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Setup advice/recommendations

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by marlin3030, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. marlin3030

    marlin3030 New Member

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    Hey folks, I've got a freezer I set up back in August and the colony seems to be doing pretty well. I've cleaned a hand full of small animal skulls and have my first deer head in there now. I have been working my way up to larger totes inside the freezer to keep them from running all over while it's still growing but plan on maybe losing the totes all together and partitioning the larger compartment with a piece of plywood to separate the enclosure from the fan and wires I have on the left side.

    A couple questions though.... I've been using a heat lamp bulb connected to a baseboard thermostat heater to heat the freezer, but might also add a reptile heater under the tote. Is that overkill? I feel the heat when I open it, but should there be more heat focused on the bottom of the tote to heat their bedding?

    Also, what is the best way to estimate the colony size? Largest skull I've put in besides the deer was a bobcat and grey fox skull. They had them mostly clean in 24 hours. I'm beginning day 3 on the deer head and there still quite a bit of sinus tissue and some brain membrane left. I'm thinking it'll probably be another couple of days before they polish it all off. I thought by now they could have done it fairly quickly but I don't think I have as many as I thought. I started with 2500. I can tell they are breeding because there are plenty of little guys and a lot of molting going on. Anything I can do to boost numbers besides keep feeding them? I'll see if I can get a couple pictures posted.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I'll toss in a bit because I was asked, though I do not have a setup like this. Be wary of also doing too much. If they all seem happy and things are going well, don't overthink it. If there is more heat near the top, chances are the heat at the bottom is ok. What are your temp readings at the bottom? You should have some way to monitor this. I use a digital temperature sensor for reptiles. It has a probe so I can check different areas. If you are going to make a separator, avoid plywood. They will climb it as well as chew into it. Some types are even toxic to them. Look for plexiglass or lexan. Check shops that work on screen doors. Usually a decent pile of junk doors and plexi windows that you can scavenge from out back. Best boost for numbers seems to be brain tissue. Be careful that you don't get too much in there at once. it rots and liquefies and creates a hideous stench. Can't help with estimating numbers as I only use them to clean small or terribly delicate things. Hope it was some help.
     

  3. marlin3030

    marlin3030 New Member

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    Thanks Sea Wolf!