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Discussion Starter #1
I half expect this post to be removed, as it may be too "squeamish" of a subject. But I'm gonna give it a shot anyway.

I've been searching for a site that has reasonable prices for raw prey. Found plenty for the PREY being cheap, but shipping...ouch! I realize there's the insulated box, dry ice, careful packing, etc. But I'm on a tight budget; I just can't afford to pay $25 for food, and then $30-50 for shipping too.

So I think what I'll do is just buy feeder rodents from Petsmart or Petco and humanely euthanize them in a CO2 chamber.

My question is this: I have heard that they are not fed for 24-48 hours before being euthanized. Anybody confirm this? Should I just give them water to flush out their system so the cats don't have to deal with icky bowels and intestines? Or maybe, since starving them seams kind of cruel, I could just give them plain ol'e cornmeal, like you do for escargot snails.
 

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When I worked for a rodent breeder, their stock always had food/water available. Naturally a cat would get guts/stuff anyways, so why starve the poor thing first?

That said, I don't think I would buy PetSmart stock OR Petco feeders... having worked there, I can tell you they really don't get healthy stock in. It may be more expensive to feed stuff shipped in, but from a reputable source is better than sickly stock. Also, what about buying in bulk? That way you only have to pay the shipping every so often?
 

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You hve a CO2 chamber for euthanizing things?

It's probably best if you give the rodents an enema 12 hrs before feeding.
 

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It is much more humane to purchase from a company that knows how to do it. And I very much doubt it will be cheaper to do it as you suggest.

American Rodent Supply is pretty reasonable, esp. if you order a lot. If you are in their red zone on map, shipping is free. $10 box charge added.

That said, it is NOT cheap to feed whole prey, period. I feed 4 cats and spend upwards of $200 a month. But it's worth it.
 

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Just saw that you are NOT in their red zone. But there are other companies out your way where the shipping would be free or less. Start looking! The key is buying in larger amounts. Get a chest freezer if necessary. It pays off over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't have $100+ to spend. I'm trying to dig myself out of medical debt and save up enough for a place to live (my dad is 75...I could be out on the streets any time). My monthly budget for cat food, of any kind/variety, is $50 max - food, shipping, supplies for processing, storage... $50 one month at a time.
Besides, I want to see if the cats will even eat critters anyway...Zinny and Nebbie are still being stubborn about canned and ground, let alone REAL food like chicken hearts.

The only reason I'm going prey is for Paizly's various health issues. Maybe I should just buy her prey, and the others can stick with 9-Lives for the next 2 years while I get out of debt. Of course with my luck, then the others will start having health problems and need raw too.
I was doing just fine financially ($1.75 per day to feed all four!) and with getting each portion eaten, when I had all ground with eggshell supplement. Then I was told that was a bad choice, especially long term.

This is annoying! I need to win the lottery, or something! LOL
 
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