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Question for Experienced Rtb Owners!

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by paigeypus, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. paigeypus

    paigeypus Member

    Okay so I just wanted to make doing this right. We got a rtb about 6 months ago and she was around 5-51/5 ft, and now shes almost 6! She was pretty underweight when we got her, so the advice from our reputable reptile shop, had said to feed her once a week. Shes a great eater! She eats a large rat right now. Just wanted to make sure that im not over feeding her until she is at her correct weight. Thanks! :) IMG_81782327052517.jpeg

    That picture was taken just a week or so ago, so you know what she looks like :)

    Oh and I may be off by size but I thought that was pretty accurate lol.
  2. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    IMO its always better to put their weight on a little slower when they're adults. I would space it out a bit more. Have you been doing it since you got her?
  3. paigeypus

    paigeypus Member

    Yeah pretty quickly after we got her. She was our first snake and we were told she was really underweight so thats why we should feed her a bit more for awhile. I just dont want to be power feeding her! Do you have a reccommended time between feeds?
  4. boidaesplace

    boidaesplace Well-Known Member

    We have a red tail we've had for awhile now, we've been consistently feeding him once a week, rotating large and jumbo rats. He's just over 7 feet, and his girth has remained a really healthy size. Certainly can't hurt once a week, wouldn't hurt to give her a little more if she'll eat, just to get her weight up, then slowly cut back once she's got good weight back!
  5. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    I don't agree with the overfeeding. It's not good for them at all. Your boa that is nearly 6 feet is not a baby, and will need to be fed an appropriate size (girth size) rat every two or even three weeks. That's what I know. Your boa is absolutely gorgeous but a bit "chubby". Tone down and spread out those meals, that is my opinion. She will live longer.
  6. Manda

    Manda New Member

    With her size you should only be feeding once every two or three weeks. You are deffinitely over feeding her. And she doesn't look too skinny at all in that picture. Feeding her as much as you are is power feeding and will make her grow faster but is also severely shortening her lifespan.
  7. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Your reputable breeder's advice is questionable. She's perfect size.. Feed her one large rat every three weeks. Some people might argue that that isn't enough and that they should be fed every two weeks but that extra week is appropriate if you want a healthy sized lean (as they should be) but not underweight boa. Cheers

    By the way.. There's never really an immediate need to get a snake back to their appropriate weight. Adults should eats every 2-4 weeks, 2 weeks bare minimum.

    A foot in 6 months. You're SEVERELY overfeeding her :(
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They GOT the boa 6 months ago. They didn't say the boa was 6 months old!
  9. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    An adult boa should not grow one foot in 6 months.. That's very fast. It would make more sense for a 6 month old to grow that fast but that's pretty significant growth for an adult.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Read the post! They said 5 to 5 1/2 ft. It wasn't an exact measurement. Growing 6 inches in 6 months isn't that big a leap.
  11. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    To be honest even six inches is a bit much. I'm interested in how old the snake is since boas generally do all of their growing in their first four years and then it slows down significantly. If it's past four years old it should put on 1 to a few inches a year. Either way, 6"-1' in six months for a fully or close to fully grown BCI seems too much unless she's going to be a big girl by nature.

    Bottom line, feed once every three weeks, one meal which is slightly larger than her thickest point and she'll be a happy, healthy snake. Even if feeding once a week isn't the reason for her abnormal growth it's putting a ton of strain on the snakes entire body! It's digestive system and organs are not built for that much food so often.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But if indeed the snake was underweight when acquired, the extra feeding could be understood. And could also account for a growth spurt. Considering that these snakes have been known to hit 10 feet!
    The photo of the snake is current, not from when they first go it.
    And you yourself admit to keeping your snakes on a "lean" feeding schedule. Just because your growth rate is not the same as someone else does not mean they are doing it wrong.
  13. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Fact of the matter is... Boa constrictors are not built to eat like that whether or not you or I like or believe it. my opinion is that it's a terrible choice to continue doing so if you want a healthy snake but it belongs to you and the choice is yours. I have supplied you with what I know and you can disregard my advice if you believe my advice is invalid or my info regarding a Boa Constrictors digestive system, etc.

