I recommend that you don't feed live prey to your boas or pythons.  Here are
some pictures of a boa that was bit by a rat.  Even if you keep a close eye on your
snake when it is eating, it's possible that some day the rat will bite and hurt the
snake.  Some bites can be fatal.  By the time you notice something happening,  it
may be already to late.

Snakes in the wild do kill prey but there are some other things to consider with
captive snakes.

1- Wild snakes aren't confined in close quarters with the prey and forced to eat or
defend them self's.

2- Most snakes in the wild die really young for any number of reasons. Nature
doesn't play favorites. Sometimes the snake kills the prey. Sometimes the prey
kills the snake.

3- Live prey very often comes loaded with parasites. So does prekilled prey.
Freezing and thawing prey is the best way to avoid internal and external parasites.

4- It's more humane for BOTH animals to eat frozen thawed prey.
Please remember that rodents are God’s creatures also. A quick death by you is
definitely more humane than the minute-long fight for it's life in the coils of your

Here is a link to Boa-Constrictor.com that shows some more rat bite pictures.

These pictures belong to Ravnos.
This boa was a rescue Ravnos took in.
If you would like to use these pictures,
please e-mail Ravnos first.
Thank you for the use of your pictures Ravnos.
This picture was taken the day Ravnos took this boa
This picture was taken about 2 weeks later,  after daily
cleaning & antibiotic treatments.
Rat Bite Page