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  1. #1
    Registered User Aerries's Avatar
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    Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Anubis was fed on Wednesday of last week....tonight he shows interest in feeding again...went into his cage and totally had a feeding strike at me...I'm feeding him small rats (F/T)...I don't want to have a consistently hungry Boa. Should I be feeding something larger or more often...not totally sure how old he is but got him on May 31st of this year and weighs 110g and is at 2ft exactly...(just weighted and measured him now) i know hes hungry cause he reacts the exact same way every time its the "official" day to feed....just wait or feed the hungry boy?

  2. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    A small rat weighs between 46 and 85 grams from most suppliers. If your snake just ate one and hasn't pooped yet so the 110 grams isn't an "empty weight" then it's overfed. Get an empty weight on it and then figure out what size feeder it should be taking. Up to a year old they should be on a 10-14 day schedule, then I add a week for every year they age until they reach adulthood. I feed adult females every four weeks, males every 5-6 weeks.

    Boas also should not be fed heavily as being fat can cut their lifespan in half. They also are opportunistic and unlike ball pythons will "beg" even if they just ate yesterday. For babies I want to just barely see a lump, and adults get a rabbit whose thickness is about half of the snake's girth.

    If yours has a strong food response I would suggest starting to tap train it.
    Last edited by bcr229; 08-12-2017 at 09:15 PM.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Aerries's Avatar
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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    A small rat weighs between 46 and 85 grams from most suppliers. If your snake just ate one and hasn't pooped yet so the 110 grams isn't an "empty weight" then it's overfed. Get an empty weight on it and then figure out what size feeder it should be taking. Up to a year old they should be on a 10-14 day schedule, then I add a week for every year they age until they reach adulthood. I feed adult females every four weeks, males every 5-6 weeks.

    Boas also should not be fed heavily as being fat can cut their lifespan in half. They also are opportunistic and unlike ball pythons will "beg" even if they just ate yesterday. For babies I want to just barely see a lump, and adults get a rabbit whose thickness is about half of the snake's girth.

    If yours has a strong food response I would suggest starting to tap train it.
    That's what I've noticed with Anubis......he does "beg" it's kinda cute cause it's not the norm that I've seen with Ramsey (my oldest BP) so that's why I wanted to reach out, everything I've been researching says ones every week till they get older, then span it out to two weeks then once a month....he was on hopers but honestly small rats don't even make any bump or anything...thanks for the insight!


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  5. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Gio's Avatar
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    Gus Rentfro had a web page that talked about feeding boas.

    bcr touched on very good points about feeding a young boa.

    I will just add that ALL signs of any previous meal should be gone. Gus mentioned that your boa should have completely eliminated all waste before feeding again.

    There is also scientific/biological evidence that shows the enlargement of the organs and a mass transfer of energy in a boa that is digesting a meal. The process should fully complete before feeding again in order to let the system reset.

    There is more to the process and a great deal of variability. Wild boas will often feast and famine. It is their design by nature. If you do some back to back feeding you will not necessarily harm your boa, but you have to make it up on the other end.

    Seasonality is important. Adult boas do not eat year round and really shouldn't.

    Now a younger snake being fed small meals weekly will get a good start and grow quickly.

    My advice is to read THE COMPLETE BOA CONSTRICTOR by Vincent Russo. There is excellent feeding advice in the book and also a good explanation of the "seasonality" (seasonal changes that the animal follows) that is worth reading.

    In a nutshell, feed conservatively.

    In nature the largest boas are the oldest boas. Your snake will grow healthy and live long if you don't over feed.

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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    If you are feeding your 2' boa small rats, you are overfeeding him. My 2' Suriname girl gets around a 12g hopper mouse every 10 days and my 2' Peruvian Longtail gets the same, a 12g hopper mouse every 10 days. I don't go up to weaned rats until they are about 1.5 years old and over 3'.

    It's next to impossible to starve a boa and boas are ALWAYS hungry. I can feed my 6.5' girl her large rat and the next day, she will still be hungry.

    All of my boas perk up when I slide open a cage door. Once they realize food isn't coming, they lay down disappointed.

