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Should You Feed Your Snake Live Prey?

If you’re thinking about adopting a snake, you’ve probably already thought about what kind of food you’ll have to buy and feed your snake. However, the type of prey that snakes are fed is a controversial topic in the reptile keeping world. While some people think it’s best to go “all-natural” by feeding snakes in the same way they would feed themselves in the wild.
However, this theory becomes problematic when you bring in the question of if it is safe to do so in captivity. A glass enclosure is definitely not the same as any snake’s natural habitat. This begs the question, “are captive snakes capable of the same things that wild snakes are?” If your pet snake is not able to kill their live prey quickly, the prey will attempt to run away. When they realize that they are unable to do that, they can retaliate against your pet and inflict some pretty intense wounds.


Dangers of Feeding A Snake Live Prey

These wounds can be caused by disinterest in the prey from your snake, or it can happen if your pet doesn’t have full control over the situation and isn’t confident in his ability to strike. Careful supervision of your pet’s feeding time and help this problem, but it is not always realistic. Also, pulling a rat or mouse out of a snake enclosure if you think your snake isn’t hungry isn’t always an easy task.


Pre-killed prey

The safer alternative for feeding your snake is buying pre-killed prey. Pre-killed prey can be stored frozen and which allows you to stockpile a few weeks worth of food at a time. Having to go to the store every time your snake is hungry can be unrealistic for many people and raising your own prey doesn’t always yield the results you need. Most pet stores sell frozen or fresh-killed prey.
If you’re worried that your snake will not want to eat the pre-killed prey, no need to fret. Unless your snake is wild-caught, they will usually eat pre-killed prey just fine. If you have been feeding your pet live prey, you want to start by offering fresh-killed prey. Anytime you are feeding your snake frozen pre-killed prey, you will want to thaw in the fridge and warm slightly using warm water. Use tongs to present the prey to your snake and wiggle the prey a bit as it’s going into the tank. For extra picky snakes, dipping in a bit of chicken broth, or cutting the prey to expose some blood may make the prey more appealing.

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