1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

maceration smell, how horrible is it really?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by D.D, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. D.D

    D.D New Member

    66
    0
    I am getting two domestic goat heads in I can't remember what type he said they were but they have huge curls on them. Anyways he put them down about 2-3 months ago and chopped off the heads and just set them aside to rot, skin eyes brains and all. I'm thinking when I get them in my best bet is going to be to just put them in a tub of water to soak. I've read into maceration allot and I like the sound of results people are getting. My question is how bad is the stink really going to be? Will the whole neighborhood be complaining? Will the stink from dumping half the water stick around for months or longer? Or is it more of an awful smell right up close but 10 feet away you'll never know its there?
    I can handle some pretty terrible smells so I'm not worried about it on a personal level but I don't want to have to deal with the wife and neighborhood crying about it haha
    Thanks for your time with any replies
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    You might want to hire out some friends property that doesn't have neighbors then. Seriously ...

    If you insist on trying, dig a hole at least two feet deep and as wide across in the ground. Pour off your liquid into that and cover. Subdues the smell somewhat and keeps neighborhood pets out of it. It smells BAD!! And it will still smell over 100 feet away if there is a breeze.

    Do it right and it only stinks for a week or so though. They will not fit into 5 gallon buckets so I suggest you buy trash cans with covers (not galvanized) that they will fit into completely. Also get heaters and read up on the process. It's not just putting them in water to soak. Try doing an advanced search for maceration smell and maceration stink too.
     

  3. Bones N Beasts

    Bones N Beasts New Member

    550
    1
    why not galvanized
     
  4. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    I have always wondered if you couldn't add something to the pour off slurry water that would neutralize the smell. Any ideas?
     
  5. D.D

    D.D New Member

    66
    0
    Thanks for the advice our family has property about 30 miles out of town I can do it on I just didn't know it the smell was awful all the time or just as the water gets dumped and as you pull the heads out or how long it lingered. To make it worth the drive out to the property or not

    I have read into the process and use the advanced search allot and have read multiple thread on maceration smell, but I didn't find anything on the level of the smell or if it constantly smells while its in the tub. When i said toss them in the water I just didn't feel like explaining all the steps when I was asking more about the smell vs the process. I also have read if I can get the hair, eyes and brains out first the smell won't be as bad but the process seems to take longer.
     
  6. If the heads are that old the smell will not be as bad as a fresh head. You will smell it but it will not be an overpowering OMG Nasty smell. After the first 5 minutes of smelling it almost smells sweet. If the tubs are covered the ambient smell will be nonexhistant until you disturb them.
     
  7. As shelby stated above the worst odor comes when they are done and you dump the water goo out!!!I dug a 2 foot deep hole in my compost pile and immediatly filled it in and my neighbor was out and said what in world is that odor!!!!So yes its really bad-being prepared in advance and having a spot to get rid of it is key-good luck!!!!
     
  8. I macerated skulls at my house in town for a couple years and no one ever said anything. I never thought it was that bad. I just dumped the rot water by the trash cans in the corner of my yard by the alley, people probably just thought it was trash smelling, if they smelled it at all. The smell goes away almost immediately after it soaks into the ground, I never dug a hole. This was a regular suburban neighborhood with houses on all sides.
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I have had galvanized cans leak. Also rust and I can't chance stains on skulls. I also do not want to chance the galvanized coating reacting with anything. As for them leaking, might not seem like a big deal until you get that water on you and find out that, after 7 hot showers, that you still reek.
     
  10. I dont find the smell bad till you change the water. I was doing it at home now i do it at work im an empty building during the summer.
     
  11. D.D

    D.D New Member

    66
    0
    Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. I've got a bunch of different sized totes with lids I think I'll try it in the back yard until somebody complains or until I can't handle the smell any more. I'm breaking ground for a shop so I can dig a hold in that area to dump the water..
    Mike b, PLT, kevinsuli I hope you guys are right and the smell isn't too terrible on these guys since they are a little bit old
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Old, pre rotted heads will still stink once everything has rehydrated and starts rotting again. The smell should not be as bad as fresh stuff. You still have to get the water warmed up to around 80. Just let them sit for probably two weeks without always poking at them. It will take more than several days just to get the dried stuff rehydrated again. You will have to pull off the outer hide by hand. I have found that outer hide to not rot well at all. I have also found dried out heads like this to be more work to get clean as opposed to fresh ones.
     
  13. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    I change most of the water every third day and that helps, definitely need a covered hole in the ground...
    The smell goes from the smell of death to various types of poo, old pastrami, polluted ocean, clean ocean…then you’re almost done.
    My family constantly reminds me that no matter the stage it's at, it smells horrible...like I'm hard of smelling LOL!
    Really, it doesn’t bother me or the dogs much. :D
     
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Doing so is disturbing the bacterial culture and will cause the process to take longer or even to prevent it from cleaning fully. No more than half of the water should be changed and that should be only once toward the end of the cleaning process. Changing the water at all is really only needed when a large head is being cleaned that you did not remove the flesh off of first. The water is supposed to be nasty and gross. It is how the bacteria work.
     
  15. A friend is going to bring me a huge curly ram head. The story she attached to it: her bf at the time had hunted it and being a wasteful guy, just shoved it into an old freezer on the porch. She had forgot it was in there and came back into her small home town property to do some work and opened it up and nearly barfed. It had macerated in the moisture that had leaked in and in it's own slop. She was trying to get the freezer off the porch so she could finish tearing it all down so she pushes the freezer off and it bounces in such a way that the mess sloshed all over her. She had a hair appointment for an interview and the water on the property was shut off. She went to the hair appointment and was lucky that the hair studio had only been opened by her stylist specially for her that day (for a cut, no primping), but it was not a pleasant appointment for either one of them. lol. She was able to shower later but she's lucky her hair gal kept her in that day! That smell, if it gets on you, does not wash away. It gets stuck in you and up your nose. She was smelling it on herself for a week.

    Dig a hole and cover it. The smell in the hole will be neutralized when you start degreasing and dumping soapy water in it soon after macerating. And don't let it slosh. :)
     
  16. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    Thanks for the advice and you're right' I'm maybe doing 1/2 to 2/3 water change twice in a 7 to 10 day soak, and oh ya it's nice and nasty just the same. If that slows me down a bit...it's all good. That's just a tactic to keep the neighbors from freaking out.
     
  17. D.D

    D.D New Member

    66
    0
    Thanks for all the great info guys I got a lot more interest in this thread than I though and I appreciate every bit of it. So let me get this straight, if I switch the water out about every 5-7 days it will draw out the process but will make the stink less? And while I'm not touching or stirring up the water the smell should be manageable until I disturb the water?

    While reading into this I read that a air tight lid isn't suggested? Is this right? I was thinking if I got a 5$ tote the head would fit in then I could put the lid on or should I not do this?
     
  18. Sealed container is fine. I've mascerated skulls in a glass jar with the lid screwed on tight. No Movement of Air= No transfer of smell.
     
  19. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    DD, If you choose to move some dirty water, Sunday mornings are especially good because the neighbors are always at church then. Beware, the explosion of odor can be amazingly powerful.
     
  20. D.D

    D.D New Member

    66
    0
    Haha that's a perfect idea Sundays my whole city block is at church. I'm excited to try it really... I guess I'll find out how strong my gut really is. Maybe I'll holler for the wife to "come look how cool this is" one day when im changing waters. She even gags when I'm simmering heads lol