HOWTO: Cleaning goat skulls

Thought I’d share some work…

So, with deer antlers, this is a quick process, boil skull in some detergent (skull, not antlers, water level below antlers), clean, scrub, wipe with BLO and you are good. The end.

However, with horned animals, the process is a little bit more involved. There’s cartilage and skin and all sort of things between the horn and the bone. It needs to be removed or it will stink and start getting mouldy, hard and won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.

I am not going to go into details, because this is the video that I found and this is the process that I followed.

Some tweaks:

  • I don’t have a pressure washer, so I spent some time pulling and poking and scrubbing, to get all the tissue and fat off.
  • First boiling to get the horns off, all of them popped off very easily after 10 minutes in the water. The last horn (one horn on the larger skull) took some effort. Probably 20 minutes to soften it up and then bit of banging with a rubber mallet. It did however just fly off at the end, like in the video.
  • On the second boiling after the horns were removed, I didn’t bother with peroxide or anything like that. I did however added a bit of detergent to pot, to get the last bits of fatty tissue off the thing.
  • I sawed some of the bone off, it serves no purpose in this. I left what’s needed for good contact with epoxy.
  • Glue used: I have no idea what Bondo is (in video), I used 2-part (mixing) epoxy, works alright.

Do NOT use Gorilla glue, it foams and will escape out from under the horn. Huge mess and ruins everything, because the foam dries and doesn’t come off. Good thing I tested it on something less ‘trophy’.



Dad claimed the large horns, which is fine. The small set is my first confirmed goat killed anyway :slight_smile:

They came up really Nice, mine are still just rotting at the back of the yard, Lol!

Nice I havent watched the videao yet but if thats all you wanted from the skull would be cutting it first be easier. A glue that may work well for this could be Contact Adhesive. Its a rubbery glue that adheres to most things like sh!t to a blanket.

Did cut it first. :slight_smile:

Respirator on, gloves on, skin it and then boil :slight_smile:

Why a respirator?

Because they’d stink really bad, being in the yard, rotting away.

So just need to take em up the farm and Chuck em on a meat ants nest, I know I’ve been saying that for ages :sunglasses:

Yep. Better off with the old peg on the nose. Respirator’s not gonna stop that stench!

A common P1 mask that you buy in buntings would be useless, only good for dust. A P2 mask should be OK for vapours such as lead vapours and finer dusts.

For a rotting smell I’m not sure but imagine a organic vapour respirator would help. (as opposed to a mask) They are full of activated charcoal. Great for many gasses and vapours including VOCs.

Best solution, stay up wind. :vulcan_salute:

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