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Old 01-29-04, 10:40 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Organically raised poultry can be a good source of nutrition for monitor lizards and a few other reptiles.

The Sandiego Zoo has a recipe they use for their monitors, ground turkey, boan meal, and a crushed centrum vitamin.

A better mixture can be made with organic varied poultry, some herptivite and repcal.

This has proven to be a good food in conjuction with rodents for a variety of monitors. People breeding monitors usually feed daily, and by using this kind of food, can do so cheaper than always feeding rodents.

I've heard of similar conconctions being used for turtles, crocodillians and also snakes, but have never tried it myself.

It is important to freeze the ground poultry in small amounts, so it rethaws quickly. It should also be fed and eaten quickly, to avoid any salmonella concerns.

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Old 01-29-04, 11:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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they're brought up on natural and nutritious food to make them 'feeder' worthy,
Many at home feeder breeders, or even "larger" scale feeder breeders use dog food as a main diet. Calling dog food natural is a joke. Have you looked in what's actually in dog food? Some real nasty stuff! There are very few high quality dog food that lack these "unwanteds" and to find these brands in Canada? Well good luck!

Feeding a rat/mouse fed dog food isn't that far off from "steroid" chicken.

However, rodents are whole foods, whilst chicken is not. Snakes need the fur and organs.
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Old 01-29-04, 11:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
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breeding your own feeders isn't an option for some people...whether it be space, or just simply the extra time...I personally do not complain about the cost of feeders....I have the pets so therefore I commit to whatever costs are incurred by keeping them. Cost may be inflated but I knew that before I got the pets...what works well is to keep only the amount you can properly care for....problems solved! and no stinky chicken poo poo for me even if it saves me a fortune!lol
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Old 01-29-04, 11:31 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Very interesting topic!

First, finding the right combination of meat and vitamins would be important as a chicken leg alone wouldn't be sufficient.

Second and more importantly, getting the snake to eat it! I'm sure some snakes that eat almost anything (like my corns for example!) would take it, but I doubt that my BPs would go for that or even my boas!

Third: Personally, I'd rather wait till others have tested such a theory for a long period of time before I would attempt it with my own pets. I breed my own rats so I don't have to worry about the cost, just the pain of cleaning up after them!

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Old 01-30-04, 11:18 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Actually BP's love chicken,
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Old 01-31-04, 10:00 PM   #36 (permalink)
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It comes down to volume and cost of doing business. How many chicken farmers are there? Rodent farmers? Volume and demand. if we produced as many rats as a chicken farm for the same price as chicken we could sell rats cheap.
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Old 01-31-04, 11:41 PM   #37 (permalink)
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When my dad went to Poland this year to visit family, he checked out a herp store and he actaully caught them on feeding day. The stores display snakes were being fed chucnks of meat ( adult snakes whos diet was this all their life pretty much ) and were doing really well. I dont know much more about this because my old man really can careless about animals in general. We cannot say "chicken is bad because snakes need fur" because in the wild, a snakes diet consists of more then just rodents, and in some cases, not many rodents at all. Sure, the nutritional value of rats and mice maybe 'better' to our knowledge. We only tend to look at values of calium, protein, and a few other well known values and sometimes over look the trace elements that may be found in the meat which may be far more beneficial to a reptile. Now I dont know anythin' about nutrional values, nor do I know nothin' more then the fact that I only used to feed my snakes mice and rats. And yes, I have fed a fish to a few snakes before ( for all you people who think fish isn't a good feeder, kept my snakes fed and alive ). I'm jsut statin' some information that I DO know.

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Old 02-01-04, 07:45 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Fur is about the only fiber in a snakes diet. I dont know if it applies to snakes. but humans who get too little fiber in their diets have a much higher chance of getting cancer in their digestive systems. Snakes fed only hunks of meat may seem to be doing well but might actually have increased health risks such as this. It would take a well run study to find out for sure. I've also heard that the "gut load" has a significant nutritional impact. Snakes dont eat any veggies except in the bellies of rats.

