Friday, August 9, 2013

First Try at Taxidermy!

So about a few weeks ago i found a large goose in the middle of a parking lot that was really fresh! Unfortunately i was on the way to seeing the Lion King on broadway so my girlfriend and I got a bag from the store (to which the parking lot area is for) and slipped it in. We gave it to her mother to take home and set in the freezer. This was the first time I've ever cut up an animal or did anything taxidermy wise from scratch. I don't know what i expected but i came out realizing how much respect i have for people who do this to harvest the bones. I wanted the bones to make more bone jewelry, unfortunately i can't sell these bones so they'll just be for personal use.

Now I'm returning to college in a few weeks, about 2.5 to be exact so i did not have time to bury the body and get it before winter comes. Even if i did bury it a weekend would not be enough time for me to take care of anything. So pretty much i took off all the meat and feathers and go to separating chunks of bone areas. I spare everyone the gory hacking pictures but we did harvest the wings and feet for keeps! We didn't cut the wings too cleanly as is our first time and we aren't exactly experts on bird anatomy. but either way i think it's cool to see the bone.
We added a bit of borax and cornstarch to the bone to help dry out the marrow in the inside. The bone itself snapped before we could cut it at the joint so it's kind of sharp. I'm hoping to just hang it up so no one touches it and possibly gets hurt. The wings are hanging up to dry and have been for about a week now. Not exactly sure when they will be done but I'll most likely take it back from i head out to college. I'm also thinking about putting it in a shadow box. i really love the coloration of the wings and i don't want any of them to fall off. I want them to stay protected.
The feet still had some meat left on the bones so we soaked them in household hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide helps disinfect and kill the bacteria on the meat and bones while also softening it and making it easier to peel/cut away. We used chopsticks to help keep the webbing spread so that way then they dried it would be nice and presentable. The paperclips helped keep them pinned onto the chopsticks. the webbing feels really awesome. We added the same borax and cornstarch treatment to dry it out. With the humidity Ohio has been experiencing it will most likely take awhile to dry out completely.
This is where it may get a bit gross. We macerated the meat and bones, especially the neck which had a lot of muscles and tendons on it in hot water. We didn't boil it since boiling can give off a god awful smell as well as cause the bones to become brittle, which no one wants. a few of the bones we got out in then end were brittle(like the rib bones)because they were small or we didn't handle them carefully enough. The ribs are like thin little needles that needs special handling. they were a pain to get to but easy to take the meat off once we got them separated from the spine. The red in the bucket is blood. It was the first maceration so blood was still on the meat. after awhile the maceration mix (sometimes just hot water, other times hot water with some peroxide) turned yellow, then clear with only pieces of meat floating to the surface. Once the peroxide stops bubbling around the meat then it means it is thoroughly clean and disinfected and if the meat didn't fall off on its own, or easy to pull off then you're going to have a rough time. ESPECIALLY with the cartilage. it is a huge pain in the ass!
Here we have the bones getting cleansed in more peroxide. This is once most of the meat is off, and provides cleaning to the bone itself as well as whitening. So the bones will look kind of bright when they are made into jewelry. I'm farther then this now. I'm gotten a lot of the bones cleans out with all the meat of and just a few pieces of cartilage left. I might try and pick the rest off when they're dry. I'll have another post update once I'm done!

No comments:

Post a Comment