Re freezing

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by dragondragon, Jan 3, 2014.

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  1. Senator358

    Senator358 Well-Known Member

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    Fact about the snakes digestion maybe but nothing to support the 100% assurance that re frozen rats will not harm a python. There are many factors to consider as I have already stated and won't again.
     
  2. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    Wow that is very interesting. Can I ask why you were unable to get rid of the worms for so long?
     
  3. Newhere

    Newhere Well-Known Member

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    This has mainly been about overnight defrosting but what about defrosting in warm water does that increase the amount of bacteria in the mice or rat? I only ask because I think if people use a different method to defrost then they might take Jamies advice and not realise the method they used was different to the situation being explained in this thread.
     
  4. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    Bacteria multiply over time so a faster defrosting method will result in less bacteria due to the less time to multiply.
     
  5. Newhere

    Newhere Well-Known Member

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    I'm not being rude here I just want to understand it a little bit better but that didn't make any sense to me andy. Could you explain it in more detail please.
     
  6. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I accidentally put faster instead of slower [MENTION=38452]Newhere[/MENTION] but have fixed it now.
     
  7. Newhere

    Newhere Well-Known Member

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    Ok so if someone defrosts in warm water and offers it to their snake and they don't take it would it be safe to just chuck it straight back in the freezer?
     
  8. RSPcrazy

    RSPcrazy Very Well-Known Member

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    Although this is going a little off topic for this thread, I'll answer this.

    Well at first, the worms were already well established by the time they were found, I was given worming tablets, but they didn't work, over the next couple of years I tried worming tablets multiple times and antibiotics with no success.
    I then just got use to having them and decided to just try to live with them, but 2 years ago I had enough and saw a doctor again, the doctors finally suggested something different, a "3 course antibiotic approach" (2 different types, but VERY strong antibiotics and a tablet to reduce my stomach acid content, taken together). The first time I tried it, it didn't work, the second time, they adjusted the antibiotics, but that still didn't work, all they did was make me excruciatingly sick. the doctors were stumped and didn't know what else to try.

    About 9-10 months ago, I decided to go see a naturopath, who simply put a bottle of "Rascal" (ingredients: pumpkin seeds, garlic, cramp bark, cayenne, thyme) in front of me and said, "take 4 capsules before every meal and the worms will be gone in no time", about a month later, the worms were all gone and my body started to very quickly recover. Now I'm here, worm free and feeling great.
     
  9. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    Wow what a goose some people can be haha :)

    This has been covered so many times. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see many other threads the same.
     
  10. CaptainRatbag

    CaptainRatbag Very Well-Known Member

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    Wow.... interesting thread self-distruct?

    I am fortunate to breed my own rodents, so my snakes eat fresh.... but what they dont eat, I freeze.... I dont know if that counts like re-freezing?

    I do know that any rodents anyone might not have eaten, my coastal Montgomery (Monty for short) will definately polish off the following morning.... I have threatened him that I will one day feed him as many as he can eat.... he will chug down 5 rats and a couple of mice and still look hungry..... it would be interesting to see if he does indeed have a limit?

    However, my opinion..... if a person thaws out a couple of rats (from pet shop at $16 each = $32) and the snake doesnt eat them.... should he/she throw out the 2 rodents? Then the next day, go and buy 2 more rats (another $32).... the snake doesnt eat them either..... throw them away as well? A few days later buy another couple of rats from the pet shop (another $32) and so on? So, what if you have 5 snakes? At petshop prices for rodents, it might cost you $500 per feed if you wont re-freeze any?

    I cant see many people doing this? I know most people dont buy pet shop rats, I know I couldnt afford it... but in the scenario I outlined.... it might become a necessity?

    I have had people who have bought rats from me tell me they have thawed them in microwave :shock: left the rodents in enclosures 'for days' but it finally got eaten :shock: and one guy said he just throws a frozen rodent in the enclosure and doesnt check.... but it is usually gone.... eventually :shock:..... so it would be interesting to find out if our snakes digestive systems are so fragile and delicate that they cant/shouldnt eat anything but the freshest, most pristine food....... or nothing?

