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General Chit-Chat Forum Discussion about general topics that are really off topic concerning corn snakes, or just about any old chit at all.

How Do You Clean a Deer Skull?
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
maegann
How Do You Clean a Deer Skull?

I know, it's a weird question. But my dad found a deer skeleton on his bikeride and my mom said I can keep the skull if we clean it (of course I would clean it first, im not stupid, lmao)

so I was wondering what the best way to clean the skull to get rid of the rest of the flesh is?
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:47 PM   #2
tom e
http://www.skulltaxidermy.com/kits.html

looks fun!
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
Nanci
Well, depending on how much flesh is left, I'd boil it to remove the flesh, scrub with a toothbrush, then soak in a bleach solution to remove the rest/whiten it up.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:48 PM   #4
desertanimal
1) Cut as much of the flesh off as you can and cook it in water at a very low temperature. A crock pot is really the perfect thing for anything you can fit in it, because you can leave it cooking for a long time. So if you can get a crock pot that's big enough, that'd be perfect. You can use a regular pot on the stovetop, but you can't leave that on all the time. This method doesn't smell too good, so your mom might not be up for it.

2) Drop it in a bucket of water and leave it outside. Pour off the putrescent water once a week or so and refresh. Repeat until clean. This is super gross and smelly, but at least you can keep it outside. After everything has rotted off, you'll still want to try to cook the grease out of it. If you get to this stage, I can ask my wife what the best thing to use for that is. I believe it involves cooking again, but then it's not so smelly. There are a couple of different methods I think for de-greasing stuff.

3) Buy some dermestids You can keep the larvae of these carrion beetles contained in a rubbermaid/aquairum/whatever at an appropriate temperature and they are the best cleaners around. You can order them various places. When you don't have flesh for them to eat, you can give them other things, I think, like dog food.

4) You can start your own dermestid colony by picking some larvae off a carcass you find outside. Everyone has their own native species of dermestids. But really, buying them seems worth it to me.

Have fun!

p.s. I do not recommend burying. It's supposed to work, especially, if you wrap in window screen to contain all the bones in one package, but the timing is tricky. I tried it with a rabbit relatively recently and it was disintegrated when I dug it back up. Left it "in the oven" too long. I should have used the bucket method but I didn't feel like dealing with it.

Also, bleach will damage the bone, so I wouldn't use that. But I believe Kristi has been using acetone with some success for whitening, so once you get it clean and are ready, I can ask about that, too.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #5
maegann
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanci View Post
Well, depending on how much flesh is left, I'd boil it to remove the flesh, scrub with a toothbrush, then soak in a bleach solution to remove the rest/whiten it up.
what about the brain though??
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:53 PM   #6
desertanimal
Quote:
Originally Posted by maegann View Post
what about the brain though??
Kristi says that if you cook it in simmering water, the brain gets mushy and you can shake it out the foramen magnum.

The same thing will happen if you use the cold water method.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
maegann
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertanimal View Post
Kristi says that if you cook it in simmering water, the brain gets mushy and you can shake it out the foramen magnum.
o, otay...thnx kristi!!
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
Nanci
Does it even still have the brain in it? Do you have room to just set it out for a while? Seems like things revert to skeletons very quickly in Florida.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:57 PM   #9
SnakesRule1234
This was on Dirty Jobs, Mike said it smells really bad. I'd do it outside.
 
Old 12-02-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
maegann
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanci View Post
Does it even still have the brain in it? Do you have room to just set it out for a while? Seems like things revert to skeletons very quickly in Florida.
i dont know, i havent seen it yet. hopefully my dad can show it to me today...

very true about the florida thing lmao
 

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