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Old 03-16-18, 04:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Since other keepers have expressed worry with my snakes' feeding habits and growth rates, I'm posting a thread here, to either assuage fears, or receive feedback. I feed my boas with a slow, healthy growth in mind. Keep in mind, I do not view boas that reach 6' by/before 3 years old as healthy or properly-fed, and I do not aim for my females to be breeding size before 5-6 years old. I am defining breeding size as 6' minimum, considering I own regular "Colombians."

I am perfectly willing to listen to advice, if it makes sense, and comes from boa-specific experienced keepers and breeders. I am not interested in hearing about your 2-3 year old females breeding at 6'. Breeders such as Vin Russo, and Dr. Warren Booth (who has been studying boa constrictors in the wild as well as in captivity), as well as several other very experienced keepers in other forums and on FB, have all agreed that my feeding regimen is acceptable and have been getting very similar growth as I have in my boas (some are growing them even slower than I do but I prefer my current feeding regimens). I haven't talked with Russo directly, but he has a very large influence over the other conservative feeders I have talked to, and I have interacted with Dr. Booth on several occasions. Gray Rushin is another breeder considered a conservative feeder, but I am not as familiar with his feeding habits as I am with the others. I just know that he advises females be slow grown to be bred at 5-7 years old at 6'+ and 9-12 lbs, and males at 3-5 years.

Considering that current research shows rapid growth, overfeeding, and lack of exercise opportunities are incredibly unhealthy for our reptiles, I am not looking for advice that is too extremely on the heavy end than I am currently feeding. Too many people overestimate the amount of food boas require to grow, and snakes in general, and overestimate the growth rate considered healthy that also still does not limit adult sizes.

Let me be clear here: my feeding regimens are not intended to be maintenance feeding. I do not feed my boas to limit their adult size, only to slow their growth to levels that are healthier for them long and short term, their growth is likely still much more rapid than their wild counterparts but much slower than the average captive boa. My feeding regimens still facilitate upward growth, just not at the absolutely insane levels that have become the norm in the hobby (such as 5' by 1-2 years, 6' by 2-3 years, 7'-8' before they even turn 6 years old). Since you cannot accurately track fat deposits by simply looking at a boa, I have instead opted for a feeding regimen that is reasonably able to keep my adult boas at a healthy weight while still allowing growth in babies.

First up is Nymeria, who I have raised from a hatchling on a conservative diet. She is the thickest boa in girth I own besides Dominika (who is a full grown mature female).

Here is when I first got her at 1 month old, and 80 grams. She measured out at 20". She was started out on hopper mice every 10-14 days for the first year of her life, and then 14 days during the second year of her life. She is in her third year now (she'll be 3 in June, which will begin her fourth year), and normally gets fed every 3 weeks. I fed her a week early to take some feeding photos for this thread, since one week early here and there won't hurt her.



Plus, a photo from later in 2015, to show body tone after she had been eating with me for a few months. This one was December 2015, after she was with me for about 5 months. She has clearly grown significantly, and has a lot more girth.



I don't have any good full body photos of her from June 2016 (her 1 year birthday), so here's one of her from July 2016. She weighed in at 284 grams (before defecating - it was 272 grams after she defecated) and measured 31"-32" in June 2016, a weight gain of almost 200 grams and a length growth of 11"-12" in 1 year's time. When she was 9 months old, she moved up from hopper mice to small adult mice, and then once again to jumbo mice about a month before her 1st birthday. So she only had 2 adult mice before I opted to move her to jumbo mice. During the ~4 months I had her on jumbo mice, I noticed a lot of weight gain but almost no length growth, so I went ahead and moved her up to weaned rats at ~15 months old and 360+ grams.

I believe she reached 3' exactly at around 13-14 months old.



This next photo is a few weeks earlier than the June weight/lengths, from the end of May 2016, to maybe show her body tone a little better and a 2 month size difference. The photo directly below was in May 2016, and the photo directly above was in July 2016.



At the time this photo below was taken (July 2017), she had been on weaned rats for 9 months. Again, no full body size photos for her in June, but this one was taken in July. During June 2017 of her 2nd birthday, she weighed in at ~500 grams. I don't have a weight recorded for June 2017, but the following month she was 528 grams, so following her historic growth, 500 grams give or take seems a reasonable guess.

