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  1. #1
    Registered User Joykoins's Avatar
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    Discussion: Removing parts of F/T prey??

    After feeding my rats today, I was thinking of ways that i could possibly make the task a bit easier on both myself and on my noodlekids.

    I feed my snakes frozen thawed rats and I was wondering about what the results would be for two ideas I had:
    1) Removing the hand/footpaws
    2) Removing the tail

    Shocking? Unnatural? Unnecessary? Detrimental?
    I would say, Yes, Yes, Yes, No.

    A bit more detail on why I think its at least worth a try

    Claws- I can't tell you how many times (with gloves!) i've stuck myself on these dingdang rat claws, it stings and i'm always worried i'll contract WhozaWatchamaCallitCoccus and they often puncture the plastic baggies I use to heat them in the water. There's also the non zero chance they scratch or puncture the soft insides of my snakes. I figure using kitchen shears to snip them off while they're frozen shouldn't be much of a hassle at all (I haven't tried it yet, so i'm not sure how much bleed there could be.)

    Tail- Its function for the rat is balancing and dissipating body heat via large blood vessels running through it. If you google "rat tail cross section"you'll see its about 70% bone, the rest being vessels, tendons and a small amount of muscle, which to me seems like removing would be the human equivalent of cutting the crusts off your sandwich. The reason I bring it up at all is that its a lot of unnecessary length for the snake to swallow. A snake's stomach is long, but its not infinite. Do you remember that time you were eating spaghetti and you swallowed, but one of the noodles was so long that it hung halfway out of your mouth but also still down in your throat and you coughed/gagged and hated every second of it? I'd wager that snakes can experience that same sensation. Human stomachs are sacks, so our food falls in and can spread out, snakes on the other hand just have a straight tube. Once that food is in there, it stays in that orientation the entire time (another reason most experts say to feed a single large meal rather than 2 smalls because they have to lineup behind each other). I don't see any harm in removing something thats appears not that nutritious and hangs outside of the stomach for X amount of time to waste space in the esophagus (I also have no idea how much bleed there could be removing a tail, but i'd still try it)

    So, what are your thoughts on this? Worth a try? Silly? A hassle?
    Last edited by Joykoins; 10-21-2019 at 03:06 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Tails are not bread crusts, lol. Our snakes have evolved eating whole prey animals- they need all the nutrients (minerals) from the bones (etc) just as much as any
    thing else...they would not stay healthy eating "boneless rat wings" (if there was such a thing & if they were big enough). Even those pesky claws supply minerals.

    So my answers are:
    shocking? no; unnatural? well yes; unnecessary? yup! Detrimental? A big yes.

    Now it's not rare for brittle frozen rodents to lose toes when jostled around prior to thawing, that's nothing to worry about. But I wouldn't remove parts intentionally.

    Just because humans eat meat (unless vegan) & not usually the rest of the animal doesn't mean it's ok for snakes...we're omnivores & don't live on meat alone. Snakes get all their nutrition by eating the whole animal, & even the prey's GI tract supplies essentials.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-21-2019 at 03:23 AM.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Joykoins's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Removing parts of F/T prey??

    I thank you for your reply!


    (I see you around a lot, its nice knowing you're always there to lend advice :] )
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  5. #4
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Discussion: Removing parts of F/T prey??

    Yikes ... right I’m a big softie at heart soooooooo..

    I have a batch of frozen day old chicks but they’re soooo cute looking when they’re on tongs that I started snipping the heads off and now I’m just offering a little feathered ball


    They’re only offered occasionally just to spice up their tedious diets .

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Zincubus; 10-21-2019 at 04:41 AM.




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  7. #5
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    They're made to eat the whole prey, I'm sure snakes have evolved to deal with any problems claws and tails might pose at this point.

    One of the reasons snakes don't suffer from the nutritional deficiencies that many other captive reptiles species do is because they eat whole prey, which ensures they get all the nutrition they need. Moreover, I have never heard of any instance of claws or tails causing any sort of problem for snakes, except if the prey was live, but of course it would be barbaric to clip the toes or teeth of live rodents!

    The only instance I've heard of people removing parts of prey is clipping off the tips of the beaks of F/T chicks for young snakes.

    While I guess that clipping claws and the tail wouldn't do any serious harm in the long run for a well fed pet snake, I just don't think there is anything to be gained from it. Besides, I think my voracious juvenile BP would not want to lose any part of his meals no matter how small lol

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  9. #6
    Registered User Joykoins's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Removing parts of F/T prey??

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    Yikes ... right I’m a big softie at heart soooooooo..

    I have a batch of frozen day old chicks but they’re soooo cute looking when they’re on tongs that I started snipping the heads off and now I’m just offering a little feathered ball


    They’re only offered occasionally just to spice up their tedious diets .

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Now this adjustment seems a bit more important. The tails and claws i suggested are just bones and the rat has plenty enough in the rest of their skeleton, but the head of a chick has brains and eyes, which are much more crucial. However since you're feeding it as kind of a snack instead of their main diet, I can't say I see anything wrong with it.
    Captain of "The Good Ship Blip"

  10. #7
    Registered User Joykoins's Avatar
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    I would like to put out the idea that just because something is occurring naturally, doesn't make it the best way by default (I'm not saying this in a passive-aggressive way mind you!). I just feel like its our responsibility as pet owners to examine all aspects of our care for our pets for ways to improve on it rather than just doing things out of convention. Consider the first person to suggest an all rat diet. I'm sure there was opposition, "Snakes don't eat just one thing in the wild. They won't get proper nutrition that way." or the person who first implemented UTH, "Basking lights are the most natural replication of the sun. Heat doesn't just radiate from underground in their habitats".
    Last edited by Joykoins; 10-21-2019 at 05:13 AM.
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    bcr229's Avatar
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    I clip beaks and sharp toenails/claws from fowl that I feed, as they have been known to scratch up the inside of a snake badly enough to get infected and eventually kill the animal.

    Otherwise if I remove parts of a f/t feeder it's because I need that part for a specific purpose, such as feeding a tail to a snake that will take it as a "worm", or a hind leg from a jumbo mouse as an assist-fed meal for a non-feeding small snake.

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  13. #9
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    Yea I agree, those rat nails are long and sharp! I got poked a few times as well. I had thought about clipping them (rat pedis?), but nah.. Too much work. Snake ate it fine. Is it beneficial with or without the nails and tail? Don't know. It makes an interesting experiment though.

    P.S. I don't clip the beaks or feet off the chicks.

  14. #10
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    It won't hurt anything if you clip the nails/digits while frozen. It might be safer for the snake in the long run. Tails? I need them to hold on. Try feeding rabbits, talk about claws!

    Now, think about the rodents in the wild, the claws are dulled by life.
    Last edited by 303_enfield; 10-21-2019 at 12:43 PM.

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