Live Food = No Sale

Many do. And almost all share on their listing what kind of food they feed.

You could have gotten unlucky and gotten that rare individual that just won’t switch. You might have not been experienced enough at the time to know the right tricks to try to switch them over. Either way to expect all breeders to change their operation for someone who can’t bear to feed live is…well they’re not gonna do that and frankly I don’t blame them.

the first or second question you should ask 100% of the time is what are they eating, have they taken f/t yet, etc. I don’t have a “problem” with feeding live other than I don’t want a live rat in my apartment so I always double check. I feel what you’re saying…and you had a bad experience so maybe you just had that difficult individual but I think it’s our responsibility as buyers to ask the right questions especially before investing a lot of money.


While I can understand when breeder hatch 200, 500 or a 1000 babies or more each year, it’s just not practical or feasible. I can tell you most breeders have no issue selling their animals despite that.

There are however breeders selling animals that are already on F/T and some that will switch them to F/T for example if the animal is on a payment plan, however unless the animal has ate 5 f/t meals don’t consider it switched (that is the minimum I require to consider an animal switched)

Finally there is also never any guarantee, even an animal that feeds F/T might at some point in the course of its life need to be fed Live. They are predators and any one buying a snake should be willing and ready to feed live.


I’m one who feeds primarily PK and occasionally supplements with FT. I won’t feed live unless the animal won’t/hasn’t transitioned and if that’s the case, I usually won’t even list them for sale. I’m not a big breeder, so that might be part of the difference. I’m also an experienced keeper who’s learned the tricks and I’d hate to send one of my babies off to somebody who is unprepared to give them the care (i.e. food type) they might need.


I prefer to have my babies switched over to f/t before they are sold, but if they are feeding consistently on live, I will offer them for sale but just make sure the buyer knows what they are feeding on. I also strongly prefer to buy animals that are on f/t, but at the very least I’d like to know what they are on, so I appreciate it when the seller indicates prey preference in the ad.


I breed my own feeders so I always feed live. When you have a lot of hatchlings it would be very time consuming to switch them all over. I work a full time job and maintain a decent sized collection it’s just not feasible for me to switch hatchlings over. I never have any problems selling everything I produce.


9 posts were split to a new topic: Switching snakes from live

Not necessary. Like @saleengrinch said, if you breed your own feeders you get a bunch of pinkies every now and then and they come in numbers like 10 at times or so. So if you have a big clutch with 10 hatchlings and 5 - 6 feeder females pregnant 4 - 5 days apart, you get new pinkies as it goes. Add a few more females and you can easily cover adult snakes as well. In such a condition, why to bother prekilling or freezing and then thawing 3g pinkies every 3 days if you can just put them in front of babies just like that? They don’t have teeth to bite yet so there’s not a problem with safety. I breed my own mice as well (so far got only 2 snakes under half a kilo so it’s just fine) and i’m planning to upgrade to african rats but it works the same, basicaly. Plus, as long as hatchlings are sold with info they feed life i don’t see an issue with that. No one is pushing anybody to buy them, it’s personal and informed choice to take that snake. Or not.


I started out with roughly 14 ball pythons, all under 200 grams, feeding frozen/thawed. How many reliably ate over the course of the spring? 3. I had a couple of snakes dropping weight. I made the switch to live and all but 1 ate, and once I assist fed, she began eating and gaining weight. Now I feed my collection of 18 all live. I have 2 or 3 that will skip a week here or there, and 1 that fasted most of the winter but just took an ASF. Live isn’t for everyone, but for me, I want these snakes to grow and maintain weight. So I bit the bullet and began breeding my own rats. I do not delight in the taking of life, (I’m vegetarian actually) but whether fed live or f/t, rat’s gonna die. It was an easy choice for me, but I can respect your view and choice to do differently. Just try to ask as many questions as you need, and if you don’t get answers, perhaps give your business to someone that 1. effectively communicates and 2. has established f/t feeders. Best of luck in the future!


A little reminder the original topic which is about PREY TYPE impact on SALES and not how or if an animal can get switched.

Therefore the thread has now been split.

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It’s a dead topic then, seems no one has experienced difficulty selling animals because they were fed live.


6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Switching snakes from live

If you arent willing to sacrfice the occasional live prey item then maybe you shouldnt own a predator. Not every snake will take frozen, and some of us cant afford to buy frozen at 5 to 30 bucks or more a pop, depending on prey item type, size, and where its purchased, for our LARGE snakes. Not to mention when breeding your own mice, rats, rabbits, etc is much cheaper, 10 to 20 live prey items every couple weeks or so like clock work for practically FREE just makes more sense.

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5 or 10 bucks?! My small rats are $1.75 I’m glad mediums are as big as I’ll have to go!

But you’re right ik if your collection grows you hit that point where it’s pretty much unavoidable. Not looking forward to weekly rat cleanings lol :stuck_out_tongue:

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Here is a link to a place you can order rodents for cheap.
I only live 20 minutes from these guys so I can just pick some up whenever I need em.

Same ARS Rocks :slight_smile: one trip every couple months over lunch break. Not as cost effective if you were buying small quantities and paying the extra shipping but I’m so glad we are so close to them

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I feel that people who are absolutely, 100% opposed to feeding live prey, should not plan on breeding snakes. You might be able to get away with feeding F/T 100% of the time with a non-breeding collection of a handful of animals, but that is not going to work once you have entire clutches of babies to feed. It’s an unrealistic expectation and it’s frankly irresponsible.


This is :poop: logic. People can own dogs and cats with the convenience that comes with feeding them but involve a snake and someone loses their mind. It’s silly. It fits right along with “If you aren’t willing to kill a cow with your teeth you shouldn’t be allowed to order beef” or other silliness. It’s just bad.

This is good logic. :slight_smile:

This is true. Although I feed FT exclusively, my hatchlings get live until they take FT which has happened as early as their second feeding and usually by their third.

Very true.

I will not buy an older snake who is on live food since I’ve had more trouble with them than new babies. As silly as it seems I don’t have the time to work with a snake that won’t just take their f/t meal right then and there. Course I know when it comes to breeding its gonna be a different story, I’ll have to make time for the hatchlings, but for right now I need snakes that will just eat for me.

As for someone else’s comment on not being able to breed unless you have live prey ready to go, gotta call bunk on that. I have two breeders I know of, one of them a good friend of mine, who feed f/t either right away or within one or two feedings. And my good friend had 8 clutches this year (not a lot by some standards but still) using only f/t to feed.

I plan on feeding only f/t to my own eventual clutches. If I can’t handle the cost then I simply won’t breed as seriously as some. There is no reason why a snake HAS to get live other than convenience of the breeder. Heck even pre killed could be done in that case. I can understand a baby needing a bit of help understanding what food is, but then to continue is again… Convenience. Which is fine.

Just know that for some purchasers being on f/t ahead of time does change if they want to buy or not.