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  • Pre Killing Rats

    I know Clay and several people highly recommend Pre-Killed or Frozen/Thawed Rats as the food for Boas.

    My preferences are live or freshly Pre-Killed rats. I repeat MY PREFERENCE. If you like frozen/thawed thats fine

    My Ball Python I feed freshly Pre-Killed rodents, which I pre-kill myself. But I only feed it pre-killed simply because my Ball Python isn't a very accurate striker so she gets pre-killed for her own safety.

    However I feed my Columbian BCI live.

    And before I go any further I am in no way recommending someone to feed live food to their snake. Not all snakes do well with live food and as a result some snakes end up hurt or worse.

    Now with that said, back to what I was saying.

    My Columbian BCI named Rocky is 30 inches long as of the end of last month and 7 and 1/2 months old. Rocky was being fed live prey when I aquired Rocky in February of this year.
    The only reason I have continued to feed Rocky live prey is because Rocky doesn't waste time when it comes to eating. So as soon as that rats head is in striking distance Rocky has the rat coiled up and begins the constricting process. Rocky hasn't yet missed on a strike attempt. Rocky has even caught a rat as it was falling. Now I have no problem switching Rocky to freshly Pre-Killed prey, its just that right now I don't see a need to do so. Rocky has the prey coiled up in 20-30 second. So obviously the prey isn't in there long enuff to even know there is a snake in the enclosure let alone do any damage.

    However If the time ever arises that I need to feed Rocky freshly Pre-Killed prey I would like some suggestions on the best way to Pre-Kill a Jumbo sized rat, because that is probably the food Rocky will be eating once Rocky is full grown.


  • #2
    Re: Pre Killing Rats

    Well I think you know how I stand on this, so hopefully I will not rant and rave again. As small as Rocky is right now, 30 inches or so, he is eating very small weaned or preweaned rats. This in itself does not seem to pose too great a threat. IF closely monitored and the rat is not left overnight or left alone.

    However as you have said, there will come a time when you must feed the larger adult rats, and then it is a game of chance. It is not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN the snake just doesn't get that perfect hold on the rat that the damage will be done. It will be done before you can react, and even if you react, you are not strong enough to "pry" a rat away from a 7 foot boa constrictor. They are simply too strong. EVERY wild caught boa constrictor shows signs of damage done by the very prey it catches.

    So the alternative to feeding LIVE is, as you have said, to pre-kill the live rat just prior to feeding. Some people do not like this sort of thing, but a swift strike of the rat on a board, is all that is needed to pre-kill the rat. Then offer immediately and the snake will never know the difference.

    This pre-kill method is also a great transition phase used to convert to feeding frozen/thawed prey items.

    This method provides a much safer method of feeding "almost live" prey
    To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

    -Best Regards
    -Clay English
    Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

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    • #3
      Re: Pre Killing Rats

      a swift strike of the rat on a board, is all that is needed to pre-kill the rat.  Then offer immediately and the snake will never know the difference.
      The way I have been pre-killing the small-medium sized rats is by grabing them by the tail and swing their heads onto the concrete floor of the Garage.

      I didn't think the same method would work on the Large-JUMBO sized rats.

      Thanks Clay  



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      • #4
        Re: Pre Killing Rats

        You also have to think about internal parasites that can be passed to your snake from live/fresh killed prey. IMO the sooner a snake is converted to frozen/thaw the better. That way by the time the snake is large enough to take prey that could bite/claw him, he'll already be used to eating frozen/thaw. -Juggalo

        Edited to add: when I have to put down rats myself I prefeer cervical dislocation. Place a rod of some kind behind the head, right at the base. Pull up HARD and fast on the tail at a 90 degree angle. I truly believe this is the fastest, least painful (for the rat) and least amount of clean up besides C02.  here is a link that has a lot of opinions about the best way to kill feeders: http://redtailboa.net/modules.php?op...amp;topic=5662 -Juggalo

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        • #5
          Re: Pre Killing Rats

          I didn't think the same method would work on the Large-JUMBO sized rats.

          Yup, It works for the big ines too!

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          • #6
            Re: Pre Killing Rats

            I have fed f/k for years and never have had any problems associated with doing such in the area of microbial things myself. I still feed some f/k but most are f/t now. As for the live feedings.. Definately change it to a form of dead prey and do it NOW also. Here's my page on live feeding snakes...
            http://www.koalaskritters.net/livefeeding.html

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            • #7
              Re: Pre Killing Rats

              Thanks for the info guys.  



