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  • [Feeding Issue] pre- killing?

    i want to switch my baby milans feeding method to pre killed. F/T is just not an option to me. i want to know how would i go about killing the mice( rats when she gets to that stage) the most humane way possible. (quickest and with little blood as possible) and obviously with no suffering to the mouse.

  • #2
    Re: pre- killing?

    First, ill say it is nice to see that you want to make this as humane as possible. Make a co2 chamber with a rubbermaid container, co2 container, and fittings. You can see videos on youtube. There are multiple ways to make them. You can even use vinegar and baking soda instead of a co2 tank as well. There are some people who have pretty intense systems on youtube, but there are also very simple ones.

    You don't need to make a gas chamber either to kill a rodent humanely. There is a way to hold the mouse/rat down and pull the tail to kill it, but I imagine that would be quite dangerous once you start dealing with larger rodents.

    Here are a few without doing much digging:

    http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...Y-CO2-chamber)

    Here is a super simple one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1De8sW-f_Bs

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    • #3
      Re: pre- killing?

      Why is Frozen Thaw not an option? Freezer space?

      The most humane way is debatable. There is the method I call the "wringing" method which is stretching out the neck severing the spinal column but I'm not sure how little they feel. There are tutorials for that. There is also CO2 euthanasia which I feel is the most humane when done right and one of the worst ways to do it if you do it wrong. You need an air tight container, an air controllable air valve, and some form of CO2 cartridge. You need a hole or nozzle for the incoming CO2 and 1 or 2 small holes to let normal air out. You put the mouse/rat into the container and close it. You don't want the container to be too small that they get scared or too large that they get scared. Something like the size of a shoe box (but air tight before you modify it) should do fine. You will slowly add a little CO2 using the air valve. The mouse will slow down movement a little. You will then add a little more slowly again. They will slow down more. After 2 or 3 of these, they will lay down and go to sleep because the CO2 added slowly will make them drowsy. Then you will slowly add a lot more until you see their breathing slow. When the breathing slows/stops, cover the vent holes with tape or something to minimise normal air returning. Leave it be for 10 minutes. Going slow and leaving it are two important things. If you go too fast they will panic and feel the suffocation which is a pretty bad way to go. If you open the container too soon, the rush of fresh air can revive them but there has been observation that they will experience extreme pain from lack of oxygen and the body realising it.

      This is not something I can do personally. Most places that produce F/T rodents use CO2 because it is "humane" but mainly because it is more efficient with larger quantities.

      If anyone else has humane methods or wish to add or correct what I said, please do.

      EDIT: Elizabeth mentioned the method I call "wringing". Another thing I feel I should mention is that if you do the CO2 method properly, the mouse will be dead in about a minute or two. The reason to leave it be for 10 minutes is just to play it safe.

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      • #4
        Re: pre- killing?

        I just wanted to add... frozen thawed is always the number one option imo. However you need to get them from a good source. I remember thawing a mouse for my ball python, that same way as I always have, and this one pretty much exploded when the snake constricted it. What an awful smell that was, I will never forget it. After that I was feeding pre killed and figured it was more nutritious for the snake, but honestly I didn't notice much difference. I changed my source for frozen and everything has been perfect for the past few years.

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        • #5
          Re: pre- killing?

          Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
          Why is Frozen Thaw not an option? Freezer space?....
          Just guessing here but some ppl object to (or can't stomach) having dead prey animals in their freezer, next to their Haagen Daz & frozen peas. Personally I find it improves my social life...at least the part I want to
          avoid: potlucks! Once you let ppl know what's in your freezer, they take you out for dinner, hahahaha!

          Admittedly, it does take a little getting used-to...(the prey in the freezer, I mean). And fresh-killed is preferable for quality & ease of use (no thawing & slightly warming the prey). BUT: frozen prey also enables you
          to have the right size food available for your pet if, during certain seasons, your local 'food' source should run out. And that DOES happen, believe me. Many find their rodent colonies fail during summer (because they
          allow them to get too warm) and that's just when everyone's pet snakes are at their hungriest & breeding more mouths to feed. So that's something to consider too. When I first got into snakes, I had a small snake
          (colubrid) that required fuzzies, & even though there were several pet stores in my area, they were unable to supply them reliably.

