Will Garter Snakes Eat Dead Things?


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Robin Burden Profile
Robin Burden answered
Yup, garter snakes will eat dead animals (most pet owners feed them mice, which are stored frozen).

However, it's important to keep the dietary requirements of your snake in mind.

Will garter snakes eat dead animals?
In the wild, a snake would only eat a dead animal if it was very fresh. Snakes are not scavengers (creatures that feed on the leftovers from another animal's kill - vultures, coyotes and hyenas fall into this category).

Instead, snakes will usually kill their own prey and eat it as soon as it's dead.

Snakes kept as pets (a category into which the garter snake fits) are often fed frozen animals like mice, guinea pigs or hamsters - which are thawed before being fed to the snake.

However, a snake might not be able to survive on processed human food - like supermarket chicken, for example - because snakes need the nutrients found in the entire body of an animal. All the bones and organs that we remove from an animal before we eat it are actually full of goodness for a snake.

In their natural habitat, garter snakes are by no means fussy about their food, though - they'll eat anything from slugs through to toads!
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
They eat mostly living things, and will eat eggs sometimes, and they have been known to eat other snakes at times too.

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