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Old 06-08-03, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
Zoe
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Feeding live/dead

Okay, I was at a friend's place today and to my horror discovered that he feeds live prey to all his snakes. Among these are a pair of 3-4 foot boas which are eating live med mice (which, as we call know, can pack a hell of a wallop if they have the chance to bite.)

I've been trying to convince him to feed dead prey.
My arguments are:

- Why risk it? It only takes a rat a split second of hesitation or a mis-aimed bite to blind or seriously injur a snake.
- They strike and coild dead prey, same amount of exercise (right?).
- Snakes get injured by their prey in the wild.

His arguments against dead are:

- The snakes get more exercise
- They eat fast enough (which is true - they have a great strike response)
- They eat live in the wild fine enough)

However, I don't suppose my arguments were too convincing because they didn't change his mind. I DON'T want him to have to find out the hard way that feeding live is bad, so does anyone have any better arguments that he CANT ignore??

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-03, 02:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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AMEN ZOE AMEN!! My friend put up the same exact arguments...I was like dude...watch. I went to his house and fed that thing some f/t and it took it like it had major feeders response. If you can go get some f/t's and feed a snake f/t in front of him he should realize how easy it is. Show him that pic too, of the BP that got all bit up by that mouse. Good Luck.
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Old 06-08-03, 07:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm a feeder of fresh killed, that used to feed live for years. I have had snakes get a few nips in the past but nothing more than a scratch or two. I know this sounds a bit "so/so" but feeding
live and leaving live in the cage must be seen as different. All those pictures of herps all bitten up must be kept in perspective. No reptile will get that amount of damage if your there to help if needed. If you feed live, the reptile should take it right away or remove it. Never leave for even a minute.
This is not being said, to say feed live. But rather to caution if you are set to only feed live.

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Old 06-08-03, 08:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well I would like to say what has happened with Jose our Mexican Black King.....

When we got him he had been fed live for 4 years. He has lots of tiny scars.

Anyways, for the first 4 months or so he only wanted live. No problem, because I could sit and watch him eat. One day he snatched a mouse with as much power as a kingsnake can, and while in the coils the mouse reached out and bit him right on his side.

I was *right* there. There was no way I could do anything at all. I couldn't uncoil him, and I couldn't take his mouth off its butt, and of course the bite to his side didn't make him let go at all. Luckily a few seconds later he moved position, and coiled tigher and tigher and it stopped biting.

But he could have lost an eye, had a serious wound, or any number of things and I was sitting right there. So I don't fed live anymore even when I am practically in the cage with them!!!!

Also tell him snakes can get exersice if you take them out and handle them! You don't have to endanger the life of the snake because he may miss out on 5-60 seconds of exercise.

And killing live in nature VS killing in a cage??? How can he even compare? The cage automatically gives the prey no chance of escape, they start panicking even more when they cannot run. We are talking about snakes who this guy himself has decided to keep in captivity using all captive methods, yet he tried to argue its "natural" and "like the wild" ??? Doesn't make sense, and I would tell him so.

I hope you can convince him!!!!!

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Old 06-08-03, 08:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks to your friend I'm going to switch ALL my snakes to live food! Thanks for the great advice Zoe!

hahah

Honestly, I think people enjoy the thrill of the natural approach (I know I do but I've heard I look like a serial killer anyhow) and those snakes that are feeding for them on live prey have been lucky so far.....so maybe your friend will be more likely to reconsider your heartfelt advice once his snake becomes damaged.

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Old 06-08-03, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I, for the most part feed all my snakes pre killed prey...... But every once in a blue moon I will throw my snake a live one....... But with my snakes it over pretty fast....... I have seen a rat die as quick as 10 seconds....... Hey BeeJay, How you doin??? LOL....
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Old 06-08-03, 09:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I will only feed live prey too smaller snakes, ie: when there earing pinkies and fuzzy's with thier eyes closed....I would never feed my retics live rats it way to dangerous. You can tell him this that My index finger on my left hand is paralized from the last knuckle to the finger tip from a rat bite, it severd all the nerves so if it can do that then imagin what it could do to his snake.
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Old 06-08-03, 09:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Mardy,

i agree with you that there is a big difference between feeding live while taking the precaution to stand by and watch for any problems that may arise, rather then just leaving it in there and walking away.
But even that split second or longer (that are reflexes cant react too) is long enough for a rodent to take out an eye, or give your snake a severe puncture wound.
And then theres the time of having to intervene like marisa said, which can be a hard task for the even an experienced herper to get a hungry snake, acting on instinct, not pain away from a very scared rodent with sharp teeth.

