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Force Feeding Boas

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by kcftlaud08, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    OK, new concept to me but I may need this information so:
    1. How do you know when to force feed?
    2. How, and be very graphic, do you force feed?:confused:
    I have always been quite open about my ignorance so please be gentle. Roxy has not eaten the last 2 rats (pre-killed) that I have given her. I think she is just plain not hungry yet.
    Which leads to.....
    3. See question 1.
  2. venus

    venus Founding Member

    I would not force feed yet. How long has it been since it ate. Force feeding can be tramatic and if not necessary dont do. Whats the temps in the cage, how old it etc. Has it lost weight, if so, maybe you need a vet visit.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    So how long has it been since she fed? Boas and other snakes can go an incredible length of time without eating.
    Forcefeeding is a last ditch effort to save a snake that will otherwise die. It is a very stressful and potentially dangerous procedure.
  4. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    Roxy is probably 6 1/2 to 7 feet long. She is still quite active nocturally as well as when I take her out in the sun. She has not eaten in about a month. The rats have blood stains, where maybe she has toyed with it, but she is not eating. She ate a large rat about every week when I got first got her. That was maybe 2 months ago. I suspect that she is full but I am not sure. I don't want her hunger to go to a point where she strikes, she is an incredibly docile creature. She eats prekilled rats. That has been her diet for many years. I will be more patient, not a strong skill of mine. :) She has not lost any weight and I am reasonably satisfied with the extrement that comes out of her. Also, her colors are still vibrant. Her skin is sleek and smooth. I really probably am just obsessing. That habit should only last a year or so, bear with me. Thank you.
  5. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    as long as her colors are nice and shes still active at night i think you are in the clear. i am not aware of boas going on hunger strikes, but a larger snake like that can go awhile without eating, and some times snakes can seem to just decide to stop for a month or 2 then start. i wouldnt stop offering food. keep to your schedule, but dont get too worried until the snake starts losing weight or the skin starts turning colors (mine turned very dark but i do not know this to be the rule)
  6. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    i wouldn't be too worried about it yet either. she may just not be hungry. my rosy boa always goes off food for the winter and that can last at least 6 months before he will start to eat again.

    as long as she is still active, has no signs of sickness and isn't losing any weight then she may just not be hungry right now.

    my one corn used to eat every week now lately as he's gotten older he will go every 2 weeks between meals. :)
  7. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    I'm going to try again tonight. She is a shy eater. We were out and playing about in the yard yesterday so I keep trying to work up her appetite. I've read some good posts and I may have screwed up on the defrosting process. I gently defrosted this one and before I go to bed will soak the rat in warm water until the chill is off (of coarse in a water proof bag). We will see what happens. She's still friendly-not hungry enough to stike.
  8. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    One month is way to early to force feed. You said she still looks great and she is acting normal, so I would not even consider it.

    As stated above force feeding is only as a last resort for an animal that is goingto die, if you dont do it.

    have you ever force fed a large boa? It is like wrestling with an anaconda, lol.

    Also if you have never force fed, I would suggest you take her to a herp vet and have them show you how to do it,, IF it comes to that point, if done wrong it could cost the snake its life.

    I wouldnt even be the slightest bit concerned for just one month. I swear they get bored and decide one day.........Hmmmm, I think I will not eat just to watch them all freak out, lol.

    Good luck, and dont panic yet,, I knw, easier said then done, lol
  9. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    I think I have been misunderstood. I was mostly asking about the force feeding for morbid curiousity. I have no intention at this point in doing anything to interfere with Roxy's feeding. I figure, heck, it is instinct. If she was starving she would take a nip at me, which, thankfully, has not happened. It sounds like an incredibly intense and horrifice experience for an animal lover. I live in Florida and have had the unfortunate experience of poisonous toad vs. my dog. To hold the hose in her mouth and flood her system to try to wash out the poison (even though I know it was the best for her) was miserable. She almost died twice that night. Thankfully she is still here and her life now is nothing but leftovers and loving. That is as close in my life as I have come to force feeding anything. And, no, I can't imagine trying to do that to an 8' snake. I have an admiration for all of you have have had to endure that process.
  10. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    not exactly true, reptiles do not have the same feeding reflex that mammals have. its not uncommon for reptiles to starve themselves to death for what would seem like minor stresses to us. its why forcefeeding is discussed so often on herp forums. ive never heard of any mammal being tube fed while it was still had the ability to get to and consume its food
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I might have missed it, but when is the last time you offered food? I would keep to your schedule, offering once a week and not try to force the issue.
  12. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    No,no. I've never forced the issue. Since I have had her she has never had a bulge when she eats. About every 2 weeks I leave a pre-killed jumbo rat in there for no more than 24-36 hours depending on when I put in there. Heck that just stinks up her tank and my bedroom. Then I have to clean the tank because God knows what bacteria has started to grow. I recognize that I have no need to force feed. I also admit that if I came to that point I may question my ability to care for her and look for a local vet or breeder that could help me. My girl has never been aggressive or displayed any behavior other than the urge to "walk about". I just sympathize and can't imagine how one would even attempt to perform the act of force feeding something that you have to pry its mouth open. That would go for any animal. With us, someone shove a tube down your throat or an IV in you and BAM! You get nutrition. Whether we want it or not. I don't imagine the process is the same at home with your reptile or dog or hamster or anything. Roxy has eaten a 2 small rats so I am not worried. I gave her fresh water and we'll she how she feels tomorrow. I have one more small rat and a jumbo in the freezer. I just think she should be eating more.
  13. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    That is a fact, lol. When Bull. my sons guinea pig had a cancerous tumor removed through surgery, he was eating 1 hour after he woke up from the anasthetic, lol. I dont think he has stopped eating since, lol
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