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Once the Eyes Go Gray

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Gracelikerain18, May 4, 2009.

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  1. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    Yes, I give her live because she was small enough for the babies I had. Now she's getting bigger and requiring bigger food. I stuck the rat she killed in the freezer, and am thawing it now. I will try dangling it in the morning.
  2. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    shwknight- So many questions in your post…I will attempt a response for all of them.

    To answer your first question, yes, I have educated my son on everything he knows about nature, including the differences between wild and captive snakes. I have taught him that in the wild, snakes DO get killed by their prey. However, I do not own a wild snake. I own a captive snake. Not all captive snakes eat FT. My snake doesn't eat eats LIVE. It is an educated decision I have made after much consideration. I am not teaching him it is okay to “terrorize” the prey....I am teaching him that in nature, snakes eat rodents. And that God created snakes, and at the same time, God created rodents. And that if snakes didn't eat other animals, they would die. I have taught him that every animal has its place in the food chain, and that all the animals depend on each other to live, even if it is as food. Your impulsive assumption that I am teaching him that it is okay to “terrorize” the prey is tactless to say the least, considering how you have never been present to see me teach him anything, much less about feeding. By "messes", I mean: little rat brains splattered in the bottom of a bag, or on the counter top where I prepare the meals for my 5 year old son. And once again, I don’t quite understand your conclusion when you say that I don’t clean up the snakes “messes”. Please define the intended terminology when you say “messes”. If you are referring the upkeep of my snake’s habitat, I can assure you that it is very well kept. As far as what is more humane: whacking a rat against a counter in a plastic bag, or letting nature take its course and letting the snake kill the prey? Well, that’s easy- look at it from a 5 year olds point of view… Taking a rat and smashing its brains out of its skull with a quick “WHACK!”, or watching a snake do what it does IN NATURE. Hmmm…. Not a tough decision…

    I am not trying to teach him that it is okay for animals to suffer “as long as it’s food for an animal I own”. I am teaching my son that in nature, animals depend on other animals, even if it is for food. It’s natural. With that, comes the lesson of compassion for all animals, big and small.

    And to answer your last question (first question, third paragraph)…with all due respect, I didn’t ask you what I should be teaching my son, but thanks for your opinion anyways. ;)
  3. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    Okay this is ridiculous. No one should be here to judge anyone for the decisions they make. I know plenty of pet store owners and private snake owners that feed theirs live and none of them have been injured. I know it's a possibility, so let me stop everyone right there.

    Honestly, if I were a vegan I wouldn't ride other people's butts for eating meat. It's a personal decision that I, not you, have to live with. (I'm not a vegan, by the way).

    We know the risks, we've debated, considered, and researched til we turned blue in the face. Hope you can accept us anyway.

    Also, I let my 2 1/2 year old daughter watch Mas kill and eat. She finds it's fascinating, as do I. And I'm the one who's breeding, raising, and handling these pups.

    Let's have a happy day, okay?
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I have one snake that's partially blind, and covered in scars because of the previous owner feeding live. My vet keeps a collection of pickled snakes that were killed by rodents. Not just colubrids either.

    Just so long as you guys are aware of the risks, it's your choice to make, and your animal's life to endanger.

    That said, some snakes simply do not want to convert - and waiting will only make it harder to do, as your snake will become set in their habits. I have one myself who has yet to eat a single dead rodent, and I'm still trying my best to get him switched for his own safety. Even though I supervise his feedings, both animals have reflexes faster than I could ever dream of. In the time it takes my eyes to relay the message to my brain, and my brain to process, the rat could already have done irreversible (or even lethal) damage. Granted the risk is lessened if you use young feeders (pups/pinkies, whatever)

    Is it really worth the health (or life) of your snake?
  5. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    The "Live vs. F/K or F/T" debate will never die. But as mentioned, we do not need to get personal about it! Please keep the posts civil.

    There is nothing "natural" about keeping these animals in terrariums and locking them inside a box with another animal for dinner. In the wild, the rat has a chance to run away or the snake can avoid them if they are not hungry. There are plenty of National Geographic specials of animals killing and eating other animals.
    I agree that it IS fascinating to watch a snake attack, coil and constrict its prey. (Not only for children.) However, I think it would be extremely traumatic if I had to watch a rat sink it's long sharp fangs into my cute Ball Python's face!
    BTW -- my snakes attack, coil and constrict their thawed rats from the tongs as energetically as for any live prey. (I jump and scream every time from surprise at the speed and force of the attack! -- That drives my husband nuts!)
    There are ways to pre-kill rats without mess. You can build a CO2 chamber.
    Good luck with whatever method you choose. Hopefully your animals will stay safe.
  6. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    There are ways other ways to prekill without actually knocking the brains out.(yuck)
    I whack mine but I don't whack them that hard. Some people who have strong fingers can "Thump" them right behind the skull and instantly break their neck. I suppose you could use a pair of leather gloves, Grab the head of the rodent and give it a quick flick of your wrist and break it's neck. Either way, It's instant death.
    I live around some farms down here and this is hardly any different than culling livestock for human consumption. The quicker the kill the better.

