7 Deadly Mistakes when Thawing Frozen Snake Food
Author: Chris Read Date Posted: 15 December 2017
Food safety for snakes This blog describes seven deadly mistakes that pet owners should avoid when thawing frozen food for their snake, lizard or bird of prey.
Thawed laboratory grade rodents and quail are recognised in animal husbandry as the safest staple food for pet snakes, pet carnivorous lizards and birds of prey under care. They are also commonly used as large frog food.
As an animal obsessed teenager, I was fortunate enough to be given a gorgeous pet diamond python “Fred” or as I think of him now - “Poor Fred”, who I adored. Being way before the internet, I really didn’t have a clue about how best to feed him resulting in Poor Fred getting sick and eventually being rehomed to someone that knew what they were doing. In hindsight, I realise that I was making many deadly mistakes when thawing frozen snake food and he was lucky to find a competent herper before it was too late!.
The following simple thawing frozen snake food insights directly apply to frozen lizard food and other frozen food as well. It is very easy to make simple mistakes that can have serious consequences for your pet:
Source Safe, Clean and Hygienic Feeders:
1st Deadly Mistake: Sourcing wild animals as feeders. Wild rats, mice or birds should never be fed to pets in captivity. Apart from possibly being illegal if the wild animal is native, wild animals can be the victim of poisons and toxins which can cause secondary poisoning to your pet;
2nd Deadly Mistake: Sourcing rats or mice from a non-professional, unhygienic and/or dodgy backyard breeder can be dangerous. Feeders containing mites, fleas, ticks, internal parasites, hormones or antibiotics can cause serious problems for pets in captivity;
3rd Deadly Mistake: Feeding live rodents to your pets can be a deadly mistake. In the wild, snakes, lizards & birds catch and kill live rats & mice regularly so what’s the big deal?? The big deal is that live rats & mice have big teeth, a strong bite and will defend themselves against attack. Now most times the snake will come out as the winner, but trapped together in a terrarium or tub can “turn the tables” and rodent bites continue to kill too many precious pets.
If you must use live food in the short term, watch the live rodents constantly and transition to thawed as quickly as possible.
Safe Handling of Frozen Feeders:
4th Deadly Mistake: Feeder rats, feeder mice, reptiles, amphibians as well as equipment that they come in contact with can often carry Salmonella bacteria & other diseases which are not eliminated by freezing. Bacteria can thrive on contaminated surfaces including storage and thawing bowls, tongs, reptile habitat, etc. Dedicated equipment is required ensuring no cross over with human utensils. The germs can be carried & transmitted to humans with potential serious medical consequences for handlers as well as their pets.
5th Deadly Mistake: Never let your frozen feeders thaw at room temperature for too long, use fridges or cooled eskies. Feeder animals can contain undigested food, wastes & internal body parts that under extended periods of warm temperatures can decay quickly and become toxic to your pet.
Heat & Cold Burns:
6th Deadly Mistake: Never feed frozen rodents to your pets. Fully frozen, or even partially frozen feeders can cause serious internal damage to your pets.
7th Deadly Mistake: Never defrost frozen rodents for your pets using boiling water or a microwave. It can cook the meat or cause burns and make your pet sick.
Don’t Refreeze Rats & Mice (if their temperature goes above 5 Degrees C):
8th Deadly Mistake: Don't refreeze thawed reptile feeders that have fully reached temperatures above 5 Degrees C. A recent CSIRO study debunked the myth that it was not ok to refreeze thawed meat for humans under certain conditions. Apparently refreezing is ok so long as thawing takes place in a cool place (such as a fridge or esky) and the temperature of the meat doesn't rise above 5 Degrees C.
PetWave.com.au premium quality frozen rodents and quails are bred by expert personnel in premium advanced quarantine controlled laboratories. state of the pet products across Australia to your door.
Our frozen feeders are premium quality laboratory grade including being free of mites, fleas, ticks and internal parasites. We are particularly focused on eliminating risks of salmonella poisoning. All our feeders are disease and pathogen free giving you complete peace of mind for you and your pets.
Only a nutritious organic formula is used for feeding and PetWave ensures our product is healthy and free of added hormones or antibiotics.
PetWave takes the welfare of our animals very seriously and guarantee all stock is humanely and safely culled.
Go to www.petwave.com.au/reptile/frozen-feeders to check out our range.
FEEDING SNAKES FROZEN OR LIVE MICEBy: Marion Howard on 29 November 2017This was a very informative piece of material. Although I knew most of it. it was good to have a refresher about the right way to do it.