How Are Frozen Mice Killed?

Mice are one of the most versatile beings that could exist, they can serve you or even serve against you. They can be used as pets, food (for other pets), to do experiments or they can even be a huge pest problem. But definitely, there are no limits to what mice can do.

When it comes to mice who are killed and frozen to serve as food for other pets, there are two preferred methods. Merchants usually kill them with CO2 asphyxiation before freezing them or use dry ice to suffocate them very quickly.

There is another method such as cervical dislocation (aka neck-breaking), but it isn’t used as often as the other two. Cervical dislocation is a quick way to kill a mouse but it is also very taxing emotionally. So it isn’t definitely for everyone.

How Do You Humanely Kill a Feeder Mouse?

There are several methods that can be used to kill a feeder mouse. The fastest and most humane method to kill a feeder mouse is by breaking its neck. CO2 can also be used to kill feeder mice, but some of them can tolerate quite high concentrations, thus taking a much longer time to die.

How Do You Kill Mice With CO2?

The asphyxiation by CO2 method is the only legal and approved way by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this method is mainly meant to use by veterinarians and not ordinary people. If you need to euthanize a mouse you should take it to your vet.

Killing a mouse with CO2 asphyxiation involves mixing baking soda with white vinegar. This will create the gas necessary to kill the rodent. For this to work, you will need to keep the rodent in one sealed container and a bag with the baking soda and the vinegar on the outside (without mixing them).

The two recipients are then connected with a hose and then become channeled in between. When the connection is ready, the mixture can begin and it will produce the necessary gas to kill the mouse.

Is CO2 Euthanasia Painful?

The CO2 euthanasia method is not painful but it needs to be done correctly to be effective and quick. The key for this method to be painless is the usage of the correct mixture ratio. You’ll want to aim for a 30-40% CO2 concentration in the rodent container.

If this is done right the rodent will end up losing consciousness quickly and it will die in a humane way.

Note: Mice can do quite a mess when dying, but with the CO2 method they will fall asleep quietly.

How Do You Kill Mice With Dry Ice?

The method of dry ice is nothing more than the frozen form of carbon dioxide. Dry ice kills mice by asphyxiation and will expire the rodents in a matter of minutes. Usually, an exterminator places the dry ice in mice burrows and lets it act.

The dry ice will melt and the carbon dioxide will emanate itself through the holes, killing every mouse who breathes it.

Is Dry Ice Euthanasia Painful?

Dry ice can take a little longer to kill mice if it is used in mice burrows and not in controlled environments, such as sealed containers. Killing a mouse with dry ice will potentially cause some distress, discomfort, and/or pain prior to the loss of consciousness.

This method is widely used by professional exterminators and nowadays is the preferred method to kill mice infestations in outside places, like parks, backyards, farms, and many others.

Is Freezing Mice Humane?

Freezing mice is only a way to preserve the mice all the way to the final consumer, mice aren’t actually frozen alive. They are killed using a specific method and then frozen to conserve the body.

Without freezing mice, it would be impossible to distribute them throughout pet stores and many other places that use frozen mice to feed their livestock. Even zoos and smaller animals expositions, use frozen mice to feed their animals.

Why Did Most Pet Shops Stop Selling Feeder Mice?

Many shops stop selling feeder mice, due to the amount of work they require to maintain. Feeder mice sometimes represent low profit to stores, there are many factors that condition this such as:

  • Many feeder mice die while they are not sold. Either from diseases or something else entirely.
  • They require a lot of maintenance.
  • Feeding feeder mice can become quite an expense.

These are some of the reasons why many stores opt to use frozen mice instead of living feeder mice.

How To Make Your Own Frozen Mice for Snake Feeding?

Since feeder mice are getting harder to buy from stores and sometimes is not that convenient to buy frozen ones, you can start doing it on your own. You either buy them live from farms and freeze them yourself or raise them at home do the freezing process and feed them to your snake.

You can also choose to feed them live, if you don’t want to feed them live, then you’ll have to kill them prior to the feeding.

How Do Pet Stores Kill Frozen Feeder Mice?

The preferred method for killing mice en-masse in pet stores is carbon dioxide asphyxia. This method is carefully measured so it won’t cause unnecessary suffering to feeder mice.

It is usually done with a low dose in the normal breading air, so mice won’t feel out of breath. They usually get really tired and go to sleep (and die peacefully).

How Do You Euthanize Mice for Snake Food?

There is only one legal method to do this, which is using CO2 gas. Professional suppliers are only authorized to use this method. The mice are placed in a recipient or an enclosure and then flooded with CO2 gas. After a moment they will lose consciousness and will die in a deep sleep.

How Do They Kill Mice for Snakes

Generally, most the mice farms use the CO2 gas method to put down their mice before freezing them up. There are many other methods, but this one is the only one that follows compliant rules regarding that. After they die, mice are frozen to preserve their bodies until they arrive at the final consumer.

Discover: Do mice really enjoy cat gourmet? Or are they just desperate?

Frozen Mice: Did You Know Facts

  • Merchants kill feeder mice ranging from 48 hours to 9 months old. The average frozen mouse is about 3-4 weeks old.
  • The main problem with frozen mice farms is not the killing of the mice, but rather the unsanitary conditions they go through before meeting their end.
  • Around 85 million to 2.1 billion mice and other vertebrates are farmed and killed to be used as pet snake food every year. And those numbers keep increasing.
  • Pet snake numbers are also increasing, there are around 4.2 million to 7.8 million pet snakes in the whole world, this is one of the main reasons why a lot of frozen mice are farmed and killed.
  • Many frozen mice are also used in zoos and other places to feed other animals such as bald eagles, hedgehogs, lizards, crows, frogs, and swallow-tailed kites.
  • According to the PFMA’s surveys, the U.K. and the U.S. are the most active consumers of frozen mice.


The most important thing to keep in mind while thinking about the issue of the killing and frozen mice is to keep their suffering to a minimum. Human beings should have always the obligation not to cause unnecessary suffering to these beings. If this article was useful please share it with your friends.