Frequently Asked Questions

 

Perfect Pets, Inc
Phone (734) 461-1362 | Fax (734) 461-2858
1-800-366-8794
GSchrock1@aol.com

Over 25 Years in the Business
Professional / Dependable Service


Frequently Asked Questions

What do you feed your mice and rats?

Our mice and rats are fed a scientifically-formulated laboratory rodent diet, not dog food.

Why should I consider feeding frozen instead of live?

Frozen rodents are the preferred choice of many professional breeders, wildlife rehabilitators, zoos, and hobbyists for several reasons:

  • they can be stored in large quantities efficiently,
  • less hassle, responsibility, and smell than maintaining a live animal colony,
  • less hassle and expense than repeatedly going to the pet shop for small numbers of live animals,
  • they are easier and cheaper to ship,
  • they are usually less expensive,
  • they can’t bite the animals you are feeding them to,
  • they are pre-killed humanely, so you don’t have to bother with it,
  • they are less likely to transmit parasites or disease to you and yours (see "Can I or my animals catch diseases/parasites from feeder rodents?"), and
  • given all these advantages, your herps’ resell value will probably be higher if they are established frozen rodent eaters.

Can I or my animals catch diseases/parasites from feeder rodents?

Rodents have a notorious reputation as carriers of diseases and parasites. And, yes, it is possible for them transmit diseases to humans, to your dogs and cats, and to your herps — unless steps are taken to prevent such transmissions. There are really several issues here, and we’ll discuss each in turn.

First, some people catch wild rodents to feed their snakes. Since hantavirus has come onto the scene, this is a very bad idea. Hantavirus is an often fatal respiratory disease. It has infected humans who are exposed to deer mice and other wild rodents (or their droppings). Hantavirus-infected rodents have been found throughout the southern United States (mostly Florida thru Texas thru southern California, and as far north as Utah). At present, their is no cure for hantavirus. It kills some people, others survive after serious illness. This may sound like we’re using fear tactics to sell our mice, but that is not our intent in providing this information. The bottom line — if you trap wild mice to feed your snakes in any of the southern states, you are taking a serious risk.

Second, there is the issue of rodent mites. Mites are common ectoparasites of many animals, including humans, mice, and herps. However, they are host specific. Mouse mites will not infest herps. Similarly, snake mites don’t infest rodents. Mouse mites could, however, leave their hosts to snack on humans or their dogs and cats for awhile. The presence of rodent mites in humans can be detected by the appearance of small itchy bumps around the beltline, ankles, or underarms. Freezing mite-ridden rodents will kill the mites and most of their eggs. The best way to avoid these pests is to buy your mice and rats from a quality commercial source, like us (-:
Our mice and rats are mite-free.

Last, there is the question of preventing feeder mice and rats from transmitting diseases to your herps. Freezing rodents kills many parasites and disease pathogens. However, contrary to what some of our competitors claim, it does not kill them all. It is not a complete solution to the problem. It is a good reason to feed frozen though. In order to cut the risk of parasite transmission to an absolute minimum, feed frozen — and buy from a reputable breeder. Most commercial breeders, like ourselves, get clean animals for breeding stock from a known, laboratory-clean strain. In addition, we monitor our animals periodically to ensure they stay clean.

 

How do you kill your frozen feeder rodents?

  • Humanely. Euthanasia (from the Greek terms "eu" meaning "good" and "thanatos" meaning "death") is the humane killing of an animal. Humane killing implies a rapid transition from consciousness to unconsciousness and a death that is painless and free from stress and fear.Carbon dioxide is good because it has rapid depressant and anesthetic effects, but does not result in tissue accumulation of nasty chemicals in the animals that you will later feed to your herps. We follow the latest guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association panel on euthanasia. and use gaseous, bottled CO2 to euthanize our mice.

How does Perfect Pets, Inc. package their mice and rats?

We freeze all of our pinkies, peach fuzzies, and fuzzies separately and then vacuum-pack them. We spread them out in the packaging to prevent the pinks and peach fuzzies from sticking together. Often we will send most of your order vacuum-packed, but some just zip-loc’d. The idea behind this is that you will open one of the vacuum packs right away anyway, so if we have some fresh frozen ones we don’t bother to vacuum pack that one bag.

We can vacuum-pack other sizes of mice for a small extra charge — call or email us for a quote (the charge varies with how many you want per bag, as the bags we are using are very expensive).

We pack larger mice into resealable bags. We like to clump larger mice together in the bags — freezing them "en masse" so that they make a smaller package for shipping and for storage in your freezer. We are careful not to put too many into the bags. We usually spread them out in a thin layer thru the bag and it makes a nice flat package for your freezer. At the same time, by doing that, we’ve found that the larger sizes are still easy enough to remove from the bag, even if frozen after bagging.

Below is a table detailing how we usually package our mice. But, just like at Burger King, you can have it your way! If you need them packaged some other way, let us know, we want to work with you so that we can provide exactly what you need.

A table summary of our usual packing methods:

Unless you request differently, this is how we’ll send them –

Mice

SIZE
Approximate weight of one bag (pounds)

How packaged?

