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how to get rid of maceration stink off skulls?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by foxkidd44, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. foxkidd44

    foxkidd44 New Member

    was gonna give maceration a try this spring when things warm up.......just gonna put the skulls in a 5 gallon bucket and add water...........not gonna invest a ton of money into a heater til I see how it works out.

    I had been doing skulls on low heat in an old crockpot........had good results with a beaver, coon, coyote, skunk, mink, muskrat..........but every attempt to get a decent possum skull has failed...........they practically disenegrate...not sure if i'll fare better by maceration.......but shoot why not try.
    i'm a trapper, and know how bad certain coyote baits can smell.........and from what I've read........skulls generate a much more powerful stink when macerating..............whats the most effective way to get the stink off the skulls after macerating??

    soaking in peroxide?
  2. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Opossums just don't have solid sutures. They'll do better in maceration, I noticed while keeping them together in pantyhose you can actually keep the skull mostly together and just clean the goop off with a water hose sprayed over it-- the goop will come out but the teeth and everything will stay in and it will mostly stay in place in the pantyhose. Beetles are the only way I could think of keeping them fully together, but even then I'm not sure how well they fare.

    I have recently gone from maceration to ammonia soaks (ammonia and water) immediately out of the maceration, helps pull out blood, some grease, and some smell. Then they get scrubbed in dawn and warm water, and moved to dawn/water degreasing. By the time they're done being degreased and put in peroxide overnight, there should be little to no smell... and when the skull is completely dry, it should smell almost like chalk and not like maceration water in the least.

    You'll most likely need to invest in a heater. It's $20-$30 for one that goes up to 80-90 degrees.

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    When the skull is finished there isn't any smell. If you are not going to heat the water you will not only be disappointed but the stink will go on for months rather than a week. I have had older adult possums stay together. Young ones always turn into a puzzle.
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Soak them in peroxide for a few days, and then put in a warm place for a few hours. This will kill 99% of the smell. Sometimes it just takes time..weeks and weeks of time in direct sunlight. In a crunch, fill the brain cavity with moth ball crystals...they'll mask any lingering aroma.
  5. I go straight from the maceration bucket to the degreasing bucket with Dawn. Change the water after a couple of days. Never had a problem with odor lingering after the first soak in the degreasing tank.
  6. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    Yep, degrease the thing...odors go away with the grease.
  7. Besides the dawn detergent when degreasing I put a cap full of pine-sol in the bath.