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Old 09-14-16, 10:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Gaining weight fast enough?

According to our best guess, Bean will be one year old on October 22nd

Maybe his original birthdate is incorrect? He came from a facility that had dozens to choose from, and mistakes can happen.

More important than his age, is health.
Does his growth pattern look healthy?

We brought him home on January 22nd 2016

January 30th: 28g and approx 20 inches (14 wks old?)
April 13th: 35g and 20 inches (25 wks old?)
September 11th: 70g and 25 inches (46 wks old?)

We started feeding pinky mice every 5-7 days.
Switched to peach fuzzy mice once a week

The past 2 feeding we upped to two peach fuzzy mice every 7-10 days (since we have them)

Plan is to switch to either fuzzies or hoppers. (Open to suggestions)

He is extremely friendly, never stressed, and has a beautiful sheen.
We only want the best for him. Let the opinions fly! LOL
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Old 09-15-16, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

Your snake is ready for hoppers without a doubt.
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Old 09-15-16, 07:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

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Your snake is ready for hoppers without a doubt.
Thanks Andy!

I'm curious to see if this is a normal growth pattern, even if he is small? (Anyone?)
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Old 09-15-16, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

They are born large enough for mouse fuzzies. At 70 grams, he's large enough for hoppers. I bumped my oldest to hoppers when he was 60-65 grams, and about 5-6 months old, I'd had him about 4 months.

Also, wow that is a tiny baby! Most likely when you got him, he wasn't even a month old. All 4 of my BRBs were born over 30 grams, so at 28 grams either he was a very tiny newborn, or he was a little older but wasn't being fed properly and lost some weight.

The weight gain also seems a tad slow, but if you've been feeding pinkies that would explain a lot, pinkies are little more than milk, water, and skin.

I would feed a hopper every 7-10 days myself.
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Old 09-16-16, 12:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

Thank you for the info and your honest opinion BigSnakeGirl

So, is it possible for us to "stunt his growth"?

Or is it more likely we have a slender, healthy snake, that's about to get bigger & fatter a little faster, once we up him to hoppers?

(Appreciate all the input)

P.S. We will be making a hopper order next week
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Old 09-16-16, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

It's certainly possible you've slowed his growth down, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (better slow than fast imo), and he'll eventually catch up. You should definitely see an increase in weight gain and length growth once you up him to hoppers. I would wait to go to small adult mice until hoppers don't leave any bulge and small adults leave a small, reasonable bulge.

I would caution to be slow and steady with how you feed him, even a baby a little behind in growth will be able to grow to normal size given time. If pushed to size too soon, it could seriously cut his life short, so feed him like normal and don't worry about giving him anything "extra."

Considering how tiny he was born, he's not too far behind all considering.
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Old 09-16-16, 01:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

Yup & yup!

Obviously we are not fans of over feeding. Not gonna start now.

I just hope Bean will know what to do with a hopper when he sees one.
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Old 09-16-16, 01:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

He should! With how long he's been on the smaller meals, it may take him a bit longer to get one down, but he should get one down easily enough, he's certainly large enough. In the meantime, offer him the biggest peach fuzzies you have left for a couple feedings before giving him a hopper, probably easiest to weigh them and separate the heaviest into a separate bag. Just to kinda help him along.
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Old 09-16-16, 02:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

A birth weight of 28 grams is well within the normal range. I believe my long-term window is 28-32, with a few outliers on either side.

As BSG noted, they can take larger prey from birth. In fact, I feed mine either rat pinks or mouse hoppers (in all cases frozen/thawed) right from the start. (Note I also wait until first shed to feed.) The diet so far probably slowed him down...but he will eventually grow to full size anyway.

I would try moving to rat pinks once per week. The reason is that as he grows, he will eventually need larger meals than a single mouse. By the time is an adult, you can either offer a single medium rat...or four to six adult mice (the sale total weight). I'd rather feed once and be done.

