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  1. #11
    BPnet Senior Member CloudtheBoa's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Quote Originally Posted by James_Snakes View Post
    I had taken both snakes to the local vet and she said they were both healthy and disease free so I figured it would be okay to get them out together. I won't be doing this anymore for a few months now, but I guess it might be too late... Hopefully not. I'm new the hobby so excuse my spelling. The breeder also told me it was a Colombian Red Tail BCI. Sounds like that may not be accurate, but I'm not too worried about the exact breed of the snake per say; I'm just happy to have a boa that is as beautiful and tame as her. As for the handling I've had her a few weeks and she's eaten twice. I know not to handle her for a few days after her last meal, but beyond that I respect your recommendation. However, this snake was handled daily for 2 years before I got her and I'm going to continue to do so. She never gets stressed out and actually seems to enjoy hanging around my arms and neck for an hour or two sometimes without moving. She's obviously a very tame snake and has been babied her whole life, I'm just trying to make sure she continues to live the same lifestyle (minus some of that extra fat shes got). I'll try cutting her feeding down to every 2 weeks at first, thanks for the help.
    I've given you my advice based off of what I think is healthier and more responsible, you can do as you want with that info. Handling daily makes it more likely you'll cross her threshold of stress. I have also handled my first boa with daily handling for the first few years of his life, but boas only tolerate so much - they don't "enjoy" handling. There would be the odd occasion he'd protest me manhandling him so I cut back (maybe 5 times or less in the 8+ years I've had him). Imo it is better to handle them a little less often, no matter how docile. I also recommend just cutting the food back, instead of weaning her to less and less food. 2 weeks is still considered quite overfeeding at that size and feeding the prey size she's eating.
    Last edited by CloudtheBoa; 02-12-2020 at 02:37 PM.
    3.3 Boa imperator ('15 sunglow "Nymeria," '11 wild-type "Cloud," '15 ghost "Tirel," '16 anery motley "Crona," '10 ghost "Howl," '08 junge "Dominika")
    1.0 garter snake ('13 albino checkered "Draco")
    0.1 reticulated python ('14 "Riverrun")

    ~RIP~
    2.2 Brazilian rainbow boa ('15 Picasso stripe BRBs "Guin" and "Morzan, and '15 hypo "Homura", '14 normal "Sanji")
    1.0 eastern garter ('13 "Demigod)
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  3. #12
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Quote Originally Posted by James_Snakes View Post
    I had taken both snakes to the local vet and she said they were both healthy and disease free so I figured it would be okay to get them out together. I won't be doing this anymore for a few months now, but I guess it might be too late... Hopefully not. I'm new the hobby so excuse my spelling. The breeder also told me it was a Colombian Red Tail BCI. Sounds like that may not be accurate, but I'm not too worried about the exact breed of the snake per say; I'm just happy to have a boa that is as beautiful and tame as her. As for the handling I've had her a few weeks and she's eaten twice. I know not to handle her for a few days after her last meal, but beyond that I respect your recommendation. However, this snake was handled daily for 2 years before I got her and I'm going to continue to do so. She never gets stressed out and actually seems to enjoy hanging around my arms and neck for an hour or two sometimes without moving. She's obviously a very tame snake and has been babied her whole life, I'm just trying to make sure she continues to live the same lifestyle (minus some of that extra fat shes got). I'll try cutting her feeding down to every 2 weeks at first, thanks for the help.
    Most Boas are pretty chill. IMO, she's been overfed. My 3 1/2+ year old female BI is about 1,800G and about 5ft. Much better to slow grow a boa. They are known to put on fat that doesn't' come off and have health issues from overfeeding.

    I would not feed her more than every 2-3 weeks and that depends on food size. If she's eating medium rats, every 3 weeks is recommended. However, I wouldn't jump to that. Maybe every 2 weeks and then go to 3 weeks. If on large rats, the same, except maybe even get to monthly feedings. That's for a boa that isn't overweight. You might even do 4 weeks for mediums and 5 weeks if large rats. Also, do not feed larger than large rats as boas do not handle fatty food well. No XL or Jumbo's especially. Better to feed more often smaller meals if she gets huge or look for alternatives like rabbits. However, she shouldn't get huge - overly so anyway, with proper feeding.

    What tank will she end up in? Humidity is very important to boas and I imagine that it's hard to keep that up in the current setup.

    My boas also seem to "like" being handled, but really, they just tolerate us. On the level of getting stressed, I would say Boas are up there as one of the least stressed snakes by handling. I can handle my boas and feed 5 minutes later (Feliz, my dwarf BCC likes to drop bombs about an hour before feeding on feeding day like clockwork). I would say daily for 1-2 hours is too much, especially if your house is set to human temps and humidity. Even if the Boa doesn't appear stressed, that's a lot of time away from her nice warm and humid home.

    Having said that, I generally do not handle any snake on feeding day and for 2-3 days after, depending on food size.

    Finally, even if a vet says healthy, I believe all animals should be quarantined for 90 days. I got a new BI recently, from the same breeder I got my female BI, and he still got quarantined for over 90 days.
    Last edited by dakski; 02-12-2020 at 08:01 PM.

