Frozen thawed prey items are just as nutritious as live ones, without the risk. Feeding your snake or lizard live prey might be cool to watch or make you feel tough, but it can actually be dangerous for your pet! Mice and rats of all sizes have teeth, and they aren't afraid to use them. If your snake or lizard doesn't grab a mouse just right, or misses on the first strike the mouse will fight back. A rodent bite is not only extremely painful but can become easily infected. A rodent bite at the very least needs to be kept clean and dry and monitored for infection and at the worse can cause serious tearing and infection which will need veterinary treatment.
Frozen prey items are not only cost effective, but pose no threat to your herp. Once your snake or lizard grabs the mouse it's just as cool to watch, without the guilt. To feed frozen follow these few easy steps 1 - thaw out your prey item in hot water, just like you were defrosting chicken. NEVER use a microwave as this can super heat the center of the prey item and cause internal burns to your pet. 2 - Once your item is thawed dry it off on a clean paper towel. 3 - Using tongs (you don't want your hand to be associated with food in the mind of your snake!!!) dangle the prey item over your snake and wait for it to strike. 4 - Sit back and watch, it's like having the discovery channel in your house.
If you get a snake or lizard that is only used to eating live you can transition them to eating frozen. One of the best methods for doing this is scenting your mouse. This will trick your pet into thinking the item is alive, you can do this several ways 1 - after thawing the prey item place it in a container that has mouse or rat feces and urine in it while keeping it warm. 2 - thaw out your prey item in hot chicken broth. 3 - brain the mouse. This means puncturing holes in the skull so your snake/lizard can smell blood and brains. It is gross but very effective. 4 - rub the thawed prey item with a small lizard or frog. Anoles and tree frogs work well. Many reptile species consume smaller reptiles or amphibians in the wild. The most important thing with any of these methods is keeping the prey item warm. Your snake isn't going to find a cooled body appetizing.
So keep your pet safe and your conscious guilt free... feed frozen thawed.
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6 years ago