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Old 01-11-04, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thawed Feeders

OK Folks, I have a delima.
I pulled a bone-head move in early December when moving into my new place. I unpluged my freezer to relocate to the other side of the room and forgot turn the power back on for over 24 hours. The only thing in the freezer was my feeders. I immediately turned it back on and had intended on throughing away the feeders(3 1/2 months worth, approx 5 pounds) The only smell in the freezer was defrosted meat that had been sitting for the day and maybe a hint of decomposition or turning bad.
I intended on not using them. A friend was here on the weekend and said i was nuts not to use them. I would love to hear what you think.

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Old 01-11-04, 09:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well bacteria is supposed to grow really bad after they have defrosted. Unless they were still frozen when you plugged it back in, then don't use them.
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Old 01-11-04, 09:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have fed feeders that thawed once and were re-frozen with no ill effects noticed so far. A lot of people will go so far as to place a feeder in a cage over night and if it's not eaten by morning they re-freeze it and try it again at the next feeding. At that time if it's not taken they then throw it out.
Is it the best practice, I'd say no but once in while I belive will not hurt them. Think of some of the stuff they eat in the wild.
In your case they never even left the freezer, they just got cold, not even warm.
I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-11-04, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd pitch them to be safe.
According to what I was taught in Home Ec many moons ago, frozen foods including meat meant for human consumption can be safely refrozen if the center is at least still crunchy, and it's still obviously very cold on the surface. I've refrozen meat for us if it met those guidelines and not worried, but then I'm the kind of cook who burns things beyond recognition, and chances are any bacteria that formed on it will be killed stone dead by the time I serve up the meat. (Don't accept a dinner invite here unless it's take-out )

Since the feeders will be served uncooked, I wouldn't risk it. Even though it's a lot of money down the drain, replacing them is a lot cheaper than the vet bills. The thought of the snakes suffering would be enough to get me to pitch it.
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Old 01-11-04, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My better judgement is telling me to through them out but...in the wild as Trevor mentioned, they would eat amimals in far worse state than what these were in wouldn't you think?
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Old 01-11-04, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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in the wild as Trevor mentioned, they would eat amimals in far worse state than what these were in wouldn't you think?
Crocs and monitors may eat an old, bloated carcass, however snakes generally don't eat anything that has even begun decomposing (in fact is there any observation of them even eating anything that was dead upon finding?), as far as I'm aware of. HOWEVER, I trust my snakes instincts. I have had experiences that show me they do have quite a tolerance above us to certain types of bacteria. For example, I had one WC that would refuse to eat fresh killed or freshly f/t items, but would only take a prey item if it had been killed, left out overnight, frozen for a few days, then thawed and left in his cage overnight Talk about a bacteria-fest!
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Old 01-11-04, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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These feeders were in sanitary conditions packaged in baggies of 12 inside a rubbermaid shoebox. You know the smell of coldcuts in the refrigerator when it is just past expiration date. That is equivilent to what these feeders were.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Would you eat a steak that was defrosted, refrozen and then thawed again and served to you? Personally, I wouldn't. It's only 5 pounds of food, I would toss it just to be on the safe side. It's your call though.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I see no reason at all to throw them out. As Trevor mentioned, I've soemtimes left prey overnight, and if refused, re-frozen it, but never more than once. After that, if I don't have a serpent garbage disposal unit available to take the prey, it goes in the garbage.

Snakes deal with bacteria ALL THE TIME. Keep in mind that whatever prey you feed them is going to develop and release bacteria as it is digesting anyway. Is the rodent's body not decomposing in the snake's stomach? If so, and it is releasing bacteria, how is that any different than if it ENTERS the snakes stomach with some decomp bacteria? It isn't. Bacteria cannot survive an environment as hostile as a snake's stomach. If it does, it cannot do any harm, or it would do that harm every single time your snake ate.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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in the wild as Trevor mentioned, they would eat amimals in far worse state than what these were in wouldn't you think?
This is true. But they are not in the wild. It is that advice that killed one of my large Water Monitors years ago. I asked many people if it would be OK since monitors are notorious for eating carrion in the wild. They said it would be no problem. Well the necropsy showed it WAS a problem.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As BW mentioned we have to stop comparing captive snakes to wild snakes, Wild snakes grow an immunity to wild conditions and captive snake grow ammunity to captive conditions. However I would say If it were only 24 hours in the freezer unplugged then they likly would not have gotten very warm, so i would use them.

last summer during the black out, my freezer was out for almost two days, everything stayed completely frozen inside, Of course i had about 30-40 lbs of rats in it which helps.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, i don't know how fast 5 pounds would thaw. But with 200 pounds in the freezer, I could have it black out for days Well, as long as big stuff is on top.
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Old 01-11-04, 01:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The feeders in the container were room temperature. Completely thawed.
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Old 01-11-04, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would not risk it personally. Of course I am jaded because bad feeders killed a 5' water monitor.
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Old 01-11-04, 03:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hmm..a dilemma nonetheless. If you ask me, I wouldn't feed it, but if you asked katt, she would. It's not about bacteria or anything but just the fact that some of the proteins may have deteriorated and thus the quality of food is lowered. In other words, a fresh-killed prey item is better than, a f/t prey item, which is better than a rethawed prey item.

As far as bacteria goes. It all depends if your snake has been fed rethawed food or not. Like BW mentioned, we can't totally compare the wild snakes (in this instance regarding food). Wild snakes can and DO eat carrion. In fact, many species do this. It's all about conditioning. If the snake's bacterial fauna in it's gut is able to cope, then it wouldn't be a problem, if the snake's only used to being fed fresh stuff all it's life, the bacteria may not be able to cope with digesting it.

My suggestion is, if you want to try feeding it, feed it to an adult snake first and watch it's feces. Feed a smaller than normal amount too. Say if you normally feed a corn and adult, feed it a hopper. If it digests it fine then go for it, if the corn regurges or has diarrhea (or funky looking poop) then chuck it.

BW, how much did you feed your water, and how badly rotten was this food item? Only cos, in the wild I've noticed them to eat mostly carrion and inverts (molluscs, crustaceans). This is via personal observation. That said, I don't think captive salvator has the same capabilites of its wild cousin, but I would imagine it would still be able to digest decomposing food to a certain extent.
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