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  1. #1
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    Well. This happened...

    So... We have added a new addition to my pet collection: a feeder rat.

    Long story short, my almost 3 year old male ball python had been fasting on and off last year. Skipped 6 months in the early part of the year, ate 2 meals and stopped eating for 2-3 months, ate 2 meals... Prior to the first fasting in Feb, he ate weekly like clockwork. Husbandry remained the same and confirmed numerous times at hot spot 88-90F, cool end 77-80F, snug identical hides, downsized his tub, he is in a minimal foot traffic and dark area in my room, etc. Bugger barely lost weight, active at night, just doing his thing other than eating when I want him to (Sigh ball pythons...). He was eating f/t small rats. Heating technique was the same: warm water, blow dryer, thawing it on his tub, go go go...

    So I did a thing. I heard from some breeders that live feeding can somehow kick start their appetite. He was losing weight but not over 10% and not looking of concern.

    First rat was a small, small rat. Banana was not showing interest before I dumped it in his tub. Usually if he is hungry, his little head will poke out. Dropped it in, he took it. Fed live the 2nd week too. I hate feeding live, especially rats. It is heart wrenching in addition to having to watch it happen as well. Idk, I'm a wuss.

    Third feeding this past weekend, Banana was rearing to go. He was out, staring directly at his new rat which is housed next to him. I rubbed the f/t small rat (it was the proper feeding size for him anyway) in the live rat's tank. Heat it up real good and offered, not expecting him to take it except he did. Yay.. Okay, now I have a live rat. Offered the live rat to the boa who also had stopped eating awhile ago.

    Scruffy the Dumerils boa is a wuss. He warning nipped the rat. Rat is okay, no injuries.

    The boa was my back up plan should the ball python refuse food. Yea... I'm glad the rat don't have to be killed but now I'm stuck with him. Never kept pet rats before, rescued a lab rat once years ago and rehomed him but I never kept him for more than a day. He seems friendly, does not bite, skittish but curious.

    Plan C was to keep him for another week and feed him off. That plan fell apart real quick because husband fell in love with him and gave him a name.

    Anyone in the south FL is interested in a pet rat...? Can't feed him off now, husband gave him a name. Has this ever happened to anyone before? I feel conflicted by all this. I want to keep snakes as pets, but by keeping snakes, I have to purchase and promote the killing of rats like him.

    Sorry for the rambling. I could not post this in the rat forums in fear they will tear me apart in there lol. And I'm not expecting too much sympathy in most snake forums either... Most people including family barely understands why I keep reptiles, much less dealing with rodent prey.

    Pics to follow once I get tapatalk to work again on my phone.

    P.S. when I placed the rat into my boa's tub, it was making a very distinct high pitch squeak while it was wandering around his tub. The noise stopped after I put him back into his tank. I thought that was interesting behavior to watch.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 02-03-2020 at 10:29 AM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    This happened to me too. I put it in the woods. Didn't seem to inhumane to me considering he was about to be snake food anyway, now he gets a second chance.
    Last edited by wnateg; 02-03-2020 at 10:34 AM.
    0.1.0 Cat "Anna"
    -----
    1.1.0 Emerald Tree Boa "Amanda & Samantha"
    0.1.0 Merauke Scrub Python "Victoria"
    0.1.0 Titanium Reticulated Python "Alice"
    -----
    0.0.1 Alligator Snapping Turtle "Deborah"
    0.0.1 Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman "Caroline"
    -----
    0.0.1 Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula "Katherine"


  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    I value all life. I also understand the sad reality that in order for some animals to live other animals must die. I feed f/t just so I don't have to see the prey animals suffer. Does that make me a wuss too?
    2.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
    1.0 Bredl's Python, 1.0 Olive Python 1.0 Scrub Python,
    1.0 BI, 0.1 BO,

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    I have a pet mouse from our first and only live feeding attempt that obviously failed. His name is Lucky. We've had him since small hopper/large fuzzy size. He is now an adult and very fat and is basically living the lazy good life. Won't even run in his wheel. Personally I'd much rather have a rat than a mouse because rats are awesome, but we are committed to caring for Lucky.
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Dreamsicle/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis, 1.0 BCO/Grimm, 0.1 Suriname BCC/Rhubarb
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    MORELIA: 0.1 Bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget, 0.1 Caramel Diamond Jungle/Pixie

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  8. #5
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by WhompingWillow View Post
    I have a pet mouse from our first and only live feeding attempt that obviously failed. His name is Lucky. We've had him since small hopper/large fuzzy size. He is now an adult and very fat and is basically living the lazy good life. Won't even run in his wheel. Personally I'd much rather have a rat than a mouse because rats are awesome, but we are committed to caring for Lucky.
    Thatís just lovely !