    You want to feed it prey that will leave no lump or a very very slight lump in them. If they look like they ate a football after feeding, you are doing 100% wrong. Now my retic, he eats like a beast and gets 2XL guinea pigs or colossal rats but he's a python which is a whole different game than boas.
    1.0 SD/D White Albino Tiger het snow Reticulated Python-Caesar
    0.1 High White Pied Ball Python-Dottie
    0.1 Rio Bravo Pokigron Suriname BC-Gina
    1.0 Meltzer/Lincoln Peruvian Longtail het anery BCL-Louie
    1.0 Salmon het Snowglow BI-Rango

    0.1 Redgroup/Burke Lipstick Sunglow BI-Victoria
    0.1 Colombian BI-Rosey
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa-Luna

    0.1 Orange Starburst Bearded Dragon-Harley

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  9. #6
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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Boas also should not be fed heavily as being fat can cut their lifespan in half. They also are opportunistic and unlike ball pythons will "beg" even if they just ate yesterday. For babies I want to just barely see a lump, and adults get a rabbit whose thickness is about half of the snake's girth.
    To me this is not true. If Boas are not hungry they will reject the food. Of course if they are underfed they will be or seems to be always hungry and they won,t reject food. But when they are properly fed they will definitly reject the food if not hungry.

  10. #7
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutti View Post
    To me this is not true. If Boas are not hungry they will reject the food. Of course if they are underfed they will be or seems to be always hungry and they won,t reject food. But when they are properly fed they will definitly reject the food if not hungry.
    You do realize boas are opportunistic feeders so they will always eat when offered unless you are offering them so much that you basically are completely overwhelming their ability to even hold any more food. In the wild boas, eat maybe once every couple months unless they are lucky and in the winter, they go months without food. To add to this, they also must expend energy to find food or wait in ambush which could take months for a meal to wander by and then they gotta pray they dont miss.

    In captivity, they do nothing but sit not wasting any calories and just being fed. That's like you sitting in a chair all day and doing nothing but eating. What do you think will happen to you.

    And you do realize boas have a much slower metabolism. They poop maybe twice a month if that. Also you do know that boas and pythons organs actually engorge and double in size as well as work harder after a meal for about 10-14 days. This means if you constantly feed your snake food, its' organs are doubled in size and working double time 24/7.

    No offense but you really need to do a lot more research before giving advice on feeding for boas. I guarantee if you feed your boa by your standards of feeding, you will be lucky if your boa lives past 10 years.

    And here is reading for you about the organs physical changes that they go through after eating.
    https://www.uta.edu/news/releases/20...-intestine.php

    And to add, if you did this with a BCC, you would have a dead boa in a year if lucky. Too much food for them leads to regurgitation which can become chronic in them which leads to death. They don't handle food nearly as well as a BCI but even your standards will kill a BCI in 10 years if lucky.
    Last edited by Sauzo; 08-14-2017 at 04:37 AM.
    1.0 SD/D White Albino Tiger het snow Reticulated Python-Caesar
    0.1 High White Pied Ball Python-Dottie
    0.1 Rio Bravo Pokigron Suriname BC-Gina
    1.0 Meltzer/Lincoln Peruvian Longtail het anery BCL-Louie
    1.0 Salmon het Snowglow BI-Rango

    0.1 Redgroup/Burke Lipstick Sunglow BI-Victoria
    0.1 Colombian BI-Rosey
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa-Luna

    0.1 Orange Starburst Bearded Dragon-Harley

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  12. #8
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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sauzo View Post
    If you are feeding your 2' boa small rats, you are overfeeding him. My 2' Suriname girl gets around a 12g hopper mouse every 10 days and my 2' Peruvian Longtail gets the same, a 12g hopper mouse every 10 days. I don't go up to weaned rats until they are about 1.5 years old and over 3'.

    It's next to impossible to starve a boa and boas are ALWAYS hungry. I can feed my 6.5' girl her large rat and the next day, she will still be hungry.

    All of my boas perk up when I slide open a cage door. Once they realize food isn't coming, they lay down disappointed.