    My lot seem to have cast iron cnstitutions..... I would happily refreeze, but personally only if the thawing was done quickly (warm water) offered..... rejected...... then bak in the freezer. I myself wouldnt refreeze a rodent that had been laying on an enclosure floor in 30 degree heat for 10 hours..... besides, Monty wouldnt let me ;)
     
  11. Senator, I've seen a snake bleed out and die from eating a fresh-killed rodent backwards, and the claws tore through the oesophagus as the rodent went down. NOTHING is 100% safe in this world, the only way to reduce risk to nil is to not feed your snake at all. I don't thaw my food animals overnight or by allowing them to come to room temperature, EVER, as this is absolutely the best way to massively increase the decay bacteria load, as Andy suggests. A quick thaw in hot water over a few minutes is far safer than a slow thaw and partial rot, which is basically what other means of slow thawing allow. If the food animals smell bad after 20 mins in hot/warm water, they were off before they were frozen.

    But as I've said already, you're absolutely free to say and do whatever you wish Senator... it's a free world.

    Having said that, many snakes occasionally eat their food animal backwards, without harm, ever. So DO NOT panic if your snake starts doing this once in a while - the chance of disaster is so rare that it's not worth worrying about.

    Jamie
     
  12. cwtiger

    cwtiger Active Member

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    I have been reading this thread each and everyday I have found it very interested and you make some very valid points Jamie I have found your comments to be very informative and I feel you are someone that someone could learn alot from Thankyou for sharing your knowledge and wealth. You have certainly opened my eyes and mind up to something I was told to never do. If you don't mind I would like to ask a couple of questions purely out of curiosity. Do you withhold feed for 24 hours before you cull/gas your rats I believe if a rat has an empty stomach then there is less a chance of bateria growning. With your refreezing do you only refreeze the once. Is the refrozen rat then fed to the same snake that refused the feed in the first place.

    From what I understand regarding human food not only the bacteria content of refreezing and as you pointed out our digestive system can't handle it but also the other reason they suggest that we don't refreeze is that food items once frozen loses some nutrictional value so therefore refreezing would mean it would lose more nutricitional value. Also with reading different things I believe that a freezer that runs at minus 18 degrees and belowaromic and non aromic bateria is killed off as it can't survive.

    I also breed my own rats gas, vacumm seal and snap freeze in my freezer. I then transfer the frozen rats to my rat freezer that runs at minus 25 degrees.

    Again Thankyou for a very interesting thread
     
  13. Thanks cw, I don't mind sharing my knowledge if I can addl a bit to a discussion, but my wealth... I wish my wealth was sufficient to share, but sadly...:(!

    Firstly, I wouldn't re-freeze more than once, and although I think offering food refused by one snake, to another snake has the potential to spread disease, I have not had any new acquisitions to my collection for 6-7 years now, so it's unlikely to be a problem for my animals.

    I certainly wouldn't withhold food for my feeder animals before killing them - there is absolutely no point in doing that. A full stomach won't make a scrap of difference to the decay potential of a rodent, except perhaps it's potential to bloat, but the gas is a natural part of the decay process anyway, and will cause no harm to your animal if it is fed during times of moderate temps. NEVER feed snakes during heatwaves such as we're experiencing now in southern Oz - the potential for regurgitation is far higher if the snake cannot thermoregulate properly, and their digestive systems can't keep pace with the rapid decay of the food animal in extreme temps. Not sure what you mean by "belowaromic" and "non aromic" bacteria - aerobic and anaerobic maybe?

    I think the bacteria "problem" is way too overemphasised by keepers who understand little about microbiology - don't know much about it myself, but I do know that we are keeping animals which eat whole animal food, which is inherently loaded with a vast range of bacteria, internal and external. Any efforts to reduce the supposedly damaging effects of those bacteria by making the changes you suggest to feeding regimes etc are totally pointless. Efficient killing, 20 mins to allow the bodies to cool, packing and freezing in single layers, and quick defrosting are by far the best ways to ensure a wholesome, healthy food supply for your animals. Vac packing is a good idea - it removes the air from the fur and allows a far quicker freeze, and the food stay fresher for far longer in the freezer because of the removal of surrounding oxygen.

    I have enough trouble bringing myself to kill rats which I have raised myself (I think rats are very nice, intelligent animals) without subjecting them to starvation for a day before killing them.

