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10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

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  • 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

    Hello, I'm new here and I have a question about feeding such a large snake. Sativa has always had f/t rats and has always been a GREAT eater. I got her when she was 8 feet long from a friend 2 years ago. She lives in a big enclosure in my head shop. She started out 8 feet long and ate a jumbo rat every two weeks. Now she is 10 ft 3 in and I had cut her down to a rat every three weeks because she is growing so fast, but have had recent aggression issues (she got her teeth caught on her substrate and now I am re-thinking the appropriateness of indoor/outdoor carpet for that) and I contacted a "reptile guy" who told me that the poor girl is HUNGRY on only one jumbo rat every three weeks. I need to be feeding her rabbits or chickens. OK, so looking for frozen rabbits, but in the meantime, can I feed her a cornish game hen stuffed with a medium sized rat for a meal? Can snakes eat chickens from the store with no feathers and stuff? would she even know it was food? I want to feed her ASAP knowing she is so hungry...

  • #2
    Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

    JOY!! She ate a cornish game hen stuffed with a medium sized rat last night. It took her about six hours (I didn't think to cut the wings off- that took her a while to figure out - but she DID it! She is now resting comfortably stretched out, with a very satisfying looking bulge in her belly. She looks very proud of herself

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    • #3
      Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

      I guess you answered your own question, lol.... but I'll add that while some snakes will eat poultry from the store, it's not an appropriate snake-diet for the long-term. Snakes are designed to eat the WHOLE animal, and
      by doing that, they get nutrients & roughage from all the other parts that are missing from store-bought prepared chicken. As unappealing as chicken-guts are to us, they are full of nutrients needed by the snake to remain
      healthy.

      I hope she can digest this alright: I'd have fed the 2 items separately...

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      • #4
        Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

        I would also avoid grocery store poultry, a lot of it is pumped full of abx since meat birds are often kept in close quarters while being fattened up. There's the problem with salmonella contamination as well.

        You can always offer two rats per feeding until you find a rabbit supplier.

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        • #5
          Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

          I can almost promise that your very large boa is still not truly hungry after eating a jumbo sized rat every three weeks.

          Without seeing pics of your boa it is difficult to tell you if the boa should technically be on a "diet" or not. Usually larger boas being fed that size prey item are being fed less frequently than every three weeks.

          Remember, a healthy boa - in general - will have the shape of a loaf of bread, not a shape that is actually circular.

          EDIT/ADDITION: A boa can stay in feeding mode for quite some time after eating. A boa can also develop aggression issues based on it's current environment and the location in which it is kept. Just a few extra things to think about.
          "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

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          • #6
            Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

            Originally posted by bebowebb View Post
            I can almost promise that your very large boa is still not truly hungry after eating a jumbo sized rat every three weeks.
            Really? I'm so glad to hear that. I have been kicking myself imagining her starving for two years! The aggression started during feeding, of all things. She lives in a 6x4x2.5 wood enclosure with four glass sides. I have lined the wood bottom with an indoor/outdoor carpet as substrate (I read that was good somewhere). It has been working out great, she grew two feet, she sheds every 6 weeks, never has any problems eating every time. She drinks a moderate amount of water, poops about a week after every feeding, lots of the white "pee" stuff (I'm still learning terms, sorry!). She sometimes enjoys laying in her big water bin (she has a shallow bin for bathing and a rubber tub for fresh water). Ambient air temp is about 84-87 deg. She has a ceramic heat disc and a heat pad under the carpeting.
            The aggression happened about two months ago. I threw her rat in and as she often does, she struck at it immediately. Well, her teeth caught in the substrate backwards (like velcro!!) and all four teeth, top and bottom, stuck in the carpet with her mouth wide open! She wrapped up her ten foot self, two logs, all her rocks, and the carpet in an angry twirl. I don't know how, but my husband managed to get a stick under her lower jaw and pop the arpet loose. She was completely uninjured, did not even lose a tooth. But ever since, she is one pissed off snake. If the top is open, she will strike at the first thing that enters the cage. She once struck the glass (really hard!!) when I had the top open and was refreshing her water. Poor thing! Now I am not sure what exactly to do. I do have a new enclosure for her, a similar wood and glass case, modified. It is 10 feet long and four feet tall and 4 feet wide. I want to move her, but I am not even sure how to pick her up now. She weighs about 90 lbs, I'd guess. I don't have any reptile people around here to help that I can find through pet shops or the humane society. I will post in another thread about the substrate too, but these are our problems in a nutshell Oh yeah, about her shape - a very nice loaf of bread shape, the only thing that has gotten thinner is the "bat" of her tail....it is slightly less "bat-ish".

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            • #7
              Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

              I like that you have a 10x4 ready for her. That is more space then some people give to big retics and you should be commended for that.

              Your snake could have injured her mouth... Pain will put a snake in a bad mood. Have you checked her mouth and teeth (I know, easier said then done under h circumstances)?

              You may want to cover up the sides of her cage... A little privacy may help calm her down.

              Do you have any pics... We will be able to give you advice on if she is starving or not if we see some pictures. Have you weighed her? 90 lbs would be overly obese for a 10 footer.

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              • #8
                Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

                A couple more things: That "white pee stuff" is called "urates" or urate crystals.

                A cranky or overly-feisty snake sure might be the result of pain...not just soreness from pulling with her teeth so hard on the carpet, but you mentioned she later hit the side of the cage really hard. You do want to avoid
                such injuries for sure...as Kung Fu Joe suggested, adding more privacy to her cage may help her calm down.

                You did say "...she weighs about 90 lbs, I'd guess" and I'm betting she weights WAY less than that. Someday when she calms down & you can get her into a container or strong sack you should weigh her, then subtract the
                weight of the container, just to see. Large snakes seem to feel much heavier than they really are.

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                • #9
                  Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

                  With the story of the strike and teeth getting caught in the carpet, there is a good chance that an injury may have occurred that has not been diagnosed yet.

                  As both [MENTION=18031]Kung Fu Joe[/MENTION] and [MENTION=13772]Noelle7206[/MENTION] have said, an injury resulting in pain can make for a very cranky snake.

                  It is possible that your boa may have broken a jaw, broken a rib, or even caused impacted teeth that have not yet set in with infection. When in doubt, a trip to a good herp vet is never a bad idea. Consider it the equivalent of an annual physical with a human. Explain the events that occurred and the actions of your snake along with the attitude that has come along since. Just a thought
                  "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

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                  • #10
                    Re: 10 foot RTB - feeding "other"?

                    Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                    A couple more things: That "white pee stuff" is called "urates" or urate crystals.
                    Thanks!! I typed that first, but it did not look right. LOL, I have raised horses and dogs my whole life....this reptile thing is a whole new deal!

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