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  • [Frozen/Thawed] Freezer burn question

    Does freezer burn hurt snakes in anyway? Also, if you have a snake refuse a rat can you re-freeze it and use it again?

  • #2
    Re: Freezer burn question

    I don't think freezer burned rats will hurt a boa, but truth be told I probably wouldn't use a freezer burned rat. ...but that's just me.

    I also wouldn't re-freeze an uneaten rat. Just chuck it and thaw a new one next time you try. I can't imagine that a re-frozen/re-thawed rat would taste very good. It might be kind of like putting beer back in the fridge after its warmed - it might skunk. ...yuck!

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    • #3
      Re: Freezer burn question

      Ya thats true

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      • #4
        Re: Freezer burn question

        Re-freezing any kind of meat after it has been thawed can break down the protien structures, making it less juicy, less nutritious, and, well, not good eats.

        If you boa doesn't eat it, chuck it and start over next week.

        As for freezer burn, I don't know if it would be bad for a boa, or if a boa would refuse it. Because of the fur, I doubt there's much that wouls actually freezer burn. Maybe the tail, face and paws.

        All that being said, I toss freezer burned rodents.


        -Sean in NoCal
        “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
        -Teddy Roosevelt.

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        • #5
          Re: Freezer burn question

          I actually did some research on freezer burn a couple years ago after this question had popped up for the 10th time.

          The answer is..













          NO, feeding a freezer burned rat will not hurt your boa.

          Really, all freezer burn is, is a loss of moisture in the tissue. Freezer burn does not affect the nutritional content at all. If you've ever gone camping and taken freeze dried food, basically you were eating the same thing as if it had freezer burn.
          "It is not my responsibility to live up to other people's perceptions of who I am. I am only responsible for living up to the standards I set for myself, to be the person I want to be."

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          • #6
            Re: Freezer burn question

            Good to hear. I have a few rats that are freezer burned that Im debating on weather to toss or not.

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            • #7
              Re: Freezer burn question

              I find that my rats will start to get freezer burned after about 6 months and that's my limit on age; I won't use them older than that. I haven't had a problem with it since I've been buying quantities that last 6 months and they are all vacuum packed. The freezer burn may not be an issue and I'm sure its not from a health standpoint, but I don't like eating freezer burned anything.

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              • #8
                Re: Freezer burn question

                I'm wondering if my mice got freezer burn. I bought plastic sandwich bags that are supposedly freezer burn-proof, but my mice have spots on them. I just noticed this today when I tried to feed. It wasn't there when I fed her 5 days ago. I first noticed it on the mouse I thawed, and upon closer inspection of the frozen mice, they all displayed the same spots, save for one, which I am about to feed to her in place of the other thawed one.

                I'm not familiar with freezer burn (my family of carnivors never lets meat sit in the freezer long enough to have this problem), so I want to be sure of what this is before I decide for sure whether it's safe or not. My other concern is that it might be mold, though how they would have grown bacteria is beyond me. Our power went out the other week, but it wasn't long enough to affect anything in the fridge that I noticed. I would assume that the last mouse I fed (after the power outtage incident) would've been affected as well, so that also leads me to believe that this was not the source of the problem.

                I have two pictures, one of the thawed mouse, and one of several of the frozen mice. Can anyone help me to identify this to be sure what it is? Thanks!

                ~K2

                P.S. I bought these mice from The Mouse Factory, and these are from the first package of 25. I'm only about half way through this package so far, and the other package remains unopened in my freezer, none of which display any such spots.

                P.S.S. I just learned (after consulting my mom) that the freezer kills mold, so that's not it...



                Last edited by Heart's Blood; 11-29-2009, 10:04 PM. Reason: P.S. Info

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                • #9
                  Re: Freezer burn question

                  Yup, that's freezer burn. And even if your power went out the temps in you freezer would inhibit mold growth.

                  I get my mice from The Mouse Factory too. Great people, great rodents, great service... I'm a returning customer!

