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Thread: "culling" lizards by feeding to snake?

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    Default "culling" lizards by feeding to snake?

    In the fish world, when you don't want to keep fish that may not live up to your breeding standards, you cull them. I don't know if there's such a word in the reptile world.

    In any event, I am going to begin the task of breeding pictus geckos and would like to know your opinions on culling the undesirable lizards by way of feeding them to a young dumerils boa?

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    Touchy subject. A lot would depend on what you mean by "not living up to breeding standards". If they are born deformed or with other abnormalities that may prevent it from surviving, most would say cull. If they just do not live up to your expectations, but there is nothing physically wrong with it, I would call culling cruel and irresponsible.

    Regardless, I would not feed it to a snake as a form of culling. I would not feed lizards to a snake at all unless the snake will feed on nothing else. The risk of the lizard passing parasites on to the snake is too great, IMO.

    Bart

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    I will also add that IF you had a snake that ate only lizards, you should euthanize the lizard before feeding it to the snake. Pet owners have an inherit responsibility to treat not only the pet, but also its prey, as humanely as possible.

    Bart

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    My intention was not to start an ethical debate, but to see if it would be ok for the snake to eat them. If I were the one breeding the lizards and had them for a period of time where I could deem that they were not ill.... feeding them to the snake would not be an issue parasite wise.

    Don't some people feed anoles to their lizards?

    I don't even want to respond to the euthanizing deal....but for those people who feed live rats and mice to their snakes who won't eat f/t'd, are they supposed to euthanize them first before feeding, or are mammals exempt from being treated "humanely"?

    Like I said....I can remember reading about people feeding anoles to other reptiles and was wondering about whether or not it would be ok for the dumerils to eat lizards. I read elsewhere that young dumerils in the wild will eat lizards before they move on to rodents.

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    A lot of snakes are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything they can find. I'm unsure if Dumeril's will eat lizards or not though. It's worth a shot if you are willing to do it. A captive bred pictus should not have parasites anyway, so I wouldn't be too concerned about that.

    I've seen and heard of numerous people feeding anoles and house geckos to their other herps, and I've never had a problem with it. I'd suggest that if you go through with feeding off some of your geckos to your snake, that you don't mention it so you can save yourself the conflict and ridicule that inevitable comes with a topic of this nature.
    Kyle J. Salzmann
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    Thanks, Kyle. I appreciate your post.

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    It is difficult to discuss the issue of culling without entering into an ethical debate on some level which is why I opened by stating it is a touchy subject and I have seen similiar threads on other forums get quite heated. It was not my intent to do the same here.

    To answer your first question, yes, anoles are fed to certain species when necessary to get them feeding before they are transitioned to rodents. I believe there are also a few select species that only eat lizards. In those cases, you do what you must. I do not know of any keeper who feeds lizards unless they have to but I admit I am not experienced with all species, including Dumerils.

    To answer your second question, no, mammals are not exempt and mice/rats should also be humanely euthanized prior to feeding. There will always be the few snakes that only take live prey (rodents or lizards) after continued attempts have been made to switch them to f/t or p/k. Live prey should only be offered in those cases. Feeding live in any other case is irresponsible. Are there a lot of people feeding live prey to their snakes? Absolutely, just check out Youtube where people actually video tape it and think it is "cool to watch". Are they being irresponsible? Absolutely, and shedding a negative light on this hobby while doing so.

    I took from your original post that your question was more along the lines of culling, and acceptable means of doing so. If your question is CAN you feed them to your Dumeril, then that is something else entirely. No idea if Dumerils will eat lizards but if it is eating fine on rodents, why change it up? I have read cases where the snake was fed lizards as a "treat" and then refused to eat anything else from that point on (especially in cases where lizards make up a large portion of their diet in the wild). I have also read a great deal of information regarding the parasite issue but if you are certain your animals are clean then it doesn't matter.

    Bart

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    My intention was to get information from someone with dumerils experience or knowledge as to feeding them lizards.

    I gave the information about culling, because someone would have probably asked me why I would ask such a question.

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    I've bred and raised Dumerils for a good long time now. I wouldn't do it for the above mentioned reason that some species can get prey specific with feeding. It's not worth the trouble.. I've had Dumerils, Morelia, Epicrates, Hognose, and maybe a couple other species get hooked temporarily on Gerbils, Mice, etc. and it's not a problem until they require larger meals. I don't think it would happen on single feeding, but I would still advise against it. In my experience, some smaller Dumerils would be candidates for having this issue. I have one female that is barely over 4 feet because she will only eat mice and she is over 5 yrs old. I had received her in a trade as a neonate.

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Nate. The biggest concern I would have is having them get stuck on lizards and giving you a hard time getting them back on rodents.

    If you still have a culling issue with the Pictus, you may want to look into one of the snake species that thrive on lizards as their normal prey. Garters or Kings, maybe (??) ..or another species that the name escapes my little pea brain for the moment

    And just my $.02 on culling, without getting up on the soap box... culling is culling is culling ...there's no difference on which species of LIFE it is.. it's all the same act. (I bred fish.. show quality fish.. I culled.)


    Good luck with your Pictus project, belle!
    "Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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