Should you feed your pet snake pre-killed or live prey?

Feeding snakes is a controversial topic among reptile keepers. Some people think it’s best to feed the most natural diet in the most natural way, regardless of the risk to pets, while others think it’s safer to feed whole foods. The key point to remember is that feeding pre-killed prey to pet snakes is safer and more convenient than feeding live prey. If your snake can’t kill live prey quickly, the prey may inflict some serious wounds on the snake because they are confined in tight quarters. This is especially true if you’re feeding rats (such as a boa constrictor or boa constrictor), but even small rats can harm snakes.

damage from prey

Injuries can occur if your snake is not hungry enough to eat live prey right away, or if it tries to kill the prey but cannot fully control it or the attack fails. A rat or rat may bite your snake during the strike, or worse, if your snake has no interest in its prey, the rat or rat may get hungry or bored and start chewing on your snake because both No one of them can escape. In the wild, the prey will run away, and the snake won’t even try to eat it if it’s not hungry. In captivity, owners usually keep the snake and prey in a small container and keep them together. Injuries can occur if the snake is not hungry and the owner keeps it with uneaten prey for too long.

The benefits of pre-killing prey

As a safer and easier option, feeding pre-killed prey allows you to buy frozen prey and store them in the freezer, making it easier to keep the right size at hand. Running to the pet store every time your snake needs to eat or feed its own prey can be more expensive and time consuming than feeding pre-killed prey and doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the right size prey When your snake is hungry. Some pet stores also sell frozen or freshly killed game that you can freeze for later use. By feeding pre-killed rats or mice, you will avoid any potential harm to your snake.

Most snakes respond reasonably well to pre-killed prey (wild-caught snakes may have difficulty getting used to it), but it is best if they are accustomed to pre-killed prey at a young age. If your snake is currently eating live prey, you may need to offer freshly killed prey first (some owners don’t like this themselves). Frozen prey should be fully thawed and slightly warmed before feeding (thaw in refrigerator or cold water, not at room temperature, then warm slightly with lukewarm water before feeding). Never microwave prey. Hanging pre-killed prey and giving it a little wiggle with your tongs (never grab the prey with your fingers to avoid being mistaken for food) can help entice the snake to catch the prey. If your snake is still reluctant to eat, you can try dipping the prey in chicken broth, piercing the prey (piercing the skull to expose the brain), or cutting the prey open to expose the blood to the snake. If all of these ideas fail, you may need to try a different color or kind of prey, or your snake may be about to shed.