Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 1,348

5 members and 1,343 guests
Most users ever online was 6,337, 01-24-2020 at 04:30 AM.

» Today's Birthdays

Kelina (39)

» Stats

Members: 75,270
Threads: 248,664
Posts: 2,569,519
Top Poster: JLC (31,651)
Welcome to our newest member, Sneebsnop
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-08-2021
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 2

    Changes to feeding routine

    For well over ten years, my method of feeding my bp has been this:
    -defrost on counter overnight
    -boil kettle and pour water into tub
    -submerge rat for ten seconds
    -pat down with paper towels and feed

    However, I've recently learned that I should defrost in the fridge instead, because otherwise bacteria growth potentially becomes dangerously high. This means my new routine will be to leave the rat in the fridge overnight, take it out for an hour to warm it up to about room temperature, then carry on as usual.

    This question might be dumb, but if I don't ask, I'll never know. Besides, if I'm doing one thing wrong, I could be doing it all wrong. Basically, I was just hoping to make sure that the rest of my routine is still safe to do? I know there's lots of different ways to safely heat up rats, but I don't want to change something for him if I don't have to (especially since I'm already planning on rocking his little boat a bit by giving him food closer to 5% of his weight than 10%)

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    20,423
    Thanks
    28,448
    Thanked 20,048 Times in 11,975 Posts
    Well, not only that but boiling water is COOKING the rat. NOT what you want to do. Personally, I thaw in cold water*- much faster than in fridge, but either way, thaw first, so it's soft throughout (check by hand) & only then immerse briefly in very warm water for about 10 minutes to warm it up. Many also use a blow dryer to really warm the outside (not to style the rat's hair ) right before offering. I'm glad you asked, & yes, you've been doing it wrong, but you're not the only one...

    *Many like to thaw the prey in ziploc bag put in water- that's slower than directly IN the water with no bag, which is what I do. And that's because there is some air in the baggy, & it's a greater barrier to thawing. I do blot the water off on paper towels once thawed- & bear in mind that water will wash off some of the rodent's scent, so if your snake is a bit confused & needs more scent to respond, you can easily pinch-damage the nose w/ your feeding tongs. I'm no fan of "braining" prey- never seen it help, & it's gross...just pinching the nose does the same thing.

    About thawing on the counter- bacteria is not the only issue- it's that the tissues start to rot & your snake will be able to smell that. Since BPs are not carrion eaters, they often refuse to eat such offerings. I know many people thaw their own meats on the counter, but bear in mind that snakes are eating it raw, whereas cooking destroys bacteria in our food. (I still do NOT thaw meat on the counter, but I remember family doing that when I was growing up.)

    And the bigger issue is that snakes are eating whole prey- the G.I. tract of the rat or mouse is LOADED with bacteria that multiplies happily at warmer temperatures- compared to humans, just thawing a relatively "clean" steak or chops, it's a huge difference. See?

    I'm glad you asked.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-01-2024 at 08:40 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Blepblep (07-01-2024),Homebody (07-01-2024)

  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member Lord Sorril's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-05-2018
    Location
    Massachusetts - USA
    Posts
    1,495
    Thanks
    645
    Thanked 3,283 Times in 1,129 Posts
    Images: 84

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Blepblep View Post
    For well over ten years
    If it has worked for you for 10 years-why change it now? I think you have established a good track record.
    *.* TNTC

  5. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Lord Sorril For This Useful Post:

    Blepblep (07-01-2024),Gio (07-01-2024),Homebody (07-01-2024),Malum Argenteum (07-01-2024)

  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    1,674
    Thanks
    5,661
    Thanked 2,329 Times in 1,253 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Couple points:

    1. You don't want to cook your rat. Exposing the rat even briefly to boiling or near boiling temps will start to cook it. Nothing wrong with boiling the water as long as you let it cool to a reasonable temperature before dipping the rat. For me, hot water out of the tap is plenty warm enough, but I know that varies from house to house.

    2. I wouldn't say "dangerously high". I'd say unnecessarily high. If it was dangerously high, you would have noticed some effects by now. That said, it is unnecessary. Defrosting in the fridge overnight. or cold water, is safer and still effective.