    Good luck.
  14. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Just to clarify, my advice given was based on Boa's bodies and not my personal snakes growth rates. All snakes grow differently. One of my six month old females is about 3 feet one six month old female is about 2 feet, for example... However, after a certain size and age they stop growing. Just like humans. I don't expect a 30 year old man to grow an extra 6" - 1' in less than a year (pretty accurate comparison). As I said, op can choose to ignore what I've said if they don't think what I'm saying is true, Doesn't make sense, etc, etc..
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok, Erick, I hate to have to put it like this but, contrary to what you seem to believe, you do not know everything! You are 16 years old! You still have a heck of a lot to learn.

    And you really need to work on your delivery! I have had to remove several of your snippy comments to people.

    The FACT is that boa constrictors live in areas with some of the most plentiful food supplies. They are going to feed when food is available and that is more often than every 3 weeks!

    The snake in the photo looks very healthy. It is not obese, or underfed. Your comments, which are only YOUR opinion, tend to make it look like the poster is doing this wrong.
    As I said, just because it isn't YOUR way does not mean that it is wrong.
  16. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    My age and presentation is not significant. Do some research on the effect power feeding has on Boas. I don't know everything or think so. I've done a lot of research pn Boas and if you had, I am almost certain you'd understand that feeding every week for 6 months is terrible for the animal... regardless of its former or current weight/size. To each his own. I personally don't agree with causing internal damage to my pets but as you said... That's just my uneducated, 16 year old opinion!
    Consider my advice null because of my age if you believe I have posted something inaccurate or untrue..
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Growth rates vary widely from snake to snake. The snake in this picture looks very healthy. It is not underweight enough to warrant power feeding (which is only necessary if they are severely underweight) The reason power feeding is acceptable for severely underweight animals is because severely underweight animals bodies will start breaking down their own organs and tissues to fuel metabolic processes and essential organs - such as the brain. If an animal is that underweight, it is essential to get calories in them ASAP to halt this process, in hopes of limiting or preventing permanent organ damage/failure.

    The animal in the picture is nowhere near that thin. It looks healthy, firm, and lean. The skin is not hanging off, the ribs are not clearly visible.

    Many breeders do feed more regularly than the average hobbyist would, because they need to get the animals up to bulk for breeding. I'm not saying I agree with the practice, just that it may explain why a breeder gave such advice - it's what they are used to doing.

    If you can see skin between many of the scales of your snake at times when a fresh meal is NOT causing stretching, you may need to cut back the feeding. Intrascalar skin should typically only be visible after a feeding, where the prey is resting in the gut prior to digestion.

    We can only offer guidelines here - a vet could clarify for you what your snake's weight or girth should be.
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually it is. You tend to come off that anyone who does not agree with you is just horribly wrong and mistreating their animals.

    And you tend to be a bit rude. As to your age, you are talking to people on here who have been dealing with snakes longer than you have been alive! And they did not get their knowledge from reading on the internet, but by actually keeping the animals long term.
    I think that you have it in you to become a great keeper. But you have got to get over yourself and listen to people!
  19. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Sorry to hear that you think that. I don't think that any way but mine is wrong. Feeding once a week for six months can cause health issues and that's what I was saying. I know first hand since my Albino BCI was severely powerfed before I got him. Same exact situation. The previous owner got the snake when it was overweight and powerfed him for about three months until the snake was fat and had fat stores all down his body and at that point I bought him without knowing that.

    He has no serious or permanent damage besides being a bit chubby which we're working on but that's besides the point. Three months and he was on a slower cycle than the ops.. I am sorry to come off as rude or a know it all or however I am coming off but my main goal to prevent some damage here. What's done is done, all I can say is that I'd advise to discontinue powerfeeding. Since the snake is at a good weight now, I think we can all agree on that for the op, no?
  20. BoaBoyKD

    BoaBoyKD Active Member

    1 large rat every two weeks is the best option... Trust me my 6 foot boa is in perfect health.

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