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              • #8
                Re: Pre Killing Rats

                I have started switching my boa over to pre-killed.
                I gave a small rat one good wack to kind of daze it, and dangled it in front of my boas nose and my boa took it.

                On the next feeding I will knock the rat out and see if my boa will take it.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pre Killing Rats

                  HI,
                   your on the right track, next time you  feed a slightly smaller prey item fresh killed and the second fresh thawed. Thats how I converted a very picky BP to fresh thawed. My favorite method is to thaw in the sink in a rather large stainless steel doggie dish i got at the dollar store for one buck I do this with out a baggy, its quicker and the rat is warm. The snakes don't like damp rats, but all my boa's are ok with it for now, and they get a little extra moisture.  I can thaw a large rat to body temp in about 30 mins.. dab it a bit with a paper towel put the snake in the feed box, and give him ten mins to think about eating. dangle and drop the rat with a snake hook ( INCASE THEY BE HUNGRY SNAKES)...  them feed boxed tend to make them extra hungry after a couple feedings.. the best thing about frozen thawed no mites, parasites, and no rat bites. I saw on  http://www.redtailboas.com/cgi-bin/y...num=1033524614 asub adult boa is going to the vet to have its face sewn up and it will loose both eyes for the rest of its life because its owner fed a  live rat and the food chewed up that snake.  I can't imagine how this snake will function without eyes but he will not be able to eat easily. He may stil die from soft tissue infection of his face.
                    please take the time to read the care sheets, it only takes a few feeding and the snake are converted for life. Heck i trained a sub adult Bp who was eating gerbils to eat small thawed rats in a coleman cooler like the rest of my clan..
                  [ftp]http://www.redtailboas.com/carelinks/carelinks.html[/ftp]



                  cwm8.gif
                    :P DOug
                               

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pre Killing Rats

                    Here is my plan to convert my Columbian BCI:

                    step1: dazed rat
                    step2: knocked out rat
                    step3: pre-killed

                    I've done the 1st step.
                    I will do the 2nd step this comming Saturday, and the 3rd step the next Saturday.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pre Killing Rats

                      HI,
                      And on a final note you should have a stool check on that snake just to be sure he dosen't have any paristes from those previous feedings, my Vet says at lest once a year stool checks if they eat fresh killed.
                      Your gonna swear by fresh thawed afer a couple months , its just easier.
                      doug

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pre Killing Rats

                        I plan to eventually do a yearly exam anyway so I imaginge my vet will check for parasites anyway.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pre Killing Rats

                          I will soon be converting to pre killed mice..I have had the biggest pain in the a$$ trying to get rid of these dammed devils. cwm23.gifI get rid of the mites and they just pop back up like a sore throat..The only thing I can think of is that the mice and rats have mites on tyem and they keep getting on my Colobian Red Tail.I also am have chosen to convert to pre killed prey beacuse of the parasites inside and outside the rat or mice.I have just lost a Ball Python and I am taking every precaution I can now.The only hard part I have is swinging around that rat and knocking him sensless,but you have to do what you have to do....Anyone watch Animal Planet last night and see The Big Squeeze??

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pre Killing Rats

                            Yeah, I was watching that last night. >

                            cwm23.gif cwm23.gif cwm23.gif cwm23.gif What got me mad at the show is that all they did was blame the snakes. >

                            I mean it's like the guy who was changing the lightbulb wouldn't have got attacked if he had made sure that the snake couldn't see him before he changed the bulb. Every attack incident on that show could have been prevented if the cages were secure like they're supposed to be and if the owners had taken the proper precautions. Every attack could have been prevented.

                            Except the one were that lady had to go to bathroom.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pre Killing Rats

                              That is the type of show that gets people deathly affraid of snakes...Man.Some parts got me so mad...I wish they wouldnt show that kind of stuffcwm23.gif.Maybe if they made it more clearer that it was the owners fault most of the time and not the snakes.That one wher the guy went to change the light bulb was idiotic.What do you thisk a 18 foot Reticulated Python is going to do when you stick your nig fat head in the cage.LUNCH TIME!!!!! cwm23.gif

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