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Feeding problem

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I hope this does not offend anyone. If it does offend you, then please realize that yes, people do keep snakes and snakes have to eat too.

Ok, so here is my problem. The petstore that I buy my frozen feeders from might be shutting down in the fall. The owner is selling the store and if no one buys the store then its shutting down. The only other place I could get my feeders from is a big petstore chain like Petsmart. At the moment, I pay about $1.45 per mouse and for every five I buy, I get a 6th free. So, I'm paying about $7.60 in total for 6 mice, maybe add a dollar because $1.45 was the price for fuzzies and I'm now on hoppers. At petsmart, 6 mice is around $10 not including tax. So you can see my problem. Its $2 more expensive, and the mice are coming from a big chain petstore, so I can't see where the mice are raised and cared for. That's why I like the smaller petstore. I can actually see the breeders and see how they are being kept (and they are well cared for at the small petstore).

I have one snake, soon to be two, and when I move in with my fiance, we will have a total of three snakes, all eating different sized mice. By December, I figure we will have a total of 4 snakes. With this petstore going out of business our supply of feeders might have to get more expensive since we'll have to switch do a different store.

Four snakes will consume four mice a week. Thats about 16 per month. At a small petstore that is around $25 a month. Buying from Petsmart would bring the total up to over $30. $5 is a big difference, especially when I plan on getting more snakes in the future. And I also don't like getting mice from petstores where I can't see the conditions the mice were kept in. For all I know these mice were kept in horrible conditions. Who knows.

So my question is, do you think it would be easier to just breed them myself or buy in bulk over the internet. The only problem with buying in bulk over the internet is I'd have to buy a seperate freezer just for mice.
post #2 of 15
I dont have a snake(yet)... but I think buying in bulk online would be the best bet////

at home breeding is a great thing if you were going to need a 100 a month as it takes alot of space , time( depending how big you need) and $$ for feeding

How large are the snakes ??

Are they all eating pinkies???

If the do all eat pinkies will they in the future??
post #3 of 15
Dumb question, just because I know pretty much nothing about mice...

If you breed them, how will their rate of reproduction compare to your snakes' needs (4 per week)? I'm just imagining you being overrun with mice.

I don't know - this site says an average of 12 babies every 3 weeks or so...so maybe that would balance out.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
One snake, a Desert King, is on pinkies and will be for a few more months. By the end of June or July, he should be on fuzzies. The other, a Snow Corn, is on hoppers, and will be until possibly the end of the summer. It is unknown what the new snakes will be eating since we do not know if we would be getting them at the time they eat pinkies or fuzzies. So at the time of having four snakes, one will be on fuzzies/hoppers, one on hoppers/weanlings, and the other two on pinkies/fuzzies.

When breeding mice, you have to give the mice a break between litters, so I won't be overrun with mice as I would control breeding by seperating sexes and only bringing a pair together for mating. Also I do not feed live. I feed frozen/thawed, so all babies, once they reach the proper size (determined by weight) would be euthanized by CO2 chamber and then frozen for later use. The shelf life for a frozen feeder, if I am not mistaken is 6 months.
post #5 of 15
You may want to try breeding or find a local ethical breeder ... I can t imagine getting to many deals online for 3 different sizes
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I can t imagine getting to many deals online for 3 different sizes
Suppliers let people mix and match orders, as long as it matches a certain weight for the box/fills a certain amount.

ie, you can get get the box packed with pinkie mice, rats, and say rabbits if you wanted. Many reptile owners need several sizes or types, it's only common sense that the suppliers would accommodate them.

Ask around reptile forums for good reviews of online suppliers. You do not want to get freezer burnt rodents. There are also a few breeders/suppliers that do organic fed rodents.

Were you to decide to breed them yourself you'd have to have a separate room, plenty of room, and have to balance out their diet. Add in vet trips for fecals and worming, you don't want parasites to spread and over take the population, or possibly completely wipe it out. Plus all the supplies and added maintenance, that's a lot of extra work for only four snakes.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Suppliers let people mix and match orders, as long as it matches a certain weight for the box/fills a certain amount.

ie, you can get get the box packed with pinkie mice, rats, and say rabbits if you wanted. Many reptile owners need several sizes or types, it's only common sense that the suppliers would accommodate them.

Ask around reptile forums for good reviews of online suppliers. You do not want to get freezer burnt rodents. There are also a few breeders/suppliers that do organic fed rodents.

Were you to decide to breed them yourself you'd have to have a separate room, plenty of room, and have to balance out their diet. Add in vet trips for fecals and worming, you don't want parasites to spread and over take the population, or possibly completely wipe it out. Plus all the supplies and added maintenance, that's a lot of extra work for only four snakes.
ahhh I must have been reading wrong..lol.. i was looking at it for my youngest cat ...
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I don't really want to breed until I have more snakes. I might start breeding my own when I have say 10 snakes. Its just going to suck having to order online and get them shipped.
post #9 of 15
Shipping is a pain in the butt, that's where all the money ends up going. You'll have no choice but to get next day delivery, and you'll have to be there to sign for it.

I have 15 mouths to feed, soon to be more when the eggs hatch, and even though it's just insects... those orders usually cost me $40 - 50.

Maybe check the newspaper for used small deep freezer? New a smaller GE cost around $200, so maybe you'll find a deal for around $100-$130, even less. Check craigslist and freecycle.
Ask around reptile and snake forums, they'll know who has bad stock/good stock and if the supplier has decent customer service.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Shipping is a pain in the butt, that's where all the money ends up going. You'll have no choice but to get next day delivery, and you'll have to be there to sign for it.

I have 15 mouths to feed, soon to be more when the eggs hatch, and even though it's just insects... those orders usually cost me $40 - 50.

Maybe check the newspaper for used small deep freezer? New a smaller GE cost around $200, so maybe you'll find a deal for around $100-$130, even less. Check craigslist and freecycle.
Ask around reptile and snake forums, they'll know who has bad stock/good stock and if the supplier has decent customer service.
inquiring minds want to know.. what is about to hatch??
I got a good size freezer on sale for about 200
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
inquiring minds want to know.. what is about to hatch??
With luck, golden geckos

I have one cupped off on the glass that should be due anytime from June 6th - 12th. And two more the female glued to one of the branches in the cage that should be early July.

And yes, I will be keeping them all.
post #12 of 15
I understand completely what your talking about. I currently get my mice for very cheap since I work at a pet store. I won't be working anymore after next weekend, which means I'll have to pay $3.50 for each mouse, $7.00 for a hamster, or $10 for a gerbil. My snake eats 2 mice a week(or 1 hamster or gerbil) so it's going to get very expensive. I also don't feed frozen, only pre-killed so I couldn't buy in bulk.
I tried breeding, and it costs way more than it does it buy from a petshop. You need the costs of the cages(one for your females which arn't pregnant, one for each male, and one for each pregnant female) You also need food, which can be quite costly, as well as shavings, assesories, and alot of space. You would need alot of mice to accomadate your snakes feeding needs.
It would most likely be much cheaper to order online, or buy frozen from a petshop.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
With luck, golden geckos

I have one cupped off on the glass that should be due anytime from June 6th - 12th. And two more the female glued to one of the branches in the cage that should be early July.

And yes, I will be keeping them all.
slight hyjack ///

awww /// but why keep all of them???
post #14 of 15
Ahhhhhhhhh! Run mice! Run!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
slight hyjack ///

awww /// but why keep all of them???
Because I would never put an animal in a pet store knowing what can happen to them there. These are MY babies, I'm responsible for them. Were I to find proper homes around here (unlikely), I would part with them.
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