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          • #6
            Re: pre- killing?

            Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
            Just guessing here but some ppl object to (or can't stomach) having dead prey animals in their freezer, next to their Haagen Daz & frozen peas.
            If you look hard enough you can find 1-3 cubic foot freezers for under $100. I bought a 3.1 cubic foot freezer new for $105 to be able to hold more food than my previous 1 cu ft freezer could hold and now I use that old freezer for Butter food (mice and rats). Technically it is just as sanitary as having frozen chickens with feathers. People do it. My ex used to hide her Ben & Jerry's behind her frozen chicks and rats so I couldn't find it...

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            • #7
              Re: pre- killing?

              Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
              .... Technically it is just as sanitary as having frozen chickens with feathers. People do it....
              I've done it for about 30 years & never had food poisoning except from a certain Mexican restaurant out West....I now make most of my own Mexican food too, lol.

              But opinions about risks vary widely: the local 'health food' store I shop in makes a point of separating any meat products from other groceries when bagging, same sort of thing.

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              • #8
                Re: pre- killing?

                F/T isn't an option because I tried it out with my boyfriends ball python Leo and it was a hassle and a half to try and thaw it out and make it warm, then dry it off I feel like pre killing is easier, also I feel bad giving Milan something not fresh like I don't know how long it's been dead for n frozen, it's just gross to me I can't stomach thinking about it

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                • #9
                  Re: pre- killing?

                  No problem. Everyone has differing opinions. You can use what we provided above to help with your decision.

                  When I do F/T, I drop the frozen prey into room temperature or cold water for 20-30 minutes, drain the water, put hot water at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit into the large cup and drop the thawed prey back in for 10 minutes to warm up the prey to around 94-98, lightly dab on a paper towel to not get the bedding too wet and I put it in the cage. The extra water doesn't hurt, it just doesn't smell as strong as prey to them.

                  Most good F/T sources freeze the euthanized prey very quickly after euthanasia and they can be shelf stable for over a year. It isn't recommended to try to keep them for over 6 months because there is no real reason to do that. Some sources write the freeze date on packaging so you know how old it is. Some sources do give questionable product. Some big providers have complaints of off smelling prey because they freeze huge quantities, defrost to separate into smaller orders as desired, and freeze again. It pays to do research on them before hand. Usually F/T is cheaper than buying live that you FK (Fresh Kill). Locally if I wanted to buy a live adult rat, it would be $12-14. Pet rats here are $25.

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                  • #10
                    Re: pre- killing?

                    Money isn't the issue because around my area rats jumbo rats r 9$ and Milan isn't close to being there yet, I would just like her to have fresh prey that is the reason I started her out on live but thank you to everyone. Super helpful info!

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                    • #11
                      Re: pre- killing?

                      I'll just say that the only negative that I can think of feeding FK is the potential for parasites. The freezing process kills most potential parasites. Just keep an eye on the quality of the prey you're receiving. If the rodents don't look healthy, keep away. You probably know this.

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                      • #12
                        Re: pre- killing?

                        Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
                        ... the potential for parasites. The freezing process kills most potential parasites. Just keep an eye on the quality of the prey you're receiving...
                        This is important no matter which route you choose, but it is basically why I switched to frozen for all my snakes. I find the quality of prey to higher than any of my local live prey suppliers, and I don't have to breed mice and rats to have available prey all the time. The best way to do fresh killed is to instantly severe the spinal cord, but this can be a real struggle with small rodents.

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                        • #13
                          Re: pre- killing?

                          the place that i get my mice from is a family owned place and i never had an issue with the rodents looking iffy. F/T just looks skinny and weird and the whole process is unsettling.

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                          • #14
                            Re: pre- killing?

                            ok quick question, ive been watching some youtube videos on the gas chamber method of killing mice, and ive noticed that there is substrate in the chamber, is that necessary?

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                            • #15
                              Re: pre- killing?

                              Originally posted by boricuamami View Post
                              ok quick question, ive been watching some youtube videos on the gas chamber method of killing mice, and ive noticed that there is substrate in the chamber, is that necessary?
                              No, not at all. It's just familiar traction for the critter...and means that when they pee & defecate, they won't be standing in it or smearing it on the container. (< sorry, but you asked, lol) Half of a paper towel would
                              work too...

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