Hi Folks,
I'm not a reptile owner, but I do have a need that I hope someone here can help with. I live in Dallas and have two cats to whom I feed a totally raw, natural, meat-based diet. My female cat is particularly very fond of "whole prey" breakfasts of either chicks, quails, rats, or mice.I have been buying all my feeders from Rodent Pro (rodentpro.com), and I like them a lot, but shipping is a killer. I recently discovered Big Cheese Rodents in Ft. Worth, and I can pick up feeders there personally and save the shipping fees. Still, cost of gas is a major factor, and to make it worthwhile, I still need to buy a larger quantity than I really want to have at one time. Worse, Big Cheese only has mice and rats, so I still have to get chicks and quails from Rodent Pro.

SO, what all this means is, if I want to have the variety of all four types of feeders, I have to buy a whole box of chicks and quails from Rodent Pro, and a whole box of mice and rats from Big Cheese. That, for my situation, would be well over an entire year's worth of frozen feeders, and I'm concerned about loss of freshness and nutrients. I really don't want to be feeding anything that's been frozen for more than 2, maybe 3 months, but I can't afford the price-per-feeder that I'd have to pay if I ordered smaller quanities.
SO, I need someone from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to share orders of frozen feeders with me, AT COST. I'd be happy to deliver, if it's not too out-of-the-way. For instance, I had a box of chicks and quails come in just last week. If you live in Ft. Worth, I could go to Big Cheese next week for mice and rats and bring them, along with chicks and quails from here, right to you to split. Or, if you live within a few miles of me in Dallas, I could bring them there. Is anyone interested?
Thank you very much,
Darlene B.
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Thanks for the reply, K.!
I'm not as concerned about freezer burn as I am about loss of nutrients due to the freezing itself. Vitamin E and taurine (particularly important for cats) don't hold up well to cold temps for very long.

As for processing feeders for my cat, I don't - she gets them whole. Each morning, I take a "meal" out of the fridge where it has been thawing since the previous morning, and float it in a sinkful of hot water for a while (still in a freezer baggie). Then I put it on the ground outside the kitchen door for her to munch. She loves it! Mice are her favorite. Her brother won't eat them, unfortunately, so he gets the stuff I *do* process which is either raw chicken or turkey. (Chunk meat off bone, grind bone, hearts, and liver, then add supplements, etc..) Miko (male) eats this for both daily meals, and Evie (female) gets it for dinner.I could definitely not buy live feeders and kill/freeze them myself. I'm an animal nut in general, and have even had pet mice before. I've gotten used to using frozen feeders to the point where it doesn't bother me at all and part of it is that I know that short of freshly killed prey animals, it's the best food a cat can get. But the other part that makes it doable for me is the knowledge that the feeders are killed painlessly with CO2 gas - and by someone else! I'm what a lot of people would call a hard-core raw feeder, but I'm not quite THAT hard-core! Emotion: smile I occassionally get frozen fuzzy bunnies locally, and they're still a little hard to take, but it's more variety for Evie now and then (although way too expensive to feed very often!).

Darlene B.
Hi Folks, I'm not a reptile owner, but I do have a need that I hope someone here can help ... few miles of me in Dallas, I could bring them there. Is anyone interested? Thank you very much, Darlene B.

The manager of a petstore I once worked for told me that whole small rodents are the best thing for a cat, because that is what they are supposed to eat naturally... It made a great deal of sense to me, but I've never heard of anyone doing it. Is it very expensive? (aside from shipping) Or do you order in enough quanity to dodge that? I imagine that a cat probably wouldn't need more then three or four prey items a day... But then I'm used to dishing the dry food out for my parents' cats.
One thought I had was that you could find a chicken or turkey farm, and see if they would be willing to sell you freshly killed day old chicks. Buying directly might be a cost-savings for you, as well. You could freeze them yourself, and you would know how long they had been frozen, which is a plus. From what I recall from my days as a birds of prey volunteer, frozen rodent and chicks maintain their nutrition for over a month if vacume sealed, although fish looses it's vit. B once frozen, and therefore it needs to be supplemented.
Gloria
Sounds like some delightfully spoiled kitties! ;-) I don't know if any of mine would know what to do with a dead mouse!

