Live or Frozen Thawed Feeder Rats

What do you feed your adult red tail boas? Live or frozen thawed? If you feed live can adult red tail boas change to eat frozen thawed rats?

We feed all of our boas frozen thawed rats and we order them from Rodent Pro. I would never recommend feeding live rats to any snake as the rats can be aggressive towards the snake. See the photos below of snakes with bite marks.

Depending on the bite or scratch your snake could become critically injured or killed.


  1. Carlos says:

    I fed my ball python live.I think it’s ebtter this way and I think that a lot of the picky eater’ ball python stereotypes come from people feeding frozen/thawed.My snake strikes immediately, never hesitates, and coils quickly around each mouse that I fed him. People worry about feeding live rats because they are smarter but if feeding live mice is an option into adulthood. The breeder I bought my ball from feeds his non-breeder’ snakes mice but just feeds them more often because rats are more likely to harm snakes. The snakes know how to defend themselves and I believe that if your snake is healthy it will easily be able to handle an adult mouse or small rat.As your snake grows and you want to feed live just feed more often (every 5 days feed a mouse) instead of feeding a rat every 10 days. This is perfectly acceptable especially if you are not planning to breed your snake, especially male balls. Male balls do not need to get as large and they are also prone to obesity because people often feed them too much. If you are just enjoying your male ball as a pet then you can keep them on the smaller size they don’t need HUGE meals each time you feed them, they just need to maintain a healthy weight.

    • William says:

      I agree with what you are saying Carlos. We feed out newborns live for the first few weeks/months of there life. This helps them to get the natural instinct of striking and constricting. But as boas get bigger they have to eat very large full grown rats. A full grown rat can be very aggressive if it feels threatened and one bite in the correct area can cause a snake to loose an eye or have a life long scar. The only reason we feed our boas frozen thawed is for safety of the boa.

    • Christi says:

      You should have one side waermr than the other in your habitat and if you forget to turn it on or off, even up to a couple of days, it won’t hurt the snake.We purchased heating pads that stick onto the bottom and side of the tank and just leave them on. Then turn the lamp on during the majority of the day. So to answer you question, it isn’t necessary for the tank to drop just at night, as long as your snake has options.I’m not familiar with sizes and ages yet, I’m still learning, as well.As for the rat/mice, it needs to be fresh, otherwise it will start to stink horribly. Soak it for about 15 minutes before feeding in warm water.Good luck! Hope I helped and you find your other answer.

      • Arnold says:

        Snakes are most vulnerable when eatnig so they are sometimes very nervous. Give your snake some privacy while feeding until it gets more comfortable with it’s new home. Try feeding again in a couple of days. Don’t worry, they can go months without eatnig so it won’t starve. Make sure your snake has 2 hiding spots to hide in. One on the hot side and one on the cool side. Without a place to hide and feel secure, they can become very quick to bite. Good luck.

  2. Anthony says:

    William i see what your saying but in the wils snakes get bit all the time this can happen. And thats why you just watch your snake eat so if the rat wants to bite just flick it in the head jus dont gt bit

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