Adding Another Red Tail Boa Constrictor to the Home: Interview 4 with BigReese

baby red tail boa constrictor

Tiny - the red tail boa constrictor
Tiny - the red tail boa constrictor | Source

Bringing Home Another Snake: Interview 4

Adding Another Boa Constrictor to the Home: Interview 4 with BigReese

If you already have a pet snake and you are thinking about adding another one, it is best to be well prepared. You cannot just put your new pet in the cage with your other one.

This is my 4th interview with BigReese (links to other interviews are below) about the care of red tailed boa constrictors. His interviews have been very popular, and so have the added slide shows about his snakes, their cages and other tools. (See the slide show accompanying this interview).

A couple months ago he bought another red tail boa constrictor and MrsBigReese, who is an active participant, named the new one 'Tiny.'

I visited BigReese and held his snakes, watched the feedings, even changed their water for them. And I asked BigReese questions about bringing home his new pet.

CG: Where did you purchase Tiny, your new red tail baby boa constrictor?
BR: At the reptile show in White Plains, NY.

CG: You seem to prefer the reptile shows. Why is that?
BR: More selections, different breeders.

CG: How old was she? And why did you pick her?
BR: She was one month old. She was also active and looked healthy.

CG: When you brought her home did you put her in the tank with your other boa constrictor?
BR: No, snakes are not meant to be together unless they are breeding.

(BigReese and I discussed this in the interview about feeding - see link below)

CG: I see you have built new isolation enclosures specifically for when you bring home a new snake (see photos). Will you describe this set up in the photos?
BR: It is a rack with Sterolite containers. Each container is heated by thermostats (see photo of a thermostat).

CG: Why do you feel the need to isolate her?
BR: To make sure she is free of any diseases or parasites that you don't see when you buy her.

CG: How long did you keep Tiny isolated?
BR: For 3 months.

CG: Now I see that you have put Tiny in this gigantic new cage (see photo). Years ago snake owners were told they could just use an aquarium - but no more. Why?
BR: They don't hold humidity. They usually don't have the floor space that a snake needs. It's very easy for a snake to escape from an aquarium.

(I won’t describe here all that goes into setting up the tank as that was described in detail in interview 3 - the link is below)

CG: About feeding. When did you give Tiny her first meal and what was it?
BR: When you bring home a snake you should wait a week before you try to feed her because she needs time to acclimate to her new surroundings. I gave her a rat pup which is the same size as a pinky (a mouse). The rat pup has more protein than a small mouse because they are still feeding off their mother.

CG: Makes sense to give the rat pup then. How often do you feed her?
BR: Once a week.

CG: I watched you feed her and I can never get used to the speed of these snakes when they grab their prey. Ths tiny snake grabbed her prey with such speed that my brain and eyes cannot process it. And I also saw the need for the big hook (see photo) which you talked about in the feeding interview. Tiny was approaching her prey but I moved so she looked at me - and the rat pup wasn't moving and she needs that movement so then you took the hook and...

BR: I used the hook to move the rat pup.

CG: Then it was over in an instance. And just tell the readers how quickly they consume their meal.

BR: It takes her about a minute or so. 

CG: You have had, throughout your childhood, other pets: cats, dogs, fish, a chuckwalla. Why snakes?

BR: I find them interestesting. They are clean pets and overall they are enjoyable pets.

CG: Why in particular the red tail boa constrictor?
BR: Originally, going back 20 years ago, I always liked their coloring and their temperament. They are docile.

CG: Would you recommend a boa constrictor as a pet for a child or teenager?
BR: Only with adults as the primary caretakers.

CG: Now MrsBigReese, after spending time in AZ, has fell in love with bearded dragons. And now you have one. At the same kind of reptile show you both went and picked out a little one and named her 'Speedy' - and bought 5,000 crickets. Don't snake eat these lizards?
BR: Yes. But of course they live apart. They are also in separate rooms.

CG: That's a whole other interview (with great photos) and I will catch up with MrsBigReese, eventually.

CG: Thanks again BigReese for letting me visit your snakes, letting me handle them and taking the time to let me interview you; many people have expressed an interest and write in. More than 2,000 people have looked at pictures of your other snake, Brownie, here on HubPages and more than 3,000 folks have read through the 3 interviews. I’m glad to see folks taking a serious interest in snake ownership and care. If people write in again with questions can I contact you so I can get the correct information?
BR: Yes.

CG: Thanks again and I enjoyed looking at your bigger snake chilling out on the kitchen chairs. (see last photo) - Brownie is about a year or year and 3 months. BigReese has also decided at this age it is okay to fill Brownie's cage with Cypress mulch - she loves it!

For a lot more information including buying your first snake, setting up the cage, and feeding, please see the interview links below.

