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Feeders Any and all issues about raising rats, mice, or anything else that you feed your cornsnakes.

Are Gerbils Good For Snake Food?
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
SnakeKiss247
Are Gerbils Good For Snake Food?

Just wondering if anyone has bred gerbils for snake food and if they as nutritious?

Still pondering on whether to breed mice or rats for the snakes.... what about gerbils?

Saw some of those African rats at the pet store the other day.... What about breeding them?

If I decide to build a snake rack, I will have lots of aquariums to use for breeding food for my babies... I have three snakes right now, two Corns- one adult and one baby, plus a baby Ball Python. It's not bad now as I purchase the snake food at the store where I work and I get a discount. Not much, but it helps.

What all do you feed your rats and mice? Wouldn't it be that the better the food, the better food your mice or rat will be for your snakes?

How long does it take for a mouse or rat to grow to be the proper size to feed an adult Corn or BP?
 
Old 05-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
whippet
Just wondering if anyone has bred gerbils for snake food and if they as nutritious?

I am sure they are...but gerbils are pets not food in my book! Plus they don't breed as fast as mice/rats.


Saw some of those African rats at the pet store the other day.... What about breeding them?

From what I hear they are nasty biters.
And the last thing I will mention about it, I personally would worry about getting a snake "addicted" to a harder to find rodent. It might be an urban legend...but it's not worth the risk to me.
Plus I could never personally kill the babies. Plenty do, but not me!


I have three snakes right now, two Corns- one adult and one baby, plus a baby Ball Python.

If you only have three snakes...why not just buy mice/rats frozen in bulk by mail? It's cheap and easy!
 
Old 05-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
smallet
TARA: Not as many places in Canada to buy in bulk. Although there are some (not as cheap as in the US though).

I have read that gerbils are a closer relation to what Ball Pythons eat than mice are. But at least in Alberta they are technically an illegal species. And yes I know you can find them in pet stores here. But if you look at the government site in Alberta you will find them listed. I am not sure about the law in New Brunswick as it is different from province to province.

If you want I can pm you a list of places where you can buy feeders in bulk though, that ship.
 
Old 05-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
knox
If Gerbils bred like mice and rats, they would theoretically be the perfect feeder for the simple fact that they have almost no odor at all.

Alas, they don't. And pinky Gerbs are probably too large for newly hatched Corns.

GREAT pets, by the way.
 
Old 05-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
MysticExotics
Overall, I don't think gerbils are a good choice for feeder breeders.
IMO, the amount of time put into it, the odor, etc is really only worth doing if you have a lot of snakes to feed.
If you only have a few, buying in bulk is the way to go.
Anytime you branch out to gerbils, african rats, etc, you take a chance that your snake could end up refusing to ever eat mice again, & then you're stuck, trying to supply food with something that is not as readily available as mice are.
 
Old 05-05-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
SnakeKiss247
I am not really worried about the mice, it's the rats that is so expensive here. Two FT rats are close to $10.00. With that being said, it would end up costing upwards of $20 a month if I went with adult rats for Monica (BP) and fed her one weekly. Would it cost me that much to feed rats each month? I can get 4 adult mice for about $4.78 (including tax and with my discount) at the store. So, assuming I am feeding my snakes one mouse or one rat a week, it would cost about $30 a month to feed them. I don't think it would cost me that much even for bedding or food.... What is the cheapest food to feed rats or mice?
 
Old 05-05-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
MysticExotics
The Bean Farm bag is 50lbs, so it would last you a long time. The Bean Farm is in WA state & does ship to Canada.
They carry bedding & all of the supplies you would need to start a small colony or two.
It will be a bit of an investment, but once you get things going, maintaining is fairly easy.

I don't know much about rats, but with the mice, you can get up to about 12 babies or more, from one female, & depending on what age you need to feed them at (pinky, fuzzy, adult, etc) you would need an extra grow-out bin for the babies, to get to adult size, after their weaned, possibly two grow out bins, if you want to separate the males & females & allow them to grow to full size, before euthanizing them to feed off.
 
Old 05-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
medusacoils
Gerbils can be used as food. They are just as nutritionally valuable as other feeder rodents with the exception of the fact that they do not have large litters. Be careful with feeding them though because some snakes will come to prefer them over mice. I have heard the term "desert rodent" used to describe them.

Wayne
 
Old 05-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
dan803
Expanding on the food imprinting issue, if you ever need to sell snakes then you will most likely run into trouble. Very few people will want to buy a snake if it is only feeding on gerbils. BPs especially, because they imprint more easily and gerbils are not something they will just shake. They have a distinct smell to them for the snake and unless you go through scenting (not guaranteed to work) to convert them, there's not much of a chance. I think you can pretty much forget about converting live gerbil only BPs in most cases.
 
Old 05-06-2011, 01:22 AM   #10
ShenziSixaxis
Putting my 2 cents in in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeKiss247 View Post
Just wondering if anyone has bred gerbils for snake food and if they as nutritious?
Still pondering on whether to breed mice or rats for the snakes.... what about gerbils?

I have no clue about the nutrition, but I believe they're a little lower on protein and a bit fattier than mice. They also don't breed nearly as fast, need to be able to burrow, and usually pair up (1 male, 1 female), rather than one male to a bunch of females.

Saw some of those African rats at the pet store the other day.... What about breeding them?

Don't get them! They're great feeders and breeders IF you can get them to grow up AND breed, but they are NASTY unless you get a line from a specific person who has a nice line. Just skip these... your fingers will thank you.

If you CAN get a nice line, expect large litters and low odor. They have an odor, but it's not a stink.


If I decide to build a snake rack, I will have lots of aquariums to use for breeding food for my babies... I have three snakes right now, two Corns- one adult and one baby, plus a baby Ball Python. It's not bad now as I purchase the snake food at the store where I work and I get a discount. Not much, but it helps.

Aquariums will work for mice and ASF rats, but not gerbils (I think), and not rats unless it's a big one.

What all do you feed your rats and mice? Wouldn't it be that the better the food, the better food your mice or rat will be for your snakes?

I posted this in the other thread you made.

How long does it take for a mouse or rat to grow to be the proper size to feed an adult Corn or BP?

Not sure about mice, but rats take about 2 months to get to small size, or smaller medium size (males are bigger than females), and three or so months to get to medium or smaller large size, but you shouldn't need to feed a BP large rats.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nwheather View Post
The Bean Farm bag is 50lbs, so it would last you a long time.
Now tell me just how costly it is to ship something 50 pounds...
 

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