Reptile feeding is a topic filled with numerous myths and controversies. The main issue is all about whether feeding them live prey is better than offering pre-killed prey. Reptile hobbyists, especially exotic snake owners, feel that it is important to mimic the conditions that snakes face in the wild, including hunting their prey. Others think that feeding pre-killed rodents is a safer approach to keeping snakes and other reptiles. So who is correct when it comes to the live feeding of rodents? Read on and visit micearenotfood.org to learn more.
The opinions typically depend on some factors, but it is generally subjective. Most reptile handlers claim that the reptiles in their care only eat live prey, but this is actually false. Like any other carnivore, reptiles will never pass up the chance to eat a freshly killed meal. Their stomachs contain potent gastric acids that are capable of dissolving decaying prey. Therefore, even though, as animals, they enjoy the thrill of the hunt, it is not vital for their overall health.
Live feeding reptiles can cause a lot of harm to the reptile and also to the rodent. You can avoid several consequences if you simply do not feed your reptile a live rodent. For starters, the mice or rats that you are providing your pet snake with may eventually turn on the snake. In an enclosed space, no rodent will ever go down without putting up a fight. In extreme cases, a rat or mouse will inflict life-threatening injuries to your pet snake, and you obviously do not want that.
Another danger the reptile faces is the risk of possible infections. A rodent’s incisor is sharp enough to cut through a snake’s scales easily. If you do not notice the injury on time, the snake stands the chance of having an infection. Most reptile infections are serious and can lead to the death of the reptile. Rodents also carry many parasites that are toxic to snakes. The zoonotic parasites present in mice can affect humans too. A rodent will transmit different diseases to humans and animals through ticks, mites, lice, fleas, and other parasites that they harbor.
On the other hand, using rodents as live food is also a form of animal cruelty. You cannot downplay the fact that there are several humane ways to feed your snake. Using a rodent as live food subjects it to severe psychological stress. People who are of the opinion that the act simply mimics what happens in the wild fail to take into consideration that there are no cages in nature. In the wild, a rodent has several escape routes, but in a tank, its chances of survival are extremely low.
The best option is to feed the reptile with pre-killed rodents. You can easily train your snake to eat pre-killed prey, and there are several options for getting pre-killed food. You do not even need to kill them yourself! You can purchase freshly killed, thawed, or frozen prey from a pet store. It is safer for the snake and more humane for the rodent.