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Antlers becoming chalky??

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by jfake, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. jfake

    jfake Member

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    I have had a few deer where the antlers are becoming almost chalky and some have broken. I am doing everything right. I was wondering maybe its because the antlers are above the water line and the steam from my degreasing is making them weak. Should the antlers be completely submerged? I live in northern Canada and obviously it gets cold here so i have to keep an air tight lid on my tanks. Any help here would be great
    TIA
     
  2. tazzymoto

    tazzymoto Well-Known Member

    What are you using to degrease them?
     

  3. jfake

    jfake Member

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    Dawn soap and water at 120.
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean "Doing everything right"? I live in MN and degrease my skulls in an unheated garage, with antlers sticking up and haven't had that issue.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    How are you cleaning them before you degrease?
     
  6. steamvalley

    steamvalley some cleaned and dipped skulls

    Just my 2 cents but you have a temperature issue 120 degree water will not degrade horn. You are either simmering or boiling and seeing the after affects when degreasing or you are degreasing at a much higher temperature than you think. My tanks don’t produce any steam while degreasing.
     
  7. jfake

    jfake Member

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    All of my skulls are cleaned with beetles. I would never boil or simmer as this is a rookie move. And the temp is checked regularly. I have an ink bird Tstat and we double check the temp with a laser thermometer. When I degrease the heads they are 4'X4'X4' tubs that are insulated But I cover the top to prevent evaporation. I may have miss worded my last comment. Its not so much steam as water vapour.
     
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Is it possible that any of these antlers were still in velvet when killed?
     
  9. jfake

    jfake Member

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    Nope. One was a moose from last year and one was an old elk we redid. The elk was out side for a couple years so I figure its from sun. but the bull moose was very fresh.