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Posted by madmatt on April 12, 2003 at 17:58:34:
In Reply to: dead prey overrated? posted by the nerve on April 11, 2003 at 12:41:42:
I have fed live with supervision, but have seen snakes go mouse-shy because unknown to me, one or more factors was off before feeding.
They decide when and if they are hungry, if they are indeed a match for their prey organism, preparation for encounter with thermoregulation, being "awake" or in an "alert" state, being in a predatory mode, feeling safe, and as mentioned before being able to escape if they go over their head.
If you do feed live make sure you supervise and remove the live prey immidiately if you do not see convincing and committed feeding response. I also only feed live during times of natural activity for the snake. My brooksi's usually get active at dusk and so that's when I feed them live if I do. I also create a scent tease about an hour before feeding that I increase slightly during the hour to allow the king to get in the mood. I only do this when its summer so the king does not lose a lot of heat while exploring the cage.
As you can see this takes a lot of time, so I usually feed stunned or frozen-thawed, but even then I follow same rules albeit in a more condensed fashion.
:Is feeding pre-killed mice to your snake overrated? Everyone recommends it cause it's safer for your snake. But in the wild, snakes don't get their meals all pre-served for them. They have to earn them, and kingsnakes often deal with prey much more dangerous then mice. Is feeding a live mouse every so often really that harmful?