2. Live/ Fresh Killed/ Frozen Thawed (F/T)
While it isn’t common, some GTP’s will only eat live prey. This is most typical of wild caught animals and is for the most part a non-issue with USCB animals. Some live eaters can be trained to eat frozen/ thawed, while others can’t. There are a few issues to consider when feeding live prey. First is the possibility of injury to the snake; the loss of an eye, or infection from a scratch or bite are not unheard of. The other primary issue is the possibility of passing bacteria or parasites to the snake from infected rodents. This risk is minimalized if you maintain your own colony, or if you know and trust your rodent supplier.
Fresh killed rodents eliminate the possibility of injury, but the chance of transmitting parasites and bacteria is still present.
Frozen/ Thawed FoodThis is the most common food item for GTPs. Frozen rodents are usually ordered online in bulk from a trusted supplier (links provided in the Appendix). Frozen rodents are convenient, easy to store, and are often cheaper. Vacuum-sealed rodents will maintain their quality for about one year after freezing. Most importantly, freezing eliminates almost all pathogenic bacteria and parasites.