I had this happen once , and i didn't even notice the snake had been bitten in the neck as it was coiled around the mouse in an awkward position that left the head of the rodent out of sight.
It wasn;t till i saw blood on the paper towel till i new something was wrong.

Since that day, i have starved a few snakes in my time of keeping snakes. and sooner or later they all came around.

Zoe, do what you can to get your friend to switch to frozen thawed. But i have noticed there are ppl that you just cant change there minds when it comes to certain ways they go about taking care of there herps. Try the feeding idea mentioned above, send him the pics, and if that doesn't work, let him/her learn on his own and hope that he doesn't learn by having an animal die in his care.

Gvg
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Old 06-08-03, 10:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have one response that ALWAYS gets people thinking. When they say something like, "It's more natural" or "They do it in the wild"...you can say, "Yes, but it's not natural for a snake to be in a closed in enclosure. In the wild, the Snake DOES have a chance at escape if the rodent is TOO vicious. And also, the rodent has more of a chance to escape making it less panicky and nippy to begin with"

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Old 06-08-03, 11:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with Lust, I feed freshly killed somtimes live but i watch and I hold the rat/mouses tail in the air and let the snake stryke at it.
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Old 06-08-03, 01:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Try explaining about parasites and stuff. That did the trick to convert me over. Along with my snakes i also feed my leos pinkies every once in a while (as a treat) And they have gotten round worms. Let me tell you that isn't a fun thing to deal with. So try that approch that if he feeds f/t he doesn't have to worry about parasites and the costly vet bill to go along with it. Just my thoughts. Specially if he isn't worried about his snakes getting bit by the mice. This approach might work.
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Old 06-08-03, 05:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"I know I do but I've heard I look like a serial killer anyhow"

Beejay... Are you spying on me or something? How did you know I said that?!?!?!?!!?

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Old 06-08-03, 07:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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With the exception of my albino cal king (who refuses f/t or p/k) only my nile eats live (pinks) As soon as he switches to hoppers he'll get p/k or f/t. My burms and blood all get p/k or f/t. It's just not worth the risk of feeding live. I have seen to many pictures and heard too many stories of snakes being damaged or even killed by live food.
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Old 06-08-03, 09:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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These reasons are why I feed fresh killed only the last few years. I had to put my finger in an ETB mouth and take a bite, as the mouce had it by the lip. Just wanted those diehards as you say to know you feed different if done with live food. Unlike F/T or F/K where you can just walk away.

MArdy
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Grant vg
[B]
But even that split second or longer (that are reflexes cant react too) is long enough for a rodent to take out an eye, or give your snake a severe puncture wound.

I had this happen once , and i didn't even notice the snake had been bitten in the neck as it was coiled around the mouse in an awkward position that left the head of the rodent out of sight.
It wasn;t till i saw blood on the paper towel till i new something was wrong.
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Old 06-08-03, 09:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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First off why is a 3-4' Boa eating medium mice? Should be eating almost medium Rats. As far as snakes needing excersize? If you give them something to climb on they do not need excersize. They get weekly(at least i hope they do) excersize constricting prey, and the occasion excusion outside.
Unless you have an exceptionally picky BP , a "Hot" or something else really tough feeder. There is No need to feed live.

The person can make all the excuses in the world, but it basically comes down to , the person gets a cheap thrill watching a snake Kill its prey.

Yes there are some exceptions. Boas are not one of them. Anyone tells me they can not get a Boa to eat f/t give the snake to me for a month, it will when Im done with it.
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