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Boa Feeding - Graphic Images

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Rich, Apr 29, 2008.

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  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Warning - If graphic images bother you, close this thread. This is a graphic feeding thread which contains images that may bother some. You have been warned!

    The boa I adopted on December 24th has been growing steadily since I have placed him in his temporary, but large enclosure. As a result of his growth, I had decided it was time to try and feed him a larger prey item than I am use to feeding my snakes. On an average feeding, every 7 days, she was taking 2 jumbo rats and they were no longer leaving any visible signs that a feeding had just transpired. As a result, I purchased a 2.5 lb rabbit from when I ordered my other feeders.

    I was a little taken back by the size of the rabbit when it arrived, but my big girl proved to me today that the rabbit had nothing on her ability to eat it.

    Initially I was having issue with her taking it as the scent was not something she was familiar with. After a few tries, I decided to scent it with a jumbo rat. She took a keen interest, but just wouldn't latch on. At that point i was ready to give up and just gave her the jumbo. She took that without hesitation. As she was nearing the end of the rat, I tossed the head of the rabbit at the base of the tail. Her next swallow lightly nicked the rabbit and the next one grabbed it.

    The pictures below show how that went. lol

    This first shot is of her eating the jumbo (Double XXL from rodentpro).


    Here she is taking the head of the rabbit:


    The heads gone, and now she is "stuck" at the feet.


    Without skipping a beat, she decided to reconstrict the rabbit. I don't know if she did this to adjust the feet, but she broke both legs when she constricted. I actually heard them snap!


    Her leg breaking did the trick as the legs are now no longer an issue.


    It didn't take long for her to get this far.


    Its amazing how one minutes there is a whole lot of rabbit hanging out, and the next there isn't.


    She is just about done.


    To easily complete the meal, she decided to lift herself up off the ground.


    This was all that was left after she lifted herself up.


    Here she is after having eaten the rat and the rabbit. This meal should hold her for the next 3-4 weeks.


    Well there you have it! lol I do want to note that this feeding DID take place in her current enclosure. After the several failed attempts with the rabbit, she was in feeding mode and I didn't want to risk handling her in this state, so I just left her in her enclosure. (The first few attempts were in her feeding tub.)
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Without a doubt you can see the bulge now !!!! glad she went to bigger prey and I bet she takes a rabbit next time with no problem.
  3. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member boas always stand up at the end...even with the rats....nice pics Rich....
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Never ceases to amaze me what they can swallow. Nice pics.
  5. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    wow nice pics, how big is she?
  6. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Believe it or not, but she is only 5' 11". She isn't even 6 feet yet. She weighs in at 11.5 lbs before this meal.

    I was thrilled that she could take the rabbit. It makes my purchasing much easier, and saves me a bundle! Since I order in bulk, the cost per rat wasn't as high but feeding 2 every 7 or 8 days adds up. The rabbit was like $3.80 and should easily hold her for 4 weeks or so. That saves me 8 rats a month! :)

    I know I am not a huge picture taker, but I had to document her eating the rabbit. I have never fed a prey item this large, and I have another use for the images later on. (The revamped caresheet.)
  7. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Thats is awesome,,,congrats on the successful feeding.
  8. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    That is pretty wild. Makes we wonder if i should bump up the prey items for my boa soon, she's eating large rats, and is about 5'6"-5'9", last i measured her.
  9. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It's not the length that depicts if the prey size needs upgrading, but rather the girth and the size of the prey itself.

    If you are feeding a large rat and can see where the rat is within the snakes body after feeding your boa, there is no reason to upgrade.
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    rabbit? I was watching "In Cold Blood" the other night and this snake ate a baby deer!

    Glad you were able to upgrade.
  11. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    wow now thats some pics! lol
    great job glad the snake is doing well Rich :)
  12. Joy81

    Joy81 Elite Member

    That is amazing, and to think I was impressed when my little Garter ate a bunch of goldfish! LOL!
  13. thead11

    thead11 Elite Member

    so is that for every snake? (the up the prey if you can't see it)

    im dreading feeding my boa a rabbit

    glad yours had no trouble with it
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes. A lot of new keepers under feed their snakes. They look at the size of the snakes head and think the snake can't take anything bigger! If you have problems with feeding Bugs Bunny to the snake ;) you can just feed multiple rats.
    Its just more expensive.
  15. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    As Merlin said already, that goes for every snake. Once the snake has finished feeding, you should be able to see where the prey is in the snakes body. If you can't, the prey is likely too small.

    This rabbit was larger than I had originally thought it would be. I will most likely downsize on the next purchase since there is a size smaller.

    What I quoted above was the exact reason I wanted to upgrade. Feeding 1 rabbit every 3 - 4 weeks is cheaper than feeding 2+ jumbo rats every 7-10 days. As the snake grows, so too does its appetite. Feeding larger prey satisfies their hunger for a longer period of time. The larger the snake, the more rats it will take to "fill" it. If you think about the costs, you can save a bundle when you feed one appropriately sized item. ;)
  16. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    Thats great that she took that with almost no issues. I am trying so desperately to get Wing to eat his but he absolutely refuses. I now am feeding him 3 xxxl rats every 7 days from rodent pro. He wants nothing to do with bunny foo foo. I will keep trying though or I will have wasted a whole order of small rabbits, they will end up freezer burnt. I am amazed that she took to it that quick. Wing has almost tripled in size since he came in here. Prayer still eats only medium rats,, when I am lucky enough to get her to eat. She has not grown much. Wing weighs in now at almost 20 pounds!!!

    Those are great pics! Thanks so much for sharing them! And glad to hear your rescue is doing great! She is beautiful!
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Nichole try tying the rabbit to the rat. A short peice of cotton string tied to the rat's back leg or tail and the other end tied around the rabbit's neck. Tie them close enough that there isn't any room between them.
    As the snake swallows and gets to the rabbit, it just continues to swallow.
  18. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Or you can do exactly what I did, which is very similar to what Merlin is suggesting. Watch her eat the rat and when she gets to the tail, place the rabbits head at the base of her mouth so when she closes it, she bites down on the rabbit. Once she "grabs" the rabbit, its just like what Merlin said and she keeps eating. (It just doesn't include string. lol)
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! I included the string because of all Nichole's posts regarding Wing's angelic temperment!
  20. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Yeah, i beleive its usulaly determined by the snakes widest point, either you or merlin told me that, beforehand i thought it was by weight.

    When i got her i continued feeding what her previous owners were feeding her, on the same schedue, but think she may have to start eating either more rats, a bigger rat, or more often.
    The only problem being that all the local petstores here usualy stop at Large Rat.

    As for buying online, i don't have the freezer space to buy enough to make it worth paying the $40 in shipping.

    She'll be eating here shortly, one large rat, i'm going to decide after she eats looking at her if i'll change her feedings.
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