                  As for how the freezer burn got there: even in a freezer burn proof bag you can get burn. All you need is moisture and you will eventually wind up with freezer burn. water evaporates in your freezer, just at a much reduced rate. Example: leave a full tray of ice cubes in the freezer for a few months and then look at it. The ice has reduced. As moisture leaves the mouse's tissue it get's freezer burn. The same will happen with any food left too long in a freezer. One way moisture can be pulled out of tissue is through the build up of frost: if there is enough moisture in the bag to create frost on the rodents you'll get freezer burn. The frost will pull moisture from the tissue. To help eliminate moisture you can try and squeeze as much air out of the bags the mice are in as possible (the fact that The Mouse Factory vacuum packs their rodents is why your unopened supply does not have these spots - no air). Also make sure your freezer seal is tight. A power outage can be a big culprit since the mice will start to thaw and then re-freeze.

                  Now, earlier I said I wouldn't feed a freezer burned rat to my boa... I take that back. Two weeks ago I pulled a rat fuzzie out of the bag and it had a small bit of freezer burn on an ear. Guess what: It thawed just fine, my boa ate it just fine, and all is well. I also noticed there was a hole in the bag up by the closure, so I got a new bag, I actually double bagged them, I squeeze as much air out of the bags as I can, and zip. I've had my supply since about August, and I've only notice minimal freezer burn on my rodents, but the hole in the bag didn't help, I'm sure.

                  In short: you've got freezer burned rodents. It doesn't look terribly extensive, so I'd feel OK using those as food. But it's up to you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Freezer burn question

                    Thanks Mike! That makes me feel much better. I actually just sent an e-mail with those two photos to The Mouse Factory with the same inquiry, so I'll probably be getting the same response from them. I do have frost in the bag, which perfectly explains it. I'll do my best to keep out even more air in the future so this doesn't happen. I was wondering how the frost would have an effect. Now I know!

                    One other question you might know the answer to: How long do the mice stay good? Do they have an expiration date? I got mine in August as well, but with only one snake, it'll take me a while to get through them, though I'm feeding every 5 days now rather than once a week 'cause she's outgrowing them. (I probably could've gone with the hoppers when I bought them, but at the time I was still trying to convert my boa to F/T, so I went with the smaller option to be safe.) Is there a date when I should just toss them and start with a fresh order if I haven't finished these off by then? Or are they pretty much good as long as they remain nicely frozen?

                    Again, thanks for all your help! And for the lightning-fast reply!

                    ~K2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Freezer burn question

                      Originally posted by Heart's Blood View Post
                      One other question you might know the answer to: How long do the mice stay good? Do they have an expiration date? I got mine in August as well, but with only one snake, it'll take me a while to get through them, though I'm feeding every 5 days now rather than once a week 'cause she's outgrowing them. (I probably could've gone with the hoppers when I bought them, but at the time I was still trying to convert my boa to F/T, so I went with the smaller option to be safe.) Is there a date when I should just toss them and start with a fresh order if I haven't finished these off by then? Or are they pretty much good as long as they remain nicely frozen?

                      Again, thanks for all your help! And for the lightning-fast reply!

                      ~K2

                      Most folks tend to stick to a six month "rule." There's nothing written in stone about it, but after about six months the rodents can start to loose some of their nutritional value. And I have to say, I'd be hesitant to eat ground beef that was in the freezer for more than six months.

                      If you got a pack of 25 in August, and it's for one snake this should take you right to the six month point (give or take). Which is perfect. This is one of the reasons I chose The Mouse Factory - I can get quantities that will suit mine and my boas' needs. I have two boas on mouse hoppers and one on rat fuzzies. I didn't want to buy a lot of 50 and have half the bag exceed the 6 month point. Can you feed 8 month old frozen rodents to a snake? Yes. Will it harm your snake? No. But your snake may not be getting the same nutrition as if they were eating a rodent that had only been frozen for 4 months.

                      Another reason I like TMF's quantities of 25 is that I didn't want to get a supply of 50 rodents and have my boas outgrow them, and then be stuck with half a bag of uneaten food.

                      ...Sorry, I'm rambling.

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