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Old 04-18-18, 04:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Freshly killed vs frozen?

I recently purchased a beautiful female black magic ball python. I haven't fed her yet but I will in a few days, so I was wondering... Frozen mice and rats are available for purchase, whereas live mice are often cheaper. There is some debate on the morality of feeding live mice when the already dead option still exists. Is it possible, wise and better or worse if I were to humanely kill the live mice before feeding them to my python or should I just go through the frozen and thawed method?
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Old 04-18-18, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

I'd always suggest sticking to f/t, not so much because of a moral struggle as snakes provide a pretty quick death to their prey, but because dead prey offers no risk of injury. Also, freezing kills most harmful internal parasites that could be introduced to your pet. Freezing also results in cell lysis, making digestion in captivity for the snake ever so slightly easier if a husbandry mistake is made with temps. Fresh killed as you're mentioning would be another option, but it would be much more convenient and cost effective for you to buy frozen rodents if your snake will take them. Frozen should not cost more to buy.
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Old 04-19-18, 06:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

I've been feeding my snakes F/T for years with no issues at all.

It's safer for the snake, especially once the snake is taking rats. Rats can be pretty vicious and do serious damage.

It's more convenient for me. I buy bulk a few times a year, sort and organize them and pop them in the freezer. Pull what I need each feeding day and move on.

It's much cheaper in the long run. Again, I buy bulk, so it saves me money.

I've never offered fresh killed because I haven't needed to.

And unless my collection grows to the point I'm breeding mice/rats I will stick with ordering bulk F/T.

Obviously, if I need to offer live to get a snake eating I will. However, to this point I've never needed to.
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Old 04-19-18, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

Thank you guys so much for the rapid responses, I'm going to try for feeding her F/T and if she doesn't take it I'll try the freshly killed method, if she still doesn't take it, I'll move to live but I doubt she'll get to that point, but we'll see. Thanks again.
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Old 04-21-18, 09:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

there’s really no right way to feed in my opinion, just do what your snake goes for and what’s convenient but obviosuly watch live feedings closely. when i feed live rats i keep a wooden skewer on stand by and if the rat is able to bite her after being constricted i’ll put the skewer in the rats mouth and have it bite that instead of getting the snake. side note i believe feed live or frozen. pre killed in my opinion is wrong, let the snake do what it’s built too like nature does and don’t just kill the animal yourself to feed to a snake capable of killing. depends on how you kill it but i can’t find a reasonable method that’s not a little psycho.
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Old 04-22-18, 06:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

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Originally Posted by frankadank View Post
there’s really no right way to feed in my opinion, just do what your snake goes for and what’s convenient but obviosuly watch live feedings closely. when i feed live rats i keep a wooden skewer on stand by and if the rat is able to bite her after being constricted i’ll put the skewer in the rats mouth and have it bite that instead of getting the snake. side note i believe feed live or frozen. pre killed in my opinion is wrong, let the snake do what it’s built too like nature does and don’t just kill the animal yourself to feed to a snake capable of killing. depends on how you kill it but i can’t find a reasonable method that’s not a little psycho.
I'm confused, first you say do whatever your snake goes for, then you say feeding pre-killed is psycho???

Many keepers feed pre-killed because, like YOU said, that's what the snake goes for. You can set up a pretty cheap CO2 gas chamber which euthanizes the prey item within seconds.

The snake eats, the prey dies humanely. Seems fine to me, but according to you, now what? The keeper goes to the loony bin?
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Old 05-05-18, 01:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Freshly killed vs frozen?

She has taken thawed food pretty well. I was considering a mouse trap, a quick snap and it's over before the mouse realizes what happened, then it's ripe for feeding but if it has no benefit to the snake or to her feeding habits I'll just continue with thawed. I was only thinking of the snakes wellbeing and the mouse having a quick and simple death, with no suffocation or squeezing to be felt, and to ensure it wouldn't hurt my python. But as i stated it's way easier to feed her thawed.
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