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Old 03-19-17, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question switching to f/t

okay well my local pet store was out of the common live mice i would get for my ball python. they don't get more till tuesday and i don't want her to go hungry so i purchased 2 small frozen rats. i guess this can be a good thing cuz i'll see if she'll switch over. if she does i assume i should stick to f/t rats than? i knew at some point i'd have too cuz i can't get live rats around here. i only fed her twice so far and they were small mice. she took both perfectly and has a good feeding response. my problem is i hope she will take a frozen rat cuz she was use to live mice. what's some of the best ways to thaw them out? i prob will do overnight refrigerator after this but since today's feeding day and they ran out, im going to try hot water. now if she takes it i probably will switch her over to f/t rats, what's some good sites to order from? any other tips for f/t feeding? thanks guys!
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Old 03-19-17, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

I just drop them in hot tap water for about 30 minutes and change the water 2-3 times (so about every 10 minutes or so).

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Old 03-19-17, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

If your snake eats a f/t rat I'd never give her live or mice again . I usually thaw my feeders in a ziploc bag submerged in warm water then I superheat them to about 100F before serving them to the snakes. As far as f/t feeder suppliers I prefer Perfect Prey and Big Cheese. Good luck with today's feeding.

Frozen Rodents, Feeder Insects & Snake Food For Sale | PerfectPrey.com, LLC
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Old 03-19-17, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
If your snake eats a f/t rat I'd never give her live or mice again . I usually thaw my feeders in a ziploc bag submerged in warm water then I superheat them to about 100F before serving them to the snakes. As far as f/t feeder suppliers I prefer Perfect Prey and Big Cheese. Good luck with today's feeding.

Frozen Rodents, Feeder Insects & Snake Food For Sale | PerfectPrey.com, LLC
thanks for the info ziggy. and that's what i was hoping cuz if she does then i won't go back. but she didn't take it yet. she strikes a few times but wouldn't strike n wrap around. so i'm leaving it in there for awhile and seeing if she goes for it. i did heat it up right before to help but not a success yet. hopefully she does or i'll do a live on tuesday than try and wean her off later.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

it's an unsuccessful feed.. she's ate for me twice already but were live mice. the breeder before me also did live. i'm hoping she didn't take it because of it being a rat. so i'm gonna try again on tuesday with a live mice so she eats. than next feed i'll try a frozen mice and hope she goes for it.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

It helps to put the rat/mouse on thongs and dance it around as if it were alive. It also helps to press the head of the feeder to the heating light briefly. It has to be warm like a live mouse. Patience and consistency is key here, a BP can take it.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

i did exactly that, for about 5 minutes two different times and let it chill in there for an hour. i'm just gonna feed her tuesday live and try again with a adult mice instead of small rat and so forth from there. i know they are im not concerned just yet i don't blame her.. thanks!
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Old 03-19-17, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

@ Frank- If you really want her to eat f/t rats don't give up. I'd say 90% of snakes will eat f/t rats if that's all they're given. It just takes a bit of work and tough love. It sometimes takes a few months but if you can convert them it's definitely worth it. I have never seen a healthy snake starve itself to death when perfectly acceptable food is consistently offered. I believe the hunger always wins in the end. Some of my young snakes arrived eating only live mice. All 8 of them eat f/t rats as the staple of their diet now but I do offer other prey items on occasion.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

Like everyone else has already stated, the process of switching them over can take a bit of patience sometimes. In all the years that I've been keeping snakes, I can only remember one individual that absolutely defied any attempt at switching over to frozen/thawed prey -- a male eastern Russel's viper (Daboia siamensis) that would have rather starved itself to death than to swallow its pride and a thawed rodent along with it.

Aside from that spectacularly stubborn individual, every other snake that I've encountered in private or professional collections has (eventually) taken prekilled prey.
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Old 03-20-17, 09:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

right i see. thanks ziggy and nightflight for the advice! i know they can be hard to switch over and you might end up with weeks of no eating for them to eat. i just want her to pack on some weight before i try and she skips some meals. only 5 months old, i do think i am going to try to switch in a month or so because i don't like the scenario i was put in with them running out. but thanks guys for all the input!!
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Old 03-23-17, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

If you can do it delay feeding a little and put down your live rodent right before feeding to your snake. If you do cervical dislocation the heart may even still be beating when you hang it over the bin. I got 2 down my sumatran python that way but then he went into shed, refused food, and would not take fresh kill again even after he was done so I gave in for the moment. I'll try again but currently he hates me being nearby when he feeds and so I can't do zombie rodents and he is unimpressed by the dead weight on the floor. It's interesting that my snakes which were switched to f/t asap as babies don't even know what to do with something moving now. I throw the fresh kill to them sometimes and you can see them just go "but it's twitching!" and consider it dangerous until it's been still and cooled to room or heat lamp temp.
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Old 03-25-17, 02:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

All 3 of our current bp's fasted for 3 months before finally taking ft rats. We tried every technique we could think of. In the end we just left the rats in all 3 cages overnight and when we got up in the morning they were gone.
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Old 03-26-17, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: switching to f/t

second attempt feeding f/t and she took it fast. i'm thinking the first time was because it was a rat and she's use to mice. ill just have to slowly work with her to get her switched. i'm thinking i will stick with f/t for her health and due to me not finding any and she had to wait 2 days to feed. i tried two since they're small but she didn't take the second one. i think she's still kinda full from tuesday's feed. just thought i'd try since before tuesday she went 11 days cuz of the stupid pet stores. still a baby at 5 months so wanted her to get all the nutrients she needs. any good rodent sites?? thanks guys
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