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Feral Cat Skeleton

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by trapperrev, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

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    I have a feral cat that I've been working with. I macerated it and put it in the degreasing bucket. However, I left everything in too long without a check. I had bubble wrap that I had previously used on the surface of the water.
    I left it and everything else that was in the degreasing bucket for about 6 weeks. When I took off the bubble wrap the water was off color, almost a pinkish or orangey kind of tinge. A mink skull had black spots on it. I assume I got bacteria in the water.
    I had had everything in there in Dawn previous to that 6 week timeframe so some grease had been pulled out.
    I rinsed everything off and put it back in with clean water and Dawn and let it set a couple weeks.
    The cat (and some of the other stuff) looks horrible. Is it stained or just needs more degreasing - a soak in acetone then back to Dawn?
    Here's a couple pieces
     

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  2. Great Skulls

    Great Skulls Member

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    I'd try it in peroxide. I use stronger stuff (look up BO) but the drug store 3% will work too - just take longer.

    Soak it in strong stuff for a day or two or 3% for a week, then let it dry. If it is still not clean looking, then post new pictures (after it dries!) and we can advise about whether it needs more degreasing or more whitening.
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Not so bad. Was the solution heated all that time? The staining looks like old blood more than anything. Do as Great Skulls said. Give them a soak for several hours in strong peroxide. Let them dry a bit and see what you have. If you have a hair care supply store around like Sally's, buy a bottle or two of the 40 VOL clear peroxide. Not the cream. Make sure it is just the liquid peroxide.
     
  4. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

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    I soaked in Vol 40 for 24 hours. It's much better. The cat is for my daughter - she's starting her sophomore year in college and is pre-vet. She's in no rush for it but I'll leave it up to her if she wants further work on it.
    I put the cat in the freezer shortly after I got it. But I pulled it out because my daughter was going to do a necropsy and ran out of time. Does freezing a specimen whole set blood in the bone?
    Also attached is a mink skull that I mentioned above. Any idea what happened? They look like rust spots.
    Thanks again
     

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  5. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

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    Also, here is a goose that was in with the rest. The little pieces on the right look very greasy still. The round circles - are they from the windpipe?
    The greasy pieces - is this typical of birds, or waterfowl specifically?
     

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  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It can and it does look like blood. Blood has iron in it, in the hemoglobin. In your local hardware store, in the cleaning section, look for a powder (preferably) called Iron Out. Take a container the bones will all fit in, mix in maybe a tablespoon of Iron Out in a gallon of hot water and pour it over the bones. Check in a half hour and see if the spots are gone. If they are fading, just leave it a little more. Take out the bones, rinse well in hot water again and let them dry. Do not put them back into peroxide after treating with Iron Out.

    Waterfowl are particularly greasy. Try soaking all the pieces in 50/50 ammonia for a week or two if you can. In a warm area preferably. Personally, I avoid heating ammonia due to the horrendous fumes. Yes, the circles are the bones from the windpipe. It's a very sturdy structure.
     
  7. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

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    I have Iron Out from your recommendation a few years ago. https://www.taxidermy.net/threads/372188/#post-2514079
    What I find strange is that the mink skull is the *only* piece that has rust spots like that. They weren't there, or noticable after macerating. I *think* I had a water change in the degreasing bucket before I let it set 6 weeks and found the water icky and I would have noticed the spots then.
    What is the concern with peroxide after Iron Out?
    If something soaks in acetone, it's not truly degreasing but changing the fat into an oil and it must be degreased afterward. Ammonia is a degreasing agent, if I understand right. Is rinsing the pieces after soaking in ammonia enough to get rid of the ammonia smell or do they need another soak in only Dawn?
     
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    A soak in hot water and a rinse will be fine to wash away any ammonia. As for the Iron Out, do a search in this forum for Iron Out Pig and see if you can find the post I did on a pot belly pig skull and scroll through the photos.
     
  9. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

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