Yeah, well, more than one person has told me they'd like to be reincarnated as one of my cats. Emotion: wink I do my best. Emotion: smile

Darlene B.
The manager of a petstore I once worked for told me that whole small rodents
are the best thing for a cat, because that is what they are supposed to eat
naturally... It made a great deal of sense to me, but I've never heard of
anyone doing it. Is it very expensive? (aside from shipping) Or do you order
in enough quanity to dodge that? I imagine that a cat probably wouldn't need
more then three or four prey items a day... But then I'm used to dishing the
dry food out for my parents' cats.
Sounds like a smart manager! Really, when one thinks about it, what kind of sense does it make to expect a carnivore that normally eats raw meat to stay healthy eating cooked carbs??? Can't get much more opposite the norm than that. Pet food companies have been very good at brainwashing us. As snake owners in this group, can you imagine feeding kibble to your boa??
It IS expensive, and a lot of that is due to shipping. I get an entire box at a time (150-200 meals worth) because the shipping is $34-40 per box, whether it's 10% full or 100% full.
A "meal" for my kitty consists of either two 1-3day old chicks, one 2-week old quail, one medium-sized rat, or two adult/ jumbo adult mice. She gets these type meals for breakfast only, as I couldn't afford to feed them for every meal - although I would if I could. Not just for the nutrition, but for the convenience! Making the raw meat mix she eats for dinner (and that her brother eats for both meals) is a lot more labor intensive.
I am considering a vacuum sealer as Katra, and now you, have suggested. At first, I didn't think it would address my problem, but while it doesn't solve it completely, it's bound to be a big help, and I thank you both for the suggestion! What I can't figure out is why there don't seem to be any chat groups for reptile owners local to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? I still really want to find someone to split orders with. I'll keep looking...
Darlene B. Emotion: smile
The manager of a petstore I once worked for told me that whole small rodents are the best thing for ... to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? I still really want to find someone to split orders with. I'll keep looking...

I think there's actually a rather large herpetological society in that area. I'm in the Northwest, but I think there's some posters here from Texas, perhaps one of them could point in a direction... The ng's normally not this slow.
I googled a bit and got the Dallas/Fort Worth Herpetological Society. http://www.dfwherp.org / You might be able to get some help from these guys.

Gloria
Sounds like some delightfully spoiled kitties! ;-) I don't know if any of mine would know what to do with ... me they'd like to be reincarnated as one of my cats. Emotion: wink I do my best. Emotion: smile Darlene B.

You do good!
I'll add to that request.. ;-D

K.
The manager of a petstore I once worked for told me that whole small rodents are the best thing for ... area? I still really want to find someone to split orders with. I'll keep looking... Darlene B. Emotion: smile

Seriously, have you considered raising your own mice??? They are VERY prolific and quite cheap to raise! I used to raise them when I had snakes and selling off the excess mice made it so that, not only was I feeding my snakes for free, I was making a small profit.

I personally prefer the "whack" method of killing, but there are other ways that you might be able to deal with such as a covered bucket and a chunk of dry ice.......

K.
Sprout the MungBean to reply
"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell‹you see, I have friends in both places." Mark Twain
I am considering a vacuum sealer as Katra, and now you, have suggested. At first, I didn't think it would ... Worth area? I still really want to find someone to split orders with. I'll keep looking... Darlene B. Emotion: smile

My babies are too small to eat the kind of mice your cats need, but there is a local reptile food supplier in the DFW area. His prices are $20 for 50 frozen fuzzies, not sure of the other sizes. I have his card around here somewhere, and will look for it. He does delivery and pick-up orders. I found him through the reptile show in Arlington, which I think is due again soon.
Velvet
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