Unpopular reptile keeping opinion

I’m sure everyone will just love this thread, but what are your reptile keeping unpopular opinions?

I’ll start it off , I don’t think feeding live mice (not rats) is inhumane or wrong. In fact live mice provide more nutrients / gut health bacteria which improves a snakes immune system. I have not had a snake get sick or die early with feeding live mice , nor has one got injured. It also gives the snake stimuli and helps with building muscle among other benefits. I think a good thread to read is : How and Why You Should Decorate Your Pet Snakes Enclosure – CustomReptileHabitats.com

Of course everyone’s opinion is different but let me know your unpopular opinion


Herps don’t make good pets for kids.
It seems pretty hypocritical of me to say as I am 14 and got my first reptile last year and am now up to 5 herps. But the thing is that I put in probably over 100 hours of research into blue tongue skinks before I got mine. I don’t know any other teenager let alone a little kid who is willing to do so much research. And a lot of the time kids will get bored of there pet in less than a week making the responsibility of it fall onto their parents who probably didn’t want it in the first place.


Thanks for the response , I would agree with that with the caveat kids can have reptiles as long as the parent is doing the work to maintain them or provide guidance and ensuring proper husbandry. Believe it or not I got my first reptile at age 3 - leopard gecko named Fredy who lived with me for 16 years.


We do a lot of education classes. And kids are always wanting their parents to get them a lizard or a snake. So we started telling the parents to make the kid fill out a complete care sheet from memory before getting them that animal.


In my biased opinion, I think certain herps make one of the best pets for kids! Simple fact is once you have knowledge of the husbandry, taking care of let’s say a corn snake is much less labor intensive and time consuming then any type of fur baby. Would be a good pet to start with for a kid rather then something that needs constant care, training, fed every day!:joy: good answer @logar
My unpopular herp advice(maybe not here) is using rack systems for some species of herps. People don’t understand not having a 8’ x 4’ exhibit quality enclosure for a adult ball python! They don’t understand that security and privacy are way more important then cage size to a lot of our pets, and we are not being cheap/cruel keeping them in bins! Nice question! @douglas8


Reptiles are the best pets for kids in my opinion but I think that most kids aren’t responsible enough to take care of another life. There are definitely some that are more than responsible to care for one though. @spottedbull That is an amazing idea to help kids out with getting a reptile while making sure the animals will be in good homes!

By saying that they aren’t good pets for kids I meant that they aren’t good for most. But then again, kids are usually pretty rough and a dog can handle a little more than a little leopard gecko can


So my unpopular reptile keeping opinion is that snakes should be fed in their own enclosures and not in separate tubs, regardless of whether you are feeding live or frozen thawed.

I feed my guys in their tubs and I have no problem with removing them any time I want on a non feeding day. Imho, this method of feeding doesn’t make a snake aggressive when you want to handle them.

As for feeding live versus frozen thawed, I prefer frozen thawed. I do think feeding live is inhumane for the feeder when frozen is mostly readily available. Why torture an innocent rodent literally to death if you don’t have to. In addition, a live feeder can do great harm to an innocent snake if that snake is not hungry and the feeding process is not monitored. And the snake is already “caged”, so no amount of cage sizing and enrichment, including live feeding once in a while is going to take the place of the snake living a natural life in the wild anyway. So what’s the point?

So here you go! Lol! Thank you @douglas8! :blush:


One of the main reasons we feed F/T is that its a lot easier to keep then in a ziplock bag in the freezer than care for live rats or mice.


Do you have a source or citation for this?


Yes that’s me too. Lots easier to go to the freezer than the pet store every week! :+1::blush:


I don’t know that I hold any truly “unpopular” opinions on reptile keeping. That said, I’m sure I have a few that not everyone agrees with.

