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Home > Rodents > Can You Get Live Feeder Mice Shipped Directly to Your Door? Facts & Alternatives

Can You Get Live Feeder Mice Shipped Directly to Your Door? Facts & Alternatives

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Unlike most domesticated pets, snakes cannot eat processed meals made by commercial pet food companies. Supplying your reptile with healthy rodents is essential to their health, but can you get live feeder mice shipped directly to your doorstep? No, live rodents are illegal to transport or deliver through any mail carrier service.

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Why Can’t You Get Live Feeder Mice Shipped Directly to Your Door?

Image Credit: Nannycz, Shutterstock

Since rodents can carry several deadly diseases and could create a logistic nightmare when stored, USPS, FedEx, and UPS are opposed to storing or delivering any warm-blooded animal. A few years ago, you could ship live rodents, but it became illegal in 2017. However, most pet owners were unwilling to pay the astronomical shipping fees to receive live mice.

Under ideal conditions, shipping live mice seem like a simple task. However, even rodents intended as future meals should not endure inhumane treatment. During transport, extreme heat or cold could kill the mice, and a long-distance delivery would likely result in a box of injured or deceased mice. If you’ve ever seen videos of disgruntled delivery people tossing packages onto a porch, you probably understand that live rodent delivery is a bad idea.

Can You Purchase Feeder Mice from Pet Stores?

Your best chance at buying live mice is from a local pet store. Franchise pet stores may carry live mice for snakes, but they’re less likely to have an adequate supply than a private store. Some snake owners complain that the corporate pet stores rarely keep the size of rodents they need in stock. Before driving to the pet store, contact the manager and ask if they have enough feeder mice for your snake. You can also ask which day of the week they receive rodent deliveries so you can develop a pickup schedule.

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Where Else Can You Buy Feeder Mice?

Pet store selling all kinds of pet supplies
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

One place you should avoid as a source of live mice is your home and yard. Field mice, house mice, roof rats, and Norway rats should never be fed to your reptile when they come from a suburban area. House mice are similar in size to feeder mice, but the potential of carrying parasites and disease is much higher than a rodent from a breeder. If you cannot go to a nearby pet store for feeder mice, you still have a few other options.

Snake Breeders

Reptile breeders often raise feeder mice to sell to their clients. Most do not offer to deliver the mice, but you may get lucky and find someone willing to deliver mice to your home. If your breeder does not carry mice, you can ask for a reference for their rodent supplier. Feeder mice breeders rarely advertise their services, but a breeder should know who to call for the best snake food.

Online Forums

If you join a reptile club or an online group, you can ask the other members for feeder mice contacts. Social media platforms have several reptile groups that can help you find the nearest breeder or store.

Expos

Check online for announcements about reptile expos coming to your area. Expos are great places to meet breeders and find sources for supplies and food.

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What Are the Alternatives to Buying Live Mice?

Purchasing frozen mice online or from a corporate pet store is the safest and easiest way to supply your snake with a healthy diet. Recreating how your reptile hunts in the wild may seem logical, but even in the wild, the snake can become injured from a rodent. Live feeder mice can bite or scratch your pet, but you don’t have to worry about that with a frozen specimen.

However, frozen mice must be thawed before being fed to your pet. Swallowing a frozen creature can drop the reptile’s internal temperature, and a frozen claw could injure the snake on the way down. Mice should be thawed at room temperature before the snake takes a bite. Compared to feeder mice, frozen rodents are much cheaper and easier to store. You can buy a bulk order that you keep in the freezer and feed your pet for several months.

a small ringneck snake being held by its owner
Image Credit: Michael Benard, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Snakes survive in the wild by hunting rodents, but you do not have to supply your pet with live food to keep them healthy. After you drop a feeder mouse in an enclosed tank, it has no choice but to fight for its life when it’s trapped by the snake. A frozen mouse provides sustenance without the fight, and you can purchase a large amount that will save you money on your pet food costs. Some snakes take a while to warm up to eating frozen mice, but eventually, they grow accustomed to devouring prey that lies still.


Featured Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay

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