Number per bag

Pinkies

0.5

vacuum-packed or ziploc’d

50 – 100

 

Fuzzies

0.75 – 0.90

vacuum-packed or ziploc’d

50 – 100

Hoppers

2.5

"ziploc’d"

50 – 100

Small adults

2 – 2.25

"ziploc’d"

50

Adults, med

2.25 – 2.5

"ziploc’d"

25

Adults, lrg

2.75 – 3.5

"ziploc’d"

25

         

Rats

Pinks

2.5

"ziploc’d"

50 -100

Weaned

2.3 – 3

"ziploc’d"

30

Small

2.3 – 3

"ziploc’d"

15

Medium

3 – 3.5

"ziploc’d"

10

Large

4

"ziploc’d"

5

Jumbo
4
"ziploc’d"
6-10

How long will frozen rodents last in the freezer?

It depends on how they are packaged, how deeply they are frozen, and the type of freezer they are stored in. Slow exposure to air over time is what leads to freezer burn. Our resealable bags are thick plastic freezer bags, but since the mice are loose inside the bags (more air), and since you will repeatedly open and close them (yet more air), we recommend storing non-vacuum-packed rodents only up to 3 or 4 months (ideally). This is a conservative recommendation — the "Freezer Guidelines" on boxes of Ziploc brand Heavy Duty Freezer Bags recommend 6 to 9 months for most meat products.

Makers of vacuum packing equipment claim that vacuum-packed foods last from 3 to 5 times as long. If you have to store your rodents for a long time, we recommend this type of packaging.

There is one problem with vacuum-packing — you must release the vacuum before thawing the rodents. If you prefer to thaw your mice by soaking them in hot water, this means transferring them to a ziploc bag first. If you thaw the mice while they are in a vacuum, they get really messy!

  • To make your frozen mice last as long as possible, we recommend:
  • storing your mice double bagged (or vacuum-packed),
  • squeezing excess air out of the bag each time you reseal it,
  • using thick plastic freezer bags (not the wimpy ones),
  • storing them in a deep freezer, if possible, and
  • always resealing the bags completely.

What about thawing out the rodents?

Of course, frozen mice and rats should always be fully thawed out before feeding them to a reptile. Many people like to place the rodents to be thawed in a separate ziploc bag, and float the bag in warm water (not real hot or scalding) in the sink or a pan. If you use really hot water you could essentially parboil them. We’ve had people put them in such hot water that their skin came off and belly’s burst. This way the rodent has some additional warmth to it when you offer it to your herp, but it isn’t actually cooked. Most small mice thaw out quickly, in less than an hour, but rats can take 3 hours or more.

Alternatively, larger items like adult mice and rats could be transferred from the freezer to the refrigerator before you go to work, and when you get home from work much of the thawing will be done, just do the lukewarm water thing (above), and they’ll be ready real quick.

Larger mice and rats can be thawed in the microwave if you are very careful. We recommend not thawing pinkies and fuzzies in the microwave. Microwaves cook from the inside out, and it is difficult to monitor the progress just from visual cues. If you use a microwave, run it on low power and monitor the condition of their ears. The ear skin is very sensitive and will be the first to burn if you have the microwave on too high or too long.

Remember, you should not thaw out mice that are vacuum-packaged. The vacuum will do nasty, messy things to them when they are not frozen. So remove them from the vacuum first, then let them thaw out.

What sizes do you carry?

Because of the variety/strain of mouse we sell, our mice are fairly large. Our customers tell us that especially our fuzzies and weanlings are larger than what they typically get from other suppliers. We often get comments like "Hey, your fuzzies are as big as so-and-so’s hoppers!". Usually, this is good — most people are glad to get more for their money. However, sometimes this means they get larger mice than they intended to. So you may want to weigh the mice you have now and compare them to our weights to make sure you are getting the size you need.

Mice

SIZE

Mass each (approx.)*

Length each (approx., not including tail)(inches)

Pinkies
1 – 3 g
0.7 – 1.9

Fuzzies

5 – 9 g

1.9 – 2.2

Hoppers

7 – 14 g

2.25 – 2.5

Small adults

13 – 20 g

2.5 – 3

Adults, med

23 – 35 g

3 – 4

Large

35 – 53 g

3 – 4

       

Rats

Pink

15 – 30 g

2.75 – 3.5

Weaned

30 – 50 g

3 – 5

Small

50 – 75 g

5 – 6

Medium

100 – 150 g

6 -7

Large

200 – 300 g

7 – 8

Jumbos

300 – 500 g

7.5 – 8+

* — If you need more specific sizing, let us know. Usually we try to get a variety within the range given here into each bag. Often that variety may even include up to 5% that would fall into the categories above and below the category in question, or that are at the margins between the sizes. If you have many different sized snakes, or snakes that are growing, this ends up working out fine.

While that is the ideal we strive for, it doesn’t always work out perfectly. If you have exacting requirements, let us know, we want to work with you to make sure you get what you need. It helps us immensely, though, if you give us gram weights to work with, since different people have different ideas about exactly what each size should be.

How much? – What about shipping? – How do I pay?

For shipping and payment questions click here.


Perfect Pets, Inc
23180 Sherwood
Belleville, Michigan 48111

Phone (734) 461-1362 | Fax (734) 461-2858
1-800-366-8794