Rodents are a staple part in the diets of many pet reptiles. Most pet owners choose to use frozen mice and rats because they’re more affordable, more convenient, and a much safer way to feed a pet lizard or snake than using live mice and rats. However, when it comes time for feeding, you can’t feed your reptile a rodent popsicle, you’ll need to prepare it first by way of thawing. This easy guide for thawing frozen rodents will make feeding time a breeze.
Tips for Properly Thawing a Frozen Rodent
The larger the rodent, the more time it will require to thaw. If you aren’t short on time, the easiest and most hands-off method is to simply put the rodent in a bag and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. This is ideal if you don’t need it until the next day.
If you need to thaw a rodent fast, put the rodent in a bag, place that bag in a bowl, run cold water over it, and allow it to sit out for a while. This method might take up to an hour. While it might seem tempting to use warm or hot water to speed up the process, doing so could jeopardize the state of the food and cause it to spoil. On a similar note, never use a microwave to heat up a rodent. This will cook the mice unevenly (it can also explode, not pleasant), and likely make it too hot for your reptile to safely consume.
Once the rodent has been defrosted (or if it’s still considerably icy after 30 minutes), let it sit in warm water for about 10-20 minutes while still in the bag. The warmth makes it more appealing by imitating the warmth of a freshly-killed meal. For picky reptiles, some herpers recommend dipping the rodent in chicken broth to give it an enticing smell.
It’s important to feed it to your pet quickly to prevent it from spoiling. If you notice that it smells bad or off immediately after defrosting, it’s best to simply throw it away rather than risking your reptile getting sick.
Why Do You Have To Defrost Rodents?
If you are introducing frozen pre-killed mice to your pet for the first time, it’s imperative to do this the right way in order to train them to accept food in an unnatural state. This process is important for health reasons as well. With reptiles being cold-blooded, trying to digest cold food can interfere with digestion and potentially cause a host of issues.
Why Use Frozen Rodents
The key to keeping a happy and healthy pet reptile is keeping them well-fed. The easiest and most affordable way to do that is with frozen rodents; they keep for months and don’t take long to prepare.
Pre-killed mice and rats also keep your pet healthier by preventing your snake or lizard from the potential injuries a live rodent could cause. You can find frozen rodents for sale in a variety of sizes (Pinkies, Fuzzies, Pups, Weaned, and Small) to accommodate snakes and lizards of various sizes and at different stages of growth.