I don't have a single length recorded since January 2017 (which was 3'1" according to SerpWidgets), but I have a photo saved that shows her length at 3'8" when put into SerpWidgets, taken around the time of her 2nd birthday. I had stopped taking length measurements last year since SerpWidgets seemed incredibly inaccurate, and it's difficult to get them to stretch out completely. All previous lengths given were hand-measured, but all measurements taken by hand are much more rarely taken than SW photos allow me to measure, simply because of difficulty level of getting them to cooperate.

The lengths I got from SW varied wildly, bouncing back and forth, and being off by as much as 4"+ when I did get around to hand-measuring the snakes.



Finally, this was her most recent photo, taken March 10 of this year. She won't turn 3 until June 5, but she weighed in at 644 grams on March 16 of this year. Her growth has slowed down considerably this past year, but for anyone not aware of my fiasco last year, she spent quite some time with my mother with either spotty or nonexistent feedings.



She spent a total of ~4 months with my mom, where I would make the trip to my mom's house to go out and feed the snakes there, but on the feeding days I couldn't make it out there, my mom would not feed them in my stead. Then, after 1.5-2 months in, my car completely broke down and I could not feed them at all, and still my mom refused to feed them. They all went ~2.5 months without a single meal, plus the previous 1.5-2 months where they didn't get to eat every meal. So, as to be expected, everyone's yearly growth for the past year has slowed down. I am feeding a bit heavier right now to make up for that period of lost growth, but not by much. I'm feeding every other meal a week earlier (including the meal in the photos I am providing for this thread), and I'm moving my snakes up in prey size a little earlier than I'm 100% comfortable with, but making up for that by feeding their normal smaller meals in between the larger meals.

This is her feeding photo from March 15. The rat was 62 grams, and she weighed in at 644 grams, making the rat 9.6% of her weight. It left a bulge, more than I normally allow for in her, but again, I'm giving the growing boas a bit more food here and there to make up for lost feeding time last year. Usually she gets the smaller of the small rats from the batch, but I wanted to show something close to the 10-15% people keep telling me is the "appropriate" meal size for my boas. This isn't even quite 10% of her weight, and still leaves a visible bulge, albeit a small one. 10% is my max for smaller boas, but I try not to go much above that if I can help it, and my adults certainly do not get meals even close to that large.



A rat 15% of her weight would be 96.6 grams, which is even bigger than the rat I gave my 830 gram boa (which will be posted in another reply to this thread, due to photo number restrictions on this forum), and a rat 10% would be 64.4 grams, which is only a couple grams higher than what I gave her. Which I am comfortable offering to her every once in awhile, but not for every single meal. I do not feel 15% is appropriate for a meal size, even as the occasional meal.

The entire bulge after swallowing has been circled, for your convenience.



She has also been getting day old chicks, which are roughly equal to a weaned rat in weight. I don't have any weights on those atm, so I can't give you an exact percentage, but Perfect Prey lists their chicks at 1-2 oz (28-56.7 grams), which is 4-8.8% of her current weight, and roughly 4.6-9.5% of her weight when I first started offering them to her (600 and 614 grams). Just going off of the listed weight, and not the actual weights of what I've been feeding her. I don't normally weigh my feeders, I go off of bump size immediately after swallowing, I only weigh my feeders when others need the information. I can weigh the next chick I feed her, but I'm only feeding them every other meal.

I plan on trying to get her stretched out here soon to try for another length record, now that she has been eating reliably in my care, and has probably put on a little more growth than she was during the time with my mom. I don't think she's quite 4' yet, but has to be very close by now, but very well could have reached 4'. Guess I'll find out.
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Old 03-16-18, 04:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Next up is Tirel, who I received as a yearling in 2016. She is a few weeks younger than Nymeria, but born during the same month and year. She came to me at a few weeks shy of her first birthday. She was 398 grams and roughly 3'-3.5' long. She was on small rats with her breeder, not sure how often, but I moved her down to weaned rats every 2 weeks for about 3 months before moving her back up to smalls every 2 weeks. She's still on small rats as her main prey size, but she should be able to move up to mediums within the next few months. I have started to feed her smaller medium rats every third feeding as of her most recent feeding.

