Author Options:

Look at detail for preserving owl skull? Answered

Si-yo, I am of wolf tribe with owl protector and hawk and am learning new things, How do I remove the eyes and flesh from an owl head to just have the skull for a totum stick, to present to an elder?


I don't have any practical experience with the matter but what I see on tv tends to fall into two categories:
-let bugs eat the flesh (maggots or beetles)
-boil it with chemicals (with ammonia if memory serves)

There are beetles you can buy designed exactly for this. However, boiling it will severly weaken the bones and is NOT a good idea.

For most animals, and specifically the skull where bones tend to be thicker, it probably wouldn't matter a whole lot. However with birds, their bones are designed a bit differently to aid in flight and don't stand up as well to this process. I guess it depends on what the goal is- will it need to stand up to long term handling and such? If not, then boiling may be okay. The other disadvantage of boiling is that often stinks up the place- you'll probably want to do it outside if you choose that method.

Ahh yes I forgot to mention the smell !!!!

Put it on an ant hill. It'll be clean in no time.

Put it in a plastic box (Tupper ware) with a few holes drilled in the sides. Fill the box with sand to keep the bones together - Bury this in the garden and leave for a few months. insects will d the rest.

Alternative Boil the skull for a couple of hours. This will remove the meat BUT leave you with an interesting jigsaw puzzle.

Glue bones together with hot melt glue.

As an addition NEVER try this with a rabbit and expect to re assemble all the bones UNLESS your a forensic bone specialist. - Don't ask.