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Old 05-02-03, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
Pixie's Avatar
Join Date: Oct-2002
Location: Montreal
Age: 42
Posts: 1,455
Try switching over to prekilled, both for you and especially the snake. I just managed to switch 2 difficult eaters to prekilled instead of live and know how hard it can be.

I also hate hearing the mice scream and suffer during the constriction and especially when it takes a while... No matter how much I hated it though, I always stayed and made sure that the mouse wasn't hurting my snake. It's happened on a few occasions that I've had to step in to prevent my snake getting bit too much. It can happen VERY easily. Even with my supervision and interventions, the mice still managed to get a few bites here and there. Understandable from the mouse's point of view, it's being killed and wants to get away at all costs. When I watch, I always have a metal soup spoon to put between the biting mouth and snake.

Needless to say, I'm very happy that all my snakes are now eating dead prey!

To start the switch from fussy live eaters, you'll have to learn how to stun and prekill your mice as well as have a pair of long tongs (barbecue pinchers will do in a pinch). Get a small cloth bag and put the mouse in it, shake it to the bottom of the bad and give it a good whack (not too hard or a whack though!!!) against something hard (I like the ceramic of the toilet bowl).

It's really not fun doing this but it's quick and there won't be any squeaking. Take the mouse with the tongs and wiggle in front of your snake, it should get snapped up in no time. Even difficult feeders are fairly easy to switch this way.

A couple of final tricks:
- If you have a particularly difficult snake and the prekilled doesn't seem to do it. Wait and after the second attempt, feed 1 live item first on it's next meal followed by p/k.
- If your snake is still being a bit difficult but in good shape in every other way, let him wait a couple of weeks and build up a good appetite. Then try again.

If you persist, you can get your snake to take dead prey.

Good luck


Don't be shy to ask any more questions!
Keeper of 5 snakes, leopard geckos, 1 green iguana, 20+ tarantulas, 2 dogs & a bunch of rats!
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