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-16, 03:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

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Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
A birth weight of 28 grams is well within the normal range. I believe my long-term window is 28-32, with a few outliers on either side.

As BSG noted, they can take larger prey from birth. In fact, I feed mine either rat pinks or mouse hoppers (in all cases frozen/thawed) right from the start. (Note I also wait until first shed to feed.) The diet so far probably slowed him down...but he will eventually grow to full size anyway.

I would try moving to rat pinks once per week. The reason is that as he grows, he will eventually need larger meals than a single mouse. By the time is an adult, you can either offer a single medium rat...or four to six adult mice (the sale total weight). I'd rather feed once and be done.

Good luck!
I did figure it was within normal range, just on the smaller end. Most of the babies I see with their weight listed are 30-36 grams at birth, but I've seen teeny babies a lot - just not with their birth weights.

As long as it switches, starting out with mice would be better. A hopper mouse is more nutritious than a rat pink, and plus you have that milk belly to contend with, which is mostly fat and boas don't metabolize fat well. A mouse that's more developed will also have a higher calcium content, better for a growing snake.

Even if the snake is difficult to switch later, all you need is persistence and they will eventually switch. Switching a bit sooner than weaned rats may make the switch easier, like switched at rat pups (which are about the size of a small or medium adult mouse, or a small jumbo mouse, weaned rats are the size of a large jumbo mouse and get a little bigger than that). They generally have good appetites, so it's likely it shouldn't be hard to switch at all.
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Old 09-16-16, 06:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

Gotta love a good debate

Thanks for giving your input, I value your opinions.
I feel a lot better knowing that neither of you feel his growth will be inhibited in the long run. Pheww!

I find it interesting that you both speak about 28grams being ok for a birth weight, when we thought he was already 2 months old by then...

I think we'll split the difference.
His "new" birthday is now November 22nd, instead of October 22nd.
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Old 09-16-16, 06:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

I'm not so sure I believe a snake can be permanently stunted, so long as the snake receives proper feeding before it dies. I've seen a lot of undersized snakes get up to average size for that species after a few years with a proper feeding regimen, even if they're the size of a hatchling at several years old. Just takes them extra time, if they stay small it's at most just barely short of average range. I do still see those owners still call them undersized just because they're not on the bigger size of average, like a 4'-4.5' bp rather than 5'-6'....(not that 6' is average). Some snakes do also just stay smaller. I have an adult male boa constrictor coming in, and his owners say he's 4'-4.5' and 6 years old. They feed him a lot more than I feed mine, too, he gets a small rat every 2-3 weeks, while I'd feed him every 4-5. My oldest is a year younger and 2'-2.5' longer, but we'll see how big he is when he gets here.

So, in short, I would feed him properly and make sure he's growing and maintaining a good body tone rather than worrying what size he may end up. As long as he's healthy, doesn't matter how fast he grows or how big he gets.
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Old 09-16-16, 07:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
So, in short, I would feed him properly and make sure he's growing and maintaining a good body tone rather than worrying what size he may end up. As long as he's healthy, doesn't matter how fast he grows or how big he gets.
My sentiment exactly!

Good luck with your new Boa.
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Old 09-17-16, 01:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

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Originally Posted by JellyBean View Post
My sentiment exactly!

Good luck with your new Boa.
Thank you! Right now it's a waiting game as Texas has been in the upper-90's...

And good luck with your's! Watching these guys grow is one of the funnest parts of owning snakes.
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Old 09-19-16, 02:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Gaining weight fast enough?

I *rarely* see babies at 36 grams. That's huge for a baby rainbow. I can look up my stats of you like, but I've tracked each and every birth weight for at least ten litters....

I agree with you they grow a bit faster on hoppers, and I do feed those every now and then, but I see getting them on rats pre-sale as a benefit to the customer.

And I've seen some *really* stubborn snakes. ;-)
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