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Bacteria For Maceration Trick?

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

  1. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    I've been pulling and cutting off chunks about once a week. I've been throwing a little rotten hamburger in the bucket about every 2 weeks too. I don't know what the deal is but the hottest the water has been is about 115deg and that only was for the first couple weeks, I don't know if that was enough to cook the meat, but it's a bit rare for me. Since then I have had very good control of the temp. keeping it in the 90deg range. I have used a small brush to get to some of the grease or white areas on the skull and it worked well.

    I'm waiting for a thermostat for the degrease portion of this fiasco. Once I get that, I'll be degreasing the "specimen".

    I too hope the next one works out a better. I don't know what the next one will be, maybe a squirrel or raccoon. It's gonna be road kill most likely. Here all we have for road kill is possum (I read that they're not a good choice because the skull comes apart, unless it's an older one). Skunk (Not sure if I want to go there for obvious reasons). So all that's left is squirrel, raccoon, maybe a dog or cat and deer, but I want something smaller than a deer for my next project, unless it's a nice buck of course!

    Thanks for all the info so far!
     
  2. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Well my deer skull seems finally cleaned, so my next question is what is the ratio of dawn to water? I did a search and found 1/4 cup of Dawn (BLUE?) to 5 gals of water keep it at 120 - 125 degrees, but for how long approx?

    I took the skull out of the maceration bucket and I'm letting it dry out before degreasing. I'm waiting on parts for the temperature control for the degreasing tank.

    I was wondering if a commercial degreasing liquid may be better or cheaper. An example of this is Simple Green Pro - HD. Cleaner, Degreaser and Deodorizer. It's not green BTW, it's purple. Just a thought since I already have a 1/2 gallon of it.

    When would it be necessary to use things like ammonia or acetone? It doesn't look very greasy, especially since it's been in the maceration tank for close to 3 months!

    I did a search on these topics, but never really found a definitive answer to my questions...
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Nope, nope and nope .. Stick with the Dawn. The other stuff has all been tried .. and failed. Dawn is also pretty cheap compared to the other stuff. Try to stay at 120 for the deer. The 1/4 cup per 5 gallons is right. Maceration will have already removed a lot of the grease and adding a couple of cups of clear ammonia won't hurt.
     
  4. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Ok it was just a thought... Blue Dawn, water and maybe some ammonia. I'm using a 15 qt container with a lid to keep evaporation in check so it will probably be closer to 3 gallons, but I can do the math on that one plus I would guess EXACT measurement probably not real critical, but I'll keep it close... promise.

    When will I know when it's done degreasing? Until water will stays clean? How often do I change the water out? Probably more since I'm using only 3 gallons of water vs. 5 gal.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    a deer is not normally very greasy. Change it after the first week and then see.if, after the second week, the water appears to be fairly clean still let it sit for another week..I normally only change the water if it looks really horribly nasty. Even after a few days and there is some grease in the water there is still plenty of detergent in the water itself to break down more grease. as long as your detergent solution still lathers up, it is still working.
     
  6. Team Realtree

    Team Realtree New Member

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    How much BO do you use in a 5 gallon bucket for a deer head?
     
  7. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Why use a 5 gallon bucket? BO is used as a whitener after the skull is cleaned. Use it straight, in a container that is just large enough to accommodate the skull. Drape a cotton cloth over any non-submerged areas so it can "wick-up" the BO. Most of my skulls stay in BO for 24 hours.
     
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I have 5 gallon buckets of peroxide that I use for whitening skulls. I just drop them in and let them soak. ... Except for things with antlers. Do as Joey says. Find a smaller container that just the skull fits into. Think a plastic shoe box or smallish plastic tote/storage box. Prop the skull up so it is flat in the box and fill to just below the bases with peroxide. Use paper towels to bring the liquid up and over the top of the skull and under the bases. This way you keep most of the peroxide off the antler bases so they don't whiten.
     
  9. Keevilkid

    Keevilkid New Member

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    Have you ever had any trouble with really dark spots above the eyes on deer skulls? I use beetles to clean them and degrease them in dawn and water at about 105 degrees but my skulls are really brown and the eyebrow area is almost black.
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    What you are describing is blood. Common in heads that were on a hanging carcass for a while before they were removed. 105 degrees is not enough for degreasing for deer. You need to get it to 120 constantly. One thing you can do is, before presenting to the beetles, soak the head for a couple of days in cold water. Change out the water as it gets bloody. After a couple of days, dry out the head and give it to the bugs. Make sure you remove the brain. Do not let that sit in the skull in the bug tank. Add some ammonia to your degreasing water. After several weeks of degreasing at the right temp, if you still see dark stains, try soaking in a solution of Iron Out for several hours and see if it helps. The hemoglobin in the blood contains iron.
     
  11. Keevilkid

    Keevilkid New Member

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    Can you use the Baquacil CDX? It says it’s 27.5% peroxide.
     
  12. Keevilkid

    Keevilkid New Member

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    Is it ok to use the Baquacil CDX? It shows to be 27.5% peroxide.
     
  13. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Ok, I found a page on using this CDX stuff. If you can, return it and ask for plain Baquacil Oxidizer. This CDX stuff may contain peroxide but it is something different. They should have Baquacil Oxidizer as the CDX is step 3 of a pool water process and the BO is step 2.

    When I use Baquacil, I use it full strength. Pool Mate is another brand I use, same thing. Suggest you wear goggles when using this because it is considered a hazardous chemical. Can't state this enough. Burns like hell if you get it on you, can start fires if you spill it or get metal into it and will instantly and permanently blind you if you splash even a drop into an eye. That said, I use it all the time.

    This is what you want:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  14. Keevilkid

    Keevilkid New Member

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    Thank you! Any tips on doing a bison skull? Just got my first one today.
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Bison are awesome when done. First get the horn caps off. They are not like cattle horns and you will ruin them if you soak them. Take a thin bladed knife like a filet knife and run it up, under the edge of the horn bases all the way around. Do not cut yourself. Get all the flesh off that you can and flush out the brain. Get two of those huge contractor plastic bags. Double bag the skull and toss in about 3 to 4 cups of water. Close the bag off tight and get it into a really warm room. Closet in a garage or something with a small electric heater this time of year because it is cold. Let it just sit in the bag for 4 days. Do not open it or poke any holes in it. After 4 days, get it outside and only then open it. Hose it off good. Wearing rubber gloves, see if you can now twist off the outer horns. You may have to do some more cutting up underneath the bases. Tap on them gently with a rubber mallet if need be. They should be loose and slide right off. I believe there might also be a way to simmer them off if you are careful. Search for buffalo (or bison) horn removal removing bison horns etc. These horns are nothing but compacted hair so you do not want to be soaking them for long as they will soften and fall apart. Once you get the horn caps off you can have at the skull any way you like. Wash the horn caps and fill with alcohol for a while. Pour off the alcohol and fill them with borax until you are ready to set them back on.
     
  16. Keevilkid

    Keevilkid New Member

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    Is it normal for the first 1/2 inch of the horns to be soft? What can I do about it?

     
  17. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you are talking about where they attach to the skull, yes. You need to get the knife up under that all the way around. Might have to do it a second time after the days in the bag to get them off. Once they dry, all parts of them will be hard. I believe you will find that part of that is connective tissue and not actually horn.