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Old 09-18-18, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Boa feeding

I have my BCI female. Not sure what exactly she is.. Just a common BCI from what I have been told. She is 3 maybe 3.5 foot stretched out. I am currently feeding her medium sized rats every 2 weeks. She is growing really well. I am wondering if for her size and the size of food that I am feeding if I should cut back the size of the prey item or stretch out her feeding times. She seems to really be hungry every 15 days. My schedule is the 1st and 15th of every month. Just makes it easier for me to remember when I need to go get her food. Attached is a picture of her. Remember she did eat Saturday so she does still have a bit of a meal in her.

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Old 09-18-18, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

I'm new to boas and still figuring out a proper feeding regiment. I have a hatchling and a yearling that I'm currently feeding every 7-10 days. I'd think every 2-3 weeks would be ok for your critter but others may advise spacing out the feeding intervals or reducing the prey size. In any event that's one gorgeous boa you have.
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Old 09-19-18, 01:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

medium rats i personally go 3 weeks with my boas with them having a higher fat content
nice looking boa
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Old 09-20-18, 05:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

If that's her feeding bulge, you're feeding her way too big of meals. You want something that leaves little to no bulge. If it leaves a bulge, it should disappear within 24-48 hours.

This is the size of bump I look for. This is after 24 hours. The boa is 4'2", eats a small rat 40-80 grams every 3 weeks.



This is the meal size while swallowing. He's gained a few hundred grams in my care on this schedule, so it's definitely adequate.



Imo at 3.5' she's way too small for mediums. My 4.5' boa eats mediums quite reliably. I normally would feed mediums every 3-4 weeks. My 3.5' boas normally have just been switched to small rats, or are still on weaned rats but almost ready to move up.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

Definitely reduce feeding with that one, Troy. It's looking quite round.
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Old 09-20-18, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
Imo at 3.5' she's way too small for mediums. My 4.5' boa eats mediums quite reliably. I normally would feed mediums every 3-4 weeks. My 3.5' boas normally have just been switched to small rats, or are still on weaned rats but almost ready to move up.

So, if I understand what you're saying, just because a snake is capable of taking a larger meal, doesn't necessarily mean they *should* be given the larger meal? I know their metabolisms are different but I just transitioned my 3'-ish, 430 gram BP from large mice to weaned rats every 9-10 days. I though that was appropriate but now I'm worried that I switched her too soon and am overfeeding her. Just when I think I've got this down something comes up I get all confused again.
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Old 09-21-18, 06:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

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Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
So, if I understand what you're saying, just because a snake is capable of taking a larger meal, doesn't necessarily mean they *should* be given the larger meal? I know their metabolisms are different but I just transitioned my 3'-ish, 430 gram BP from large mice to weaned rats every 9-10 days. I though that was appropriate but now I'm worried that I switched her too soon and am overfeeding her. Just when I think I've got this down something comes up I get all confused again.
You're talking about two completely different species here. So don't compare feeding one to the other. At 430 grams your BP can definitely handle a weaned rat every 7 days.
Don't be confused by comparing species to species. You'll drive yourself insane.
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Old 09-21-18, 09:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

My little one is about 3.5 feet and I feed her small rats every 7-10days. She's just over 710 grams. People are right about the little to no bulge after 2 days. Nice colours on your boa.
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Old 09-22-18, 07:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

I have always had BP. This is actually my first boa. I know when I was feeding her adult mice she was eating like every 10 days. So I switched to rats.. I always thought like with BP if they can swallow it they were good to go. I will cut back my feeding to every 3 weeks. Once She gets the entire meal digested which I feel she should have by today I will get her weighed to see exactly how much she is. Is there a % of body weight you use to figure out how big her meal should be then?
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Old 09-22-18, 08:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

For boas, 10% of body weight is a good guideline. The meal should barely leave a lump. All boas have slower metabolism in comparison to pythons, with boa imperator and boa constrictor being especially slow, so keep that in mind and just do your best to feed accordingly. Ideally, let them pass most or all of their waste and then give it a few more days beyond that until they are offered food again.
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Old 09-22-18, 10:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

So I just weighed her. Her last meal was the 14th so should have give. Plenty of time to digest. My girl weighs 812grams.
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Old 09-22-18, 02:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

Quote:
Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
So, if I understand what you're saying, just because a snake is capable of taking a larger meal, doesn't necessarily mean they *should* be given the larger meal? I know their metabolisms are different but I just transitioned my 3'-ish, 430 gram BP from large mice to weaned rats every 9-10 days. I though that was appropriate but now I'm worried that I switched her too soon and am overfeeding her. Just when I think I've got this down something comes up I get all confused again.
Exactly what I'm saying!

I do want to add, most of my advice is coming from the assumption this is how the snake will eat every/most meals. I am not against giving a snake a large meal, so long as:

1) an appropriate amount of feeding days are skipped, or a reasonable amount of time is added between meals

2) that meal size is rare

I often help my boas along when they're between prey sizes by offering the larger size meal, then giving their normal-sized meal a few times before offering another large meal. Usually they put on enough size by the second time I offer the next size meal again. Even just a single large meal really jump starts their growth.

I feed my boa constrictors 10-14 days from birth. By the time they're eating smalls, I go 2-3 weeks. This is just personal preference. There is a lot of freedom in how you feed.

Your's is a bp, and their weight to length ratio is much different. My 3.5' bp is 1,200-1,400 grams depending on how well he eats. In my care, I give him a single small rat every 2 weeks. My 3.5' boas on the other hand are only about 400-500 grams. My boas don't reach/exceed 1,000 grams until they're about 4.5'. My 4' sunglow is still below 900 grams.

Boas also have lower metabolisms than bps, so don't compare them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyL View Post
I have always had BP. This is actually my first boa. I know when I was feeding her adult mice she was eating like every 10 days. So I switched to rats.. I always thought like with BP if they can swallow it they were good to go. I will cut back my feeding to every 3 weeks. Once She gets the entire meal digested which I feel she should have by today I will get her weighed to see exactly how much she is. Is there a % of body weight you use to figure out how big her meal should be then?
I do not feed based off weight, I feed based off girth.

For my meal sizes, that averages out to about 6-8% for babies, and 2-6% for adults. I try to max out at 10-11%, as that starts to leave a distended bulge.

A rat 10% the weight of an adult boa is bigger proportionate to girth than a rat/mouse 10% the weight of a baby boa. A mouse 10% of hatchling boa's girth might leave only a small bump. As the boa gets bigger, a meal 10% makes a bigger and bigger bump. I fed my 7' female a rat about 8-11% of her weight (8% at her original 13.5 lbs, 11% at my guesstimated weight of 10 lbs), to get her ready for winter feeding, and it left such a large bulge she looked gravid.
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Old 10-12-18, 05:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Boa feeding

Do you know how old your Boa is. It always helps to give the age as well as the weight to better determine how much and how often to feed. I have a 21 month old female Columbian red tail BCI and she's already about 5 feet. I don't think I'm overfeeding her. She's just a big girl and is going to be a large snake.

A real chowhound. She wants to eat all the time. An eating machine. I have to restrain myself from overfeeding her.
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