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  9. #6
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    I value all life. I also understand the sad reality that in order for some animals to live other animals must die. I feed f/t just so I don't have to see the prey animals suffer. Does that make me a wuss too?
    Iím with you


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  10. #7
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    So... We have added a new addition to my pet collection: a feeder rat.

    Long story short, my almost 3 year old male ball python had been fasting on and off last year. Skipped 6 months in the early part of the year, ate 2 meals and stopped eating for 2-3 months, ate 2 meals... Prior to the first fasting in Feb, he ate weekly like clockwork. Husbandry remained the same and confirmed numerous times at hot spot 88-90F, cool end 77-80F, snug identical hides, downsized his tub, he is in a minimal foot traffic and dark area in my room, etc. Bugger barely lost weight, active at night, just doing his thing other than eating when I want him to (Sigh ball pythons...). He was eating f/t small rats. Heating technique was the same: warm water, blow dryer, thawing it on his tub, go go go...

    So I did a thing. I heard from some breeders that live feeding can somehow kick start their appetite. He was losing weight but not over 10% and not looking of concern.

    First rat was a small, small rat. Banana was not showing interest before I dumped it in his tub. Usually if he is hungry, his little head will poke out. Dropped it in, he took it. Fed live the 2nd week too. I hate feeding live, especially rats. It is heart wrenching in addition to having to watch it happen as well. Idk, I'm a wuss.

    Third feeding this past weekend, Banana was rearing to go. He was out, staring directly at his new rat which is housed next to him. I rubbed the f/t small rat (it was the proper feeding size for him anyway) in the live rat's tank. Heat it up real good and offered, not expecting him to take it except he did. Yay.. Okay, now I have a live rat. Offered the live rat to the boa who also had stopped eating awhile ago.

    Scruffy the Dumerils boa is a wuss. He warning nipped the rat. Rat is okay, no injuries.

    The boa was my back up plan should the ball python refuse food. Yea... I'm glad the rat don't have to be killed but now I'm stuck with him. Never kept pet rats before, rescued a lab rat once years ago and rehomed him but I never kept him for more than a day. He seems friendly, does not bite, skittish but curious.

    Plan C was to keep him for another week and feed him off. That plan fell apart real quick because husband fell in love with him and gave him a name.

    Anyone in the south FL is interested in a pet rat...? Can't feed him off now, husband gave him a name. Has this ever happened to anyone before? I feel conflicted by all this. I want to keep snakes as pets, but by keeping snakes, I have to purchase and promote the killing of rats like him.

    Sorry for the rambling. I could not post this in the rat forums in fear they will tear me apart in there lol. And I'm not expecting too much sympathy in most snake forums either... Most people including family barely understands why I keep reptiles, much less dealing with rodent prey.

    Pics to follow once I get tapatalk to work again on my phone.

    P.S. when I placed the rat into my boa's tub, it was making a very distinct high pitch squeak while it was wandering around his tub. The noise stopped after I put him back into his tank. I thought that was interesting behavior to watch.
    That last paragraph is heart wrenching ..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  11. #8
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Rats can make great pets...they're smart & affectionate, even trainable. I had pet rats for some years before I ever got into snakes. Rats are also great for licking out "empty" peanut butter jars so they're easy to recycle. Only downside is they can catch our colds+, or carry other things that we can catch, but for c/b, the risk is mostly theirs. They enjoy tiny bits of most foods that we eat, so they're easy to treat (they do need a balanced diet though- don't feed them dog food, it's not balanced for rats like quality lab pellets are). His scent may come in handy too, to get your snake(s) to eat.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-03-2020 at 01:00 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. #9
    Registered User Vegan.Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    I value all life. I also understand the sad reality that in order for some animals to live other animals must die. I feed f/t just so I don't have to see the prey animals suffer. Does that make me a wuss too?
    Another wuss here I guess. People have asked me why I own a snake considering I have been vegan for close to a decade mostly for ethical reasons. I remind them that my snake's food (peacefully euthanized via CO2) is more humanely made then dog and cat food.

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    Bogertophis (02-03-2020),EL-Ziggy (02-03-2020)

  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Well. This happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegan.Hiker View Post
    Another wuss here I guess. People have asked me why I own a snake considering I have been vegan for close to a decade mostly for ethical reasons. I remind them that my snake's food (peacefully euthanized via CO2) is more humanely made then dog and cat food.
    For that matter, it's more humanely euthanized than most of what people eat. Which is why I buy carefully from the local humane sources, even if it costs a little more.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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