Author Topic: Live Foods?  (Read 5536 times)

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Live Foods?
« on: January 10, 2009, 11:55:00 AM »
Does anyone feed their rats live foods such as Megaworms, Mealworms or Crickets?
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Offline Neuroticax

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 12:38:00 PM »
I haven't, personally, but I know people who have. Just make sure it's a treat because they are high in protein for a rat.

MY SO keeps Tarantulas and feeds them crickets, I should bring one home for Nibs. lol
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Offline Mousie452

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 12:46:31 PM »
I've done mealworms before, its so gross. Crickets I won't because I don't want them getting loose.

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 12:48:22 PM »
I don't have problems with live food. I've even bred Roaches as feeders, so it's not gross to me, I just wanted to know about people's experiences. I'll probably pick up some Megaworms when i have a cash-flow, as it is a treat and not a staple. If I was still buying crickets for my gecko, or if I still had my scorpion, I'd probably give them crickets.
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Offline Mousie452

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 12:56:31 PM »
I used to have hissing cockroaches for pets. I think I'd pass out in disgust at the sound that would make. 18 rats chewing on squishy roach innards while I'm standing in the middle of their cages. Its not like a reptile that just snaps it up in one bite.  :icon_puke_r:

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 01:54:58 PM »
LOL! My boyfriend has given Megaworms to his guys before and they love them, fighting over them and tearing them apart. Such sport!
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Offline MadCatter

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 01:56:58 PM »
I used to have hissing cockroaches for pets. I think I'd pass out in disgust at the sound that would make. 18 rats chewing on squishy roach innards while I'm standing in the middle of their cages. Its not like a reptile that just snaps it up in one bite.  :icon_puke_r:


Hehe... it is QUITE the sound ;) Amazing how their little hunter instincts switch on in an instant.

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Offline andie3131

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 02:47:53 PM »
I never thought of feeding my rats bugs.  My ratties are so sweet and cuddly I can't imagine them munching on a nasty bug, eww.  But they really do like it huh?  If so I guess I could see about getting them one once in awhile although my son just said NO not for his ratties lol.  When we had firebelly toads we'd feed them crickets but for the most part they'd eat them in one gulp.

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 03:26:52 PM »
Yeah, they love them, and from what I've read, they're good for them in moderation.
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Offline pomegranateangst

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 03:41:35 PM »
My boyfriend has a hedgehog who eats freeze dried meal worms and crickets, and I give them to my rats as a treat sometimes. They love them! And I find freeze dried a lot more appealing an idea than live bugs, but even they took a bit of getting used to.
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Offline Rmv1983

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 03:48:26 PM »
My girls love mealworms. But I can't stomach watching them eat them. They move and squirm while being eaten  :icon_puke_r: I put them in a bowl in the cage and leave the room.

Offline pomegranateangst

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2009, 03:50:12 PM »
Personally I think the dried ones are a much better option. I bet the rats like live ones better, but watching them eat live bugs would just be awful.

Offline chiropteragirl

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2009, 04:18:04 PM »
My rats were afraid of crickets, but they love mealworms. They bite the heads off first, so it is very quick.  :confused:
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Offline turtlescales

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2009, 05:09:22 PM »
I've done mealworms before, its so gross. Crickets I won't because I don't want them getting loose.

I haven't tried feeding my ratties anything live yet, but I have to leopard geckos that eat crickets and other bugs.   Crickets get loose from time to time, but it keeps the cat happily entertained!

Offline andie3131

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2009, 11:43:21 PM »
I've done mealworms before, its so gross. Crickets I won't because I don't want them getting loose.
Ya if they don't catch the crickets in time they'd jump right through the cage bars
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 01:59:14 AM by andie3131 »

Offline Mousie452

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 12:28:42 AM »
I didn't think of freeze dried. I'm trying to fatten my rats up. I can get a bag of 2000 freeze dried mealworms at the garden supply store for $10. I know that's too many but the outside birds could use some too by this time of winter. You can also get a can of 500 live for the same price.

Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 10:19:48 AM »
I've tried giving Elliott mealworms, he'll take one out of my hand after shoving it in his face a few times, bite down once or twice, then drop it and walk away...  ::)

Offline rattix2

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 10:36:39 AM »
My SO has given our passed ratties mealies before. He also gives our mice mealies and bugs from time to time. They enjoy it. :) But I am anti-bug so I wont touch it, LOL.
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Offline Schrute

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 10:45:01 AM »
I have a tub full of random freeze dried bugs and seafood for my crabs. It's come across my mind to let my rats give it a try, but I've never actually done it yet. I have a hard enough time touching the freeze dried fish/shrimp/worms/random dead bugs that I order to actually watch my rats crunch down of them... *shivers*

Offline Neuroticax

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 02:00:17 PM »
I've done mealworms before, its so gross. Crickets I won't because I don't want them getting loose.
Ya if they don't catch the crickets in time they'd jump right through the cage bars

What about feeding it off a tweezers? My Nibs grabs anything I give him like that, might be easier so they don't get away?
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Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2009, 02:01:56 PM »
I have feeding tongs from when I had a scorpion, and I feed them with that. not because I have a problem touching worms, but because I have a problem being bitten :P
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Offline holly238

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2009, 05:29:35 PM »
I find it a bit ironic that live feedings of other sorts are frowned upon but these are not. What about the poor bugs getting eaten alive? It makes me sad because I love crickets! I think they are the coolest bugs ever!

I mean, worms, not so much. But squirming while being eaten?  :icon_puke_r:  And sad.....
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Offline Schrute

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2009, 05:30:55 PM »
I find it a bit ironic that live feedings of other sorts are frowned upon but these are not. What about the poor bugs getting eaten alive? It makes me sad because I love crickets! I think they are the coolest bugs ever!

I mean, worms, not so much. But squirming while being eaten?  :icon_puke_r:  And sad.....

I feel the same way, but it does have to happen. You can feed snakes f/t, but some animals won't eat p/k insects... it has to be live and moving or they won't touch it. I don't think that I could feed any living creature to another living creature, personally.

Offline MadCatter

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2009, 05:36:23 PM »
Quote
"Hi. This is a common question, and it's not entirely philosophical. Pain as WE experience it is based on our nervous system. We have special nerve cells called "nociceptors" whose sole purpose is to create the sensation of pain. Without those special cells, we wouldn't feel pain. There are, in fact, medical conditions which can selectively kill those cells - the best known is leprosy, but there are others. I personally had a mild seizure once that wiped out the connection to the nociceptors in my left leg, and to this day I cannot feel geuine pain in my left leg - I can tell when I'm being touched, and can tell how much pressure is being applied and to how small or large an area, but (for example) there is no difference for me in the feeling of being poked by a pencil versus an icepick, nor any difference in being touched by an ice cube versus a boiling hot piece of metal. Insects and other arthropods don't have any nociceptors. They can feel sensations, but PAIN is definitely NOT one of them. Their responses are therefore very different from ours. Aside from my own personal example of what it's like not to feel pain, consider this: if you gently grab an insect's leg and hold it, it will struggle violently. If you snap the leg off, it stops struggling and calmly limps away. If they felt pain, it would be the exact opposite.
As for emotions, no, they most definitely do not experience emotions. Things like hunger, thirst, fatigue, and sex drive are not emotions, they are physical sensations."

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Entomology-Study-Bugs-665/insects-feel-pain.htm

It's only sad for me to feed insects or worms when I give them a name first. I give my rats the occasional cricket/superworm/even hissing cockroach, and it's amazing how their instincts set in. It's a form of enrichment for my rats, and they love it - though they only get insects every once in a while since they are very high in protein (though are a healthier protein than something like beef/chicken/ham.

I find it a bit ironic that live feedings of other sorts are frowned upon but these are not. What about the poor bugs getting eaten alive? It makes me sad because I love crickets! I think they are the coolest bugs ever!

I mean, worms, not so much. But squirming while being eaten?  :icon_puke_r:  And sad.....

The reason it's frowned upon for other animals is 1) mammals do feel pain, and have fear and 2) because mammals can also cause serious damage back to the predator (it's a lose-lose situation, no matter which way it goes).

Insects/bugs are neat, and I like a whole lot of them (getting a Bumblebee Millipede soon, and just recently had a Rosehair Tarantula), but they don't feel pain or fear like a mammal/bird/reptile would.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 05:45:07 PM by MadCatter »

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Offline Meatball

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2009, 07:02:30 PM »
Ew, if I fed my rats bugs or worms, I would not be kissing them as much. Or at all. Bug breath!!!

