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Can You Refreeze Mice For Snakes?

The popularity of keeping snakes as pets is skyrocketing again with there being a large number of people brand new to keeping snakes, no matter the species of snake, we have noticed a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking questions about if they can refreeze mice for snakes or not.

This is a somewhat controversial subject within the snake keeping the community and the topic can commonly spark a heated debate on social media so we wanted to publish our own article on the topic.

You can technically refreeze mice for snakes if your snake refuses the mouse when you offer it to your snake but this is not recommended and you should never refreeze a mouse more than once.

This is due to the rapid pace that bacteria can develop on meat and refreezing the mouse will not be able to kill all of the bacteria with the remaining bacteria presenting a potential risk to your pet snake once consumed.

Although there are multiple variables at play, there are a number of conditions that are becoming increasingly popular in snakes that are kept as pets that can commonly be side effects of being fed refrozen meat.

Although a large number of people within the snake keeping community will refreeze any mice that are refused, the more experienced snake keepers tend to avoid refreezing meat due to having had problems with one of their snakes getting sick previously.

Can You Refreeze Mice For Snakes?

Some people who keep snakes will refreeze mice that their snake has refused to eat once but it is never recommended that you freeze a refused mouse twice or more as the risks of bacteria on the mouse increase to dangerous levels.

In reality though, you really shouldn’t be refreezing mice even once as it is simply not worth the risk in most cases as even a single refreeze of meat can present a risk to your snake due to the spike in bacteria on the mouse.

We have seen some people claim that you are able to use chemicals to remove the bacteria from a refrozen mouse prior to refreezing it and although this is technically correct, this adds a risk to your snake from the chemicals used to kill the bacteria on the food.

In our opinion, this is just not worth the risk considering that pinkies and mice do tend to be much cheaper than they once were.

You also have to factor in that the majority of the risk for refreezing mice comes from the time that they were left out for your snake to eat rather than refreezing them.

This is why seeing people on social media saying that they refreeze mice for their snakes is not very helpful as there is a huge difference in the bacteria that has been able to form on the mice between a mouse that has been left out for one hour and one that has been left out for a day.

How Long Can I Leave A Thawed Mouse In My Snakes Cage?

You can usually leave a thawed mouse in your snake’s vivarium for a maximum of 24 hours without it presenting a risk to your snake due to the bacteria building up on the mouse.

If your snake has not eaten the mouse by the 24 hour time period then you should throw the mouse away due to it now presenting a risk to your snake’s health due to the bacteria on it.

This is another common point of discussion on social media amongst snake keepers with there often being a debate on if you should leave a thawed mouse in your snake’s cage for 24 or 48 hours.

In our opinion, the people saying that it is fine to keep the thawed mouse in their snake’s cage for 48 hours are just using their opinion rather than actual data as there are plenty of studies based on meat that has been left out having dangerous levels of bacteria on them after a 24 hour period.

Although the studies are all based on meat designed for human consumption, the bacteria that present a risk to humans also present a risk to your snake too.

In some cases, a snake can have the side effects of the bacteria on their food in much smaller amounts than would be required to cause problems with humans.

There are some studies out there that suggest 12 hours is enough in warmer climates for harmful levels of bacteria to build up on meat and with most snake vivarium being at a higher temperature than the ambient temperature, you may want to factor this in for your snake too.

Can You Refreeze Pinkies For Snakes?

You can technically refreeze pinkies for snakes if your snake refuses to eat them and many people in the snake keeping community do refreeze pinkies, it is not usually recommended.

Pinkies do tend to develop bacteria quicker than adult mice and the more bacteria on your snake’s food at the time of consumption, the higher the risks are to your snake’s health.

As we touched on earlier in the article, refreezing meat, pinkies in this case does not kill all of the bacteria that built up on them when they were thawed and it only slows the growth rate of the bacteria on the pinkies.

This means that even a refrozen pinkie does still present a risk to your pet snake once confirmed as some bacteria will remain on the pinkie.

You then have to factor in that bacteria can develop and multiply on pinkies quicker than adult mice to the risk is slightly higher than refreezing adult mice.

With pinkies being so cheap, there really shouldn’t be any problem with just throwing a pinkie that your snake has refused away.

We understand that some people may be on a budget but it’s just not worth the risk to your snake and in some cases, you will just be able to tweak how frequently you offer your snake a pinkie to reduce the refusal rate of your snake with its food.


That brings our article going over if you can refreeze mice for snakes or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand that refreezing mice or pinkies can present a risk to your pet snake and depending on how long the meat was thawed for, the risk can end up being high enough to cause health problems with your snake.