And now rodents vs day old chicks

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Joseph S.
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And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Joseph S. » January 25th, 2012, 10:30 am

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 011.x/full

Not sure if non university folk can open this or not.

Basically, aside from having somewhat less calcium(but still w excellent Ca:P ratio) their appears to be no significant difference nutritionally.

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justinm
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by justinm » January 25th, 2012, 10:31 am

I often feed chicks to add variety for my snakes. I've found that a stubborn feeding snake will take chicks as well. would like to see this article if you can email it or copy it here. I can't see it at work, but might be able to at home. Email me @ justin.michels at yahoo dot com

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Paul White » January 25th, 2012, 11:50 am

I use day old chicks pretty substantially--I don't feed them exclusively, but 50% or more of the time for my kings and texas rats and chinese king rats (once big enough). One weird thing I've noticed is that it takes a much larger snake to eat a chick than a rat of the same weight. I guess the body shape is more akward but they don't seem to be able to get them down.

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Kent VanSooy » January 25th, 2012, 12:20 pm

Joseph, THANKS for providing a link to peer-reviewed data - it's appreciated by this keeper! But I wasn't able to access the article through my ScienceDirect subscription...oh well.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by VICtort » January 27th, 2012, 1:55 am

http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/zoo/WholeP ... 2May29.pdf Rodents compared to chicks...see this link if you like me don't have access to the previously listed one. I have heard a lot of totally unsubstantiated nonsense about herp husbandry related nutrition...folks believe things with no evidence to support the belief...that perception is reality idea....? Anyway, I found chicks to be fairly high quality food item as listed in this analysis. I feed them extensively to my Indigos, which seem to be well disposed to taking various birds. Further, I give chicks to a large rosy boa, and day old quail to my L. zonata, who takes them with gusto. Also quail of various sizes to the Indigos. I am an advocate of dietary variety for captive reptiles, and chicks are one of the better and easiest sources. I would expect Pantherophis and Pituophis to really go for them...among others. I have heard folks say that a diet of chicks causes loose and messy defecations, but I have not found it to be a significant problem with indigos or the other snakes I have fed them to.

Chicks can be bought very cheaply, and if you can find a hatchery, often free or next to free...less than a nickel/each. Consider about 1/2 of all the egg laying replacement chicks are surplus "cockerels", and thus destined for euthanasia. I regard them as an important part of my Indigos diet...along with rodents, snakes, fish, frogs, pigeon fillets, etc. I think they could be utilized to a greater extent by keepers. I emphasize as part of a varied diet. I often heard (but saw no evidence to support...) that chicks fed exclusively could be a problem...but those rumors failed to provide any details, i.e. how often the snake was fed, was obesity the result, fatty liver, specifics of what was the issue, why specific to chick diet, etc.

I based my selection of prey in part on the analysis data listed, and in part on the results I have seen with my animals. Chicks are widely recognized as dietary staple with Drymarchon keepers. Another benefit is some snakes reluctant to take domestic rodents will often accept a chick, and often adapt to captive conditions and become chick and rodent feeders over time. A few hatchling indigos are reluctant to take rodents, but some will readily take chicks, or parts thereof. The same for some arboreal pythons and other starting on tiny birds etc.

For those of you who do have access to the link in the peer reviewed publication, how does the data compare to the link from usda? Does the data suggest as I have come to believe that chicks are pretty high quallity items comparing favorably with rats of comparable weight and size?

I like chicks!...and rats...and mice...and quail...and frogs...and fish...and snakes...etc.

Vic

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Joseph S.
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Joseph S. » January 27th, 2012, 10:51 am

Pretty much the same. The authors come to the conclusion their is no concrete rational for preferring rodents over chicks in almost all applications.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by mrhoyo » December 9th, 2013, 8:57 am

I appreciate this thread is old but i thought I'd search before starting a new one.
I now have just one snake, a carpet python, and he's been feeding almost exclusively on chicks for the last couple of years. As above, they're cheap (or should that be cheep? Ha) and aren't much different to rodents nutritionally. They're as big as a small rat and most snakes seem to take them.
Just wondering if anyone else uses them as feeders and, if so, what to?
I've read a lot about vertebrate prey diets for captive varanus but people seem to go for rodents over chicks. Rodents come in a greater range of sizes but I'm curious why reptile owners don't just chop chicks in to manageable pieces like raptor keepers do.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by ThomWild » December 9th, 2013, 10:16 am

Am I wrong to assume that what comes out of the snake is as big a reason as any for why more people don't use chicks?

-Thomas Wilder

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by mrhoyo » December 9th, 2013, 10:27 am

ThomWild wrote:Am I wrong to assume that what comes out of the snake is as big a reason as any for why more people don't use chicks?

-Thomas Wilder
Yes. There is no difference between my snake's stools now and when he exclusively ate rats. I think the reports about runny stools are more likely to be due to the change in food item than the item itself.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by ThomWild » December 9th, 2013, 10:52 am

mrhoyo wrote:
ThomWild wrote:Am I wrong to assume that what comes out of the snake is as big a reason as any for why more people don't use chicks?

-Thomas Wilder
Yes. There is no difference between my snake's stools now and when he exclusively ate rats. I think the reports about runny stools are more likely to be due to the change in food item than the item itself.
Just curious. I don't keep anything that is large enough for rats or chicks. I know with my fish and lizard eaters the smell is more pungent than with my rodent eaters.