Tiny the red tail boa constrictor

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tiny coming homeTiny trying to escapeTiny in isolation Tiny thinking she is escapingmore TinyTiny in isolationTiny in isolationTiny going into cavetemperture readingnew cage for Tinyshed skinlarge hook and tweezersBrownie - the bigger red tail boa constrictor chilling in the kitchen
Tiny coming home
Tiny coming home
Tiny trying to escape
Tiny trying to escape
Tiny in isolation
Tiny in isolation
Tiny thinking she is escaping
Tiny thinking she is escaping
more Tiny
more Tiny
Tiny in isolation
Tiny in isolation
Tiny in isolation
Tiny in isolation
Tiny going into cave
Tiny going into cave
temperture reading
temperture reading
new cage for Tiny
new cage for Tiny
shed skin
shed skin
large hook and tweezers
large hook and tweezers
Brownie - the bigger red tail boa constrictor chilling in the kitchen
Brownie - the bigger red tail boa constrictor chilling in the kitchen

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

ralwus 7 years ago

I don't mind snakes at all. But they ain't coming to my house. My parrot would have a fit and the wife would r-u-n-d off! LOL We went to a Paw Paw festival a dew years back down home and she ended up running away when she discovered a huge boa lying by her feet as she walked up beside me at a snake handlers exhibit. Hell I dint even see the dam thing. God I laughed so hard when I saw her standing about half a mile from us watching. hehe Never knew she could run that fast!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

It's so wonderful to see snakes being written about the way they should be. And a fitting 100th hub? Congrats!

When people fear they destroy and so many of these wonderful creatures are exterminated for no reason. Look forward to coming back and reading more about BigReese and his boas.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

I like looking at snakes just like this, and in the zoo, only. However your hub was just great.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know ralwus - I am laughing with you about your story because it made me think of the reaction of some of the people I know. And this over a baby snake. I try to explain to them that if they run off screaming and maybe out in traffic they will do more harm to themselves than the snake who has no interest - and is probably laughing at them.

Shalini Kagal - I sooooo agree with you! All life is great and fabulous! As a great believer in lunar astrology, I know that last year was the year of the snake (a great year for me the ox) and the snake is my ally. Snakes have done nothing at all to harm us - and they, like all other animals, play a great role in keeping the world/nature balanced - unfortunately what animals build, the man animal destroys.

The snakes in the zoo are amazing fastfreta - because they are gigantic! Fortunately, my son had a love for snakes when he was about 19 so I got to learn about them and handle them (boa constrictors and pythons) and observe them. It was quite amazing!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments!


Acquilles profile image

Acquilles 7 years ago from Lucknow

Yeah.. snakes wont be welcum in my house either..

My Mom will scare herself 2 something..


ralwus 7 years ago

Yeah, it's a good thing the poor things can't hear the hysteria. One time the wife came screaming into the kitchen and jumped on a chair, "Snake! A snake!" She screamed. LOL I ran out side and there were a dew baby garter snakes in the grass. hehe There she was standing on that chair peeing her pants over harmless little snakes no longer than a ruler.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

By the way Acquilles - I knew a librarian who was so afraid of snakes she would not walk down the aisles of books where a snake book might be found.

And ralwus - there are so many great 'scared of snake' stories. I just love them! At least your wife saw one albeit tiny. If I mention the word snake I know people that will cringe. Good thing we are not bad people - we could wreak havoc with snakes! Love your snake stories!


Raggits 7 years ago

Snake 'tails', my dad found a 2 foot long garden snake and knowing my mom hates snakes, he did the little shh-shh to us kids and looped the snake over her shoulder. My poor mom, nearly came out of her skin. She never cursed but she chewed my dad out royally, because he knew she didn't like snakes. All four of us kids were rolling on the lawn laughing hysterically. She still doesn't like snakes and when I bought my son his first ball python and we put it in our bedroom. K. had her out on the bed with her rock and my mom walked in and backed out faster than she came in. Get that ?!?!?!?! snake out of my house. We kept Sheila in an aquarium, in the bedroom and didn't have to worry about having our room 'snooped' through again.

Another great snake Hub. Keep'um coming!


RedtailLover 7 years ago

Great pictures and very pretty snake. They are beautiful! Do you have pictures of your snake in the big tank? That would be nice to see. I have so many snake stories - mostly about people being afraid.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Love the snake stories Raggits!

I feel like I know Sheila now since I have read so much about her - the innocent beauty. I'm so glad BigReese lets me handle his snakes and enjoy them - but the people that sprint away - soooo hilarious!

So good to meet you here on hub pages!

Hi RedtailLover - she is a pretty snake. I happen to think snakes are just so elegant and beautiful and powerful. I'm glad that so many people care enough to take such good care of them and not use them as toys.

Hope you come back again!


MrsBigReese 7 years ago

It's Wild Kingdom over here!!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Always great to hear from you MrsBigReese!

And thank you so much for letting me share in your pet joy!

I must come again and catch up with you and discuss your latest beauty - Speedy the bearded dragon! And see how the snakes are doing. I can tell they are so well cared for.

Thanks again for sharing so much!


BRYAN 7 years ago

Interesting. I didn't know they couldn't/shouldn't live in aquariums.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello Bryan! Yes, aquariums used to be recommended but that was 20 years ago when keeping snakes was still kind of a new and novel idea. But they don't maintain the all important heat and humidity that a healthy snake needs.

Then every time I read about a snake getting out it is from an aquarium. I know the red tail boas very well and they are very strong. If they decided to push up the top of an aquarium it is quite easy for them to do that. Snakes always seems to head towards the top and push up!

The cage BigReese has has a sliding front and he has a lock. They look very secure.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Wow! I had no idea that they need to stay isolated for 3 months! I'm glad BigReese actually sounds like he cares about the health and safety of his snakes! So many people don't really understand how to properly take care of these creature. Fabulous hub!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much theherbivorehippi! I love responsible pet owners because they tend to be responsible about life in general - and are good to know.

BigReese and MrsBigReese have a new baby red tail boa with coloring that is rare. Eventually, I'll catch up with them again and ask for an interview.

I'm so glad you stopped by. Many Thanks!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working