    When I had a BP, I defrosted in cold water, and warmed it up with a hair dryer. Whatever changes you decide to make, try to make them gradually. BPs don't like sudden changes.
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Blepblep (07-01-2024),Bogertophis (07-01-2024)

  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-08-2021
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 2

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Thank you all for your advice, it's been really helpful and informative.

    I'm going to stop using water from the kettle, and instead immerse the rat in tap water for 10 mins as Bogertopher suggested. This will also be less of a change for Naga, who is used to receiving slightly damp food, although I won't rule out a hair dryer in the future if needs must

    I'm glad I asked too! This forum is quickly becoming my favourite place for anything python related

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Blepblep For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (07-01-2024)

  10. #6
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-17-2021
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    529
    Thanks
    984
    Thanked 1,234 Times in 473 Posts
    Images: 3

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Be aware that immersing the rat in the boiling water changes the scent of the rat, so if your python doesn't want to eat a rat that hasn't had the boiling water dip, that's likely the reason. Boiling prey is a standard method for enticing unstarted or non-rodent eating snakes to eat rodents, and I've boiled innumerable thawed rodents; it changes the smell/taste of the rodent considerably.

  11. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Malum Argenteum For This Useful Post:

    Blepblep (07-02-2024),Bogertophis (07-01-2024),Gio (07-01-2024),Luvyna (07-02-2024),mistergreen (07-02-2024)

  12. #7
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    1,674
    Thanks
    5,661
    Thanked 2,329 Times in 1,253 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    Be aware that immersing the rat in the boiling water changes the scent of the rat, so if your python doesn't want to eat a rat that hasn't had the boiling water dip, that's likely the reason. Boiling prey is a standard method for enticing unstarted or non-rodent eating snakes to eat rodents, and I've boiled innumerable thawed rodents; it changes the smell/taste of the rodent considerably.
    It's not unhealthy for snakes to eat cooked food?
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Blepblep (07-02-2024)

  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-17-2021
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    529
    Thanks
    984
    Thanked 1,234 Times in 473 Posts
    Images: 3

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    It's not unhealthy for snakes to eat cooked food?
    I don't know that we know. It is definitely more healthy than not eating, which reliably leads to death after not too long (a handful of months) in hatchling colubrids and which can sometimes be avoided by offering boiled prey for a time. It is arguably more healthy than scenting prey with a live lizard, which even when CB from QTed stock is a possible disease vector. It is definitely preferable in every way over stomach tube feeding of a slurry. So there are situations where feeding boiled prey is the least worst option.

    A deep dive into the literature on the health/nutrition issues would be fun. Here's a study that shows that P. molurus expends less energy digesting cooked food compared to raw, which might be advantageous to certain snakes during certain life stages: Boback, Scott & Cox, Christian & Ott, Brian & Carmody, Rachel & Wrangham, Richard & Secor, Stephen. (2007). Cooking and grinding reduces the cost of meat digestion. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology. 148. 651-6. 10.1016/j.cbpa.2007.08.014.

    Whether the nutritional differences in cooked prey would offset those potential benefits, I don't know. Whole rodent prey isn't already borderline deficient in any nutrients, so it isn't obvious that cooking it would be a big problem, at least in the short to medium term. I wouldn't cook a snake's prey unless there were some clear benefit, though.

  15. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Malum Argenteum For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (07-02-2024),Gobuchul (07-02-2024),Homebody (07-02-2024),Luvyna (07-02-2024)

  16. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    20,423
    Thanks
    28,448
    Thanked 20,048 Times in 11,975 Posts
    Thanks Malum...I have to admit I've never heard of (much less, tried) offering boiled prey to any problem feeders. I wouldn't think the nutrition would differ significantly, & as you said, it's a much better option to try. Though I'd hate to have a snake get stuck on the new taste...how long before they demand ketchup?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Malum Argenteum (07-02-2024)

  18. #10
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    1,674
    Thanks
    5,661
    Thanked 2,329 Times in 1,253 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: Changes to feeding routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Though I'd hate to have a snake get stuck on the new taste...how long before they demand ketchup?
    Or better yet, deep fried. Everything tastes better deep fried.
    Last edited by Homebody; 07-02-2024 at 09:57 AM.
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Malum Argenteum (07-02-2024)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1