    Jamie
     
  14. cwtiger

    cwtiger Active Member

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    Thanks for your comments Jamie. I know what you mean regarding killing the rats. As I said was just a question in regards to with holding food to them. And feeding snakes with the heat wave didn't even cross my mind. My thermostats have been going crazy with over temp during the hot days. Just as a note you wealth that you have shared has taught me alot. I am sure that people can learn a great deal from you in regards to keeping snakes. In regards to the aromatic etc I forgot to put a space sorry. Sorry to keep asking you questions but in regars to the cross containmation I haven't added a new snake to my collection for about 4 years. In winter I have my snakes sometimes feed and sometimes not. I used to just throw the large to extra large rat away. If I were to say defrost one and I use the same methods as you for defrost and offer it to one snake if it doens't eat would you recommend that I could feed it to another snake? I have often considered giving the un eaten rat to another snake but have never actually done this.
     
  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Yes, it has been a fascinating discussion to read through. There have been a number of interesting points made on both sides and later clarification has given some of these validity. There has also been some straight out misinformation disseminated and some unqualified statements that are quite misleading.

    Firstly, active bacteria are killed by freezing, particularly when temperatures are well below zero. What enables bacteria (and fungi) to survive being frozen is that they form endospores. These are non-reproductive spores in which the cell is encapsulated in a desiccation-resistant capsule, while the chemical processes of the cell within are in a suspended state. These spores are designed to survive extreme conditions for survival and dispersal. So a frozen rat is going have a considerably reduced bacterial load compared to the equivalent before it is frozen.

    Food poisoning in humans results from bacterial activity in the food producing their waste products which are toxic to humans. The food has to be exposed to a source of bacteria and sitting at an appropriate temperature for sufficient time for the bacteria to grow and multiply. This is why it is mainly contracted from prepared dishes that have sat exposed to the air at temperatures not hot enough to kill bacteria. Re-freezing these foods reduces the bacterial load but does not reduce the toxins already present. To prevent this, food needs to be kept hot enough or cold enough to prevent bacterial activity. The fish shop does not throw out the fish and mussels etc that has not sold that day. Everything is kept on ice and put out again the next day. And that is for human consumption.

    It was initially believed that as a result of freezing the formation of ice crystals simply ruptured the cell membranes of micro-organisms. In addition to this the expansion of ice creates pressure which also was also thought to be a major destructive force on living cells. It now seems that a major reason for the death of many cells through freezing is due to the increased solute concentration resulting from removal of liquid water as ice.

    Skin does not become permeable to water as a result of freezing. The outer epidermis consists of stratified flattened dead epithelial cells that are highly keratinised and lack moisture. This makes skin in mammals is impervious to water.

    The intestinal tract is lined with a mucous producing layer that prevents self-digestion. This layer also prevents bacteria from entering the cells of the intestinal lining. Any perforation of the bowel is a very major issue as any bacteria present can enter the body, releasing their toxins into the body fluids, resulting in septicemia, which can be fatal.

    Senator
    ,

    There a number of statements that you made which trouble me...

    You state: “As far as food hygiene is concerned, yes, I am an expert as I'm good at my job.” And also: “Bacteria will only lay dormant when frozen and not die.” I would expect an expert to know and mention about endospores. Enforcing the procedures and requirements laid down by Safe Foods Australia in their “Guide to the Food Safety Standards” may well make you good at your job. Being proficient at what you do, however, does not make you an expert in food hygiene.

    The dictionary defines opinion as “Judgement or belief not founded on certainty or proof”. Draw your own conclusions as to the worth of expressed opinions.

    On several occasions you lament the lack of facts, yet when provided with a first-hand factual recount based on extensive on-going personal experience, you’re response is: “50+ years of experience, wow, all that means is that you're old.” The values promoting that response bring into question the worth of what you have to offer.

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2014
  16. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    First off pythons do eat dor animals, I have seen it.

    Secondly I do not re freeze. I deliberately do not feed the Spencer's and lacies until the next day after a feed. Why.... Monitor's gut flora is designed to process rotting meat among other things. Rather than waste, the monitors get a feed. If everything eats then I defrost their meal overnight and feed first thing the next morning (At 5am).

