What to Feed a Baby Boa Constrictor: Interview 2 with BigReese

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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 Slideshow

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Brownie profileBrownie, the red tail boa constrictorBrownie showing her size near a dollarBrownie likes the laptopBrownie going into caveShed snake skinclose-up of shed skinlarge hook and large tweezers
Brownie profile
Brownie profile
Brownie, the red tail boa constrictor
Brownie, the red tail boa constrictor
Brownie showing her size near a dollar
Brownie showing her size near a dollar
Brownie likes the laptop
Brownie likes the laptop
Brownie going into cave
Brownie going into cave
Shed snake skin
Shed snake skin
close-up of shed skin
close-up of shed skin
large hook and large tweezers
large hook and large tweezers

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Comments 20 comments

Jette 8 years ago

my hubbie used to play with snakes--in Western Washington, where he grew up, none are poisonous--when he was 7 or 8 he was bitten for the first time (by a garter snake)--it drew blood and he thought he was going to die (thinking all snake bites were fatal)--he came into the house to say his final good-byes and was surprised and happy to learn he would live--he went outside later that day and found a snake skin which made him think that it was the snake that had died--

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Jette, I love how dramatic our children are!

Your comment is soooo entertaining. Does he still play with snakes? I hope so.

Thank you for writing this!

Nicole 8 years ago

Brownie is back! I'm a little late, but happy to see her again. Growing up my brothers and I often found snake skins. Not to mention the many snakes we ran across/from. I can't wait for the next installment. :)

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BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Nicole,

Yes, Brownie is back! - and there is more to come because I actually visited her home and took pictures of her going into her new big fancy tank. The next interview will be about setting up the right environment for your cute snake.

As soon as I catch up with BigReese I will write the next interview.

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

I have 4 pet snakes in my pond! They are non-poisonous northern water snakes. One is a mature female (I guess) and the others are (her?) babies. The large one is shy and hides when she sees me. The babies come swimming up and try to get my attention. When I toss pellets in to the fish, the babies eat the pellets! I have never seen a snake eat anything other than live food before! I guess they saw the fish eating it and figured it must be OK. The large female eats my small mosquito-fish, but they reproduce so fast that it would be a problem if she didn't. She doesn't seem to be able to catch my goldfish. I know where they nest, so when winter comes and they are asleep, I will relocate them to my grandfather's stock tank. I think the babies also eat natural food as well as the pellets, so they should be able to adjust.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know justmesuzanne, it was so interesting reading your comment and you talking about your pond, the snakes, the goldfish and the feeding. How I love nature. Will you share a hub about your pond?

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

I am thinking about it. I need to take some photos. :)

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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Ok - I'm excited now. Glad I am a fan!

charm_baker profile image

charm_baker 7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Hey girl, finally got around to reading this snake man article. I kept hearing it referred to as the snake man, so I thought that was the name of the article. I did a search under snake man (since you didn't have this particular article on your profile page - why???). I couldn't find snake man in a search (maybe you can do something about that - regardless of the title, if people know it as the snake man, I'd mention that. You may be missing readers).

I was actually reading your Kimchi article (Great, by the way!), and I decided to click the "Read More of BK Creative" link (in the right-hand column). That's when I found this article. I came across this one first (but I see this is the SECOND interview). I didn't want to just "bounce" (and screw up your page rating), so I read it first. WOW! I was in awe, the whole time, but I didn't have the heart (or guts) to watch the video! Now I have to go read the first article. Thanks again. Thank the Snake Man too!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Glad you are having big fun here on the Hub! The snake man is known as BigReese (no space). If you drop by again there is no video but some lovely pictures of Brownie - she is so mellow and sweet. They truly do have personalities.

I am working on a new interview with BigReese because he bought another snake - alas my computer crashed - got tired of me pounding the keys night and day - so had to send her/him out for a bit of renewal.

Thanks for writing!

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Raggits 7 years ago

Great information! Great hub! We had problems feeding frozen then thawed rodents. The snake seemed to know it was dead and would not touch it. We would have to purchase what pet stores call 'pinky's'. which are baby mice. And she would eat them like candy. Sheila went from a small aquarium to a 50 gallon tank in 2 years.

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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi again Raggits!

BigReese always feeds his snakes live pinkies and rats. I think they need the smell and the movement as well. They are quite amazing when they grab their live prey.

What kind of snake is Sheila (love the name)?

So glad you liked the hubs - they have been by far my most popular. I am working on another one with BigReese about what to do when you bring a new snake home.

Please stay tuned!

RedtailLover 7 years ago

What a pretty snake. I am glad to read an article that shows an appreciation for our snake friends. Hope if she has babies you will do another slide show.

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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi Redtail Lover,

BigReese did say he may one day breed - but no rush. If he does I would loooooove to take photos - and share.

Hope you come visit again!

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destiny694u 6 years ago

can u please tell me how 2 feed my babies they are about 3 or 4 month but we have had them for a month they wont eat the pet store said they had just got them in and they had fed them but now the look skinnier then when we got them

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BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello destiny694u - What kind of snakes do you have? BigReese has red tailed boa constrictors and is most familiar with this breed - there are many kinds of boas. It is Monday now and I will try and contact BigReese. I do expect to see him on the weekend - and then I can better answer your question - rather he can.

Please check back in about a week.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I'd like to have a snake, but hubby swears he'd leave! Thumbs up on a great job!

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BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Seems a lot of people will leave should a snake show up! You'd love the red tailed boa constrictor habee!

Thanks for the compliment!

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jeremytorres 5 years ago

Great, Vote it up.

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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much jeremytorres!

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