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Old 02-25-12, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Feeding chicks?

I was just curious, I haven't found any nutritional values yet but I was wondering if there is an up or a down side to feeding boas baby chickens. My little girl is almost ready to move up to pup rats and I was thinking about the next stage and wondering if chicks are a boa do or a boa don't? Might be a dumb question but I figured I should ask the experts before I ventured in to this territory.
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Old 02-25-12, 10:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

Lots of people feed chicks, and chickens (other foul, birds)

The pro is that it is a high fat content food

The con is it makes messy, smelly poops!!
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Old 02-25-12, 11:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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Originally Posted by Snakefood View Post
Lots of people feed chicks, and chickens (other foul, birds)

The pro is that it is a high fat content food

The con is it makes messy, smelly poops!!
A very foul odor...
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Old 02-26-12, 12:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

The physiology behind that is that Steatorrhea is occuring, it means you (or I guess, your snake..) is not fully digesting the fat in its food, and therefore it is releasing "high fat fecal matter" (aka Steatorrhea)

This could be any large number of things including vitamin deficiencies (fat-soluble vitamins) Which may be due to feeding foul in the first place, which i believe have lower fat soluble vitamins (may be off here)

It may also be true that, due to different digesting enzymes, they cannot properly digest the fat in foul, and therefore are..

A. not getting the nutrition anyway
or
B. not able to digest such a high-fat diet and therefore arent getting all the nutrition from the foul, and therefore would be getting plenty of fat (absorbing as much as possible) but not enough protein (due to high fat percentage)


"smelly" feces, from any animal that normally excretes "normal" feces is never a good sign, and personally I would never feed myself or any pet anything that causes abnormal feces, as it is a sign their nutritional needs aren't being met properly in some way.


edit:

my theory is "proven" (not technically) by this chart:

Nutrition Feeder Mice | Nutrient Composition of Feeder Animals

Adult Rat:
Vit A Iu per KG: 151,389
Vit E: Iu per KG: 139.2

Adult Mouse:
Vit A: 578,272 (whoa!)
Vit E: 100.4

Chicken:
Vit A: 35,600
Vit E: 51.3

thats a HUGE difference in vitamin density, assuming youre feeding the same prey size (equivalent weight) you are going to see 4.25 TIMES more Vit A and 2.72 TIMES more vit E while feeding rats than feeding chicken. I didnt count mice (though its even way higher than rats) because if youre considering feeding chicken, you wont be feeding mice sized meals

Spacing was fine in edit, wonks up when posted, but each row is in order:
Ca P Mg Na K Mn
2.62 1.48 0.08 NA NA 11.0
1.69 1.22 0.05 0.71 0.80 3.9

(top row is adult rat, bottom is chicken)

i took out a few of not important ones..

Calcium is almost double, Phosphorous is a bit higher, and in a MUCH healthier ratio (should be 2:1) with Ca nutritionally in rats than in chicken.

**This is just me applying my vast nutritional knowledge for humans and my limited understanding of the needs of snakes to why this may be happening**
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Last edited by Skumbo; 02-26-12 at 12:28 AM..
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Old 02-26-12, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

I feed one of my burms chicks. Since she absolutely refuses rats (and the recent experiment with rabbit pinks), the only thing I've found so far that's a tiny bit better than mice is chicks. Then I piggy back a rat behind it (most times she'll take it then). My other burm will eat them as well (she'll eat pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere so I like to vary her food).

I don't have any animal on chicks as their sole diet. You may be able to use them as a variation, but I'm not sure I'd use it as a primary food source. Rats are better source of food, so if she's eating that, I'd stick with it.

I have heard of it giving a foul odor to poop, but I haven't ran across this, but neither do I have animals on a strictly chick diet.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

We dont feed chicks either. We feed primarily rats except one which gets mice. Since we breed them, thats what we use. Black Betty has occasionally gotten rabbits before but we dont do that anymore either, From what Im seeing in this thread, I dont think I want to start using chicks ever.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

I use chicks occasionally for my carpets just to vary their diet. In my experience and what I've been told by other keepers, is that the foul feces usually happens when you all of a sudden switch their diet to just chicks. But if you feed rats then give a chick once and go back to rats for a few feedings, its usually not an issue. I know once my girls get some more size to them I'll start throwing in adult quail to vary their diet. The adult birds have less fat than the baby's do. Its my understanding that if you want to feed foul for nutrition, its 10x better to use older birds than one-day old chicks.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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I use chicks occasionally for my carpets just to vary their diet. In my experience and what I've been told by other keepers, is that the foul feces usually happens when you all of a sudden switch their diet to just chicks. But if you feed rats then give a chick once and go back to rats for a few feedings, its usually not an issue. I know once my girls get some more size to them I'll start throwing in adult quail to vary their diet. The adult birds have less fat than the baby's do. Its my understanding that if you want to feed foul for nutrition, its 10x better to use older birds than one-day old chicks.
adult prey will generally have higher nutritional content (vitamin wise) and more protein to fat ratio than juvenile prey, there is also an adult chicken listing on that site and the densities go up a little, but nowhere near as good as rats or mice.

throwing them in randomly is fine, is not probably good for them for various reasons.
but, i'd never go all or majority foul diet
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Old 02-26-12, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

I have a customer that switches his larger snakes back and forth from chicken (adult) to rabbit and he has a very healthy snake.
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Old 02-26-12, 02:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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Originally Posted by Snakefood View Post
I have a customer that switches his larger snakes back and forth from chicken (adult) to rabbit and he has a very healthy snake.
rabbits actually have higher nutritional density (and are about 80% protein) according to the chart I linked than even rats do, and the Vit ratios are all good as well
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Old 02-26-12, 02:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

Sorry couldnt help it anymore. "Foul" is the odor, "Fowl" are the birds.

Chicks are fine, and they are actually lower in fat than rats, not higher. As long as you are feeding whole prey its not a problem. Not to say that you should be feeding chicks exclusively or anything but some variety is probably a good thing. If you can get them, quail are actually a better dietary source than chicks.
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Old 02-26-12, 03:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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rabbits actually have higher nutritional density (and are about 80% protein) according to the chart I linked than even rats do, and the Vit ratios are all good as well
yes, they are very high in protien and very low in fat. Many breeders I know will switch thier females to chickens just before and during breeding season, and go for rabbits during the off season.

that's why I sell it all! rats, mice, rabbits, chickens. Sometimes guinea pigs and pigeons too!!
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Old 02-26-12, 03:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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Sorry couldnt help it anymore. "Foul" is the odor, "Fowl" are the birds.

Chicks are fine, and they are actually lower in fat than rats, not higher. As long as you are feeding whole prey its not a problem. Not to say that you should be feeding chicks exclusively or anything but some variety is probably a good thing. If you can get them, quail are actually a better dietary source than chicks.
lol sorry used to foul as in basketball foul, the English language is pretty crappy sometimes..

I can reply in German if you'd like
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Old 02-26-12, 03:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

then I'd have to have my buddy translate it for me!!!
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Old 02-26-12, 03:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding chicks?

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lol sorry used to foul as in basketball foul, the English language is pretty crappy sometimes..

I can reply in German if you'd like
No, nothing you should apologize for. Just me being a picky pain in the arse.

My grandma always told me I should learn more German. As it stands about the only German I know are the words for different foods we make at family gatherings.
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