    You want to feed it prey that will leave no lump or a very very slight lump in them. If they look like they ate a football after feeding, you are doing 100% wrong. Now my retic, he eats like a beast and gets 2XL guinea pigs or colossal rats but he's a python which is a whole different game than boas.
    I fed my 15 month old male BCI (4.5 feet) XL live rat on the 24th of July and he went into shedding after that. He shed his skin on the 4th of August. Now its 10 days after he shed and he is not hungry, and if i offer him food he will definitely reject it. He has to poop first and 24 hours after that he will start feeling hungry again.

  13. #9
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutti View Post
    I fed my 15 month old male BCI (4.5 feet) XL live rat on the 24th of July and he went into shedding after that. He shed his skin on the 4th of August. Now its 10 days after he shed and he is not hungry, and if i offer him food he will definitely reject it. He has to poop first and 24 hours after that he will start feeling hungry again.
    Lol he rejected food because an XL rat is WAY too much for a 4.5' boa. Ask any breeder online or any sites and they will all tell you also that an XL rat is WAY too much. The only boas that need anything over a large rat are very large females 8'+. Even my 6.5' female gets a large rat every 3-4 weeks. Now my retic who is 7' gets 2XL guinea pigs or colossal rats every 10 days but thats a python. Completely different game. My 6.5' took over 5 years to get that size as i got her as an 18" worm. My retic took 9 months to go from 2' to 7'.

    And most snakes will go into shed when bumped up in size. All of my snakes have done that and also when switched from mice to rats, they usually will have a growth spurt.

    Like i said, you need to do a lot more research. Fat on boas dont show up until its too late. Fat builds around their organs first, then outward. So by the time you see fat rolls on them or 'boa hips', the fat around the vent, the years of life have already been shortened. And it is a lot easier to put weight on a boa than it is to take it off. An overweight boa can take a year or more to lose weight and get back to the nice square shape depending how overweight it is.

    Like i said, ask any other breeder if their 15 month old males are eating XL rats lol. A 15 month old on its best day would be on small rats. My almost 1.5 year old salmon DH sharp snowglow male is still on adult mice every 10 days. He wont go to weaned rats until probably close to 2 years old.
    1.0 SD/D White Albino Tiger het snow Reticulated Python-Caesar
    0.1 High White Pied Ball Python-Dottie
    0.1 Rio Bravo Pokigron Suriname BC-Gina
    1.0 Meltzer/Lincoln Peruvian Longtail het anery BCL-Louie
    1.0 Salmon het Snowglow BI-Rango

    0.1 Redgroup/Burke Lipstick Sunglow BI-Victoria
    0.1 Colombian BI-Rosey
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa-Luna

    0.1 Orange Starburst Bearded Dragon-Harley

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    Re: Okay about feeding my Colombian Red Tail...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sauzo View Post
    Lol he rejected food because an XL rat is WAY too much for a 4.5' boa. Ask any breeder online or any sites and they will all tell you also that an XL rat is WAY too much. The only boas that need anything over a large rat are very large females 8'+. Even my 6.5' female gets a large rat every 3-4 weeks. Now my retic who is 7' gets 2XL guinea pigs or colossal rats every 10 days but thats a python. Completely different game. My 6.5' took over 5 years to get that size as i got her as an 18" worm. My retic took 9 months to go from 2' to 7'.

    And most snakes will go into shed when bumped up in size. All of my snakes have done that and also when switched from mice to rats, they usually will have a growth spurt.

    Like i said, you need to do a lot more research. Fat on boas dont show up until its too late. Fat builds around their organs first, then outward. So by the time you see fat rolls on them or 'boa hips', the fat around the vent, the years of life have already been shortened. And it is a lot easier to put weight on a boa than it is to take it off. An overweight boa can take a year or more to lose weight and get back to the nice square shape depending how overweight it is.

    Like i said, ask any other breeder if their 15 month old males are eating XL rats lol. A 15 month old on its best day would be on small rats. My almost 1.5 year old salmon DH sharp snowglow male is still on adult mice every 10 days. He wont go to weaned rats until probably close to 2 years old.
    I took a video of that feeding. You can watch it and see the size of the rat yourself

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEM8dguV3po

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