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Bacteria For Maceration Trick?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by bobaloo11, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Just thinking, keep the insulation wrapped around the container with the replacement heater. I get 90 degrees when the container is outside in the 20's as long as it's protected well. See if you can find a chunk of something rotting on the side of the road or leave out a bit of raw hamburger or something at room temp until it is green and rotting. Toss that in. Possibly, the bacteria in the bucket are damaged from the heat if that is what it was. The crack will be ok. Everything should shrink back together when it dries. If you are unsure, take a Zip tie and just wrap that end tight until you are done.
     
  2. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    It's been unseasonably warm here in Michigan as you may know. I'm hoping the smaller heater it will keep it in the 70 to 90 degree range. Gonna throw some rotting meat in there and see how that goes. I have faith that it'll do the trick, you haven't done me wrong so far. I'm looking at this whole thing as a learning exercise. I hope to post some more productive pics in a week or so.
    TIA
     

  3. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    2016 update. Skull looks the same as it did a few weeks ago. I have the temp well regulated and not exceeding 89deg. I left some raw ground beef sitting out until it turned dark brown, slimey, and even a bit moldy. I dropped the golf ball sized wad of meat in the bucket with the head, stirred it a little, put the top back on the bucket and let it do its job. I'll check on it in a few days and let you know how things are progressing.

    The water was grey, cloudy and very malodorous... Worse than ever! That's before I added the rotten beef.

    I hope it works this time.
     
  4. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Well its working... Finally. Checked it today and I see alot of progress! Now the water is looking like grey mud. I know the saying, "If it's not broke, don't fix it". BUT, should I consider a partial water change or leave it alone.
    Just wondering.
    TIA
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I'd leave it be for now. Leave it for another few days and then stir it up a bit and pour off about half and then refill with warmed water. Don't pull the head out of rinse it off. Just pour off some water and refill. Hope it's moving along. I'm wondering if it wasn't too hot initially.
     
  6. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    I changed out 1/2 the water today. Refilled with 85deg.fresh water. Skull is coming along slowly, but I got time. I think I had the temp too high also.

    Only concern I have is that it was very cold today and my nose was running. After dumping the water and putting my rubber gloved hand in the nasty water, I wiped my runny nose with my dirty gloved hand! My health insurance is paid up along with my funeral plans... So I guess everything should work out either way.

    Will keep you informed.
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you couldn't smell that your sinuses must be really blocked.
     
  8. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Nope, it all smelled so bad I couldn't tell until it was too late.
     
  9. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    The skull has been soaking since Dec.1st. Temp is now holding at 90F and there is still a considerable amout of meat still attached. Teeth are still in tight too. The water looks like dark beige milk and smells like it!

    We'll see how things look next week...

    Just keeping in touch, as promised.
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Very odd .. and strange. Could someone have added something to the water when you were not looking? Is your water highly chlorinated? Though I would think the bacteria would overwhelm that eventually.

    After all this time I might give in, don a pair of gloves and trim off what I can then return it to the bucket and see.
     
  11. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    No one has access to my bucket of stench but me and my better half and she won't even go in the shed because of the stink, with the lid on!

    I have city water, but I can't smell chlorine.

    I have considered taking the skull out cleaning it more by hand and putting it in a different bucket with all new, fresh water. Then I can sift through the bottom sludge for lower jaw, teeth etc...

    I'll let you know what I do.

    Thanks for the input, again.
     
  12. CA Trapper

    CA Trapper Member

    580
    1
    bobaloo, I feel your pain. I have been where you're at now, several times. The problem of the bacteria just stopping is due to dumping the water. The only time I dump 1/4-1/2 the water is when I have multiple skulls going and the water gets extra thick. With just the one skull in a 5 gallon bucket, there is no need to dump half the water half way through. Reading your post, the water was not too hot at any point. No way, no how. Leave the skull in the bucket it's in now with the water that is still in it. trap or buy a mouse or two. If you can't get mice, a chunk of meat (not processed meat) will do. Toss the chunk of meat in the bucket and forget it's there for 5 days. Then check it after that.

    The only other possibility is the temp got too low. It's a lot easier to kill off the good bacteria with periods of cooler water temps than it is with higher temps.
     
  13. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Almost done!

    Well since the maceration wasn't going as planned. I figured that I'd reboot the whole thing. The weather here in Michigan was unseasonably warm 3 days ago, so I took advantage of it. I removed the skull and lower jaw from my bucket and poured ALL the water out through a screen, (so I didn't lose teeth etc...) and replaced it all. The "stuff" on the bottom of the bucket, besides the teeth and bone parts, looked as I thought it would, some light grey sludge, but there was what appeared to be quite a bit of sawdust. More "sawdust" than sludge.

    I rinsed, not washed, the bucket and refilled it with 95degree water. Replaced the skull, jawbone, teeth etc into the bucket and let it cook overnight with the heater on. The next day I placed a golf ball sized piece of rotten ground beef in it and let it sit. Just went out to check the temp. (95F) and curiosity got the best of me so I pulled the skull out for about 15 seconds. It's almost clean! YAY! A few days did more than almost two months! I don't know what the problem was but I'm guessing it had something to do with that sawdust stuff, unless that is normal.

    I will post pics of the skull when it's done... Then comes the degreasing.

    Thanks for everyones patience, so far.

    PS. Is it normal for the molars to be discolored on the top of the crowns of them? It should have used Crest!
     
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Great to know it's working now. Seems like, somehow, the bacteria you wanted in there was dead. Yeah, deer have nasty looking black teeth. Peroxide whitens them though.
     
  15. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    I haven't checked the skull visually since the last post, just the temp. 97F. Not bad for it being 2 deg F. Outside right now. Eventhough it's that cold in my shed, it still stinks like a$$ in there. I did notice that the water is beginning to turn almost black, is this ok?
     
  16. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The black is a different type of bacteria. It's from a lack of oxygen. It will also turn the bone black but it comes out with peroxide so don't panic. Don't disturb anything too much and pour out half the water. No more than half. Refill it with some lukewarm water and cover it again. No rinsing or scrubbing of anything. Just pour off half and fill it with fresh water. Should continue to be good to go.
     
  17. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    I'll change out half the water tomorrow. Thanks for the info. Is oxygen needed to help with the maceration? If thats the case, I have an aquarium air pump and stone, would it be something to consider in the future? Or just keep it simple.
     
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Simple. Don't add anything. Hopefully that really should be pretty much done by now. Is it getting any better?
     
  19. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Just checked the skull again. I have a noobie question. Does maceration remove fat as well? there were a couple small "gobs" of hanging white "fat?" at the base of the skull and some here and there. It looks like fat, but it's been soaking so long I would guess that meat would look like that too. I pulled off what i could and put it back in the "stink pot". Is it time to start de-greasing it? If so I gotta get my degreasing pot ready....
     
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Maceration will also break down a lot of the fat and helps a lot with helping the degreasing step to take less time (in most cases). It's possible it could have been either. Though, after all this time it should have been gone. If it seems that the bone is clean now, trim off any bits that you see and get it into degreasing. A deer will do well at a temp of 120. Leave it in that for a week and then check and see what it looks like. Give it a good scrub with a toothbrush and straight Dawn to remove any white, waxy buildup on it from being macerated. Hopefully, your next one will go a lot better. Honestly, in the beginning, I think this one got somehow cooked which messed up how the bacteria could work on it.