muskrat man
Bronze Member
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Posts: 183

« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 07:31:18 PM »

cover the beak in silicone, and beetle. you won't retain 100% color and it may shrivel a little bit but it does work
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Eat Mo' Possum
Call me Robert
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Location: Poland
Posts: 492


« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 04:16:00 AM »

Never saw that L10 maceration fluid. Is it available on line? I don't care if they ship it to USA cuz I'm from Poland :D
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Guus
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Location: Norway
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 04:23:19 AM »

Available here: http://www.jacbouten.com/en/producten-verkoop.html

Enzymes here: http://www.taxidermy.ch/p078000003.html?shop_subgroupid=78000059
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