View Full Version : ASF Rats or Mice as feeders

03-24-2009, 12:19 AM
I was wondering if ASF rats are better to use over mice when it comes to feeding Ash? I found a place that sells them and was wondering if it is all around a better choice over mice?

I appreciate any feedback.

03-24-2009, 02:38 AM
HI jor, I choose to feed rats over mice in general. I breed ASF rats. Their easier and they really don't have an odor. Plus, my ball pythons like them.

03-24-2009, 04:35 AM
I breed ASFs and regular rats. Regular rats have more bone mass and likely more protein but arguably have smaller litters. ASFs are more prolific to an extent yet less so than mice. (I had lab mice having 16-21 at a time) Bottom line: ASFs don't stink as much by far as mice OR rats but they do still have an odor. ASFs are by far better than mice as a whole food source. ( I sold off my lab mice. They STINK!) To breed, they're economical.
This is what I did:
Buy 2 males and 2 females. ($40 with full 10Gal set-up)
Set up 2 cages(2nd was left over mouse 10gal) and get ready for 2 "grow-up tanks". (2 unused 20Gal long with extra bottles I had)
While tegus hibernated I raised select males and females from each bloodline.
Cross bloodlines with 1 male and 3-4 females. Set up 2 colonies like this.
Using this method I will have about 8-10 tanks with ASFs breeding and growing to size and a freezer and 4 tegus full of rats!
Starting from scratch with a set-up this big would likely be over $100 even economically sales searching. BUT $100 once done right can last a lifetime with only food for them and a future trade-out with different breeders for different bloodlines to sustain your ASF "farm". Sell off extras to the locals to buy your ASF grub(varied bird seeds and IFA has special rodent food in 50 pound bags for $15!! ...it's 24% protein too!) and it's all gravy and will likely pay for itself in a few months time!
Get you some!

03-24-2009, 04:41 AM
Here is some info that I found for you.Hope that helps.

Oh Rats! Rats! Rats!

Why feed rats only?

From talking to several different people and breeders, I strongly believe that rats are the best food source for our boas. Mice are far more likely to be regurgitated, especially in younger boas. Some think it is because of the amount of hair on mice. As well as mice really don't have very much meat on their bodies and a low bone density.

Rats have a higher bone density and that seems to be the primary reason for the additional nutritional value. This document from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library details the nutritional value of all feeders, and links to almost every feeder supplier out there. This link will download the PDF version of the article from their website.

Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey - USDA official website

Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey - Alternate download website

As boa constrictor owners, we will eventually have to feed rats anyway, just because of the size of adult boas. It is tougher to convert a snake from mice to rats as they get older. We should start as young as possible to switch our boas to rats. Start out feeding your boas "pinkie" rats, or "Fuzzy" rats. Your boa will never miss anything if you do!

I feed frozen/thawed rats exclusively, as does my friend Jeff Ronne of www.theboaphile.com fame, and many, many others. The picture comparison photos are also compliments of Jeff Ronne.

Here is a comparison chart that helps you determine what size rat you should feed you boa constrictor
Pinkie/Fuzzy Mice Pinkie Rat (Newborn)
Hopper Mice Pinkie Rat (2 Week old)
Small Mice Fuzzy Rat
Medium Mice Rat Pup
Adult Mice Weanling Rat

Pinkie Size Fuzzy Size Weanling Size Small Size

Medium Size Large Size Jumbo Size

Sorry,that it didn't come out with the mice/rat pictures.I copyd and pasted the info.I didn't want to post the link because it had some very ugly pictures of snakes that got bitten by the mice/rats.Since we have kids on this forum, too, I thought it would be better to leave those pictures out.

03-24-2009, 05:58 AM
i personally breed rats as well.. i have tried to get my hands on some afs but i have yet to get any.. i will hopefully soon enough tho.. get 1 male and 3 females and let them breed

03-24-2009, 01:23 PM
get 1 male and 3 females and let them breed
That's what I was shooting for but got 2 pregnant females and one large male and one male who hadn't "dropped" quite yet apparently. It all worked out in the end though as I will have 2 unrelated bloodlines that I can breed together to make a third bloodline that I can breed the other bloodline females I got from a friend. So I'll wind up with about 10-12 females pumping out babies on a weekly rotation and far more than enough to feed ALL my critters for the price of set-up, up keep and around $100 a year or less in 24% protein food and aspen bedding! 8O I'm gonna have to market the excess somewhere or I'll be up to my eyeballs in ASFs! Good thing I have a dedicated freezer! :wink:

03-24-2009, 11:13 PM
that just means get more tegus haha

03-31-2009, 03:17 PM
I like rats as well, as they are more lean than mice generally. However I don't like rats in particular, and have a high tolerance for the so called creepy crawlies, rats draw the line, and I don't breed them here. I do breed mice, gerbils, russian hamsters, and degus however.