Temp of food for pythons

Lowrider

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Hi I just brought a hand held heat gun to check on my tank temps, has anyone or do you check the temp of a defrosted rat/mouse ect before you offer your snake the food and if so what's the correct temp for the snake to be inclined to take it ? Just thought my new toy might come in handy for doing this aswell.

Thanks for any advice
 

Pythonguy1

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Hi I just brought a hand held heat gun to check on my tank temps, has anyone or do you check the temp of a defrosted rat/mouse ect before you offer your snake the food and if so what's the correct temp for the snake to be inclined to take it ? Just thought my new toy might come in handy for doing this aswell.

Thanks for any advice
Definitely a good idea to have a heat gun on hand ?
Checking the rat temperature: Not something I'd bother doing if all my snakes are eating well, I've offered cold rats, warm rats, in between rats and the result has always been the same, but it's a good idea anyway as it stimulates a live body temperature and makes the rat more enticing. Anywhere around 35c is probably what I'd be looking for. To achieve this, defrost them in hot (but not boiling) water. That way they are getting good fluid intake as well ;)
 

Licespray

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I’ve seen plenty of snakes that take warm or cold, and a friends rough scale holds the rat for over an hour before eating - well and truly room temp by then.
 

Herpetology

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I run hot tap water over my defrosted food for 10 seconds then feed right after
 

Harpo

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Yes, I like to check the temps of heaps of stuff, it's a thing my son and I do more than once daily, not just on snake stuff either.

I do check my prey before feeding, and usually go for about 38c, (all - rat mouse quail) and I've noticed they cool pretty fast too, btw, as they would when the snake "kills" it, I suppose.
I only bother warming prey well to try to appeal to the heat receptors in the snakes' face.
I don't do the wet feeds very often, sometimes it happens anyway - in the waterdish, pretty cool to watch.
 

Sdaji

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Pythons generally definitely prefer warm (not hot) feed, around 35 degrees is good. Much above 40 and some will immediately release, others will aggressively bite down and constrict even if they're being burned. Most good feeders will eat cold feed, and if you're just feeding a few you may not notice a difference, but if you do feed runs of hundreds of snakes you'll definitely notice the difference between a bucket of cool rats and a bucket of warm rats, especially with finicky feeders.

I generally defrost in hot tap water and use the analog thermometer permanently attached to the end of my right arm to measure that the temperature is correct.
 

GBWhite

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Personally I've never owned or used a heat gun since first keeping snakes over 55 years ago and don't intend to do so in the near or distant future. I understand that some find them useful and handy but I don't see a need for them so long as all husbandry requirements for each species kept are met and maintained.

Pythons do not rely solely on infrared heat signatures to identify prey items. It only plays a small part in the identification and detection of same. In fact the two pythons of the Aspidites genus (Woma and Black Headed) do not even possess labial pits. All pythons primarily rely on their sense of smell and to a certain extend, dependent of the time of day and species, their eye sight. So theoretically, given that most if not all keepers either offer the food item using tongs or similar or simply place the food item in the enclosure for the snake to find and consume of its own accord then, provided all husbandry requirements are met and the python has the means and opportunity to heat up and reach its desired body temperature there should be no concern regarding the temperature of the food item when it comes to captive snakes.

The labial heat sensing pits in pythons do assist in locating prey. They are active 24/7 and are used mainly to detect infrared radiation signatures given off by prospective warm blooded prey during periods when actively searching out prey or alert them to the presence of prey when using a sit and wait strategy. They are most effective at night when the surrounding air and surface temperatures are significantly lower than the prey item itself. Studies undertaken appear to indicate that these attributes are only effective for up to around a metre in boids (pythons & boas) and allow the snake to "see" their prey in varying tones of heat to determine the size of the prospective prey item as well as assist in judging the strike distance. During daytime hours they generally rely on their sense of smell to detect and identify prey and use the infrared radiation signals to again assist in judging the size of a potential prey item as well as the strike distance.

They also use their heat sensing pits to locate areas of lower temperatures when they want to cool off to thermoregulate.
 
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