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Old 06-04-13, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Boa constrictor feeding schedule

So, I'm wondering if Cloud is a bit skinny? He's not eating as often as he was, but it may be time to lengthen the time between his feedings. I'll post some pictures to show his body. He's in shed in these pictures, but I had him out to mix water into his bedding, and figured I might as well get pictures to ask this question. He should be done shedding in the next few days. I had him on a 1 week feeding schedule, but he hasn't been eating every week. He is eating large rats, but I'm hoping to get ahold of 1/2lb rabbits and see if he'll eat them. He defecates between each meal, and the bump stays in his belly for 3-4 days. His poop is well-formed and not runny. But he won't eat, even a day after he defecates. He seems to only want to eat every 2 weeks now, and no longer eats while in shed (his shed cycles often start a day or two before his next feeding, ensuring he goes the longest time without food it seems). I had him weighed at the vet, since I don't have a way to weigh him (so may "way" sounds lol), for general inventory. He was 3lbs 13oz, and may have gained a few ounces since then, as it's been a few weeks and ate during the time between then. He will be 2 years in August, and is around 4ft 9in, and growing 2-3 inches every 3 weeks. Take a look at these pictures, and tell me if 2 weeks is often enough. If he does look skinny, how can I get him to eat more often? His last feeding was May 21st, exactly 2 weeks ago. I'll wait until he sheds, to be sure he'll eat. He also seems to be hooked on eating only in his 5 gallon feeding tub. He's still small enough to eat in it, but he'll outgrow it soon. I've tried several times to feed him in his tub, but no interest. Even if I just move him into the tank, he immediately takes it. I haven't changed his temps, and I don't change his decorations around much. His temps on the hot end are 85-90F, and the cool side is 80-85F, and his humidity is 65-70%, but I let it go through cycles. I let it dry out down to 55-60%, and I re-wet his bedding. This takes about a week or 5 days. They have always been this way. If you need any other information, let me know.

Cloud, full-body, on my bed


His middle


My hand at the start of his tail


And my hand around near his middle
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Old 06-04-13, 05:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

I say he looks fine rabbits are more filling than rats that's why he doesn't want to eat sooner
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Old 06-04-13, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

He looks a bit skinny to me, just from the pictures. Not terribly skinny, but not as 'full' as most.
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Old 06-04-13, 06:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

OP isnt feeding rabbits at this point, just thinking about getting them (?)

I would say feeding every 2 weeks is fine, from your description it sounds like he is healthy. If you are worried about him not getting enough to eat, you could try feeding two prey items/feeding.

If you would like to get him eating in his enclosure, simply wait him out It sounds as thoughhe certainly isnt hungry (most of the time), so i imagine if you let him be for a few weeks and then try offering prey overnight (assuming you feed F/T) in his regular house he should take it

I think Cloud looks like a very healthy, beautiful boa
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Old 06-04-13, 06:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Thanks, that eases me a little. I haven't got him on rabbits yet, though. I'm looking for some, haven't had any luck. The pet store doesn't have feeder rabbits as small as 1/2lb, and I don't see any feeders on CL. The rats are as big as he can go, though, so many that's why he doesn't eat as often.

EDIT:
Starbuck, you posted just before I did. lol But, yes, I feed him f/t. I'll try that, and see if it works. Will it be ok to leave his tank empty while I leave it in overnight, if I do that, or should I leave his hides in? I don't feel comfortable leaving his EcoEarth in.
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Old 06-04-13, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

i think there is nothing wrong with a lean snake, especially since many captive boas err towards obese >.> its hard to get a good bead on what they look like in the wild, as there are so many captives (and so many more pictures of captives) available on the internet...
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Old 06-04-13, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

I just want to add so it wasn't misunderstood. I don't think he looks unhealthy from the pictures, just leaner than most that I typically see.
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Old 06-04-13, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
i think there is nothing wrong with a lean snake, especially since many captive boas err towards obese >.> its hard to get a good bead on what they look like in the wild, as there are so many captives (and so many more pictures of captives) available on the internet...
This is the best response.

Remember he should be a rectangular shape. If he ever starts getting a cylindrical shape he is getting too fat.
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Old 06-04-13, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

I understood what you mean smy. I guess if he doesn't lose any more weight in the next few feedings, I won't worry. If in the next 3 or so feedings he's starting to look skinnier, I'll try the ideas given by Starbuck.
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Old 06-06-13, 06:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Yea he looks nice and healthy to me, I wouldn't worry about nothing.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Hi, in my opinion, your boa looks ok. Donīt forget that a male is smaller than a female, so, will eat less than a female. Donīt switch to rabbit by now, it is not the best time for your boa, wait until he gets 4 years old (at least) This is what I would do: Continue feeding every 2 weeks, but with 2 prey, as Starbuck says, it will make the same feeding than in the past (1 prey every wk). Also, you could add some vitamins, but dont worry too much, as I always say: boas are like people, some eat a lot, some a little, and both could be healty, in its range.
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Old 06-06-13, 04:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Feeding rabbits has nothing to do with how old they are. There are small rabbits, even baby rabbits that the OPs boa would do great on. I think it would be a great idea to get him on 1/2 pounders. Might take a while for him to switch though. I am actually looking for baby rabbits right now to feed my 5 foot female. shes only about a year and a half and huge. not powerfed either. All snakes are different, same as us people.

If Cloud doesnt want to eat anymore than once every two weeks then let it be, as long as its consistent. Also i'd rather bump him up a size, rather than feed two smaller items. Just my way of doing things. Overall thought he looks fine, good build and he's a male so he should be on the slimmer side anyway.

And by the way, his tail doesnt start until you get to his vent. I know what you mean though
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Old 06-06-13, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Yeah, I was talking about his tail coloration. lol His tail is, like, super long, though. I might just not have seen many males' tails, but his is like a foot long (not literally, but you know what I mean).

So, here's an update. He finished shedding this afternoon, and I tried feeding him again. He acted like the rat wasn't even there. Trying to feed right after shedding may have been too soon, but it's never been a problem, and he's pretty late on his feeding, so I tried anyway. It's been almost 2.5 weeks since he's eaten. If he doesn't eat by next week's feeding, should I consider taking him to the vet? Or wait until he loses a significant amount of weight? He still feels pretty hefty, and doesn't look any thinner. He actually looks a little better now that he's shed. lol I put him up after the attempt, so as not to stress him out anymore, and he gave a pretty good struggle like usual. I measured him at 4 ft 9.5 in., so he's grown a whole inch in the past week, despite not eating. His shed measured 8 ft 5 in.! I was actually able to catch him shedding today, and watched him from my bed. It's hard to see anything, though, as he sheds in his hide. lol It took him about an hour, hour and a half to shed, and I caught him in the middle of it, so it could have taken twice as long for the whole process. We've also got a few calls on feeder rabbits, in response to a wanted ad. Hopefully we'll get a few in in the next few days. If I can get a few 1/2lb rabbits, and get Cloud to eat them, I'll be happy.
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Old 06-06-13, 06:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

I don't have any of him stretched out like before, but here's some from right before I removed his shed, and one while I was waiting for his rat to warm up.





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Old 06-06-13, 09:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Boa constrictor feeding schedule

Hey! he looks wonderful! my boa was out of feeding for 4 months, didnīt lost weight and shed 2 times, so, donīt worry too much.

By the way, I said that this is not the best time to switch to rabbits, not for how old he is. It is beacuse if he is not eating normally his regular prey, will be more difficult to get him into new type of prey.
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