Here she is the day I got her.





On her 2nd birthday, she was ~700 grams and right around 4' long, maybe a few inches longer than that. These photos were taken May 2017, only a month shy of her 2nd birthday.





Her growth during the first 4-5 months I had her was rapid (she put on 241 grams during that time), but weight gain has been slow since then. Over the past 7 months, she's put on 113 grams, but about half of that time was during the time she went without food while with my mom. As stated above, I have been slightly increasing her feeding regimen to make up for it, and she should put on more growth again here soon, as I'm already noticing an increase in weight gain in the short time I've had her with me (since January 25 of this year). I am only feeding her one week earlier than the every 3 weeks I normally would (every feeding is a week early vs every other feeding for Nymeria), and feeding her the smallest medium rats I have on hand every third feeding. She has always had a small girth, even when I first got her, her growth thus far seems to be focused on faster length growth vs girth.

I have a sneaky suspicion that she was growing more rapidly partly due to a heavier feeding schedule before I got her, and partly because she just naturally grows faster. Her growth slowed down for a little bit once she adjusted to the new feeding schedule, then plateaued during the time with my mom, and is slowing ticking back up since I brought her to my current residence. She has appeared to have still grown some in length, as she appears bigger in photos, though her weight gain has been much slower.

Here she was the day I brought her here to my current residence, she was with my mom longer than Nymeria was. Nymeria (as well as Crona, Howl, and Dominika) came here back in November or December. Tirel did not arrive here until the end of January. So she had been without food for an extra 1-2 months more than Nymeria and the others. The only reason it happened that way was because I had to wait on replacement doors for my T12 to arrive, since my old doors had been shattered.





And here are her feeding photos from the 16th. The rat I gave her was one of my smallest medium rats at 85 grams, and she weighed in at 830 grams, so the rat was 10.2% of her weight. It left a very noticeable bulge, but considering her naturally faster growth, longer time without food vs the other snakes, and naturally thinner girth, I am ok feeding this to her every other meal. But again, not every single meal. I don't normally feed my snakes while in shed, but I figured since she's gone without food longer than the others, and for the sake of showing progress photos, and feeder sizes, it was ok this one time.



The bulge is just the part that's touching the wall. Again, a small bulge, but 10% is about the max I would feed a (small) boa. My adults do not get meals this size, and I try not to go above 10% if I can help it. I do only eyeball it, so it's very possible they occasionally get larger meals, but when the bulge is larger than I like I normally just wait an extra week and then offer a smaller prey item, so it balances out.

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Old 03-16-18, 04:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Next up is Dominika. Due to her size, I have not been able to reliably track her weight, and since she's already mature, there won't be any significant length growth, so I haven't been measuring her, either.

(Edit to add her age, she will be 10 years old this coming July.)

This was when I first got her, back in December 2016, at ~8.5 years old. The breeder estimated her at around 7' and 13.5 lbs, but I haven't had a way to check either her length or weight while I have had her, just because of her size. My scale only goes up to 11 lbs, and I don't have a way to measure her until the weather warms back up again.



The breeder was feeding her multiple xl/jumbo rats per feeding to get her weight pumped up for breeding again, so for the first year or so my feeding was geared towards getting her slimmed out. She bred successfully in 2015/2016 at just a few ounces over 9 lbs, but was then pushed to 13.5 lbs by the time I got her the December during the year she gave birth, about 6 months after dropping her litter. I believe she was right around 8.5 lbs after giving birth, but could have been a few ounces heavier or lighter, I could always ask. He wanted her to be bred the season following her first litter, but I opted to wait at least a season or two, and then the housing craziness started so I missed this season, too...

I started out feeding her regular large rats or 1/2 lb rabbits every 5 weeks, with no deviation, just to slim her out. Now that she's got better muscle tone and doesn't have as bad of scale separation from being a bit chubby, I've moved her to large rats or 1/2 lb rabbits (when I had them available to me) every 4 weeks, and I don't always stick 100% to my feeding guideline, as it's merely that: a guideline. I switch up feedings as necessary with all of my snakes, with that basic regimen merely guiding my decisions.