-Thomas Wilder

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Jimi » December 9th, 2013, 11:16 am

I don't keep anything that is large enough for rats or chicks
Quail chicks are pretty tiny little things. Which can be attractive to some picky feeders, as can other kinds of birds. With WC snakes, or CBB ones someone else has raised, you never know what formative learning experiences they've had.

As an extreme, weird example - I was once, long long ago, given a WC adult male black timber rattler, from someone who'd gotten him in trade but didn't have the time to work with him (he was refusing food).

After a couple of frustrating and increasingly anxious months trying "the usuals" and then a variety of "sure thing" rodents (hamsters, dwarf hamsters, gerbils, DOR wild rodents, etc...) I offered him a dead seabird - a tern - I'd found washed up on the beach.

The snake ate it right away, no muss no fuss just "hell yeah!". Crazy. I was then able to get him onto FT chicks (chickens). He never took any rodents but that was OK by me. I gave him back to the guy who gifted him to me, with instructions.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Kelly Mc
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Kelly Mc » December 9th, 2013, 11:45 am

Avian chemistry could be more compatible in other ways. Especially to species that aren't mammal primary feeders. Remember there is more to food assimilation than your basic Protein Calcium Fat triad of perspective

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by VICtort » December 9th, 2013, 11:55 am

mrhoyo wrote:I appreciate this thread is old but i thought I'd search before starting a new one.
I now have just one snake, a carpet python, and he's been feeding almost exclusively on chicks for the last couple of years. As above, they're cheap (or should that be cheep? Ha) and aren't much different to rodents nutritionally. They're as big as a small rat and most snakes seem to take them.
Just wondering if anyone else uses them as feeders and, if so, what to?
I've read a lot about vertebrate prey diets for captive varanus but people seem to go for rodents over chicks. Rodents come in a greater range of sizes but I'm curious why reptile owners don't just chop chicks in to manageable pieces like raptor keepers do.
mrhoyo, some of us do exactly that. However, squeamish folks might be reluctant, but I have even used a blender on prey items. With neonate indigos, "blood & guts" will sometimes queue a recalcitrant feeder, they will take small parts after steadfast refusals of whole or live prey. Indigos once established are amongst the least discriminate feeders I know, and it may be deceptive to use them as a bench rule. I often use cut up prey that would otherwise be too large, i.e. pigeons, squirrels, rabbits, salmon, etc. I try to provide whole prey along with selected parts, in the event a snake can't eat the whole item even in parts... I think it would be nutritionally deficient over time to just feed muscle tissue for example.

I am guessing many snakes would do fine on a diet of chicks, but I advocate feeding a variety (in case my guess is wrong) and maybe to spice up captive life, variety covers a lot of bases.
Good luck, Vic

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Kelly Mc
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Kelly Mc » December 9th, 2013, 12:02 pm

When my mt king won't focus I melt a chip of raw poultry slurry that I have in the freezer and hewill eat it then. Especially if its a hopper or larger fuzzy instead of a pink. But I have always wanted to get some baby quail to try.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Kelly Mc » December 9th, 2013, 12:16 pm

I smear the slurry on the pinched open pelt of mouse snout or top of head, in case this is useful or becomes so to anyone out there someday.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by hellihooks » December 9th, 2013, 12:44 pm

I always used to feed pullets to my large snakes, and always heard that the higher calcium levels promoted faster growth... my Anaconda would eat like 50 at a time. one thing though... if they don't get eaten right away, and they're in the house... the non-stop 'Cheep cheep cheep' will drive you mad... MAD I SAY...MAAAADDDD :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Kelly Mc
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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by Kelly Mc » December 9th, 2013, 1:03 pm

Oh not me. I don't mind constant animal sounds unless they're dysphoric, like unhappy parrot rooms or dogs with separation anxiety. But traffic and restaurant clatter laugh dries out my marrow.

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by hellihooks » December 9th, 2013, 1:13 pm

there's a lot to be said for a cheap meal... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by tomharten » December 9th, 2013, 3:03 pm

hellihooks wrote:there's a lot to be said for a cheap meal... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: jim

When we were kids with and needed a cheap alternative to pet store mice and rats, we used to climb under the bridge near the local reservoir and collect pigeons chicks and sometimes eggs for our snakes. There were always a bunch of different sizes of young pigeons available and the snakes loved them!

Of course the thrill of shinnying out over the water on the bridge supports to reach the nests only added to the experience. Coming home smelling of pigeon crap, not so much...

Tom

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Re: And now rodents vs day old chicks

Post by BillMcGighan » December 9th, 2013, 6:23 pm

I used chicks exclusively during the ‘70s and early ‘80s on any colubrid large enough to swallow them (Rats, Kings, Western Hogs, indigos (in the ‘60s, etc.)) I had no growth or health problems (nor did my snakes.) :roll:

Back then, you could order day old cockerels from Sears or JCPenny, so they were easy and cheap to get wherever you lived.
My perception was that snake fecal smell was worse than those fed mice and rats, but that could be just that, a perception.


Today I use mice and rats mostly and I do keep a bag of hairless mice on hand for animals with digestion issues.




Jimi
Quail chicks are pretty tiny little things. Which can be attractive to some picky feeders, as can other kinds of birds.
Kelly
When my mt king won't focus I melt a chip of raw poultry slurry that I have in the freezer and hewill eat it then.
I agree with you both and I keep a bag of quail chicks on hand for animals that seem to be unexcited feeders. They are like “doggy treats”, and even a 6’ Gray Rat gets excited for a quail chick.



On another note, I chatted with a guy several years ago who fed free ranging chicks. He contended that the beta-carotene brought out the yellow orange spectrum in the snakes!

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