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  1. #1
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Can a ball python tell when their rats are freezer burnt?

    I have a 5 year old male ball python named Crowley. He has come off feeding in the winter months for 7 consecutive months and has done this twice in his life now. Both times when he resumed feeding was when I got a new batch of F/T rats. I kinda felt bad both times as maybe I've been giving him freezer burnt rats and he just didn't want them. By the time I'd get through my first supply of rats 7 months had passed before trying new ones. I now get less rats at a time and seal em with a food saver. I used to get my rats out of town and had to order like 50 at a time for 1 snake. I'm pretty sure ball pythons can tell when rats are freezer burnt as they have a wonderful sense of smell. I now have a new supplier and only have to get 24 rats at a time and with my new food saver it should help the rats not get freezer burnt. Anyone else experience this with their ball pythons or any other kind of snake for that matter?

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    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Some animals that eat frozen can be very picky, do they know or smell it it's a possibility, some will turn down rats that have been refrozen, some will turn down rats from specific vendors etc

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    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I don't think it was the fact they were "freezer burned" per se that caused the refusal. Have you ever noticed with your OWN food that frozen food can pick up
    odors from other foods in the freezer, & also from the plastic they are wrapped in? (I have) When rodents are frozen for a while, they also lose a lot of their own
    fresh rodent smell (which is what our snakes focus on), so you can't blame your snake for the confusion & hesitation. Did you by any chance squeeze-damage the
    rodents nose just a little with your feeding tongs right before offering it? (-that's a way of easily releasing more scent...) Using a vacuum-sealer should help
    extend the freshness of your rodents, but there comes a time when frozen food (for humans OR for snakes) should be tossed (or offered to the nearest coyote or
    buzzard, lol).

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    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Re: Can a ball python tell when their rats are freezer burnt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I don't think it was the fact they were "freezer burned" per se that caused the refusal. Have you ever noticed with your OWN food that frozen food can pick up
    odors from other foods in the freezer, & also from the plastic they are wrapped in? (I have) When rodents are frozen for a while, they also lose a lot of their own
    fresh rodent smell (which is what our snakes focus on), so you can't blame your snake for the confusion & hesitation. Did you by any chance squeeze-damage the
    rodents nose just a little with your feeding tongs right before offering it? (-that's a way of easily releasing more scent...) Using a vacuum-sealer should help
    extend the freshness of your rodents, but there comes a time when frozen food (for humans OR for snakes) should be tossed (or offered to the nearest coyote or
    buzzard, lol).
    I never squeeze damaged the rodents nose, first I hear of that method (I will have to try it if he doesn't want to eat) but some already had bloody noses to begin with and he had no interest. To me the rats smelled normal but I'm sure to the snake they just didn't smell right. I have 2 rats left from the old batch which are probably going to go in the garbage. If he eats the new ones there's no sense trying to feed him the old ones. I'd feed the coyotes or buzzards but all I have at my place are pigeons so the old rats will have to go to the dump for scavengers to find there lol.

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    Registered User Samurai's Avatar
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    Re: Can a ball python tell when their rats are freezer burnt?

    One out of my three will eat anything as long as it's thawed out. But two of mine, it's like they can tell it was frozen, or something. They refused everyone. Finally, I just lost all hope with frozen. Went out and bought some live ones. And, luckily the one will eat frozen or live. For the first time since I had them, they all ate.
    0.1.0 Lemon Blast 9-22-2018 (Dynasty Reptiles)
    0.1.0 Lemon Blast ?-?-2018 (CV Exotics)
    0.1.0 Lemon Blast 10-30-2018 (Dynasty Reptiles)
    0.1.0 Lemon Blast 8-14-2018 (Red Knob Reptiles)

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    Valyndris (04-11-2019)

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