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Bighorn sheep+horse maceration/degreasing updates and questions

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by oldblackgoat, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. oldblackgoat

    oldblackgoat New Member

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    hiya.
    I had posted a few months back with some questions about my bighorn sheep and horse skulls. they were absolutely terrible during maceration and both stank to high heaven, but that's to be expected. I macerated them both until mid august and have been degreasing them in water and dawn until today. Adipocere/grave wax built up quite a bit on the horse skull and it did not turn the white color that the ram skull did. the horse I found dead in the woods and it was still pretty goopy when I put it in the tank to macerate.

    I'm curious about degreasing as I know both of these animals are huge nightmares of grease. What should I be looking for to tell me that they are properly degreased?
    Its becoming colder here now so if I need to keep degreasing, I will likely have to purchase a small heater for the rot tanks. During the summer it was so hot that there was no need.

    Any thoughts?
     

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  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The last horse that I did, I got pretty much in the same condition that you did. I macerated it for three weeks and it was done. I got a plastic barrel that it fit into and bought, I think, 9 or 10 gallons of 10% ammonia. Covered it with ammonia and let it sit through the winter until April I think. Rinsed and whitened and it hasn't shown any signs of grease yet.
     

  3. With my dall sheep, after maceration, I let it soak in 10% ammonia from Ace Hardware for a few weeks, changing it out a few times. After that I whitened it in peroxide. No signs of grease for the past year.
     
  4. horsefeathers

    horsefeathers Member

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    Like the folks above me, the 10% ammonia is some of my go-to stuff for heavy duty degreasing. Used it on bears with great success. Only problem with using the 10% ammonia is it will burn your nasal passages readily if you don't wear face protection or you open it in a confined space. I did two bears in 10% ammonia I just sealed into a 5-gallon bucket then forgot about for two months.