There are many differing opinions about how to feed snakes in captivity. At Snake Haus we avoid feeding live food at all costs. We have many many animals with scars from bite wounds due to live prey. In most cases live food is not needed. Watch many of our feeding videos here to see how we feed our snakes.
Above is the Snake Haus West food cart. We have a garbage on the lower level, the hot water container in the middle where the food is warming, and a table top where the feeding charts and tools are. This makes feeding 70 some odd large constrictors much faster and efficient.
We feed almost all of our animals in their enclosures for a couple of reasons:
1. This is less stressful for them because we don’t have to handle them on feeding day.
2. This is safer with the really large snakes.
Honestly you don’t want a 9 foot boa or a 15′ foot retic thinking about food when out in the open. Feeding in the enclosure ensures they are
locked up, and safely confined, when in feeding mode. This also means they will not really ever think to look for food outside of their enclosure. Can you imagine Marion (pictured here) in feeding mode out in the open?! Yikes!
Snakes have been given a unique skeleton to allow for an ability to eat food much larger than their mouth when closed. The joints of the jaw and skull are ligamentous rather than bony. This mean they can dislocate their jaw in several place to allow it to stretch. Nature’s purpose in giving them this ability is so they can eat a large meal quickly and then go back into hiding to digest in safety. During the process of swallowing a meal a snake is incredibly vulnerable so the faster they can get their food down the safer they are. Watch this video to see Lilith putting her face back in order after eating:
Here are several videos that show us feeding our snakes to give you examples of our technique.