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Old 01-22-18, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

I'd like to start working up towards my ultimate dream of owning a green anaconda, and the internet seems to agree that the best step between BP's and corns and other beginner species, is the boa constrictor. I love boas. And I do want one at some point. But in my time doing tons of searches, I've never found very many reputable breeders with normal boas, and when I did, even the normals were up into $150+. Most places I found just had the $175-$200+ designer morphs. I could wait awhile and save up to get one of these, but everyday I research snakes, I find new ones that peak my interest. There are so many of these amazing creatures. So I'm sure someone in this wonderful community must have information on another snake species that grows about the size of a boa, would be reasonable to take care of, and can be had for let's say, $120 or less? Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-22-18, 07:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

I don't really buy into the "stepping stone species" bit. A boa constrictor maxing out at 9'-10' (and usually won't make it above 8') is not going to get you ready for a potentially 15'-20'+ snake. They are two totally different beasts.

You also need to take into consideration that anacondas are largely aquatic snakes, so their care and behavior won't be anything like a boa constrictor's (which are semi-arboreal). Many people keep them on dry land, but in the wild they would spend most of their life in the water, especially as adults, so a big efficient water area should honestly be a main concern here.

"Boa" covers many different species from the tiny rosy boa to the giant anaconda that you're wanting. Boa constrictors are probably the next largest after anacondas, most average 5'-8' as adults, and if you get a baby it can easily take 6-10+ years to get to a decent size. IF they get large, I have a male who is 7 years and only 4', I doubt he'll get any bigger.

A run of the mill normal boa constrictor should be under $100 unless you're looking at selectively bred individuals, $60-80 is about what you should expect for an average quality normal. Pet stores will also charge prices several times the market value, if you're looking there. Other species of boa may be more expensive, and BCC (Boa constrictor constrictor) and niche boa constrictor localities can also be priced pretty high because of their popularity.

On another note, I do believe yellow annies stay much smaller than greens, so maybe that would be a species to look into? You're going to have to drastically increase your budget for either annie species, so definitely a longterm goal.
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Old 01-22-18, 07:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

I think that you've received good information from bigsnakegirl785 that you would be smart to follow. One other bit of advise I would offer is for you to find someone close by to where you live and see if you can possible observe or eventually help with the care and feeding of a giant reptile. They are a LOT of work and it is not cheap to keep them. If you're worrying about spending over $120 for your snake, you really want to start saving up now for the enclosure and all the associated equipment like heater, thermostat, etc. etc. etc. Try a small snake for a number of years and then consider moving up when you know more about what you will be getting yourself into. Also, you can check on Craig's List and find many inexpensive snakes, including anacodas which people are getting rid of because of the amount of work and expense involved in keeping them. Just a thought...
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Old 01-22-18, 07:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Man, I hate to bring this up, but if you can't/don't want to/would prefer not to- (whatever the reason) spend money on the snake, are you going to be willing to afford the upkeep? A good vivarium (not a fish tank) for the appropriate sized animal- a reliable heat source with a thermostat (not a dome light sitting on a screen top), appropriate food, and at cushion in your bank account (like $300-$500) for any vet expenses incurred- those are just to name a few.

Getting the animal is the first (very small part) of the equation. That being said, sadly I see normal boas (BCI) on Craigslist almost weekly for prices you are mentioning.
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Old 01-22-18, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Yeah, you're going to be spending well over 2,000 dollars for an adult green anaconda in total. Not to mention the feeding bill. If your not ready for that, maybe you should stick to smaller species, after all there are many to choose from.
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Old 01-22-18, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Yeah, you're going to be spending well over 2,000 dollars for an adult green anaconda in total. Not to mention the feeding bill. If your not ready for that, maybe you should stick to smaller species, after all there are many to choose from.

If your buying a boa constrictor, your still going to be spending a lot of money on the enclosure and such. If your making your own custom enclosure, it will probably run you up around $500 dollars, not including the decorations for the adult.
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Old 01-22-18, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

I appreciate all of the replies and information. Sorry that in my original post, i got a bit lazy and simply wrote boa in a lot of places rather than specifying BCI. I didn't mean to put out the implication that I am not willing to pay X amount of money to keep a snake. I'm willing to save as long as I may need to as is needed. But y'know, if there's a way to get my foot in the door for less money, I'm willing to explore options. I figured there's no harm in asking. When I first started becoming interested in snakes, I had no clue that bull snakes or pine snakes existed. I didn't know about hog nose snakes. I must've found at least 15 new snakes that I dreamed of having every day when I first got into this hobby. So I thought maybe someone here would know of a snake that fit perfectly into my admittedly strict given parameters. But I did look into yellow anacondas for awhile and I thought they were gorgeous. I'll probably dive back into researching them and get to saving up for the snake and all the necessary equipment. And learn how to set up a good partly aquatic enclosure.
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Old 01-22-18, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Just a thought, but some dumerils boas can get fairly large. It just takes them a while to do so. Largest females end up at 8ft, but doesn't happen too often. If you can find one from the Harding line, around $220 last I saw, that might get you closer.
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Old 01-22-18, 05:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Craigslist is your friend.

Could be that I've just been lucky, but all my snakes are healthy, no mites, and other than my Hognose being a pain to get to eat, they're all great eaters. And the money changing hands has been minor.

