Live prey vs. pre-killed prey

What to feed your snake have been a controversial topic among snake owners. While some feel they should feed dead prey to their snake irrespective of the health risks, others feel live prey is adequate but should be done in a safe manner. However, it is always safer to feed your snake dead prey than a live prey.

Prey Inflicted Injuries

Wounds can occur if your snake isn’t feeling hungry and therefore reluctant to chase the live prey immediately or even if it does feel hungry, it tries to kill the prey but does not have full control over it. The rat or mice may fight back and scratch or bite the snake or even if the snake does not go after the prey, it could get hungry and start chewing on the snake as both of them have nowhere to go. In the wild, the prey will flee and the snake would not bother to go after it. In a captivity domain, snake owners ordinarily put the snake and prey item in a little compartment where they both stay till the snake becomes interested. After a long time, the prey could get hungry and that always results in injuries to the snake.

Advantages of Pre-Killed Prey

As a more secure and less demanding option, feeding pre-killed prey allows you to purchase lots of frozen prey things and storing them in a freezer until you are ready to feed your snake with it. Heading out to the pet store for food each time your snake needs to eat or raising your own prey can be more expensive and tedious than simply having frozen pre-killed prey. Also, there is no guarantee you’ll get the right size of prey when it is time to feed.

Do Snakes Eat Pre-Killed Prey?

Most snakes have no problems feeding on pre-killed prey (wild captured snakes takes a while to adapt) but it is best if you have been feeding them that since they were young. If your snake is used to feeding on live prey, start by offering it freshly killed prey. Most snake owners find it difficult to kill the prey themselves. Before feeding your snake frozen prey, defrost it properly in the refrigerator or do it with warm water. Never microwave the prey as it could cook the meal. Dangling the pre-killed prey and squirming it a bit with tongs (never hold prey with your fingers so the snake does not think your hand is food) can help allure a snake to feed on it. In the event that your snake does not feed on the prey despite all these, you can dip the prey in chicken broth in chicken stock, pithing the prey, cut it open to expose the blood or pith the prey (puncturing the skull to reveal the brain). If you have tried all these and the snake refused to feed on the prey, then you might have to try out other species of prey. If your snake is about shedding its skin, it might be reluctant to feed.