    This topic is one of those ones where there is a difference of opinion. You might be able to refreeze without incident it's just not my preference.
     
  17. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Blue: Mussels and fish not sold may stay chilled until the next day, but (correct me if I'm wrong) they're not refrozen, at least not legally. Not that there will be any more bacteria or their toxins if they are refrozen (there will be less if refrozen than if they were just kept cold overnight), but I'm pretty sure it's not legal to refreeze food then sell it. Yes, I'm sure it does happen and yes, I agree it's not dangerous.

    Skin can be damaged by freezing. Sure, completely dry skin which is not touched at between being frozen and completely thawed won't be, but realistically it often happens. An adult rat's skin is unlikely to be breached, but pinkies have very delicate, fine skin, thinner than some individual ice crystals. What also often happens is that when a pinky is partially defrosted it gets moved, and that can cause tears as the thawed skin separates from the frozen, or the thawed skin tears as it is moved against the frozen flesh beneath.

    As I'm sure we've all seen happen at least from time to time, especially in pinkies which have been stored frozen for a long time, even the first freezing very often results in freezer burn which breaches pinky skin before it has even been thawed the first time.

    Once the damage is there it becomes far more damaged the next time. Consider that even rock faces get damaged from being thawed and frozen. Like with rats, if they are dry there will be less (or no) damage, but if water is in little nooks and crannies it expands when it freezes which causes rips and tears (or rocks to split apart, or glass bottles to break, etc.). Animals often end up with moisture on them and always have moisture inside them. When it freezes it expands, which can obviously cause damage, including breaches to skin and internal membranes (think about the size of an ice crystal compared to the size of the internal organs of a pink mouse). Of course, once those breaches occur, the bacteria gets in once the rodent is thawed and begins multiplying and producing toxins. If it is refrozen the spores start out deeper the second time, and that can include underneath the skin or beyond the walls of the digestive system (which is rarely the case before the first freezing). I'm not fanatical about it and I'm not saying this means if you ever feed a refrozen rodent to a snake it will definitely get sick or die, I'm just responding to someone who is apparently a fellow pedant by correcting the corrections to the above.

    Scott: Pythons and other snakes eat roadkill, sure, I wouldn't think anyone would argue with that, but the fact that wild snakes do something doesn't make it safe. As you know, wild snakes often do all sorts of things which hurt and kill them, including taking chances with risky meals rather than going hungry. I assume they usually get away with eating roadkill and it isn't one of the riskier things they do, but I wouldn't be surprised if occasionally they run into trouble. It's almost impossible to confirm that they don't, unless someone manages to catch a large number of snakes immediately after eating roadkill and holding them all for observation.
     
  18. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    John,

    My comment re dor feeding was to confirm that they do eat dor animals. Early on in the thread it was stated that they do not.
     
  19. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    All good :) I'm surprised anyone would say they wouldn't.
     
  20. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    My apologies if my prattle was confusing, but this was not what I said.

    I agree that the skin on pinkies is thin and still developing but the physical damage you refer to is not due to ice crystals piercing the skin. Where surface moisture freezes them together, acting as an adhesive, physical movement is what does the damage. In the case of freezer burn, it is the sublimed water vapour escaping from the desiccated tissues underneath.

    The initial points I seem to have made a lousy job of stating are... Freezing reduces the bacterial load but a percentage do survive as endospores. Freezing does not reduce the toxins present. Bacterial activity is temperature dependent, reduced by particularly cold or hot temperatures.

    A few extra points... Bacteria have the potential to multiply exponentially under ideal conditions - so a population that is allowed to grow for twice as long could well be four times the size. Many vertebrate cells are physically damaged by the sharpness and pressure of ice crystal formation. In cells that are physically &/or chemically damaged or deprived of oxygen when they need it, chemical breakdown begins fairly rapidly and is a significant contributor to degeneration before any microbial activity takes place.

    From the thread, the choice between refreezing and ditching ultimately comes down to individual preference. The potential hazards of refreezing can vary from virtually zero to quite high, depending on the individual circumstances, both in the freezing, feeding and the animal being fed. Those who do refreeze should do so based on informed judgement based on assessment of the individual circumstances.

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2014
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