    I have a personal preference for prekilled over F\T. I like to get my live feeders a few days in advance and give them plenty of food and water. Especially water, because a couple of years ago I fed what turned out to be a dehydrated mouse to one of my animals and it took forever for them to pass it and I could tell that the animal wasn't well for a few weeks.
    In f\t, I have no idea how healthy the rodent was, what it had eaten, or how hydrated it is. At least I can do a bit of gutloading with a live feeder.
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I wish I had strong fingers - I have made a few messes by whacking rats.

    I put something firm along the back of the neck (ruler, screwdriver) and give a sharp tug, to separate the vertebra.
  8. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Instead of strong fingers, you could use some type of spring loaded mechanism. I have it in my mind what I'm talking about, but I don't know what it is called. We use one at work for producing an indentation called a center punch mark for precise drilling through wood.
  9. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    This CO2 chamber I keep reading about interests me a great deal. I tried feeding Mas a f/t one a couple of times and she had no interest in it what-so-ever. She actually would just slither over it as if it weren't even there. I breed rats as pets and feeders so it wouldn't be easy for me to manually kill it.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    You could construct one with a rubbermaid storage type bin, some hose, and CO2, which if I remember correctly, is available at many sports stores, because they use it to power some types of air guns. I'm sure it's available many other places too, so shop around.

    I didn't care for manually killing, and I couldn't just hand it off for my BF to do the dirty deed (he's way too blonde...)
  11. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    I am going to say this in English to the best of my ability. (There are few words that I just cant find the english for:eek:)

    The biggest difference between a wild snake and captive snake or any reptile is their immune system. A wild snakes chances of recovering from a rodent bite is 80% grater than a captive snake. Therefore we cannot treat or think of the two snakes as being the same. The animals, reptiles in the wild are much stronger, their instincts are far greater and their ability to heal themselves are astonishing. Captive animals are at a complete disadvantage and therefore they are prone to get sick the moment that something in the cage are not 100%, for instance a dirty cage.

    (If you keep a human in a cage for the majority of his life and then let him get in contact with other humans the chances of him falling ill are huge due to the lack of building up a immune system, the same if he gets injured his body will not be able to heal itself completely).

    This is all facts that so many people forget and therefore the debate between life or killed prey.

    The greatest lesson to be taught is not the similarity's between wild and captive but instead the differences between the two. No matter how hard we try a captive animal can and will never be as strong as a wild animal.

    Our captive snakes does not have a healthy immune system, their instincts are not up to standard and their ability to heal themselves are almost non existing therefore we gamble with their lives by giving them life prey.

    There are several threads on this forum about converting from life to killed, please try for the disadvantaged captive snakes sake.
  12. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    You said everything well in english :). I agree. And it is best to convert when a snake isn't eating moving prey. Pinkies can't walk yet really so it's a great time to convert. And hoppers are fearless.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  14. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member


    I borrowed a book at the Library on keeping snakes as pets (for children to read to my son) and, in brief, said the same thing: wild snakes are stronger than captive. I was curious to have a more exhaustive explanation and there it is! THANK YOU!
  15. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I guess it all boils down to the isolation factor - most snakes (most pets for that matter) live in a relatively sterile environment, isolated from their natural habitat, and all of the threats in it they would normally adapt to cope with, and thus have never had a chance to build an immune system, have never had the exposure that wild animals have.

    Thank you wildheart for explaining that one for us.
  16. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Yes- Wildheart- You said it all very nicely and some of the things I did not know myself. Thank you for the great information.
  17. plisskin

    plisskin Active Member

    If you care about your snake , you will convert to feeding F/T or pre killed! might take some patience, but is definitely worth it! if you continue 2 feed live prey you will regret it !
  18. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    You know- this live vs f/t debate is never-ending and is growing tiresome (particularly since this thread topic isn't even about feeding- it's about shedding). Someone says they feed live, and most of the non-live feeders chime in and quickly pass their opinions of disagreement and their judgment. We all love our pets...that's why we have them. Just because I choose to feed live doesn't mean I don't love my Shelby any more than you love your (insert pet name here). ;)
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And you will continue to hear it!
    I'm sorry if we offend you but those of us that have been around for a while have seen first hand what the dangers in feeding live really are.
    As keepers we try to greatly reduce or eliminate anything that is hazardous to our charges.
    Particularly when there is absolutely no good reason not to do so.
    Locking your snake in with a live prey animal equipped with huge teeth is one of them.
  20. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    No offence taken. And I wouldn't say that a pinky is equipped with "huge" teeth.
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