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  • How often should you feed

    My girlfriend is kind of worried about this. I don't think it's a problem, but I thought I'd ask. How often should I be feeding Ursula? She is about 6.5 feet long and pretty girthy (about 3-4 inches in diameter, maybe a little more), I feed her about 1-3 large rats per week. Sometime every two weeks, depending on how she acts. While in her tank, she is pretty inactive. When we get her out that's a whole different story though. But I know when she wants to eat, because she starts sniffing around and continuously looking around at the top of the cage waiting for it. Once I unthaw it and warm it up and bring it into the cage, she snatches it right out of my hand, coils around it (even though it's already dead, I gues she just hasn't figured that out yet, s22.gif) and slurps it down. Sometimes she'll start looking around again and I'll give her another one and she'll do the same thing, but other times she'll be content and not want anything at all. We do cut her off at 3 though, don't want to overfeed her or power feed her, she's big enough as it is. But What my girlfriend is worried about is if we are already over feeding her and making her obese. Is there such a thing as an obese boa? So, I'm just wondering if I am feeding her too much or am I feeding her the right amount for her size or should I start feeding her more?

  • #2
    Re: How often should you feed

    Yes there is such thing as an obese boa. Feeding her three rats a week will make an obese boa very fast. You shouldnt need to feed her more than one food item every two to three week. Read Clays care guide under feeding frozen/thawed rats will be more helpful.

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    • #3
      Re: How often should you feed

      Now a 6 1/2 foot boa can definately eat 2 big rats in one feeding. BUT it should only be every two weeks to 1 month.

      If your intention is to breed her then feeding a couple of big rats every 14 days would be okay as long as it doesn't make her appear bloated in the belly area.

      However, feeding 3 rats a week, is definately overkill, and not healthy for the boa. Boas that are overfed in this manner have a MUCH shorter life span expectancy. Obese boas make poor breeders, and have more health problems.

      A good sign of "too fat" is if you can see the scales actually seperated on the skin. In other words, the scales are made to lay on top of the next scale. If your scales are seperated to the point you can actually see skin around an entire scale, then chances are that the boa is obese. Another sign of obesity and overfeeding is when the boas head is proportionaly much smaller than the body. And looks "funny" in relation to the size of the body.

      Breeders have proven over and over that if "powerfed" or overfed, boas die very young. Often before 4 years. Healthy and properly fed boas can live 15 to 20 years.

      Yes if we continue to push food items in front of them, they are going to continue to eat. The feeding frenzy syndrome will prove that.

      I have often said "We are their food source" and we need to be responsible and do what is the healthiest for them.
      To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

      -Best Regards
      -Clay English
      Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

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      • #4
        Re: How often should you feed

        Actually her scales are very smooth and tight together. Not separated at all. But we will slow down her feeding a bit. I know you had said in your care guide that with adult snakes it can vary with the size of the snake. I don't dangle the food in front of her. I feed her one and after it is gone wait a bit to see how she reacts. If she is acting like she is still hungry start the unthaw process again and then wait a bit to see how she is acting after that one. So I'm not really trying to powerfeed her, just letting her tell me when she is hungry and if she is still hungry. But I will slow down the process and only feed her 2-3 rats every two weeks, instead of every week. As far as the breeding thing goes, yeah, I'd love to breed her, but don't know of anyone with a male ready to breed. The only person I know who has a male red-tail (who is a very pretty silver color) is my brother. But Shaft is only about 2 year old and only a little over 4 feet, so he's not ready to breed yet. But as soon as he is, we are going to breed the two of them and hopefully have some very good looking snakes. So, unless I find someone else who has a male ready for breeding, Ursula will have to wait a bit before she gets to breed.

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        • #5
          Re: How often should you feed

          [color=Red]My 5' boa eats one med rat once a month somtimes twice... He only look's for the food when it is time to feed... They can tell somhow... May-be they can tell time.. lol he stay's real fat and healthy... your snake is quit a big bigger then mine though... But what I was going to say is that your brothers snake would be able to breed with your snake perty soon... I guess clay use's 5's all the time. I guess they don't intimadate the females// They are less agress with the hole thing...
          Well have fun with the big girl...
          Eric aka...Red
          P.s. If you don't want her to grow bigger I would cut the feeding down...[color]

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          • #6
            Re: How often should you feed

            adding to this question. I have a 9 month old pastel I bought earlier this summer. we have been feeding pinkies. now the pinkies seem way to small for her, is it okay for me to feed 2 pinkies? or should I throw away all the extra pinkies I have and just start feeding fuzzies?
            I feed every 10 -14 days.
            thanks!

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            • #7
              Re: How often should you feed

              Michelle,

              Definately feed 2 pinkies at a time. Don't throw away your pinkies or your money. Feeding 2 pinkies at a time until they are gone is fine. Just buy rat fuzzies or rat pups for the future after you are out of pinkies.
              To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

              -Best Regards
              -Clay English
              Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How often should you feed

                adding to this question. I have a 9 month old pastel I bought earlier this summer. we have been feeding pinkies. now the pinkies seem way to small for her, is it okay for me to feed 2 pinkies? or should I throw away all the extra pinkies I have and just start feeding fuzzies?
                I feed every 10 -14 days.
                thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How often should you feed

                  Well, I waited a week and then fed her again, like you all suggested, I'm feeding her two large rats every two weeks instead of every week. I found a local pet shop that sells frozen jumbo hairless rats. Well, she slurpped that down with no problems. I gave her a bit to digest that while I was unthawing the 2nd rat, (which was just a large one). By the time it was unthawed she had moved over to the Heating pad and was sitting there relaxing, ie: taking a nap. I tried to feed her the 2nd rat, but she absolutly refused it. I gave her a few more minutes, while keeping it warm, but she was full and wanted nothing to do with it. Now she's looking around for some more. Do you think I should go ahead and feed her a large rat, or should I wait another week? I fed her the jumbo rat last tuesday. ???

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                  • #10
                    Re: How often should you feed

                    Well, I tried to feed her the 2nd rat and she wanted nothing to do with it. So, since I had already unthawed it and tried to feed it to her a couple of times, I went ahead and threw it away. I didn't want to freeze it and unthaw it again. I know I hate eating things that are freezer burnt!! So, I guess she'll have to wait untill this weekend or so to eat again.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How often should you feed


                      Just because your snake is active and moving around in its cage dosent always mean that it is hungry. Don't confuse a active snake with a hungry snake.

                      It will not hurt your snake at all to miss a meal.




                      -Josh

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                      • #12
                        Re: How often should you feed

                        Josh is exactly right,

                        Just because the boa starts moving around doesn't mean it needs fed.  All feeding it every time the boa looks around and starts moving will do is result in an over fed boa.  

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                        • #13
                          Re: How often should you feed

                          I think you misunderstood what I meant. cwm1.gif ??? It's not when she moves around, that I think she is hungry. She starts looking around towards that top of the tank, especially when we are walking aroud or happen to set something up there for a bit. But she may just want out so that she can crawl around and get out of her tank. I'm getting ready to get her a new one, the 55 gal tank is just not large enough for her any longer. But I am going to a once every two week feeding like all of you have advised. Thanks for the advise, I don't want to over feed her, especially if I want to breed the girl. Which she is quite ready for, I just have to find the male.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How often should you feed

                            I would follow Clays feeding section in his care guide, if you haven't read it already.

                            and goodluck with breeding.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How often should you feed

                              ;D I am following clays recommendations in feeding. And feeding her 3 large rats every 2 weeks. She searches around for awhile searching for more, but I just tell her no and go sit in the corner!!!! LOL But after awhile she is content. cwm12.gif

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