What to Feed a Baby Boa Constrictor: Interview 2 with BigReese
Feeding a Baby Boa Constrictor: Interview 2 with BigReese
The following interview “Feeding a Baby Boa Constrictor” is the second interview with BigReese. The first interview covered the basics about purchasing a boa constrictor; since then many specific questions were asked. This interview gives more detailed information about feeding.
BigReese has been a snake owner for at least 20 years. A few months ago he and Mrs. BigReese acquired a baby red tail boa constrictor, and Mrs. BigReese named her Brownie (see photo and slide show). BigReese has agreed to give a third interview which will cover tank recommendations and setting up the tank.
CG -- You have said that upon birth the baby boa constrictors have to fend for themselves. You mean they can eat a mouse right away?
BigReese - When they are born, the mother leaves, and they are forced to fend for themselves; this is in the wild.
CG- When should you buy a baby boa constrictor?
BigReese - You should wait to buy after the baby boa constrictor has had its first shedding and its first meal, for health reasons. A good breeder will assure that this is done.
CG - Your red tail boa constrictor, Brownie, is now 10 months old (see photo and slide show) and instead of giving her a mouse you have now given her a rat this time? Was she able to catch it easily and constrict around it?
BigReese - Yes.
CG - So why start feeding her a rat already?
BigReese - Because they should shed about every month in their first year or two, and that way, you know they are growing properly. If they do not shed regularly during that time, it could indicate that they are ready for a larger meal, a rat.
CG - What would you do if the rat you gave Brownie became aggressive? Would you have to kill it first?
BigReese - You can stun it by putting it in a bag and striking it on the wall or floor. (Please note: it is important to stay with your snake during the feeding in case the rat is aggressive and you have to step in to control the situation so the rat does not bite and injure your snake)
CG - What are the giant tweezers for (see photo)?
BigReese - The giant tweezers are for any reason you may have to separate the snake from its food. Or if you do not want to touch the mouse or rat, you can use the big tweezers.
CG - I noticed she went back into her cave after eating. Why?
BigReese - To digest her food without being disturbed. In the wild when they are young, they are more prey than predator so this is a natural instinct.
CG - How long after eating will she defecate? Is it usually on schedule?
BigReese - No schedule; it can happen at any time.
CG - I know you discussed this is interview 1 - but once again, why can't you feed her when she is shedding?
BigReese - When a snake is shedding, she cannot see. Also, they might bite you because they cannot see.
CG - Why do you have the skin?
BigReese - You want to inspect it - it should be in one piece. If it is in a bunch of pieces it could mean your heat is too low or the humidity is too low or both.
CG - What is the big hook for (see photo)?
BigReese - It‘s for the times you may have to handle her and she may not want to be handled. For example, if you have to clean the cage and she has started shedding.
CG - How much does a mouse or rat cost on Long Island?
BigReese - A mouse is $2.00 and the largest rat is about $5.00.
CG - What if you don't feed your boa constrictor, of any size, for a month or more?
BigReese - She would not be happy but she’ll live.
CG - Do they drink a lot of water?
BigReese - Not a lot but they do require fresh water daily.
CG - Do they bathe in the water?
Big Reese - Occasionally.
CG - I remember your big boa constrictor used to curl up in her water bowl. Why?
BigReese - She liked the water, but if your snake spends a lot of time in the water, it may have mites.
CG - As she gets bigger will you feed her a bigger rat or more often?
BigReese - Bigger rats, not more often.
CG I read about this idea of feeding snakes with mice or rats that you buy frozen. Would you consider doing that?
BigReese - Yes, it’s done by a lot of snake breeders. You just have to buy from a reputable rodent breeder so you will know that they are healthy. You have to thaw it completely before giving it to the snake.
CG - As you just mentioned, you should wait when you buy a baby boa constrictor, wait until she has had her first shedding and has already been fed. So now when you bring her home should you be prepared to feed her immediately.
BigReese - You should wait at least a week so they can settle into their new environment.
CG - I noticed that you are getting the new big tank ready so you can move Brownie into it in about a month or so. Can I interview you again about setting up a first tank, and why you are preparing the big tank so far in advance? And with pictures?
BigReese - Yes.
Interview 1 was an overview and explained what to expect when you buy a baby boa constrictor, interview 2, this interview, is about the feeding, and the next interview I’d like to talk about preparing that initial tank, and getting a larger tank ready.
Thanks again Big Reese. I’ll be back!
For those who want additional information, please see Hub article links below:
Brownie SlideshowClick thumbnail to view full-size
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