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  1. #1
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    Really dumb question about new boa

    I just got my baby bci about 3 weeks ago. She had a URI and I got that cleared up, but I've noticed she hasn't had a bowel movement since I got her. She did pass a urate with some hard yellow stuff in it the week after I got her, but nothing since. I'm not sure exactly how old she is either, but for reference she is a foot and a half long give or take.

    I've been trying to find the symptoms of impaction so I can check her, but my searches just don't turn up that much info.

    I feed her a pinky rat once every 7-8 days and she has eaten three times since I got her home. She has a healthy appetite, and has never refused a meal. Everything I've read says not to worry about it, but I worry about everything so.... Any info on impaction or baby boas would be helpful!

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Mine donít poop for 4-8weeks sometimes. Donít worry, it will eventually


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  4. #3
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    If she's using all the rat up she won't be passing much thru, that's why people tend to feed mice to start rather than rats, pinky rats won't have. A lot of nutrients as they tend to have the less if no fur, most people work up the mice from small to large then go onto appropriate size rats,

    a small /medium mouse has much more nutrients than say a rat pink

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    Unless you see "sausage butt" you've got nothing to worry about. "Sausage butt" is when the area above the cloaca looks like an overstuffed sausage ready to burst the casing. Otherwise she'll poop when she's ready.
    ...life is beautiful...

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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Well I just ordered a ton of pinky rats for her, that's awesome. I also ordered rat fuzzies, are those any better? Also thank you to everyone else for the replies and advice!

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  10. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyanna View Post
    Well I just ordered a ton of pinky rats for her, that's awesome. I also ordered rat fuzzies, are those any better? Also thank you to everyone else for the replies and advice!
    The fuzzies are better, but not quite as good as a small mouse.

    As Rich said, the more mature the animal you can give, the better.

    Having said that, its best practices, but not the end of the world. For example, I switched my carpet python from mice to rat pups early, because they can imprint on food and better to get him switched than worry about feeding multiple mice.

    They survive in nature on whatever they can find.

    Still, if you want what's best, go to rat fuzzies if your BI can handle them, or try to find some mice in the meantime.

    Remember, less is more with boas. Not too large a meal and not too often either. As your BI gets older, you will want to start spacing out the meals more.

    Also, no dumb questions here. Keep asking and learning. Good you want what's best for your BI.

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  12. #7
    Registered User WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    As Rich said, the more mature the animal you can give, the better.
    What dakski and Rich said.

    Feeding a more mature prey item is typically better than feeding a younger prey item. Mature prey items have more solidified bones (ie. calcium), more muscle (ie. lean protein), and less fat than younger prey items, which tend to have more fat, less solidified bones, and less muscle. I say typically because certain mature prey items -- ie. jumbo rats and mice -- are just fatty adults, which may not be the best,most nutritionally balanced thing to feed long term.

    When your boa is large enough, it may be a good idea to offer a few non-rodent prey items for a bit of variety. A good number of boa keepers offer their boas appropriately-sized quail. Reptilinks are another option, and may be your best bet to offer smaller boas things such as rabbit or iguana. Boas may not take them right away, though, and I've heard the larger links have a tendency to burst when constricted.

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Remember, less is more with boas. Not too large a meal and not too often either. As your BI gets older, you will want to start spacing out the meals more.
    THIS. Far too many people overfeed their boas for one reason or another.

    Based on what I've been hearing from some other boa keepers and my personal experience, I've come to believe that the oft-quoted 7-10 day feeding schedule for young boas is too much. A 14-day to every-other-week schedule is more appropriate, even for sub-yearling boas. If I'm remembering things correctly, boas' digestive systems take about two weeks to return to "rest mode" after a meal. Their systems will never get the rest they need if they're fed every week, or even every 10 days.

    You may not want to give your girl pinky rats every 7-8 days. Try dialing back your feeding schedule and only feed after she's been hunting for a day or two. It's a good idea to only feed after your boa's hunting for at least a night or two in general -- if they're out, cruising around their tank more than usual, and look particularly keen, they're hunting.

    To use my boas as an example: my first boa (Adelita, a Sonoran) has gotten one hopper mouse every 7-10 days since I brought her home as a one-month-old in September. My other boa (Kuzco, a Peruvian longtail who was one of the smallest in his litter) was fed one smaller mouse every ~14 days since he was born in July (he even skipped one or two of his first meals). Right now, Kuzco's about 60g and a hair shy of 21", with great muscle tone and body shape. Adelita, on the other hand, is about 128g and 26" (up from 110g and 23.5" in January), and while her body shape is good, her muscle tone isn't as sharp and she looks like she may be carrying a bit of pudge. She honestly looks more like a yearling than a seven-month-old. I've since moved her to a "one small mouse every 14-21 days, and only after she's been hunting for a day or two" schedule, while Kuzco will be getting one hopper every ~14 days.

    Good luck with your girl! For what it's worth, I wouldn't worry about impaction either -- mine tend to hold it in for several weeks, like others'.
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Thank you all so much for all of the great info!!! I just went to check on her and I was concerned since I could still see a bulge in her from her meal on Friday. Knowing I shouldn't feed her as often as I have been, I'm guessing that she is just taking a long time to digest it. I'll start feeding her every 14 days instead.

    Thanks again guys!!!

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  16. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Really dumb question about new boa

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyanna View Post
    Thank you all so much for all of the great info!!! I just went to check on her and I was concerned since I could still see a bulge in her from her meal on Friday. Knowing I shouldn't feed her as often as I have been, I'm guessing that she is just taking a long time to digest it. I'll start feeding her every 14 days instead.

    Thanks again guys!!!
    What are your temps? Where is she spending most of her time?

  17. #10
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    Warm side hot spot sits at about 91-93f. Cool side is 75-77f.
    Since eating Friday she has been on the warm side of the enclosure. Right now she is basking on top of one of her hides. The temp up there is a bit warmer since it's closer to the heat lamp. Before I disturbed her this morning she was under her hide on her warm side. I do have a UTH (94f) going too, but she seems to spend most of her time up in the foliage rather than where the UTH can warm her up.

    Before she ate she seemed to go back and forth a lot.

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