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Keeping ram's skull....and getting brains?

 
Alder Burns
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I have a ram with a really nice set of curly horns that I would like to keep the skull from, more or less intact, when we butcher him. I'm thinking to carefully skin the head out and either bake or boil the whole thing and pick off as much of the edible meat as I can, and then either bury it in the compost for a few months, or, if my colony is active, in my black soldier fly bin (unfortunately these are not usually active in cold weather, which would be the best time to make meat of the ram. My main question is, is there a way to get the brains out without damaging the skull? I suppose I could try to drill up from the bottom side, where the opening would be hidden by the jawbone when the skull is mounted?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Here's a guide I found for different methods of bone cleaning: http://www.jakes-bones.com/p/how-to-clean-animal-bones.html

 
Andy Moffatt
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Get a bit of wire and bend the end like an L shape and poke it in the hole at the back and mash the brains up then shake them out, I have heard using an electric drill to spin the wire works well but have not tried that myself.
I tend to hang skulls/jaws in a tree till they're clean, raw but skinned. All manner of insects help out.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Don't leave skulls with horns on the ground, because varmints like to chew on the horns.

 
R Ranson
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First, well done for using the whole animal.

With the head, you can make a kind of head cheese - more like a savory jello than that abomination called 'head cheese' they have in the store.

However, boiling the skull that long would probably damage it and make it less useful afterward.

If you are looking for a trophy style skull, it's probably useful to remove the horns, then let the insects have a go at cleaning the skull. I usually bury mine in an ants nest (but tie chain the skull to something solid because it will go walkabouts otherwise). The bugs, rats and stuff like to eat the horns.

Oh, there is so many things you can do here, and so many different ways to do it. My brain is brimming over with lots of different ways to handle a skull. I've tried several. Here's my preference these days.

Trim the meat off the base of the skull (great for stir fry or sausage).

Skin the skull, and often saw it in two. Remove the brain (I could poach this, but I still find the idea of eating brain disgusting - so I fry it and give it to the chickens). Par boil the skull and remove the horns (they are the most valuable part of the skull and can be used in so many ways). Make head cheese from the skull.
 
Travis Johnson
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Due to Scrapie in some sheep, I would be REALLY hesitant to consume any sheep brains. That was what caused the dreaded Mad Cow disease some years back in Scotland and England. There is more to the story than a single family eating a single sheep, but with Scrapie on the ride in the USA anyway, I would reconsider.
 
Wes Hunter
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Basically what you're proposing is what is called a "European mount" in taxidermy, with the exception that you're probably making a headcheese first. Once you're done with the headcheese, put the skull back in the pot and boil until the rest of the meat and connective tissue comes off. This ought to roughly correlate to when the jawbone detaches from the skull. The brains will largely have been dissolved by this point, though you'll probably have to hose it out to get the more stubborn bits. A little more picking over and you're done. (If you want to whiten the skull, I've found that simple drugstore hydrogen peroxide works fine--just soak for a day or two.)
 
R Ranson
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On a side note, leaving the brain in for the head cheese can make the jelly cloudy.
 
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