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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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-Help- warming mice to feed??!!

I work at the Alaska Zoo and part of my job is feeding our male Ball Python. He was captured in the wild for the pet trade and donated to the zoo for educational purposes. So he is extremely picky! He only likes brown or black mice.
I have been having trouble lately with heating up the mice. For the past 2 years I have heated them up in warm water, but lately the mice have been breaking open either while warming up or while feeding him. We freeze the mice before feeding.
So then I tried to warm up the mice using a hair dryer, but they cool down too fast and he wont eat them. So lately, I have had to go down to the main zoo and kill fresh mice, but they are white and he doesnt eat them regularly.
--And we dont microwave the mice--
Any help on warming techniques would be appreciated!!!!
Thanks!
Nikki
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 11:13 PM
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I know a few people with snakes and they thaw the mice/rats in a pan of warm water.Whynot try that?




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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 12:37 AM
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I think they said they were heating them up in warm water. Maybe the snake isn't used to eating frozen/thawed mice.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkie1205
I think they said they were heating them up in warm water. Maybe the snake isn't used to eating frozen/thawed mice.
Hehehe...my bad,I just went back and re-read the post.I must of read it fast and forgot thats what he said!

What do you mean by "breaking open"? I never heard of that happening from the people I know who thaw the mice or rats that way,so I am not familiar with it.

Maybe just let them thaw out in a heated room.I dunno...





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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 01:08 AM
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Hmm,i-don't-know....
are they microwaveable? Pro defrost: 1 min. Time cook: 30 secs.
Thats how my microwave works.I don't have snakes to feed the rats or mice to though.

[EDiT] Heh...sheesh,I just re-read my reply.
I don't microwave rats& mice to eat people I'm vegetarian.

But seriously,if theres a microwave with a defrosting option,why not try it ?

I second Lisa,I never heard of them breaking open...maybe they were being thawed too long...?


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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried warm water.
When they break open I mean the belly of the mouse breaks open and the insides.... come out. So obviousely the snake wont eat it. He has been on mice for at least 8 years. He ate fine before.
Also, heating the mice up in the microwave for any amount of time it would take to warm them up would make them explode (break open again) We tried that once... =)
Lately we have been keeping the mice out to thaw before feeding, but he likes them warmer than room temp, so i need a way of heating them up a tad, so when I hold the mouse I feel SLIGHT warmth from it.
I can try thawing them in a shorter amount of time, but the hotter the water is, the easier they break open it seems.
Thanks for the help. Anything else would be great!
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 02:24 AM
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Never microwave feeder rodents... for a couple of reasons. First, the way microwaves heat, you're likely to have one explode and make a big mess. Who wants to heat up their coffee in a microwave full of rodent guts? Second, micowaves heat very unevenly. They could be cold to the touch on the outside, but burning hot in the center. Same basic reason why they say not to make baby formula in the microwave - only you can't really stir up a mouse to even out the temperature.

Typically when I have the mice fall apart is if they're too old (ie, they've been frozen for too long and are no longer fresh), they soaked way too long until they were water logged, or if the water is just simply too hot. Ball python heat receptors can detect a fraction of a degree, so all you really need to do is raise their temperature above that of the room. Of course, that doesn't really help if he's a slow eater like some of mine and have them cool down fast.

You can always try a heating pad. I often lay mice out on a heat pad until they're thawed. Just don't forget them overnight - or the smell you will discover is not too pleasant.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Replying to Ravnos

I was thinking that maybe the mice were too old. We had just gotten them from a lady who SAYS they were just killed recently, but who really knows. So we will just have to start breeding black mice at the zoo! =)

The heating pad sounds like a great idea. I will definitely try that if I can get one by next week.

-Yaz, the snake I feed, typically takes a while to feed, I have to move the mouse JUUUST right and it has to be JUST the right temp, and color for him to eat it, and if he is in the feeding tank too long, or too short of time, hes not interested anymore.. its a pain! But when he skips a few weeks, I barely get the mouse in the feeding tank before he snatches it up! doesnt matter on color or anything! =)

Thank you for the advise, I will try yet again!
-Nikki
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 09:23 AM
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You might try laying it on a heat rock.
Yeah, definately do not put in microwave! Been there, done that. gross!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on not using a microwave.I want a snake in the near future& I know not to make that mistake now


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 12:03 PM
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I agree with never microwaving feeder animals. ....I had an "incident" where I was trying to hurry up the thawing process of a frozen quail for a peregrine falcon. Unfortunately, there was an unlaid egg in this particular quail.... as you might have guessed, the qual and the egg exploded ...messily.

Fortunately, it wasn't my dept's microwave, ....unfortunately, it was the Education Depts. The one that the educators used to heat their lunches in. Yes, that microwave now is in the bird dept, and the bird dept's was moved to the education ctr.

...Anyway. I have a picky Ball python like that. He'll only eat fresh killed mice. If it's been frozen/reheated, he will not touch it. Not a huge deal, as our commissary always has some live mice on hand. Frozen is just easier to deal with so that's what the other five I have get.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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haha yeah.. microwave and mice = gross!!
well I ran the frozen mice under warm water wed for this weeks feeding for yaz. and i think he was just so hungry cause he didnt even wait for me to put the mouse in! He was striking at the glass! crazy boy. But he ate 2.. white mice!! haha amazing. But I keep telling the zoo to get some black ones for him... oh well =( gotta make due with what we have.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 03:16 PM
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I had some pinkies once that busted kinda..or just got real squishy..after just being in hot water in a cup. assume they were old..yuck.


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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 01:11 PM
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Here is a suggestion. Put the frozen mice into a plastic zip close bag. Put is bag into luke warm water for an hour or two. The rodent can then be removed from the water proof bag and hair dried to remove the excessive moister and its dinnertime.

The treason why the rodents burst open is that the person who dispatches these animals uses a syringe in the heart, which of course leaves a whole allowing the mess you experience.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 03:23 PM
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Every major US frozen rodent supplier euthanizes by using carbon dioxide. I have never heard of anyone syringing them, and I can't see it being very efficient or humane, especially on large scale.

I have never had a problem getting any of my snakes to eat wet rodents that have been soaked in water to thaw.

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