Can Pet Snakes Eat Wild Mice?

I recently became the owner of my first pet snake and was wondering if I could feed it wild mice. I have a lot of mice running around in my home and it would be super easy to just catch one and feed it to my snake. To find my answer, I did a little research to learn specifically about snakes eating wild mice.

Pet snakes can absolutely eat wild mice whether they are frozen and thawed, freshly killed, or still breathing. If you think about it, snakes were originally wild. It is not too inconceivable to believe they can eat wild mice. In fact, that would be ideal. 

However, depending on the size of your snake, they can eat more than just mice. Their diet can also include other rodents and small animals such as rabbits. Snakes need a diverse diet of all different types of meat. With a well-rounded diet, they will be more healthy.

What Else Do Snakes Eat Other Than Mice?

Besides mice, snakes also eat rats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, earthworms, insects, small reptiles and amphibians. They can also eat other snakes, fish, birds (including bird’s eggs), and small to medium-sized mammals.

It might surprise you that snakes don’t eat strictly mice all the time. But, there it is, now you know the several different variety of meals which these creatures can consume. Who knew? …I guess I did. 

How Long Does it Take a Snake To Digest a Mouse?

2-3 days. However, just like humans, the larger the meal the longer it takes to digest. It is also easier for snakes to digest in warmer temperatures. Conversely, a large python who consumes a deer may spend weeks digesting. So it is best to wait 24 to 72 hours after your snake has fed before holding him.

why prekill mice Can Pet Snakes Eat Wild Mice?
Ball python eating one white mouse

Is Feeding Live Animals to Snakes Dangerous to Pet Snakes?

Hunting their food is not natural for a captive snake, and it is an unnecessary risk as the rodent can injure the snake. Rodents have sharp teeth and claws that can easily penetrate a snakes eye or skin as it fights for its life.

This can lead to injury or to disease from infection and even death. Also, if the rodent is too large for the snake, or if your snake is not hungry, it will ignore the rodent. The rodent, responding to its fear-or hunger- will attack the snake.

So, unless you want to chance coming back to a dead, sick, or wounded pet, it would be safer and smarter to avoid live prey and stick to the frozen options.

How Long Can a Snake Go Without Eating?

This also depends on the age and size of your snake, but a baby snake can generally go for 5-7 days, while an adult will be just fine for 7-10

What Animals Eat Snakes?

Many species of birds such as owls, hawks, falcons, herons, etc. are predators to many different kinds of snakes.  There are also lots of snake species which eat only other snakes. So mostly, birds and other snakes are the common predators. Also, plenty of mammals include snakes in their diets.

Can Snakes Eat Humans?

Very few snakes are large enough to swallow an adult human. It is impossible for the little snakes to do so. But, it is possible for it to happen with large snakes. The only ones large enough to do so are:

However, some snakes will simply constrict and kill prey that is too large to swallow. 

Related Questions:

How many years can a snake live?

Generally, the larger a snake can grow, the longer it can live. Boas usually live for 25 to over 50 years. Many colubrids have a life-span of between 15 and 25 years and smaller species live for 5 to 10 years.

Do pet snakes recognize their owners?

They may possibly recognize their owners by scent. However, they don’t care about their owners. They can detect their owner’s heat signature, and the owners smell or taste.

What animals are immune to snake venom?

The hedgehog (Erinaceidae), the mongoose (Herpestidae)–due to specialized receptors and thick fur–, the honey badger (Mellivora capensis)–because of its practically impenetrable thick skin–, the secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), and a few other birds that feed on snakes.

These animals aren’t just immune to snake venom or difficult for snakes to kill but are good at attacking snakes. The honey badger has an extremely strong and powerful jaw that can easily crush the head of a snake. Birds also seek to crush the snake which it can do with its talons or by dropping it from a ridiculously tall height. This is why snakes prefer long grass and are wary of crossing large open spaces because of the threat of birds. So, a great way to keep your yard free of snakes is by having a large lawn with short grass. 

Snake Safety Tips:

  1. Leave the snake alone. If you don’t bother it, it won’t bother you.
  2. Use snake prevention techniques on your home and property
  3. Use specialty snake handling tools 
  4. Wear snake boots and/or gators when walking through snake country
  5. Wear gloves
  6. Wear glasses, Spitting cobras tend to aim for the eyes
  7. Buy a snake trap
  8. Hire a professional snake removal expert
  9. Learn about snake species, especially those in your area
  10. Don’t try to kill snakes