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  1. #1
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    Underweight/stunted BP?

    A couple of months ago I took in my first BP. I waited months and months to find someone who just needed a home and finally a 4 year old male Mojave popped up on Craigslist.

    When I picked him up his enclosure was not good at all. 1 half log hide over the UTH and aspen shavings. No misting, no thermometer, no hygrometer, no thermostat. Just him, his log, and a lot of old poops.

    I immediately fixed up his enclosure and his temps are perfect now. Humidity could be a little higher in his screen top enclosure but Iím working on that. Probably going to switch him to a decent sized tub.

    I weighed him when I first got him (2 months ago) and he was around 600g (about 3.5 ft). This obviously worried me a little so I started feeding one small rat (F/T) once a week instead of every two weeks like he was previously eating. He takes them no problem at all.

    I weighed him again and he is now a bit over 700. He was in shed when I first got him and he shed last week. Iím taking this as a good sign that heís growing.

    I wanted to hear more expert opinions. Am I doing this right? Does this mean he has stunted growth from his previous owners? Is he just a normal but small guy? Should I feed medium rats?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User SilentHill's Avatar
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    i think he will be just fine but may always be on the small side. we got a little corn snake from craigslist that was well taken care of except she'd only been fed fuzzies her entire three years. as she got older, they never upped her food intake. she's grown a bit since we got her but will probably never reach average corn snake size. she was SO LITTLE when we got her. i will try to find a pic of her.

    not sure about reptiles, but with underfed dogs and cats you wanna go with many small meals to start, lots of rest.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Sounds like he's lucky he found you. Stick to small rats weekly. Most males never need anything larger than smalls.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Underweight/stunted BP?

    Honestly, a nearly 17% increase in weight in only 2 months for a snake that is adult age sounds like a solid amount of growth assuming it is just filling out from being skinny or gaining some length and not just packing on a ton of fat. (I didn't see pictures, so I can't judge one way or the other.)

    Keep an eye on body condition to make sure it doesn't become the fat packing on instead down the road. Most adult males, especially pets, are perfectly fine eating small rats every 2 weeks, so once he is at a good body condition, it may be good to move back to that schedule. I know males up to 2,000g are generally fine with small rats, and my 1,400g male is perfectly fine with ~60g rats every 2 weeks, so I highly doubt yours will ever be big enough to need medium rats. Additionally, weight should be gained slowly in reptiles and the more frequent small rats should be plenty there

    Some adult males are simply small and he may be one of them. 700-900g is not what I'd call a stunted size for a male BP, especially at a shorter length, though there are plenty who do grow larger than that.

    If you said he was a 18-24" BP weighing 300-350g at adult age, and did not grow much at all when fed more appropriately than a prior owner did, then that's what I'd call stunted. Usually stunting is defined to be an abnormally small size that is not correctable by changes to the diet that would otherwise result in growth.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 05-15-2019 at 01:20 PM.

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  8. #5
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    I adopted my BP last year from his previous owner. He was almost 3 years old and weighed 375 grams. I have been feeding him one appropriate sized meal a week for the last year and he is now 750 grams.

    His weight gain was significant for the first 9 months but he has tapered off now to being fed every 2 weeks. He will probably top out at 800 to 850 grams and that could be due to his previous owner or maybe he is just a small male. Itís hard to say in my case but your snake doesnít sound like he was severely under weight.

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  10. #6
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Be patient...it's better for snakes to be grown slowly, not stuffed too full of food that packs on fat. Try not to be so obsessed with size...they don't grow that fast in
    the wild, that's for sure. Their over-all health is way more important.

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