I’m not a fan of feeding live as a general rule. I recognise that there are snakes who simply won’t accept f/t, and I don’t begrudge or judge their keepers for feeding live, but I do think f/t is preferable for many reasons, so long as the snake will actually eat it. I have an affinity for rodents and have had many pet rats over the years, so that has no doubt impacted my opinion on the subject. Let’s be honest, being grabbed and squeezed to death by a snake is a much more painful and traumatic death than being euthanized in a properly-constructed CO2 chamber. F/t rodents aren’t going to attack and injure your snake. And f/t is also just a lot more convenient, as storing your pets’ food stacked in the freezer is more efficient in both space and time than having to maintain live feeders (which is basically having additional pets on top of your pets). I don’t think people who choose to feed live are terrible people, it’s just not something I personally want to do (though I’d do it if I had to, and only if I had to).

I agree with @caron that feeding in separate containers is just silly and unnecessary in most cases. Feeding a reptile in their enclosure doesn’t make them more aggressive, and moving them somewhere else to feed them is just extra work and stress for human and snake alike.

That’s all that comes to mind at the moment. I’ll be back if I think of any others!


I definitely am not qualified to say for a fact , my bad on that lol but I do believe that live mice provide more benefit than frozen maybe it is minute , or maybe after a period of years it can be something measurable. Cooking shapes the structure and function of the gut microbiome - PMC
I do think the gut micro biome is different and that can affect the immune system, even if a little of it is “bad” it ultimately can make the snake stronger in the long run. That said I do feed my snake FT but I do want to get a live feeding in once a month or so. It would be so interesting for a scientist to chime in and analyze the micro biome of frozen vs live mice. I am loving the replies so far , I just wanted to stir up discussion because I think we can all always improve in different aspects


I agree on the racks! I’ve always used enclosures , Tobi will be moving into a 36x18x18 and I plan to get a 4x2x2 at the end of the year. Another opinion I have is that UVB is underrated and should be supplied for snakes.


I definitely agree! I’ve always fed in the cage/enclosure. You don’t want to use yr hands as it can associate hands=food which is not ideal. That said , a trigger can be used, I myself like to tap the tongs when it’s feeding time and eventually they know that tongs = food and not hands or opening the enclosure


UVB maybe for some snakes but those that dwell mainly underground, such as ball pythons, imo, don’t need it.

Btw, you started a great thread! :blush::snake::+1::pray::sunglasses:


I have a super hot take. (Because it’s so contentious and I’m in the minority in terms of opinion, I’d rather not extensively debate it on this thread, but feel free to start a new thread.)

I am a huge fan of hybridization, though I say that conditionally and not universally. It always piques my interest to see what animals can produce viable young, what those hybrids are like, and if they are all infertile/otherwise have fertility issues.

Just to quickly go over my thoughts:

  • All hybrids should be labeled as such through 3rd gen post-hybridization at the bare minimum
  • Dealing with keeping species populations 100% pure should be just like dealing with maintaining locale-specific strains, or reporting hets- a matter of reputation
  • The production of any hybrid generally accepted to be significantly less healthy or otherwise have a reduced quality of life should be frowned upon
  • If attempts to hybridize two species are clearly stressing either animal, the breeding attempt should stop.
  • I love observing hybridization in general for intellectual reasons

The four most unpopular ones I have:

You are over feeding your animals. Your animals are fat. Period. End of discussion

You do not have to breed your animals

The people with the huge followings on YouTube do not know more science than the actual scientists

Our ability to test for certain (most) diseases in the hobby has vastly outpaced our actual knowledge of the diseases themselves


I agree with this 100%. Hybrids have always been extremely interesting to me and have loved them ever since I learned what they are. It is actually a reason that reptiles started to become so interesting to me.

Also another unpopular opinion I have is that I love scaleless snakes. Some more than others but as long as they can live like any other snake than I am ok with it.


I agree with you ! I mean look at dogs for example , hybridization isn’t bad it may create some amazing animals! Of course one needs to be careful it’s not something an average breeder should attempt, I kno I couldn’t lol


Good points, I do 100% agree with the not needing to breed. No shade to anyone, but it seems some people in the hobby are only interested in what their animals can produce vs actually keeping them as a pet. Maybe I am wrong but that has been my perception