How do I properly tattoo a rat’s tail?
November 21, 2008 4:55 PM   Subscribe

How do I properly tattoo a rat’s tail?

I need to tattoo identification numbers onto the tails of rats being used in an experiment. I have a tattoo machine and the required supplies. The rats will be anesthetized while receiving the tattoo. I know next to nothing about tattooing. I will be spending the next week reading up on tattooing and hopefully gaining some idea on the proper way to tattoo. If you have any suggestions on learning how to tattoo, or specific tips related to tattooing a rat’s tail, I would like to hear them.
posted by demon666 to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have always heard tattoo artists practice on an orange.
posted by ill3 at 5:11 PM on November 21, 2008

Practice Tattoing: A youtube video with basic tips on tattooing with real tattooing equipment. He practices on a Grapefruit.
posted by aristan at 5:14 PM on November 21, 2008

My wife used to do this in an internship. First tip: soak the tail in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin (dry thoroughly before proceeding). Place the tail along the spine of an open book to keep it steady. Also, rest the tattoo machine on the back of your hand while tattooing, otherwise it will vibrate too much. You can even wrap a rubber band around your hand with the machine in it for added stability. Experiment a bit with the amount of ink you need -- too much makes it hard to see what you are doing. Finally, write the numbers on before tattooing with a fine point Sharpie. Coat with Vaseline once you are done. There you go!

Don't forget: tribal designs are so 1997.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:15 PM on November 21, 2008 [13 favorites]

Tattooing even. I can't speel.
posted by aristan at 5:16 PM on November 21, 2008

I seriously thought you meant to tattoo the hairstyle on someone... *phew*

I second practicing on citrus fruits. I've heard of a lot of tattooing interns doing this before they were allowed to move on to living beings...
posted by Kimothy at 7:00 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

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