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Snake Bone Cleaning Help?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by skinandstone, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. skinandstone

    skinandstone New Member

    Hi all, first time poster!

    I found a beautiful rattlesnake on the road that was freshly killed and I picked it up (carefully), skinned it, gutted it, and put the flesh and bones into a water bath with ~95% water and ~5% hydrogen peroxide for a few weeks (I'll explain why I used this method later).

    After a few weeks the flesh had barely broken down, so I drained the first bath and put it in another bath with the same general ratio of water/hydrogen peroxide. A couple weeks later I checked it and the flesh had broken down much more (kind of the consistency of mucus) but was still sticking to the bones in many places, and many of the spine vertebrae were resistant to break apart.

    I put it in another bath and let it sit for a few days and just rinsed that off today. A lot of the flesh has broken down but there is a bit that is really stubbornly sticking to almost every single bone. I tried spraying the bones in a metal mesh strainer with my hose and a hard spray and it loosened some of it, but not all of it. I also tried using a toothbrush to loosen it but these tiny little mucous-y bits are really resistant to let go of the bones.

    A friend of mine had done this method with a rattlesnake flesh/bones and the flesh broke down in the water/hydrogen peroxide bath after sitting for 3 weeks, and they were able to spray off the flesh with a hose over a metal mesh strainer without any difficulty or bits sticking to the bones.

    So... what would folks suggest I try to clean the last stubborn bits of smelly, surprisingly strong, mucous-y flesh off of these bones? I intend to use the bones for art/sculptural purposes (not full skeleton articulation) so they don't need to be in order or anything.

    Let me know your recommendations! And uh.. go easy on me in case I made some huge obvious mistake because I'm a super newbie to this
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I would have used just plain water. I used just plain water when I macerated skulls and I could spray the flesh off easily in a couple of weeks.

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    I have been doing them for 30 years. All I do is macerate them during the summer. Only takes about a week for everything to fall off. I then spray them with the hose nozzle to get the little bit of flesh, etc off. Then into hydrogen peroxide for a couple of days.


    earrings-1-a.jpg vertebrae-earring-3.jpg vertebrae-earring-4.jpg taxihat.jpg
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    You are da man Kerby Ross! That jewelry is awesome! Love the hat band!
    Kerby Ross likes this.
  5. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Thanks :)