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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Food Size Question

    Putting this question out to the all knowledgeable board. Phantom is approximately 3 years old and around 1000 grams. Heís been feeding on small F/T rats for a year and a couple months. Should I keep him at this size or is it time to up the size to medium rats? Currently smalls are convenient since my finicky BP is on this size and itís easy to throw the BOA refusals. Thanks everyone!








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  3. #2
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    Personally I'd keep him where he is for now- his body, as best I can tell, has good weight, muscle tone & good proportions (if you imagine a "cross-section" a boa should be shaped like a loaf of bread). He surely doesn't appear thin, & while he could probably put away a medium, he might end up packing on excessive weight- I'll always vote for "slow growth". He's a handsome fellow, & I like the cooperative way he's perching on your scale. When you do finally go to medium rats, you'll also want to lengthen the time between meals- they take longer to digest- but I wouldn't rush it. He looks great.
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  5. #3
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Food Size Question

    Hey CK! Your boa is looking GREAT! Heís definitely big enough to eat medium rats. Iíd feed him a medium every 2-3 weeks. You can also alternate between sizes if you want or when the BP doesnít eat.
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  7. #4
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    He looks like he is in great shape, not like he is starving or anything. I'd stick with what you are doing because it's convenient. It's not like in the wild they get perfectly sized prey.

    My retics are garbage disposals for my hatchling BPs and it ends up working out that they eat smaller prey more often than the ideal sized prey, but their growth rate is still being balanced well.
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  9. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Realistically, I'd probably start to mix it up (give an occasional medium) as El-Ziggy suggested & see how it goes, rather than any sudden switch over anyway. Snakes in nature sure don't get the same size prey all the time- but I'd avoid any sudden big increments.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  11. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Food Size Question

    Sorry for any typos. Computer is off due to storm in NE USA right now and I am on the phone.

    Two questions.

    1. How big do you want him and how fast?

    2. How often do you plan on feeding?

    Iíll get back after you answer.

    However. Boaís are incredibly efficient and he will continue to grow on small rats.

    That wonít hurt him at all. He will only grow slower.

    Small rats are nutritionally almost identical to a medium rat. Both are adults. So you are only talking about amount of food/calories, not nutritional value.

    He will grow faster on mediums but it wonít hurt him or be better for him, IMO.

    So itís a personal choice.

    if you go to mediums and at his size I would feed every 3 weeks.

    Behira eats mediums and is growing still and sheís almost 2.4kg. For perspective. She eats every two weeks usually but itís a smaller meal for her by far than it would be for you guy - who looks great by the way.

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  13. #7
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Food Size Question

    Iím all for diversity and mixing things up. I donít weigh my snakes or their prey. I just feed them a prey size I think/know they can handle and they usually fluctuate between 2-3 prey sizes. My boas can handle large rats regularly but they eat mostly mediums with an occasional large rat. I also feed them chicks and jumbo mice as snacks. Admittedly, I feed a little heavier than some so that should be considered too. 😎
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  15. #8
    BPnet Veteran ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Re: Food Size Question

    Thanks everyone for weighing in on food size. My main objective is to grow a healthy boa no matter how long it may take. Like most of you have suggested, I'll probably scatter in some mediums here and there and increase the duration from the current 2 weeks to 3 when a medium is offered.
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  17. #9
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    My snakes are about the same size and age as yours. They are a bit pudgy like me so I feed 1 small rat every 3 weeks. Iím going to continue to feed smalls until they lean out over time then maybe move to medium later.

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    Re: Food Size Question

    Unless you are feeding for breeding, you might consider sizing the prey so that it creates a small to medium bulge in the snake's body; making sure the bulge does away in a day or two. I've done this for my 21 month old BCI and it seems to work well. I learned about it from a breeder who does a lot of educational videos. He does not weigh either the snake or the prey. It sort of makes sense if you are just trying to feed for long term steady growth. But every snake is differend so just take this as something to consider. And, by the way, you have a very beautiful snake. Great question!

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