If I can find a different source for rabbits now that my father is unable to raise rabbits due to health issues, I will also offer slightly larger rabbits at 3/4-1 lb every 4th feeding, with 1/2 lb rabbits every 2nd feeding. (So something like large rat - 1/2 lb rabbit - large rat - 3/4-1 lb rabbit -large rat, etc. etc.) For my big adult boas, I generally feed them a little heavier during the couple of months right before and right after a seasonal fasting period, where I either completely withhold food for 3 months or reduce feedings by half for 4 months.

Since Dominika is a mature breeder female, I don't plan on fasting her really since she'll naturally fast while gravid (and I won't fast on her off years unless she maintains a good body tone during that time), but since I didn't have a choice this past winter, I am temporarily increasing her feeding, too. She's getting a jumbo rat every third feeding to make up for the time with my mom, but I don't feel comfortable feeding them every meal so larges still make up the majority of her feedings. She is also getting the occasional 3 week feeding, also to make up for the time of uncertain feedings with my mother.

Here she is, 5 months after I got her.





This was her and me a month after I received her.





And her and me from last month. (Sorry the photo is blurry.)



This is Dominika with a 275 gram rat, which is roughly 4.5% of her 13.5 lb weight. If she's as light as her original 9.2 lb weight, that is ~6.6% of her weight. The rat is very close to her girth, but doesn't leave a noticeable lump. Just as every experienced (conservative feeding) boa keeper has suggested me to feed adult boas.



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Old 03-16-18, 04:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Next is Howl. I got him already as an adult in 2016 as a 6 year old, he was 4'2" (according to SerpWidgets) and 917 grams. His previous owner was feeding him small rats every 2-3 weeks, though their smalls appear to be smaller than the smalls I'm currently feeding, based on the feeding photos they sent me at the time of sale. His exact birthdate is unknown, all I know is that he was listed as a 2010 baby without birth month, and I randomly happened across a baby photo in 2010, so he was born at least as early as 2010, maybe a year earlier at most, but I have no reason to doubt the 2010 birth year.

This is him when he first arrived, in October of 2016. He has been on small rats either every 2 or 3 weeks depending on body tone and hunger intensity since I got him. His most recent weight recorded was 990 grams last month after the time spent with my mom and then the couple of months I've been feeding him again, but I did weigh him at 1,020 grams or so at some point before I moved out of my mom's house, and just forgot to record it.

I have made an exception with his feeding because of his small adult size, and possible maintenance feeding. A judgment I made based off the fact his face shape has changed ever so slightly, and his weight/body tone have increased with very little difference in feeding regimen over the past 1-1.5 years I've had him vs the time spent with his previous owner(s). I believe I am at least the third, if not fourth, person to own him.





This is him in May 2017, so 7 months later.





And in December 2017, when I brought him to my current residence, a few months past the 1 year mark with me, after not eating for a few months and mid-shed.



This is him mid-January right within 24 hours of eating, the bulge being the area of his body closest to the left of the photo, with the bulge circled.



Plus, his most recent feeding. I gave him a rat 59 grams, which is ~6% of his most recent weight, and 5.8% of his heaviest weight. I didn't weigh him today, even though I debated on it, since he was already in feed mode from the smell of food and I knew he wouldn't sit still. The rats were thawing in a separate room, but Nymeria and Tirel didn't seem to notice the smell much so they got weighed.