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2009, 07:27:48 PM »
It's only sad for me to feed insects or worms when I give them a name first. I give my rats the occasional cricket/superworm/even hissing cockroach, and it's amazing how their instincts set in. It's a form of enrichment for my rats, and they love it - though they only get insects every once in a while since they are very high in protein (though are a healthier protein than something like beef/chicken/ham.


The reason it's frowned upon for other animals is 1) mammals do feel pain, and have fear and 2) because mammals can also cause serious damage back to the predator (it's a lose-lose situation, no matter which way it goes).

Insects/bugs are neat, and I like a whole lot of them (getting a Bumblebee Millipede soon, and just recently had a Rosehair Tarantula), but they don't feel pain or fear like a mammal/bird/reptile would.


I'm so glad to see someone besides me recognizes that insects to not feel pain. I see no problem feeding live insects to other things. I don't think anyone ever has to excuse feeding one animal to anther, if it is part of nature. I agree that it is cruel to feed live rodents/birds/reptiles to other animals, as being eaten alive is something that I would not like to experience. However, as MadCatter said, most reptiles won't eat non-living insects. My scorpion wouldn't even eat waxworms because they don't move enough. I bred Dubia roaches as feeders for both my bearded dragon and my ex's emperor scorpions. While I did get a little attached, I realized that these were food. Many people (including myself) are the same about feeder rats and mice. Think about when your family is sitting down to a nice chicken or steak dinner. Do you think about THAT animal? No. Because it's food. It's a similar concept. There is a difference between feeder rats/mice and pet rats/mice, the same thing would apply to insects. People often keep Madagascar Hissers as pets, and could never imagine feeding those to a lizard, but to me, their food. The same thing applies to snake owners. It's all about perspective.
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Offline andie3131

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2009, 11:25:12 PM »
So I bought some mealworms tonight.  Some of the girls grabbed them and took off with them, some I saw eat them.  Same with the boys, they liked them but didn't seem overly thrilled.  Not like they are with Yogies XD

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2009, 01:06:21 AM »
LOL Glad they liked them! I'll maybe pick up some waxworms or supers tomorrow when I get crickets.
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Offline PotHBP

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2009, 12:36:39 PM »
I find it a bit ironic that live feedings of other sorts are frowned upon but these are not. What about the poor bugs getting eaten alive? It makes me sad because I love crickets! I think they are the coolest bugs ever!

I mean, worms, not so much. But squirming while being eaten?  :icon_puke_r:  And sad.....

You're completely right! I do feel bad when I see a spider killing a cricket.

When you bring home a live rat or mouse to feed to your snake it is different because you have to watch them suffer before they get eaten. If you use pre-killed, you have to kill it yourself. You don't have to do that with your chicken or steak dinner, do you? If I had to, I think I would have gone vegan. LOL. But feeding frozen/thawed is like just taking a slab of meat out of the freezer in a grocery store.
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Offline MadCatter

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2009, 12:52:34 PM »
Quote
You're completely right! I do feel bad when I see a spider killing a cricket.

When you bring home a live rat or mouse to feed to your snake it is different because you have to watch them suffer before they get eaten. If you use pre-killed, you have to kill it yourself. You don't have to do that with your chicken or steak dinner, do you? If I had to, I think I would have gone vegan. LOL. But feeding frozen/thawed is like just taking a slab of meat out of the freezer in a grocery store.


There is a huge difference between f/t rats/mice and f/t beef/chicken/ham.

f/t mice/rats are TYPICALLY killed in a more humane way (though not always guaranteed), which means overall less suffering for the rat/mouse. This also means safety for the snake who will eat it.

Live mice/rats are killed the natural way, yes, though there is the chance of them severely hurting or even killing the snake, and if they don't 'win' they die a slow terrifying death.


f/t farm animals for humans are RARELY killed in an acceptable way, unless you buy kosher, or from some organics that kill more humanely - but we freeze them up, and eat them anyway, so we can be blind to their suffering.



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Offline italianqt

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2009, 03:25:20 PM »
There is a difference between feeder rats/mice and pet rats/mice, the same thing would apply to insects.
This is the second time I've seen you say this. No, they are not different. They are the same animal.