One thing is sure though...many snakes have evolved to eat whole mammals as their primary diet. I wouldn't just switch them off of that without expecting that it carries some additonal risks.

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Old 02-01-04, 08:54 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I think Lisa is right on the money- it isn't just steroids, etc. that makes chicken cheaper, it is economy of scale. According to something I read recently, chickens are estimated to be the most numerous higher life form on the planet! If rodent farms (located in climates where heating was less of an issue) raised rodents by the tens of millions, I bet the cost would go way down!

However, even for a small operation, chickens require fewer resources for more biomass. You can keep chickens in a small shed which costs a lot less to build than extensive rodent racks. You can let chickens mingle in greater numbers with fewer losses, and best of all, you can let them roam outside and find their own food! You don't have to clean cages that way either. Watering, even automatically, is easier.

With these things in mind, you can raise 10 chickens, or 100 chickens, or 1000 chickens, and you will get more biomass with less effort and cost than with mice and rats.

Now feeding whole chickens works fine for snakes that are big enough, though I wouldn't keep them on 100% chicken- I think some variety in their diet is a good thing. I would not recommend feeding chicken parts on a long term basis, and definitely not boneless portions (who would do this anyway, based on cost?).

Chicks/chickens are no more inherently dirty than mice and rats. Rodents can be quite dirty when kept at high densities; so can chicks.

Many snakes that eat rodents also eat birds in the wild. Some examples- rat snakes (includes corns), kingsnakes, gophers/bulls, boa constrictors, burms. I'm sure there are lots of others. I doubt you would hurt anything by feeding them chicks. I have done it in the past when I had access to free chicks and had no problems at all.

I'm really curious- all of these people who wouldn't want to feed chicken to their snakes due to steroids, anti-biotics, etc., what do you eat? Is your diet totally organic? Given that these products are at least relatively safe for human consumption, don't you think any risk to your snakes is pretty slim?

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Old 02-01-04, 10:33 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Fur is about the only fiber in a snakes diet.
I've read somwhere that fur is the worst thing to digest and I king of agree with. I often find poo that's mostly fur and some of my snake like white-lipped python don't even digest it, they trow up some fur ball after almost every meal. Don't know if feather is as hard to digest as fur? Anyone know?

The thing I would worry with chiken legs is the size of the bone in the compare to the bone of a rat the same size (same size of the chiken legs). Could it be to big to not be digested completly and stuck somewhere in the digestive track? I think whole chicken would be way better but my probleme would be availlability, if the snake devellope a specific taste for chicken, I'm not sure there's lots of farm around here that sell them, it'ld be a long drive to go get them.
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Old 02-01-04, 10:40 AM   #41 (permalink)
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"I'm really curious- all of these people who wouldn't want to feed chicken to their snakes due to steroids, anti-biotics, etc., what do you eat? Is your diet totally organic?"

HAHAHA no! But I also smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. I certaintly wouldn't give those to my snakes either. Unfortunatly many reptile keepers eat worse than their pets!

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Old 02-01-04, 10:43 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Also...I am sure soon enough there will be a real reason not to feed birds to snakes:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapc...nam/index.html

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Old 02-01-04, 10:44 AM   #43 (permalink)
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BTW, great idea WYZ, I'm feeding my big ones so I try to calculate how much a pound my jumbo rat (700g or 1.5lbs) cost. Since I pay 2$each, 2$/1.5pound = 1.33$/pound? Preatty cheap. But the small rat would end up much more pricy. So it's cheaper to feed big snake! I'll have to get more big one
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Old 02-01-04, 12:33 PM   #44 (permalink)
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It's 2 bucks for a pinky at the pet store down the street. Highway robbery I think.
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Old 02-01-04, 12:52 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I have the pets so therefore I commit to whatever costs are incurred by keeping them.
Amen to that! I say find out what your pet eats then how much it's going to cost. If you can afford it then go for it if not then I say leave the animal there. I think that is much better thenlooking for cheaper alternatives after the fact. If there was something better for our snakes then rats people would have been on to it years ago and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
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