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Bury Or Soak A Boar's Skull?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Kelsey Swalwell, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Bury

    0 vote(s)
  2. Soak

    5 vote(s)
  1. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

    Actually, I wouldn't be so quick to call BS.
    I was dared to keep my name this for a month by a friend who knows that I enjoy taxidermy. Also, I just misnamed the plant. It's really a venus fly trap but in the moment of writing the response, I couldn't remember what its called.

    Example of a venus fly trap. You can look it up.
    msestak likes this.
  2. Kelsey Swalwell

    Kelsey Swalwell New Member

    Nothing with this much tissue still attached, haha. I've soaked sun-baked elk bones just to loosen up the remaining connective tissue - but this hog has meat! And eyeballs!

  3. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

    Yeah definitely don't macerate in the house. Imagine driving past a dead bloated deer in the hottest part of summer. Now imagine that deer being in your house ;). Also take out the eyeballs. Always remove all large flesh, eyeballs, and brains. I always disconnect the bottom jaw from the skull as well. The more prepping you do, the less time it'll takers macerate, the less grease there will be to remove.
    msestak and Kelsey Swalwell like this.
  4. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Make sure you use a thermostat, you don't want your water to reach 180F, 85-95F will work just fine.
    msestak and Kelsey Swalwell like this.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Kelsey, can you tell if it is an Allied Bucket Heater? Or the type that looks like the one in the picture below?
    If so, it's going to get much too hot on it's own. I use these as well but they are wired to a thermostat to keep them from getting too hot. These will bring water to almost a simmer and you don't want that. If it is also not really heating, you might want to pass on using it. No sense risking a fire from something that is shorted out. In reality, all you need is a decent, submersible fish tank heater. That is all you need to heat the water to around 80 degrees which is fine for macerating. You don't want it to get over the high 90's because that is now getting too hot for the bacteria to be efficient. If you want to invest the money, buy a decent quality submersible one that is at least 300 watts. Turn it up all the way and set it down into the container with the head in it !!With the heater unplugged!! .. Let it sit for about 15 min before plugging it in. Not letting these acclimate to temperatures before turning them on or removing them from the container is what breaks them. As you saw in the beaver head post, insulating your container works wonders even in freezing temps. You can use old moving quilts, cast off bubblewrap, house insulation, many things. Whatever you can get your hands on to wrap around the container to hold in heat. I also set the containers on top of a square of that pink foundation insulating foam board to keep the bottom from contact with the cold ground.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Nope. When macerating, use plain water only. Do not add anything. You need the bacteria in there to multiply and flourish. Adding anything will upset the growth. Many detergents also have antibacterial additives. When macerating, if done properly, the bacteria also consume the fat. There is no free fat in the water solution to re absorb back into the skull. One of the great things about this procedure is that it makes the final degreasing so much easier and many times faster.
    msestak likes this.
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Nope. Positively not a Venus Flytrap. Not even a Venus Frog Trap.
    msestak and HondaXR250 like this.
  8. Good point. I did find (through some experimenting) that adding a bit of soap when there is still lots of tissue on greasy bones helps blobs of fat come to the surface. I toss the water several times per day for a few days. Then, once all the tissue is (seemingly) gone, the bones macerate longer without dish soap so bacteria can have a party on the remaining tissues.
  9. QBD

    QBD Active Member

    Not a good idea to completely change the water either. The bacteria that is doing the work will be discarded with the water and it will have to restart in the new water. I will add water to replace what is lost to evaporation but never pour water off and start over with fresh water. That just slows down the process.

    If you feel like you must freshen up the solution, pour off no more than 1/2 of the water and replace it with clean water that is approximately the same temperature as what is left in the bucket. Extreme temperature swings can kill the bacteria also.
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    This, is exactly what you don't want to do. The more you disturb it and the bacteria culture, the longer it will take. Set the heat to 80 degrees or so, let the skull sit and leave it be. Resist the urge to keep poking at it. Leave it alone for at least 5 days and let the bacteria do it's work. Only then, pour off only about half to 3/4 of the water in the bucket and add more warm water. Don't even add cold water and risk shocking the bacteria and slowing it down. The biggest reason you are doing this is to add clean water and a source of oxygen. Otherwise, one bacteria type dies off and the anaerobic bacteria take over. This bacteria is what turns stuff black. The black is easily removed but why bother if you can avoid it in the first place?