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Live feed or frozen?


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#1 Amethyst

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:01 PM

This seems to be a controversial topic in most reptile places I hang out. Apparently a lot of people think live feeding of rodents is too cruel for snakes, turtles, etc. Along with the risks it presents with the rodents fighting back and taking a bite out of your beloved pet. 

 

 

But few people look into the benefits of live feeding, despite it's cruelties. It depends on how you weigh out how you feel about the act in general.

 

I've read that live feeds have far more nutritional value, and on that basis alone it's a better idea. 

I've also read that it enriches them by giving them the feeling of being the mighty predator that they are. 

 

 

 

What are your opinions on the topic? I'm curious. 



#2 Coops

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:03 PM

I don't think it's cruel to live feed, but it's nothing I would personally engage in, especially after having pet rodents. It's just the circle of life. 

 

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#3 Froggo

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:04 PM

I feel like frozen feeding would be easier to do in general, cause like you wouldn't have to handle anything live other than your snake and it'd be easier to store them.

Plus, you don't have to watch your snake kill a cute little mouse or anything.

 

On the other hand, snakes eat mice in the wild like that anyways, so as long as the live food wouldn't hurt the snake I don't see why people should get that upset.



#4 Amethyst

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

I don't think it's cruel to live feed, but it's nothing I would personally engage in, especially after having pet rodents. It's just the circle of life. 

 

giphy.gif

 

That's my feeling on the matter really. I've owned rats and guinea pigs. Loved them all dearly. But that doesn't mean it's wrong to live feed. In my opinion anyway. 

 

 

I feel like frozen feeding would be easier to do in general, cause like you wouldn't have to handle anything live other than your snake and it'd be easier to store them.

Plus, you don't have to watch your snake kill a cute little mouse or anything.

 

On the other hand, snakes eat mice in the wild like that anyways, so as long as the live food wouldn't hurt the snake I don't see why people should get that upset.

 

It can be difficult. I've seen some snakes refuse prekilled/frozen meals before. That's not the case every time of course, there's some snakes that probably prefer frozen/prekilled meals. On that note it just comes down to your partiuclar pet's preferences, as an individual.



#5 Elindoril

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:12 PM

Well live feed is raised to only be sold as food. Snake owners aren't ripping them away from a precious and fulfilling life. The animal is going to live its short and sad life in a cage and either die in the cage or die being eaten.

In the end it only boils down to your pet potentially getting harmed if the live food fights back. I wouldn't want to risk it, but I'm also not into owning pets that might require buying live food for.

#6 Coops

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:12 PM

My eighth grade science teacher had a beautiful ball python named Cleopatra. And I remember she stopped eating for a few months. My teacher was so scared she was going to die. Basically, she had become completely disinterested in frozen rodents. He ended up having to live feed her because she wouldn't touch anything else. Poor noodle. :(



#7 Amethyst

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

My eighth grade science teacher had a beautiful ball python named Cleopatra. And I remember she stopped eating for a few months. My teacher was so scared she was going to die. Basically, she had become completely disinterested in frozen rodents. He ended up having to live feed her because she wouldn't touch anything else. Poor noodle. :(

 

Was the poor noodle okay after the live feeds? ;-; 



#8 Coops

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

Well live feed is raised to only be sold as food. Snake owners aren't ripping them away from a precious and fulfilling life. The animal is going to live its short and sad life in a cage and either die in the cage or die being eaten.

In the end it only boils down to your pet potentially getting harmed if the live food fights back. I wouldn't want to risk it, but I'm also not into owning pets that might require buying live food for.

Yeah this basically. I love snakes but I could never own one because I couldn't properly take care of it due to the feeding aspect.


Was the poor noodle okay after the live feeds? ;-; 

Yeah. She survived. Last time I saw my teacher, about 6 years ago, he still had her. She's probably gone now though. She was pretty old when I was in eighth grade.



#9 Amethyst

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:18 PM

Yeah this basically. I love snakes but I could never own one because I couldn't properly take care of it due to the feeding aspect.


Yeah. She survived. Last time I saw my teacher, about 6 years ago, he still had her. She's probably gone now though. She was pretty old when I was in eighth grade.

 

I feel, I loved a snake at the local nature center, he was a pretty cool south american boa. Everyone loved him ;-; He had cancer and had to be put to sleep. But they used to let us watch live feeds, which I guess being a young kid at the time made me less sensitive about live feeds. 

 

He also liked being held and was super friendly. 



#10 Froggo

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 01:23 PM

It can be difficult. I've seen some snakes refuse prekilled/frozen meals before. That's not the case every time of course, there's some snakes that probably prefer frozen/prekilled meals. On that note it just comes down to your partiuclar pet's preferences, as an individual.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't starve a snake to death if it wouldn't eat what I gave it, I'd try to find it something different to eat.

 

(it's funny to think of snakes as individuals haha... i wonder if i got a snake if it would be a picky eater like me)



#11 graciea

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 02:48 PM

Oh, I used to own a whole roomful of snakes before I had to move. I fed most of them frozen - as it's what their breeders had started them on - but I had one Ball Python (who are notoriously picky anyways) who wouldn't eat anything except live feed.

 

Most of the argument against live feed I've seen in snake communities is usually the fact that live feed can fight back and seriously injure your reptile. I've seen some pretty horrible pictures before of owners trying to feed their snake live mice only to find their snake's scales all torn up. Sometimes captive bred specimens also don't know how to hunt properly - I've had a Rosy Boa before who would strike his food but never coil and constrict around it; I imagine if he were to do that with a live meal he'd get some pretty bad scratches and bites.

 

I think some people also argue with the potential for disease in live rodents - whereas frozen/thawed would usually eliminate that. It's a valid point, but I think as long as you're getting your feeder mice/rats from a reputable breeder or place, the chances of it would be pretty low.

 

The only other problem I've encountered with live feed though is mostly because I owned a Ball Python. BPs are notorious for suddenly going off feed for months on end with no reason - it's perfectly natural for them, but usually freaks new owners out because they think something's wrong. I've had a few instances where I brought home live feed only to find that my BP just wasn't up for eating, and ended up having to temporarily house from feeder rats until my BP was ready to eat. It was a hassle and made my room stink a lot.



#12 Sweeney

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:38 PM

Live feeding reptiles in typical home enclosures is a stupid risk to take.

The farm where I work has several rescue snakes from police raids, where their old drug dealer owners had them as status symbols. They were live-fed because it looks cooler. They are also absolutely riddled with scars, and often arrive with parasites.

There's no reason to live-feed. You're not prepping them for release like in some sanctuaries, and any nutritional deficiencies can be supplemented. Dangerous refusals to eat can be force-fed until the underlying cause is identified and rectified.

Don't do it.


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