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Best way to stun/kill feeder rats?

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by sassysmama, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. sassysmama

    sassysmama Arachnosquire

    Ok, so I am trying to find out an easy and humane way to incapacitate feeders. I will never feed live because of the risk to the snake. My biggest problem is that I can't hold them by the tail and hit their heads on the ground, or any other object. I don't know what my problem is, but I just never hit them hard enough and I ALWAYS get bit. Seriously, I've been bitten like 12 times trying to do that. I can't hit them over the head with anything else, either, for the same reason, I just can't seem to hit them hard enough. Mice, I can do, but the rats you have to hit really hard and it just never works.
    So, how do I do it? I have heard that you can grab them by the neck and push down and seperate their vertabrae, but again, sounds like a lot of force and I'm also very nervous around rats now, because I've been bitten so much. I have to feed like 4 large rats a week and it's becoming a huge problem. I've also heard that you can drown them, and it only takes about thirty seconds, but isn't that kind of cruel? Any advice on a humane way that will also leave all my fingers intact would be so helpful.

    Also, I don't want to cause any controversy with this. I don't hate rats, I want to be as humane as possible with them, but these feeders are not like cuddly little pets. They are not used to human contact, they kick frantically and will climb their tails and bite anything that they can get ahold of. The last time I got bit it severed a tendon in my finger and you could see the bone. I feel bad for the rats, but hey, I don't want to get hurt. And I won't feed frozen/thawed. It's a really long story, but no, I absolutely won't do it. I know many people don't agree, but I've honestly tried all other options and this is where I am at.
  2. dtknow

    dtknow Arachnoking Old Timer

    It works with a rabbit...but unless someone here says no I'd bet it would work on a large rat.

    Get a firm grip on the head(rabbit much easier as you can get the ears), grab the legs/hindquarters. Bend the head up and at the same time jerk the hindquarters back and upward. As for bites...maybe garden gloves will help.
  3. Mushroom Spore

    Mushroom Spore Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Do you mean you won't kill them in the freezer (which I agree is inhumane), or that you are against prey that has been killed by other means and then frozen for storage? Because IMO letting a professional dealer humanely euth them with gas is a lot better for the rodents *and* your hands.
  4. omni

    omni Arachnoknight

    I use mice for feeders and it's easy to whack em dead or stunned, but I'm going to have to start a rat colony for my Burm so I'm thinking about a CO2 setup to put them down. Yeah, they are tougher, and F/T at the petstores is $4+. I think that's the preferred method for euthanasia. You might have around 50 bucks in the setup, but A small tank would last you a few months if your only needing 4/wk.
  5. Diggy415

    Diggy415 Arachnoknight

    i have been raising feeders for years, if it's pinks they go straight in the freezer, any large rats, take by the base of the tail and whack on a sharp edge, hitting and breaking the neck. there's no reason to get bit, as you are no where near the head during this time, that's on you. With weaned rats i place them on the floor holding their tail and use the back of a butter knife and press their neck down, done.
    Good luck,
  6. ZooRex

    ZooRex Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Omni beat me to it. CO2 is the way to go, thats how most (if not all) large distributers do it. I never thought to build one, all my room is for my reptiles. But if I ever need to start rasing my own rodents like roaches, I'll deifinatly build a chamber. Its simple humane and you are not in contact to be bitten. Just a few minutes and they go to sleep. Good Luck ~ Rex
  7. kingfarvito

    kingfarvito Arachnoknight

    CO2 is equal to drowning IMHO CO and this are the ways to go
    [YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/n85RK12Meu8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/n85RK12Meu8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]
  8. xchondrox

    xchondrox Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I agree co2 is the best way to go for larger scale rodent breeders.
    For the common hobbiest thats raising rats to feed afew snakes, co2 would be a good option if you are killing quite afew at a time. If your planning on using co2 to kill 2 or 3 rats at a time thats a waste of time/money in my opinion, just figure out why your wackin' them wrong and correct it;)
  9. kingfarvito

    kingfarvito Arachnoknight

    CO2 is in humane and is equal to drowning
  10. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Arachnobaron

    This thread is hilarious.

    They seriously have little mouse gas chambers? Anyone have a link to a video or pic of the setup? It sounds expensive, and my first guess would be that they just say that so people don't have to feel bad about how their pet food dies.

    I couldn't own a pet that couldn't kill its own food, I don't think I could get used to whacking mammals on a wall multiple times a week. I have respect for you snake guys...
  11. snakemaster1

    snakemaster1 Arachnosquire

    The main way that is humane to kill rats is either by using co2 but that is only feasibile if you are doing hundreds. Or you can do cervical dislocation you put a screwdriver across the rats neck (horizontal to the vertical rat) and press down firmly keeping the rat from squirming and pull at the base of the rats tail this will separate the spinal column and the rat dies in seconds works on mice as well .
  12. kingfarvito

    kingfarvito Arachnoknight

    All of you that think CO2 is humane go put some vinegar and baking soda in a bottle and breath the gas or shake up a half full soda bottle and then breath from it. CO (carbon monoxide) is the gas that makes you fall asleep it gets absorbed the same as oxygen while CO2 (carbon dioxide) gives an effect simalar to drowning
  13. JohnEDove

    JohnEDove Arachnoknight

    Wrote this a long time ago and it is what I still use. Works just as quickly and effectively as those high dollar set ups.

    CO2 Chamber for Dummies
    written by the king of dummies
    John E Dove

    1. Get one of those tall plastic 5 – 7 gallon buckets, the type with the removable lid. The one I use is about 18 inches high and contained motor oil at one time.

