Snakes eating chicken

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Tahliaaa, Jan 17, 2020.

?
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  2. No

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  1. Tahliaaa

    Tahliaaa New Member

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    I have been feeding my snakes (diamond python, coastal carpet and spotted python) chicken wings legs necks for over a year now. They never refuse. They shed every month and have grown rapidly.
     
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I've actually found they grow better (faster) on chicken drumsticks than rats. They digest the feeds more quickly too. The first feed or two can come out a bit sloppy which puts some keepers off, but within a few feeds they seem to digest them nicely. Like many people I used to assume that all the micronutrients in the organs were important and they needed to eat entire animals, but empirical evidence from the great laboratory of the real world has shown me otherwise. I still primarily use rodents for small snakes since it's a hassle to get calcium into them (I have run experiments using meat and rodent tails for smaller snakes but while the results are good and it's cheaper, it's far more hassle than it's worth).
     
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  3. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    Humans could survive exclusively on chicken drumsticks (or Maccas) and probably grow faster too but how healthy is it long term. Has anyone raised a snake on this diet for it's entire adult life without any supplements?
    I don't see the point when you can buy large rats for $5 (less than $100 a year for an adult python) or if you have a large collection breed them yourself. Are drumsticks with the equivalent weight of meat any cheaper?
     
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  4. Tahliaaa

    Tahliaaa New Member

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    I buy a pack of chicken wings contained around 20 wings for $6
     
  5. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Honey soy or sweet chilli? :D
     
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  6. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    Probably need 20 chicken wings to have as much meat as a big rat?
     
  7. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    I feed my pythons almost exclusively on bird type prey (chicken and quail), as that's what I breed. Although they will get the occasional rat or mouse thrown into the mix. All my pythons appear to be healthy with a gorgeous iridescent sheen to their skins. Their feces is relatively normal and not sloppy at all. I find they only tend to do loose stools when you're first putting them on to birds after being on a strict diet of mammals. It's the same for humans, in a way. We tend to have looser stools when trying new foods too.
     
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  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    As long as the human was eating the bone including the marrow, they actually might even do okay on the diet. Difficult to say. I'd say on an exclusive diet of McDonald's they'd have health issues. I'm sure they wouldn't grow faster on it though.

    It's a valid point to say we don't really know what would happen if you tried to keep a snake for 20 years on nothing but drumsticks, by virtue of the fact that we don't have sufficient empirical evidence either way. The empirical evidence we do have suggests that the diet is completely fine. I have raised snakes from their first feeds to adults on a diet of nothing but skin, bone and muscle (not chicken legs but the equivalent in other animals) and I was surprised at how well they did. There are cases of people keeping adults long term (around 10 years) on nothing but chicken bone/skin/meat, and I've never heard of any problems. Together, the evidence suggests to me that if anything the diet is actually superior, but definitely it's not conclusive. At some point I'll raise some snakes from hatchlings/newborns to adults on that diet exclusively and see how they go. Initially I only did the experiment for about 2 years (old enough for them to mature and breed), and then due to personal reasons I stopped. I had only expected the trial to last until I could detect some form of issue, which I expected to see within a few months.

    Just as a lack of evidence should prevent people at this stage saying it is a superior diet, it should prevent you from claiming it isn't. If we stuck to stubbornly doing the same things we've always done and never try anything new we will never advance. If we'd had this attitude before we'd never have tried making clothes or building shelters or using fire. Sure, at this stage it's still an experiment and anyone trying it should understand what they're doing and what they should be looking for.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jan 19, 2020, Original Post Date: Jan 19, 2020 ---
    Weight for weight, chicken wings have far more meat than rats. If you look at the amount of meat on whole rats (or lizards or sparrows or frogs or cats), it's very low. There's a lot of body fluids of little nutritional value, there is also a significant volume of literal $#!t in the guts which the snake needs to detoxify. If you are sufficiently curious, gut a rat. Remove the skin, remove the contents of the abdomen and thorax, look at what's left (basically the skeleton with the muscle) and you'll probably be surprised at how little is left. A chicken wing doesn't have intestines, coelomic fluid, etc. We buy it to eat because it's the good bit. It's literally like the bit of the rat you'd have left if you removed the fur and bits that aren't bone and meat, so obviously it has more meat.
     
  9. Licespray

    Licespray Not so new Member

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    Never tied chicken wings or legs, my woma (Ella) is still a bit small for that.

    But I don’t see why not? There’s a good chunk of bone in those bits, so there is calcium still. I give Ella a mix of rats, quail, and some nice when I can’t get the right size rats locally. A local place has frozen day old chickens. Not the same as wing or leg but I’ll probably get those when she’s a bit bigger. Adult mice are a decent mouthful at the moment. Keep it mixed up, should be decent?

    I see Sparrows mentioned above - we get plenty of them around town.. is this a viable option if they can be trapped and humanely dispatched or would they need to be trapped then treated for parasites (internal and external) first? Or would freezing solve that?
     
  10. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Freezing will kill parasites. Generally speaking it will kill viruses (viruses are not chemically stable). It's not likely to be relevant but there is some bacteria which freezing won't eliminate. Freezing won't destroy poisons. Generally speaking, feeding wild animals is safe as long as you freeze them first and use some common sense. Don't blame me if your common sense is lacking and you feed of a thawed animal full of poison etc ;) Back in the day, 20+ years ago, I routinely fed my pythons things like sparrows, pigeons and roadkill possums, always frozen first, never any problems. These days I'm more precious but you shouldn't have any problems, and I'd certainly trust wild animals more than the average commerial feed rat from a pet shop; I started a business farming feed rodents because I couldn't find a reliable supply of acceptable quality rodents.
     
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