Tagged by my baby boa


Old Timer
Jan 28, 2009
Well i was impatient while feeding my baby boa and i ended up getting tagged. It didnt hurt much and there were only a few spots of blood on my thumb, but i can definitely see how much damage an adult boa could potentially do. This was a feeding error and as always when working with these animals it was entirely my fault.

I usually warm up my thawed fuzzies under a heat lamp for at least 10 minutes before offering them to my boa on a plate, my boa definitely locates and begins to eat the mouse much more quickly when it's been warmed. I know pythons have really advanced heat sensors compared to boas, but boas must have something because i can really see the difference in feeding responses.

My first mistake was i was in a hurry to get to bed, so i didnt leave the mouse under the heat lamp for very long. When i put the mouse in my boa seemed to smell it and then ignore it, heres where i made my second mistake. I reached in to grab the mouse by the tail and move it around in order to elicit a feeding response, this has worked for me before. My snake went for the movement all right, and tagged my thumb instead of the mouse. I unfortunately jerked my hand away quickly by reflex, i've heard snakes can lose teeth this way, although there doesnt seem to be any in my skin.

My snake seemed unharmed and all i had was a few spots of blood, so i went back to making sure the mouse didnt goto waste. I ended up poking it with a straw and the movement was enough for my snake to eat the mouse.

So now as a very scientific thinker i have to ask myself how i can prevent this from happening in the future, and it's clear that i need to invest in tongs for handling the mice. I should definitely avoid putting my hands in the enclosure when theres even a single molecule of mouse for my boas jacobsons organ to pick up on! Tongs should allow me to manipulate the mouse in the enclosure as necessary. I think i can also try cutting the thawed mouse or making it's nose bleed in the future, to increase the chance of a feeding response.

I'm glad i decided to start with a baby boa, so i can learn these lessons before hes huge.


Old Timer
Oct 5, 2009
You can drop the mouse in there and leave it as well. I usually have no problem with my snakes eating after just tossing a mouse/rat in there at night its gone in the morning.