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Can Snakes Eat Raw Meat?

As the popularity of keeping pet snakes continues to climb, the number of people reaching out with various questions to try and ensure that they offer their pet snakes the highest possible levels of care also continues to increase.

With diet being such an important part of keeping a pet snake, we often see questions about what you should and shouldn’t feed your snake with a bunch of people asking about if snakes can eat raw meat or not recently.

Snakes can and will eat raw meat with it making up the majority of their diet in the wild but the macronutrient ratios of the raw meat are extremely important as your snake needs a healthy mix of protein and fat from its food due to being an obligate carnivore.

This is why something like raw chicken breast is not suitable even if your snake eats it as it is not considered to be nutritionally complete and will result in health problems if it makes up a large part of your snake’s diet.

We know that it may be easier to store raw foods such as cuts of chicken or ham in your refrigerator without getting comments from your partner but it really is not a good option from a nutritional and health standpoint from your snake.

If you are having trouble with keeping pinkies or mice in your refrigerator or freezer then getting some No products found. may be the best path forward as they hide the contents from view so your partner doesn’t have to see your snakes food every time they open the refrigerator or freezer.

Can Snakes Eat Raw Meat?

The bulk of a snake’s diet should be raw meat with this usually being considered the best state of meat to feed a snake in most situations and cooked meats can reduce nutritional levels while also slightly reducing the chance of your snake eating it.

You just have to make sure that the meat that you feed to your pet snake is based on high-quality sources that have a suitable balance of fat and protein.

Depending on the species of snake that you keep, chicken eggs can be a great raw food to give your pet snake but keep in mind that eggs are not suitable for all species of snake!

Some fish seem to really enjoy raw fish too where as other snakes will just leave it and refuse to even try it but avoid fish like tuna that has been sat in various flavored oils and try to stick to tuna in water if possible.

In some situations, you will be able to integrate raw cuts of meat into your snake’s diet but they should only make up a small part of your snake’s diet, especially if it is an adult snake and is used to a certain diet.

We have lost count of the number of reports that we have seen from the snake keeping community of a snake simply refusing to try new foods when you do try to change their diets to include raw meat so monitor your snake’s food intake closely.

What Types Of Raw Meat Should You Give Your Snake?

For the most part, you should only be giving your snake raw meat that it would have access to in the wild with various types of rodents usually being the most popular options for the majority of snakes.

Other raw food types that you can offer some species of snake include raw eggs, fish, poultry, insects, and beef cuts but this should usually only make up a small part of a well-balanced diet.

When we say poultry above, we are referring to chicks and ducklings with some species of snake eating these as a staple of their diet rather than cuts of chicken such as chicken breast, thighs or wings.

The raw food recommendations above are meant as general advice too rather than specific advice and it will come down to the specific species of pet snake that you keep rather than blindly feeding them a mix of all of those raw food suggestions.

For example, smaller snakes that will happily eat raw insects are usually far to small to even try to eat a raw egg or pinkie.

On the flip side of this though, larger snake species will often happily eat a raw eggs with ease but leave any insects due to them being so small that they are not worth the effort.

You can usually do a quick Google search to discover the suitable raw food source available to your snake species and use them as a sort of treat food within a well-balanced diet.

Should You Give Your Snake Raw Meat?

The bulk of most snake species diets should be made up of raw meats be it rodents, baby chicks, insects or other types of raw meat.

The problem is that raw meat can rapidly have bacteria grow on it presenting a possible risk to your snake if the levels of bacteria get to high so you should remove any raw meat that your snake has not eaten after a maximum of 24 hours.

We go into the risks of this bacteria on your snake’s food in much more detail in our article going over if you can refreeze mice for snakes or not that may be worth skimming over if you are worried about feeding your snake raw meat.

For the most part though, provided you schedule your snake’s feeding sessions to when it is hungry to ensure that the raw food has the highest chances of actually being eaten quickly after being added to the vivarium, you should be fine.

As we have mentioned multiple times in the article, anything to do with diet usually does come down to the specific type of snake that you are keeping though.

Although most snakes will eat raw food without issue, the actual type of raw meat that they will want to be fed can change slightly from snake species to snake species.


That brings our article going over if snakes can eat raw meat or not to an end and we hope that we have been helpful to you. For the most part, your snake will be fine eating raw meats and it is a totally natural part of their diet but you really do have to make sure that there is a balanced macronutrient ratio of protein and fat in the food that you offer your snake to make sure that it is getting everything it requires from its meals.