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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran shelliebear's Avatar
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    Feeding a captive snake wild mice?

    I'm asking this question for my mother in law to be....
    She has a mouse problem in her attic.
    I have snakes that eat mice.
    But, my snakes are in captivity, and have only eaten mice that were also bred in captivity.
    Apart from knowing these mice are in the attic, I don't know what they eat or what health they are in.
    Mother in law to be wanted to know if I can feed these mice to my snake, if she catches any. I said probably not, since they could have diseases my snakes have no immunity to, since they're not in the wild as well.
    Was this the right answer?
    I'd appreciate any insight you can offer.
    Thanks,
    Shellie
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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Skittles1101's Avatar
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    I've been seeing this question an uncomfortable amount of times lately

    Wild mice are riddled with disease and parasites...would you really feed that to your snakes? I'd say your answer was correct.
    Last edited by Skittles1101; 12-02-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran shelliebear's Avatar
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    Sorry, computer is very very slow, can not browse through pages at the moment to see other threads like this, I'm lucky the create thread page loaded as it is
    that's what i was thinking as well, i just wanted to double check because that would be a perfect solution if the mice were healthy, but i doubt they are
    thank you and sorry for duplicate question :p
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  5. #4
    Don't Push My Buttons JLC's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding a captive snake wild mice?

    Definitely not. Disease, parasites, and potentially hazardous chemicals that they have ingested either by chewing on crap around the house, or actually eating poisoned rodent bait.
    -- Judy
    After a very long month of transition, we're finally all together again and mostly settled into our new Virginia home. Missing Petra and Austin like crazy, but finally feeling "home" once more. ~content~

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  7. #5
    Registered User evan385's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding a captive snake wild mice?

    I asked this question a couple weeks ago and I will tell you what everyone told me. Wild mice carry diseases and parasites, don't do it!

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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran shelliebear's Avatar
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    very much appreciated, now i dont feel like a dum-dum since i know i made the right decision
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  10. #7
    BPnet Veteran Driver's Avatar
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    As everyone else has said, you said the right thing? You could tell her it is less work and money for you to just buy feeder mice. My question would be how would she catch them and keep them to give them to you to feed off.
    Last edited by Driver; 12-02-2011 at 09:34 PM.

  11. #8
    Registered User GamerAgeDad's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Feeding a captive snake wild mice?

    I would like to chime in on this thread because every person I see speaking on this topic says the same thing: "Wild mice could have parasites and diseases that could hurt your snake!!!!" etc.

    First of all, reptiles cannot get certain diseases that mammals can. I am certainty not an expert on this subject, but until I see someone posting some laboratory research on this topic of which parasites and diseases you are talking about and showing that said parasites and diseases are harmful to reptiles I am going to be skeptical about it. Snakes in the wild eat wild mice exclusively and people have witnessed plenty of adult snakes so there is at least some proof snakes can eat wild mice. They have highly acidic digestive systems that I can only imagine will disinfect much of what they eat even if it was diseased. It is hard for me to imagine that feeding a captive snake a few wild mice every now and then will effect it's health too much. Furthermore, just like any animal they have immune systems. Snakes have a tolerance for parasites and bacteria that they ingest every day. Nothing is 100% sanitary. Snakes must be at least somewhat resistant to diseases they encounter in the wild. They do have quite a long life span.

    In the southeast we eat all kinds of wild animals that we cook thoroughly and no one ever gets sick from it. Perhaps if you really wanted to be sure you could boil cook the mice and then let them cool to serve to your snake as it would kill any parasites or bacteria living in them. You would probably have to make sure to use a thermometer to check the boiled mouses internals after though to make sure you weren't going to burn your snake. I think that underneath all these cliche responses is a reoccurring theme that eating anything from the wild is toxic and risky. I think people are too spoiled these days in thinking that everything is clean and sanitary coming from factories where things are made artificially while not realizing the FDA and other regulations allow for things like bug parts per million to be allowed into our food.

    Would I feed wild mice to my snake? Perhaps I will experiment feeding wild mice to my regular regius and see how it goes. That is what actually lead me to this forum. I think I would try it since all I ever see is the same pretentious response that everyone gives without any supporting information.

  12. #9
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    Re: Feeding a captive snake wild mice?



    It's ALIVE!!! Run away!!
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    I know this is a zombie thread, but it is important information.

    GamerAgeDad, I think the number one concern about feeding wild mice is that you have no idea if they recently ate poison. That alone is enough to deter me. That single risk far outweighs ANY benefit.

    True, wild snakes eat wild mice all the time, and deal with those parasites, but we don't know how many of those snakes die eventually from those parasites. A lot of it can be genetics, stress, etc. that allows one snake to deal with the same parasite load that would kill a different snake. And who's to say that with all the captive breeding, that our pet snakes have lost the ability to deal with wild parasites. I know that at my job as a vet tech, we sometimes see snakes with runny stool that have a heavy parasite load and have lost weight and/or have other issues going on, and all we do is treat for the parasite, and they are back to health.

    we eat all kinds of wild animals that we cook thoroughly and no one ever gets sick from it
    You are probably not eating the digestive/organ systems of these animals, which is where most of the "bad stuff" would be carried. And snakes can't digest cooked meat very well, and can lead to malnutrition. I know I've actually seen a study on that, I will try to find it again.
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