I will update this thread with Crona's progress thus far once he's due for a feeding again, he isn't due until March 25, since he ate on the 11th. I will also add Cloud once I have him with me, as he is currently staying with a local acquaintance, but I want to move him here ASAP if I can figure out way to squeeze him in. I may have to vacate Tirel from her T12 and put her in one of my empty 100+ qt tubs, until I can order a T8. I'm trying to hold off on ordering the cage since the wait time is 2+ months, and I'm hoping we're going to be able to move soon and get a bigger place, but I'm not sure how long that will take, considering our monthly budget.
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Old 03-16-18, 09:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Nice looking critters BSG. I don't keep boas or know much about their feeding habits but I have read that they have slower metabolisms than pythons and colubrids so I can understand that they would eat a little less. Your animals look healthy so that's what matters most. Feeding regiments are always going to be subjective. As long as what you're doing works for you and your animals then it's all good.
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Old 03-16-18, 09:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
Nice looking critters BSG. I don't keep boas or know much about their feeding habits but I have read that they have slower metabolisms than pythons and colubrids so I can understand that they would eat a little less. Your animals look healthy so that's what matters most. Feeding regiments are always going to be subjective. As long as what you're doing works for you and your animals then it's all good.
Thanks! I've been having several users, pretty much limited only to this forum (within my scope of online interactions), that are accusing me of underfeeding my snakes. I wanted to go ahead and lay out my regimen as explicitly as possible, with growth rates, to maybe help get a full picture of their progress thus far since I post pretty sporadically, and to get other user's input if there are any glaringly obvious things I should change.

I'm up for a discussion, but there is definitely a reason I feed in the way I do, and not in the way some have suggested. As you said, boas have a slow metabolism, but they also don't digest fat well. Their wild diet is high in super lean prey such as other reptiles and birds, so they aren't well-adapted to digest fat, but mammals do still make up a decent portion of their wild diet so they have some capacity for digestion of fatty foods, especially when in moderation. Sensitivity seems to vary quite wildly across the captive boa population. Most seem to digest those prey items without a hitch (non-locality Bci/Bi seem to handle this the best), but some can become overweight over time, and some may even have digestion problems such as regurgitation or diarrhea, and the most extreme cases I've seen have included color loss, liver failure, and death.

The color loss and death seems to come mostly from these fatty rats that are super super sized, and those big of rats seem to be hard to come by, so the chances of coming across something like that could be very small. I have seen a few instances of this recently (within the past year or two), and with a diet change, liquids, and vet care, they seem to mostly recover, but is still scary to deal with. So I just tend to avoid fatty foods such as pinky mice/rats, jumbo (or larger) mice/rats, pigs, Guinea pigs, etc. I instead substitute larger rabbits if my boas seem to outgrow regular large rats (150-275 grams).
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0.0.1 ball python Bud - 3.3 BI Cloud, sunglow Nymeria, ghost Tirel, anery motley Crona, ghost Howl, jungle Dominika - 2.0 garter snake eastern Demigod, checkered Draco - 0.1 retic Riverrun - RIP (Guin, Morzan, Sanji, and Homura - BRBs)
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Old 03-21-18, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

big snake girl....regarding you feeding you adult that weighs 13.5 punds.. if shes not breeding that season and all else is good. A adult constrictor hould eat 10-15% of its weight bi weekly....so basically a little less than a 1.5 rabbit bi weekly or a 3 pound rabbit monhtly...thats a rough estimate...a 1.3 pund rabbit bi weekly or of course a jumbo rat equlal to that or a 2.5 pound rabbit monthly....pleaase all of you go back to this forum and please look at and rad and give input on my feeding regimen that I have made over the course of 10 years and praxtice.... Sorry for the spelling and grammar, my keybords jammed nd its tkaing too long to correct eveything...plz check out my post...would lov to discuss!!!!
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Old 03-21-18, 02:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Sorry but your feeding regimen is pretty ridiculous BallBuster...

10-15% of weight biweekly, that is a feeding schedule for an active adult colubrid, not adult boa.
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Old 03-21-18, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

a 15 pound adult red tail eating a 1.5 lb prey every 2 weeks is quite accurate!!
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Old 03-21-18, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

I duno if your a troll or not but my 10 years experience of owning 70% of all large constrictors and reading pretty much ALL books on reptiles , snakes, other reptiles, books written by known readers and practice and experimenting as well as speaking with known breeders like BOb Clark would make anything I say far from ridiculous.
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Old 03-22-18, 11:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

