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Thread: Live to Frozen?

  1. #1
    Registered User Samurai's Avatar
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    Live to Frozen?

    I know this question has been asked a hundred times, but I can't find it when I want to. So asking again. I have one snake that'll take frozen or live. The rest take live. Honestly haven't really tried frozen with them. Don't want to fix what isn't broken. But lately appropriate sized live is getting hard to find in my area. All the good sized are frozen. SO! What's the best way to try and convert a live feeder to frozen. I have somewhat of an idea, but want to hear from people that's actually successfully done it. I'm wondering if I should keep getting live ones in case frozen doesn't work. Or what?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Awesomethepossum's Avatar
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    Re: Live to Frozen?

    Others will have more insight I'm sure. I do think it really depends on the individual snake though. Like many, mine started on live but was switched to f/t at a young age.

    What I was told was to warm the f/t to at least the normal body temp of a live mouse/rat or even higher (whatever live feeder you were using), and offer it right away. And to also make it appear as "alive" to the snake by wiggling it about. But, I'm sure you're familiar with this if you already feed your other snakes f/t

    At one point when my snake was having trouble with f/t, I even put a tiny bit of chicken broth on the feeder, and that worked. Others will "brain" the f/t. In general, letting it thaw in the room with the snake also helps as well. I needed to do that with my snake at first to get him amped up into feeding mode.

    But I guess it really just depends on how finicky the snake is, but the only way to know is to try.

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    Last edited by Awesomethepossum; 09-10-2019 at 11:24 PM.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yeah, some snakes are easy & others much more picky.

    Many here swear by using a blow-dryer to warm the rodent (especially the face) right before offering, so it has lifelike warmth.

    Feed when your snakes are HUNGRY, & waiting to ambush (evening usually best, dim light best for some also). Use feeding tongs (keeps your hands out of the way
    since they go after warmth, but also keeps your scent from confusing the snake).

    Using tongs to slightly wiggle the prey, but don't over-do it; also don't approach the snake with the rodent (that can scare the snake, since prey doesn't volunteer to
    be eaten in the real world). Instead make it look as if the rodent is cluelessly walking past where the snake is watching (hopefully from his hide)...not too close, you
    want to elicit the snake to chase a little.

    How you thaw can make the difference: doing it wrong causes spoilage which can cause many snakes to reject. I recommend* thawing in refrigerator (very slow) or
    preferably, thawing in cool water until you can feel it's soft thru-out (thawed), only then immerse a few minutes in very warm water (not boiling, you don't want to cook
    it!) & use a hair-dryer for extra heat if needed immediately before offering to snake. *There are many methods that ppl will suggest but I prefer to avoid spoilage...just
    remember that rodents are whole animals, with a GI tract full of bacteria just waiting to grow at room temperature, so the faster you can thaw while keeping the rodent
    cold, the less spoilage you'll have...then warm quickly & serve. Thawing in cool water is what I's pretty fast, depending on size of rodents. (med.-large rats can
    take a while, but adult mice or small rats are pretty fast)

    If your snake is still refusing f/t, another way to switch them over is to offer 2 small items that together are roughly the size of what they'd eat as one rodent. First offer
    a fuzzy or hopper mouse (live) as an appetizer, & either (A) as soon as they swallow that, offer the f/t rodent (already thawed/warmed) while the snake is still pumped
    up...most will pounce on it, but if not (B) try chain-feeding one after the other. You'll need to be very quiet & stealthy or your snake will tuck their head in & refuse.

    I've never used "broth" for flavoring or found "braining" a dead rodent to be all. But if you want a bit more scent from a f/t rodent, use your feeding tongs to
    pinch-damage the rodent's nose & you'll typically see a lot more interest...and that's what you want your snake to grab anyway.

    Patience... & good luck! It's well-worth changing them over for safety & convenience both.
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  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Live to Frozen?

    It's pretty simple for me. I wait them out. It ultimately comes down to survival and the hunger always wins in the end. It's a bit tougher with BPs because they can go soooooo long without food. I had one BP go on an 8 month food strike and another that went a full year without eating. And this was back when I only fed live. These days I only feed f/t so that's what the critters eat. I actually think it's harder to switch them from mice to rats than it is to switch from live to f/t. I've had a few snakes that took f/t the first or second time I offered without any issues. I've also had a couple that took 3-4 months to get on track. I super heat the prey item with a blow dryer and offer from tongs. If they don't take it fron tongs I'll leave the prey item in overnight. If they don't eat it I try again in 7-10 days. If they refuse a 2nd time I try again in 2 weeks, and then 3-4 weeks. They'll get the message eventually. I've never seen, nor heard of, a healthy snake starving itself to death. Heck, a human will eat a f/t rat if they get hungry enough.
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