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Dark Spots On Macerated Skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Tnrandy, Dec 6, 2022.

  1. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    We've been macerating deer skulls for about 4-5 years now. We process around 50 each year and have good success with them. We use an old chest deep freezer with a light bulb on a thermostat set around 100 degrees. We can have a clean skull in about 6-7 days. Most skulls come out of maceration clean and pretty white, after degreasing they look good before going into the peroxide. Here lately we've had skulls come out of maceration with dark spots here and there, and even going through degreasing, heated ammonia, and dawn, back and forth for a few weeks, they still have the spots...they just won't come out until we put them in peroxide. The peroxide finishes them and they come out white and stay that way. I know its not grease, it looks stained, and sometimes it's got a green tint to it like mold. Any suggestions? Like I said, the finished product turns out great, but I just don't like seeing those spots before they go into the peroxide.
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Blood, I use an Iron out soak for that.
     
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  3. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    1. do you know why some skulls do this and other don't? We haven't noticed anything...seems random.
    2. what process do you use for iron out? After whitening or before? heated? how long do you soak?
    Thanks!
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I think it may depend on the kill shot as to how much blood got thrown up into the mouth and nasal cavity but not sure. I macerate in batches as well as soon as they come out of the rot tank I spray them off and right into a soak of iron out and hot tap water, they soak for a few hours, how many depends on what else I'm doing and then into the degreaser. I'm quite certain you don't want iron out and peroxide to mix.
     
  5. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Thanks, I'll give that a try.
     
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  6. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    6 OR 7 DAYS ??? How is that possible?
     
  7. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Huh? We skin the heads, trim off as much meat as possible, remove the eyes, brains and bottom jaws. In a bucket of heated water the skull is clean in 6-7 days. After this we degrease for a few weeks and then soak in peroxide.
     
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Mine are typically clean between 8 to 10 days here, meaning I don't even check them until after that but they could be clean sooner, and then onto degreasing.
     
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  9. arrow30

    arrow30 Member

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    could it be bruising from fights?
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Photos? Do they look like the beaver skulls I did in the tutorial? Black would be anaerobic bacteria meaning the water ran out of oxygen, the first colony of bacteria died and the new type took over. Peroxide will take it out. Brownish, red, orange stains have been blood and the iron left over from the hemoglobin. Iron Out will remove that but it will be stubborn otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2022
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  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    LOL .. I think he is messing with you. :)
     
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  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Before you do ... read the post I did with the potbelly pig. Iron Out will work, but you need to do it right. Photos tell a lot.
     
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  13. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    I must be doing something wrong the, Eyes and skin, most meat removed ,placed in a tub, two deer skulls and a heater. Water is very warm to touch. Takes about 3/4 weeks. Tub is covered and a squirt of dawn while soaking. I wish it took a week.
     
  14. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    don't add soap that kills bacteria
     
  15. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Don't add dawn to the water, that's probably the issue, it will work against the bacteria you are trying to grow. I'm a member of several other taxidermy groups and I see people adding meat tenderizer, ridx, yeast or other things to the maceration water to help remove the meat faster. Plan water works just fine for us.
     
  16. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    ok, maybe the problem. Thanks, doing 4 now in just water with 90 degree fish tank heater
     
  17. Taylor Baker

    Taylor Baker New Member

    I am about to use Maceration on a buck I have doing a Euro on. I would like to keep the lower jaw in the mount when finished. Do I need to do anything special with the teeth or should Maceration clean them good? Don't need anything rotting
     
  18. Taylor Baker

    Taylor Baker New Member

    Also, I'm going to be using aquarium, heaters but looking into bulbs... What brand of light on thermostat do you use?
     
  19. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Teeth do sometimes fall out during maceration or degreasing, don't dump them out with the funkwater.
     
  20. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    I use a 250watt bulb on inkbird thermostat set to 100degrees. If you let it macerate until it's finished the teeth will become loose and some may even fall out. You'll need to glue them when you are finished with your process.