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Originally Posted by BallBuster7653 View Post
big snake girl....regarding you feeding you adult that weighs 13.5 punds.. if shes not breeding that season and all else is good. A adult constrictor hould eat 10-15% of its weight bi weekly....so basically a little less than a 1.5 rabbit bi weekly or a 3 pound rabbit monhtly...thats a rough estimate...a 1.3 pund rabbit bi weekly or of course a jumbo rat equlal to that or a 2.5 pound rabbit monthly....pleaase all of you go back to this forum and please look at and rad and give input on my feeding regimen that I have made over the course of 10 years and praxtice.... Sorry for the spelling and grammar, my keybords jammed nd its tkaing too long to correct eveything...plz check out my post...would lov to discuss!!!!
Sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree. 10-15% is too much food for a baby boa, let alone an adult. 10% would be a 1.3 lb rabbit for a 13.5 lb boa, and 15% would be a 2 lb rabbit. Considering she bred, produced a litter, and lost less than a pound, being fed on regular large rats monthly, and is maintaining a perfect body tone on the rats and rabbits I feed her half as often as you're suggesting, I'm questioning your knowledge on this species. Assuming the breeders larges were also 150-275 grams, that size of meal you're proposing to me is 2-4 times the size what I'm currently feeding her, when what I'm feeding her is already just about the same size as her girth.

I do plan on feeding her a week or two early a few feedings before breeding her when I do plan to officially breed her just in case, but I would be putting her life in direct danger by feeding her in the way you're suggesting throughout the rest of the year. An obese female has a much higher chance of not becoming fertilized, slugging out, or dying while gravid. I am not chancing breeding an overweight boa, I'd rather keep her fit.

A rabbit as large as 1-2 lbs for a 6'-7' boa, especially when only fed every 2 weeks apart, will very quickly result in an obese boa. When I first started my boa Cloud on rabbits, I made the mistake of feeding him 1 lb rabbits, which were roughly 13% of his weight (he was about 7.5 lbs at the time). Just two rabbits in a row caused him to put on 1-1.5 lbs (a weight gain of 13-20%). At 6' even he was sitting right at 9 lbs before I started his diet, half a foot longer and he is now 8.5-9 lbs. Just two rabbits 13% of his weight, spaced 2 weeks apart, was enough to cause a large weight gain that took a winter fast and nearly a year of dieting to fix. This suggests that 13% of his weight is far beyond his metabolic need for food.

The weight gain was enough that even users on this forum commented on him potentially being fed too much, which is initially why I cut back on his feeding, but then shortly after I learned that I was likely overfeeding him even before that, and made even more changes to his diet.

Before his diet/fast (and after the 1 lb rabbit meals and after defecation):


After his last 1 lb rabbit, and ~6 months after I began utilizing his current feeding frequencies (he now gets 1/2 lb rabbits instead of 1 lb, and only every 4-5 weeks - large rats are also fed every 4-5 weeks).



This is the most recent photo I have of him at the very beginning when I moved into the trailer I was living in last year, before the issues other users have probably been alluding to happened. This is after 2 years of being fed a large rat or 1/2 lb rabbit every 4-5 weeks and 2 winter fasts. Clearly not underweight or starving, and he had grown a significant amount in that time (at least 6"-8"). The enclosure is 6' long. He was a couple inches shy of 6' in that first photo, and in the photo below he came in at 6.5'.



Shortly after we moved in at that trailer, his health deteriorated, but I suspect it was most likely the quality of the air or something to do with the state of the trailer, as a few - but not all - of the other snakes showed health issues, our cats showed issues (such as fur loss and color loss - those same cats are now so full of luxuriant fluff you'd never guess they used to look mangy), and it got so bad right before we left that you practically had to have a gas mask to enter the house, and we didn't even realize how bad it was because we had been exposed to it 24/7 and it slowed built up. After I had been living out of the house for a few weeks, I could smell it, and I couldn't even so much as breathe inside there without running right back out for fresh air. Everyone has had vet treatment since, and everyone has improved since moving out. A few are still gaining weight back, namely Cloud, and less so Tirel, but I have already noticed an uptick in weight in the past few months. Cloud has even regained his usual activity levels, and started courting his enclosure...yay....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BallBuster7653 View Post
I duno if your a troll or not but my 10 years experience of owning 70% of all large constrictors and reading pretty much ALL books on reptiles , snakes, other reptiles, books written by known readers and practice and experimenting as well as speaking with known breeders like BOb Clark would make anything I say far from ridiculous.
You can do something wrong for 10 years, and making up statistics off the top of your head doesn't make you come across as very reliable.

