Living Or Pre-Killed Food?

17/03/2011 11:04

One thing to consider when keeping a snake as a pet, is that unlike cats or dogs, snakes do not eat canned food. While cats are also carnivores  that eat rodents, you do not have to feed them the mice complete.

But there are no cans with ready to use food for snakes. This is not only because cats and ferrets are more common kept predators, but also because snakes do need to eat differently.

Now snakes cannot ear and see pretty bad. To find their prey, they use heat. Yes, they spot infrared images.

In the wild, snakes can find their prey, using the body heat of it. Of course, this means they are looking for live animals.

Many snakes owners do feed their pets by putting live rodents in the terrarium, but this can actually be seen as an act of animal cruelty and in some countries, it is actually illegal. Its done, even in pet stores, but only when a snake does not want to eat pre-killed food. Keep in mind that live feeding might also be dangerous for the snake as well.

Yes, in some regions feeding animals have to be pre-killed. This might have several benefits for the snake and the owner. When taught to eat pre-killed food, a snake might adapt to it.

Now the benefits of pre-killed food are that you do not need to take care of feeding animals. Keep in mind that when you buy them alive in a pet store, they cost money and when you own several snakes, some might breed the rats or mice themselves. Keep in mind this also requires good care, although you are going to kill these animals.

But when your snake is willing to eat pre-killed food, you do not need to keep and maintain a surplus type of pets for them. You can easily buy a stag of them and store them in your freezer. When the snake needs to be fed, you take it out, unfreeze it and warm it to the right temperature in the microwave.

This freezing process might kill germs that might endanger the health of the snake. Feed the warmed pre-killed animal by tying it to a stick and make it move. The hungry snake might not even notice it is death.

Also, for those who do not like to kill the feeding animals themselves, this might be an option, to have a snake without having to kill for it.

And last but not least: safety! Yes, rodents have sharp teeth and do not like to die either. Mice and rats can bite and especially those last ones can cause serious injury, not only to yourself.

Yes, there are people that needed medical treatment after having serious infected wounds caused by the bite of a rodent. Rat bites can even cause permanent scars.

Do also keep in mind that many snakes can also get seriously injured and that some have even been killed by their own feeding animals. This might sound weird, but it is so. Rodents, especially rats and male mice are very aggressive when they are surrounded and can attack the snake too.

When feeding pre-killed animals, you do not risk finding two cadavers in a bloody terrarium, like some snake owners had to witness.

Author: Martine Pauwels

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