One of the most important tasks that the skull preparer performs is to make sure that there is no meat left in the nooks and crannies; Buyers won’t be happy if your work starts to smell after you bring it home! However, as with many other forms of art, there are several ways to achieve results. Depending on how you handle the smell for your neighbors, you may like any of these four methods more than the others.
This rather non-destructive approach is popular with many taxidermists, but can take anywhere to two months. Clean the skull and manually remove as much flesh as possible, then immerse the skull in a container of water large enough to completely cover the skull. The warm climate allows bacteria to grow and eat the residues of meat. If you live in a colder climate, consider adding baking soda to the water to promote bacterial growth.
Check the water every few days, keep the water level high enough to keep the skull closed, and change some of the water from time to time so that it doesn’t become too cloudy.
When the remaining pieces of flesh fall away from the skull from a slight movement, it is time to take the next step. By washing it under running water, making sure that the brain has been removed and held over it with a soft brush, you are ready to dry in the sun.
Beetles are natural purifiers. When you meet a skull in the wild, the reason it’s so pure is probably because the beetles have already gone through it and done their job. However, the taxidermist needs to be different from nature, so it is to give the beetles a head start. Beetles can only eat them for a set time, so the cook must first remove as much meat as possible. Beetles will be happy – and therefore more effectively – to clean up the remains.
The best environment for removing beetle meat is a dark wet place. Do not set too high humidity to avoid being in a mouldy environment, but keep it moist enough for the beetles to work.
This also applies to the skull; If it is a little dry, it is best to serve it, soaking in water for one or two hours before giving the beetles. Spray your skull every day to make the beetles interested.
When there is no visible flesh on the skull, you can rinse it with running water and cover it with a soft brush. The remnants of the brain tissue can be removed by a metal hook, also must disappear nasal cartilage. Once this step is complete, your skull will be ready to dry in the sun and whiten.
Instead of soaking the skull for a few weeks, you can just soak it in a deep container for a week and then simmer the rest of the meat. Fill the pan with water and baking soda and heat the skull in the mixture until the pulp starts to come out easily. Don’t boil the skull, just let it boil. Then, as with other methods, rinse it under running water and leave it in the sun.
This is a method that doesn’t require much maintenance, but it may take some time to use. It works about as you might expect: after removing large pieces of meat, place the skull in a plastic bag and place it in the summer sun. Bacteria will grow and eat meat. The preparer should simply check it every three or four days for a few weeks, and then finish cleaning, rinsing and brushing when the pulp is clearly gone.
Cleaning skulls can be unpleasant, but it shouldn’t be difficult or time consuming. An enterprising taxidermist will be willing to use any of these methods if necessary to give his customer the flexibility to do his job in the store.