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  5. #13
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    She's going to end up in a custom built 6'x2'x2' wooden and pvc enclosure with hinged plastiglass doors in the front and radiant heater on top with little airflow for humidity. It's very hard to keep humidity up in her current setup, but with moss and misting I've been able to keep her levels pretty good. I also don't usually handle her for such long periods of time, but sometimes I will get her out and she won't move from my neck for an hour or two and these are the times I let her do her thing for so long. When she starts looking anxious or begins moving around a lot and trying to get away from me, I'll put her back in her enclosure (although I do let her explore the room sometimes when I haven't have her out for very long). Also, shes kept in an apartment that is set for human temps (~72 degrees f) so I know this isn't optimal, but I've always wondered this and maybe it's a stupid question, but wouldn't the human body be like laying on a constant 98.6 degree heating pad for them? Maybe even slightly less through my shirt, but that would still put it right around the temp of their target basking zone correct? And maybe that's exactly why she likes to lay on me for such a long period of time when I get her out. Regardless, I'm definitely going to cut her feeding down to 2 weeks at first, then switch to 3. I can currently only get medium rats around my area so that's the size she has been eating since she's been with me. That's helpful to know about the XL and jumbo rats for future reference thanks for the info.

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  7. #14
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Your boa is pretty. I'd agree that she's quite large for a 2 y/o but her body condition looks pretty solid so she's not too far gone. Moving to a 2-4 week feeding schedule sounds like an excellent plan. For comparison my 2.5 y/o male BI, who I've had since he was one, isn't quite 3ft and is roughly 1100g. He eats a small rat every 2 weeks but he'll move up to mediums in a few months at which point I'll scale him back to a 3 week feeding schedule.
    2.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
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  9. #15
    BPnet Veteran MarkL1561's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    I recommend watching Jason’s exotic reptiles video on feeding. Personally I disagree with some of the advice you’ve been given... feeding every 4-6 weeks is absolutely insane. Do you really think these animals are going to go 4-6 weeks without food in the jungle? You have to be careful with forums as there aren’t many people on here and everyone is an expert... I will not point fingers but I highly recommend you do additional research. Congratulations on getting a boa! They’ve quickly become one of my favorite species.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  11. #16
    BPnet Senior Member CloudtheBoa's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL1561 View Post
    I recommend watching Jason’s exotic reptiles video on feeding. Personally I disagree with some of the advice you’ve been given... feeding every 4-6 weeks is absolutely insane. Do you really think these animals are going to go 4-6 weeks without food in the jungle? You have to be careful with forums as there aren’t many people on here and everyone is an expert... I will not point fingers but I highly recommend you do additional research. Congratulations on getting a boa! They’ve quickly become one of my favorite species.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    All of my adults eat 4-6 weeks and I’ve been feeding this way for just about 6 years now. A 5’-6’ boa eating a medium or large rat absolutely doesn’t need to eat more often than 4 weeks, 3 for mediums. I even withhold food for 2-3 months every winter...I bet these snakes eat less of a mass of food throughout the year, and most of their food is concentrated in a few months out of the year. Vin Russo at least hints at a seasonal feeding regimen and says that most of the year his snakes are eating sparingly or not at all with a very short period of heavier food intake per year. Most keepers prefer a steady schedule, though, so it’s especially important here to make sure they’re getting that break in between meals.

    The only adult I have eating more often is my 4’ male who eats small rats, and he goes every 2-3 weeks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    3.3 Boa imperator ('15 sunglow "Nymeria," '11 wild-type "Cloud," '15 ghost "Tirel," '16 anery motley "Crona," '10 ghost "Howl," '08 junge "Dominika")
    1.0 garter snake ('13 albino checkered "Draco")
    0.1 reticulated python ('14 "Riverrun")

    ~RIP~
    2.2 Brazilian rainbow boa ('15 Picasso stripe BRBs "Guin" and "Morzan, and '15 hypo "Homura", '14 normal "Sanji")
    1.0 eastern garter ('13 "Demigod)
    0.0.1 ball python ('06 "Bud")

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  13. #17
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudtheBoa View Post
    All of my adults eat 4-6 weeks and I’ve been feeding this way for just about 6 years now. A 5’-6’ boa eating a medium or large rat absolutely doesn’t need to eat more often than 4 weeks, 3 for mediums. I even withhold food for 2-3 months every winter...I bet these snakes eat less of a mass of food throughout the year, and most of their food is concentrated in a few months out of the year. Vin Russo at least hints at a seasonal feeding regimen and says that most of the year his snakes are eating sparingly or not at all with a very short period of heavier food intake per year. Most keepers prefer a steady schedule, though, so it’s especially important here to make sure they’re getting that break in between meals.

    The only adult I have eating more often is my 4’ male who eats small rats, and he goes every 2-3 weeks.
    Also bear in mind that most boas in the wild are getting a lot more exercise and burning more calories than the ones in captivity.

    My adults are also on a four-week schedule and the feeders they get are half their girth.

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  15. #18
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    She was on a 7 day feeding schedule. Start at 10 days an move it farther out as time goes on. Many breeders use the 7 day feeding schedule. 25+ years ago it was beat into my head fast growth is bad. Feed your Boa every 10 days for the first year. Now, all my Boas will lie an tell you I didn't feed them, with a rabbit foot or rat tail hanging out of their mouth. Boas are eating machines, it's up to you to watch the intake.

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  17. #19
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Re: New 2 year old Boa size

    Quote Originally Posted by 303_enfield View Post
    Now, all my Boas will lie an tell you I didn't feed them, with a rabbit foot or rat tail hanging out of their mouth.
    I think the only snakes I have that don't do that regularly are my ball pythons.

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    CloudtheBoa (02-16-2020)

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