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Wild Prey Items

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by AdamBomb, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. AdamBomb

    AdamBomb Active Member

    I am aware that wild prey items should not be fed to captive reptiles due to potential diseases they may carry.

    But, would it be possible to freeze a wild caught prey item for 48+ hours to kill any parasites or diseases they may be carrying?

    A friend of mine has horses and catches rats daily in a live trap only to execute them with an airgun. I was thinking if I could use those rats I could put them in my CO2 chamber to dispatch them then freeze them until needed.

    Just seems like a lot of free food going to waste. :p But then again I would never feed my animals something that is potentially unsafe.

    Do you think any bad stuff would survive freezing?

    They are eating grain from horse feed after all so the gut loading is covered.
  2. Orca

    Orca Elite Member

    My initial thought would be that days of freezing would kill any nasty things inside. I'll let others chime in with more experience than me though. I wanted to put in that I love that you are trying to "recycle" the rats in a humane way as it sounds like they are going to be killed anyway. When my python refuses his f/t rats, I toss them to the raccoons or coyotes that I have at the rehab facility so they are not wasted.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The problem is you have no idea what else the rats have been eating. Rats travel. They may have consumed poisons set out for vermin or traveled thru areas that have been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, heavy doses of fertilizers, even motor oil or antifreeze!
    And since wild rats are known to carry several serious diseases that are transmissible to humans I would NEVER put one in the freezer with human food.
    Bubonic plague, anyone?
  4. AdamBomb

    AdamBomb Active Member

    That's a good point Merlin about the contaminates. But who doesn't like a little Black Plague with their Pizza Rolls and Tater-Tots. :p
  5. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    I wouldn't take the chance.
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Mmmmm tater-tots.....
  7. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I have to agree with the concesus here and say I would not try it. I understand the temptation of getting free food, but when you weigh that against a possibly hefty vet bill if even one of those free rats should contaminate/poison your pet, it is a chance I don't think I would want to take. Just the guilt alone would kill me.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    While freezing for two weeks or more would kill internal parasites, it will not eliminate chemical poisons at all. And wild rats are transmitters of several hundred diseases that YOU can get, including plague (actually, that one is carried by their fleas - and plague IS still around, believe it or not.)

    You could try buying some rats and breeding them to make your own food. I know someone around here breeds rats... or used to. I breed gerbils to supplement my RodentPro Orders.
  9. AdamBomb

    AdamBomb Active Member

    Thanks guys, I was thinking the same thing. As I said in the first post I knew it was a bad idea but thought someone might have a solution to sterilize them. Once again good point about the ingested poisons Merlin. That is something I had not thought about.

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