My rats will never have the experience of eating the head off of a live bug but somehow I think they'll get along just fine. It really isn't necessary. Nothing wrong with giving them some carrots instead...
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Offline P3

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2009, 03:38:55 PM »
That's like saying slaves and owners aren't the same thing. They are both human. There is no difference. You can tell yourself that as much as you want, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Arguing this with a bunch of RAT lovers on a RAT site is pointless. Just stop.
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Offline Neuroticax

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2009, 03:43:17 PM »
Just correct the person and be done. This doesn't need to get nasty.
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Offline Sun of Samsa

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2009, 05:52:06 PM »
It's only sad for me to feed insects or worms when I give them a name first. I give my rats the occasional cricket/superworm/even hissing cockroach, and it's amazing how their instincts set in. It's a form of enrichment for my rats, and they love it - though they only get insects every once in a while since they are very high in protein (though are a healthier protein than something like beef/chicken/ham.


The reason it's frowned upon for other animals is 1) mammals do feel pain, and have fear and 2) because mammals can also cause serious damage back to the predator (it's a lose-lose situation, no matter which way it goes).

Insects/bugs are neat, and I like a whole lot of them (getting a Bumblebee Millipede soon, and just recently had a Rosehair Tarantula), but they don't feel pain or fear like a mammal/bird/reptile would.


I'm so glad to see someone besides me recognizes that insects to not feel pain. I see no problem feeding live insects to other things. I don't think anyone ever has to excuse feeding one animal to anther, if it is part of nature. I agree that it is cruel to feed live rodents/birds/reptiles to other animals, as being eaten alive is something that I would not like to experience.

Please see Tracey et al., "painless, a Drosophila Gene Essential for Nociceptors," 2003. In this article, the authors describe sensation as a trait inherited from the common ancestor of arthropods and vertebrates, particularly as a sensor for heat.

The arthropod Drosophila, a species of small fly commonly used in developmental biology research, have been identified (see Hwang et al, "Nociceptive neurons protect Drosophila larvae from parasitoid wasps") as having nociceptive behavior. A particular neuron in Drosophila has been identified ("class IV," I'm not going to pretend to know what that is--I teach 8th grade!) as the cause of their nociceptive behavior. This article argues that the behavior is an evolutionary adaptation to avoiding predators... as most pain is.

Offline MadCatter

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Re: Live Foods?
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2009, 12:02:59 AM »
Right, with most vertebrates pain is used as a stimulus, and our response (if we're smart) is to avoid whatever is causing us pain.


Quote
Abstract  We attempt to bring the concepts of pain, suffering, and anxiety into sufficient focus to make them serviceable for empirical investigation. The common-sense view that many animals experience these phenomena is supported by empirical and philosophical arguments. We conclude, first, that pain, suffering, and anxiety are different conceptually and as phenomena, and should not be conflated. Second, suffering can be the result or perhaps take the form of a variety of states including pain, anxiety, fear, and boredom. Third, pain and nociception are not equivalent and should be carefully distinguished. Fourth, nociception can explain the behavior of insects and perhaps other invertebrates (except possibly the cephalopods). Fifth, a behavioral inhibition system associated with anxiety in humans seems to be present in mammals and most or all other vertebrates. Based on neurochemical and behavioral evidence, it seems parsimonious to claim that these animals are capable of experiencing anxious states.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/p4g44725t17126x0/


Quote
How could we decide, in a principled way, which kinds of animals are and are not capable of feeling pain? This is surely a complex and difficult question, but the most detailed treatments I have seen (Smith and Boyd [6], Rose and Adams [5], DeGrazia and Rowan [2], and Bateson [1]) have all reached the same conclusion: Probably all vertebrates are capable of feeling pain, but probably not invertebrates (with the likely exception of cephalopods).

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4TwWJ8sds84C&oi=fnd&pg=PA92&dq=invertebrates+feel+pain%3F&ots=oK2yjN8Tmj&sig=FYG3tK7XEeWjz60brVF9-wJYvOU

Not all creatures feel pain - they react to different stimuli which keep them out of harms way.


We jump or  drop to the ground when we hear a loud noise or a gunshot - It is a stimulus (sound) - response (dropping) situation that potentially keeps us safe, but it doesn't mean it caused us pain.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 12:20:56 AM by MadCatter »

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