    2. Slit the provided slots around the sides of the lid so you can take the lid off and wash out the interior of the bucket.

    3. Now get a 39oz Coffee can also with a plastic lid.

    4. Place the coffee can on top of the plastic bucket lid and draw a circle around the coffee can on the plastic lid.

    5. With a very sharp knife cut out the marked circle. You will want the coffee can to fit fairly tight into this hole so cut on the inside of the circle line you have drawn. You can always trim it larger if needed but you cannot put the plastic back once you have cut it away.

    6. Drill two holes just large enough to screw in a sheet metal screw about 1 inch down from the top of the can in opposite sides in the coffee can.

    7. Drill large holes in the side coffee can about 3 inches down from the top all the way around. This will be where the gas escapes into the chamber. I made my holes ½ inch in diameter and spaced them one inch apart.

    8. Insert two sheet metal screws ½ way into the pre drilled holes 1 inch from the top of the coffee can.

    9. Insert the coffee can into the hole made for it in the plastic bucket lid until the screws come into contact with the plastic lid.

    10. Get some dry ice.

    11. Line the bottom of the bucket with some paper towels to absorb any urine the rodents will leave when they are dieing.

    12. Put rodents in the bucket.

    13. Place plastic lid, with the coffee can inserted, on the bucket.

    14. Pour about ½ - 1 cup of water into the coffee can. I am not sure if this is needed but it hastens the CO2 reaction.

    15. With a pair of tongs place about ¼ - ½ pound of dry ice in the water in the can.

    16. Place the lid on the coffee can and wait.

    Give it till the dry ice is gone or 10 minutes whichever is greater and the rodents will be dead.
    It actually takes about 5 minutes for a large rat to die but they lose consciousness much sooner. For some reason the younger the rat the longer it takes but don’t ask me why.
  14. JohnEDove

    JohnEDove Arachnoknight

    The CO2 chamber method is the only humane way to kill feeder rodents according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you are not willing to accept their scientific study on the subject ..........
  15. kingfarvito

    kingfarvito Arachnoknight

    go breath some CO2
  16. sick4x4

    sick4x4 Arachnoprince

    i think dark hit it one the head, literally........
  17. Mushroom Spore

    Mushroom Spore Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Stupid off-topic nitpick: it's BREATHE. You have breath in your lungs, but as a verb it's *breathe*.

    Also I am more inclined to go with the scientific and medical knowledge of the American Veterinary Medical Association over some random screenname on the internet, myself. dark_abyss0, you're just making yourself look foolish by insisting people should go poison themselves for disagreeing with you.

    It's quite legit, and they really do it that way.

    It's not that they CAN'T, it's that their food has teeth and really, really wants to live. Once in a while, the prey does some damage, and you can lose your pet - even deer probably maim a wolf in self-defense on occasion. I'm fond of my python, had him for years, and would rather not see his skull ripped open by a panicked rat.

    Also prey that's been frozen is generally more convenient (meat in your freezer doesn't have to be housed or fed or cleaned up after), and being frozen for a time helps kill off any diseases or parasites. And it's cheaper. I'd be lying if I said those didn't also help my decision-making. :D
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  18. kingfarvito

    kingfarvito Arachnoknight

    thank you for correcting me :)

    and im not trying to get people to poison themselves I'm saying if you go take a breath of CO2 you'll realize that its a cruel way to kill feeders.I wonder how many of the American Veterinary Medical Association have tried breathing CO2? the experience is simalar to drowning
  19. sassysmama

    sassysmama Arachnosquire

    My biggest question I guess needs to be, where do I get feeder rats that behave like the one in the youtube video that was posted? If my rats were like that, it'd be fine. But they kick frantically and they squeal as soon as you touch them, and when you hold the tail, they IMMEDIATELY turn or climb up and bite. There is no way I would ever let one walk on my arm. There is something about watching an animal bite you, tear off a chunk of flesh, and then start eating it that is very disconcerting.
    When I said frozen/thawed, I meant the ones you buy. I have tried 10 different sources, including online companies, and I have never had any luck. My snakes either refuse to eat them or they regurg. I am 100% positive that it is not the temp. I have used a temp probe to check internal temps, they are totally fine. I am doing it exactly like all the experts say to, but they still regurg. I have even spoken to vets about it. All I can say is, it perplexes me as well. But I can honestly say I have dumped about $500 into trying to make the frozen/thawed thing work, and all I ended up with was three skinny snakes, one who later died. Although I have no proof that it was from that, I will not be trying again. So, if the frozen feeders work for you, awesome. Don't mess with what works.
    My question the people who suggested CO2 is: is there any chance the CO2 will harm the snake? I am curious as to if that was the problem with the ones I got that were pre-frozen.
    I am currently looking into finding a pet store that has excess "pet" quality rats like the hairless and dumbos, that they will sell as feeders. They are much more tolerant of handling. That and I guess I will practice whacking things on the head.;P
  20. :shame: We don't have to try it ourselves, we just observe what happens to the prey items. Believe me, rodents SCREECH very loudly in pain. The AVMA has the highest standards out there. Don't second guess them.
    I would just bop them harder. Or dare I say it, strongly and I stress strongly supervise a live feeding. Sorry I don't know much about CO2's effect on snakes. I wouldn't try it without freezing first though. You heat water in a bowl and then put the rodents in and wait a while, right? Not microwave the rodents?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008