So, if you don't plan on breeding since you won't know parentage, it's a good option. It's just that you may have to drive a bit to pick it up

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Originally Posted by Drevj12 View Post
I appreciate all of the replies and information. Sorry that in my original post, i got a bit lazy and simply wrote boa in a lot of places rather than specifying BCI. I didn't mean to put out the implication that I am not willing to pay X amount of money to keep a snake. I'm willing to save as long as I may need to as is needed. But y'know, if there's a way to get my foot in the door for less money, I'm willing to explore options. I figured there's no harm in asking. When I first started becoming interested in snakes, I had no clue that bull snakes or pine snakes existed. I didn't know about hog nose snakes. I must've found at least 15 new snakes that I dreamed of having every day when I first got into this hobby. So I thought maybe someone here would know of a snake that fit perfectly into my admittedly strict given parameters. But I did look into yellow anacondas for awhile and I thought they were gorgeous. I'll probably dive back into researching them and get to saving up for the snake and all the necessary equipment. And learn how to set up a good partly aquatic enclosure.
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Old 01-22-18, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Yeah. Hunt Craigslist. I found some red tails for good prices but passed. Also, repiticon. The more plain or common snakes had great prices on them. I am still kicking myself for not picking up the baby blood python that one vendor had for $75.
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Old 01-24-18, 07:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drevj12 View Post
I appreciate all of the replies and information. Sorry that in my original post, i got a bit lazy and simply wrote boa in a lot of places rather than specifying BCI. I didn't mean to put out the implication that I am not willing to pay X amount of money to keep a snake. I'm willing to save as long as I may need to as is needed. But y'know, if there's a way to get my foot in the door for less money, I'm willing to explore options. I figured there's no harm in asking. When I first started becoming interested in snakes, I had no clue that bull snakes or pine snakes existed. I didn't know about hog nose snakes. I must've found at least 15 new snakes that I dreamed of having every day when I first got into this hobby. So I thought maybe someone here would know of a snake that fit perfectly into my admittedly strict given parameters. But I did look into yellow anacondas for awhile and I thought they were gorgeous. I'll probably dive back into researching them and get to saving up for the snake and all the necessary equipment. And learn how to set up a good partly aquatic enclosure.
Don't get me wrong, I love boa constrictors, they're my favorite snake to keep. They just won't get anywhere near the potential that an anaconda can. Only other giant constrictors will be comparable (as far as size), and all giants are going to be a commitment and will pretty much require you to own your own home (not many rentals are ok with a giant snake and you'll need plenty of room for their equally gigantic enclosures) and have at least 1-3 other willing people living with you to help care for it. It isn't safe to keep giant constrictors alone. Very few people die, but the ones that do are due to improper handling or keeping techniques. Safety cannot be stressed enough.

They're also super expensive to feed. My retic is only 9' and she accounts for nearly half of my food bill by herself, and that's when I had 13 snakes. If/when you still plan on getting a giant, be sure to find a reliable source (or multiple sources for back up) where you can get rabbits, once they reach a certain size rats just won't cut it anymore, and it's best to feed one appropriately-sized prey item vs multiple smaller ones. If you can give a varied diet, that's always best. Fowl is another good option for larger snakes, and if you feed them sparingly, pigs and Guinea pigs are also nice for a little variety. Due to their fat content, I wouldn't feed one more than once or twice a year on an adult eating monthly.
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Old 01-25-18, 03:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Wanting Boa Size without Spending Boa Money

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
and have at least 1-3 other willing people living with you to help care for it. It isn't safe to keep giant constrictors alone. Very few people die, but the ones that do are due to improper handling or keeping techniques. Safety cannot be stressed enough.

This in incredibly important, do you have someone to share the hobby with and another to back you up? If not please dont get into greens. Green anacondas get so large and heavy you often need 2 people just to physically lift them up. Even when just doing a little cleaning you need someone there. 30 to 70*kg (66 to 154*lb) And that 30kg is for a small male. You cant guarantee the one you get will stay that "small". You cant lift that amount of weight not even the lowest one and still be in full control unless you're the hulk, and more often than not they have a nasty attitude to go with it. Youll need someone to keep the sharp end away. And thats just if its light enough for just 1 person to take the bulk. Cage opens? -2 people there. Handling? Cant do less than 3 really, more for a large specimen. Green anacondas are not single hobbyist animals just like adult retics, which are longer but dont even weigh half. Also around here anacondas are known for their generally nasty dispositions, and how expensive they are to keep. Mostly food and heating, but also the waterbill. They like to pee in their water and often need a full drain rinse and refill to keep it from smelling up your house, and to keep their skin healthy. You would be looking at a large bathtub with drain atleast to keep one happy. So add a few baths a week to your waterbill, and ofc what BSG said dont underestimate their food cost. Then add the fact they need a small room heated as adults, not just a vivarium. And you have a zoo like enclosure without the zoo staff around. This is why so few people keep these animals, you need a lot of funds.. the former mentioned 2000$? I doubt thats even going to cut it.. especially because you will end up having build/use an entire room. On a forum i used to frequent we had 1 person with green annies who did it right, he had a room sized enclosure, which cost i think it was 3k at first. Which was mostly tiles and a bathtub, thats without the couple of 100 spend on bedding and idk how much the lighting and heating was but it didnt look cheap.. Later it had to be redone because the excessive moisture was giving issues (his cealing started to rot) and it needed a good (expensive) air filter to prevent mold and the strong smell. We did have 1 more person who had a green anaconda in i think it was a 10ft enclosure, it took up a third of the enclosure. Looked like a goldfish in a bowl, sad and miserable..

But still.. if your heart is set on a anaconda, why get a bci? There is 0% shame to say that your favourite animal might just be out of your league. I used to keep a few venomous snakes and gave that up because its not worth the risk for me, while gaboon vipers are my absolute no 1 snakes. There is no non-venomous option for me, but there is a slightly more managable option for you. Yellow anaconda males could realistically even stay in the 1 person range, though never count on it. But they're quite unlikely to outgrow 2 people, and will require a Large enclosure but not an entire room.
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