Bob Clark has had multiple power fed, morbidly obese animals, so if that is the feeding schedule he advises or agrees with, I am not inclined to listen to his advice.
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Old 03-22-18, 11:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

The issues I noticed in Cloud were very odd, and vet trips haven't really shed any light. Fecal came up clean for parasites, X-rays all looked normal. The vet commented on him having very healthy-sized feces and adequate fat stores. We didn't take any blood samples but maybe we should have...in any case he seems to be improving after a few precautionary anti-parasite medications and getting a few meals in him. I don't remember the names, one was a pill, and the other was a liquid.

He also has some weird bone popping issues that the vet hypothesized was perhaps lack of exercise or from power feeding him when he was younger, if it isn't related to whatever caused the change in appearance. Now that he's improving, the popping is still persisting, but I guess I'll see if that disappears by the end of the year, since he still isn't 100% normal yet. If if doesn't, I may take him in for further testing, but the vet doesn't seem too worried based off the previous exams.

The second two photos were taken 19 days apart, the first one is before he went into shed, second one is right at the beginning of his shed cycle, and the last one is freshly shed. It was like a night and day difference in color and body tone, but he's starting to pale out again and gain body tone. Once it's warm and I can get him outside, I'll probably take a few new photos.

(As an aside, this photo was taken 3 months after the last photo in the reply above.)




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Old 03-25-18, 09:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

He looks amazing. Now I understand why you had to feed less. Because he seemed to be overweight before. See. Every snake is different.
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Old 03-25-18, 10:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Your babies are looking amazing! Cloud and Dominika are out of this world. They look really awesome.
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Old 03-26-18, 06:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: My Boa Feeding Regimens - TL;DR Warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by BallBuster7653 View Post
He looks amazing. Now I understand why you had to feed less. Because he seemed to be overweight before. See. Every snake is different.
I am not forseeing much of a difference in feeding requirements in my 3 subadult boas once they reach adulthood, considering my other 2 adults eat in a similar manner as he does. I'm only feeding the 4' male a week more often than the other 2 as a precautionary measure, and it seems more than adequate based off his weight gain, but I'll give it more time to see if that weight gain evens out, or is also paired with length growth before I make any further decisions on his part. I expect there will be differences between each individual, but I'm not sure those difference will warrant enough to justify a feeding schedule as heavy as the one you are implementing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamSlitherin View Post
Your babies are looking amazing! Cloud and Dominika are out of this world. They look really awesome.
Thanks! Cloud wasn't my first snake, but he was definitely the one to really ignite my love of snakes. After having my ball python for ~5 years prior to getting him, he was like a breath of fresh air. He seemed so much more aware of his surroundings, and was a lot more fun to handle. And much bigger. haha

He's a bit of a pain in some ways, though...during the winter, ever since he hit his 4th birthday I believe, he just goes to town in his enclosure. Sperm. Everywhere. I even have to be careful handling him during this period because he has left me a little white loogie on my back before...he's the horniest teenager I've ever seen (regarding animals anyways). lmao Luckily, he only does this the most during temperature changes, and less so during the winter. He doesn't really do this during the summer. haha

Dominika is a looker for sure, but isn't my biggest fan. I don't take her out too much, because she generally loathes to be touched. She doesn't get defensive or hiss or anything, but tries her best to escape me and is incredibly difficult to keep ahold of. I don't like to stress her, so I generally take her out on an as-needed basis.

Her breeder handled her regularly, but I suspect she never saw another human outside of him, which would explain why she hasn't resorted to biting or hissing yet, but doesn't trust me. She's gotten marginally better in the time I've had her, so I have hope she'll come around in another couple of years.
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0.0.1 ball python Bud - 3.3 BI Cloud, sunglow Nymeria, ghost Tirel, anery motley Crona, ghost Howl, jungle Dominika - 2.0 garter snake eastern Demigod, checkered Draco - 0.1 retic Riverrun - RIP (Guin, Morzan, Sanji, and Homura - BRBs)
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