OWNING A BOA CONSTRICTOR: An Interview With BigReese

Brownie: Baby Red Tail Boa Constrictor

Brownie is 8 months old.
Brownie is 8 months old.
The new larger tank.
The new larger tank. | Source

Owning a Boa Constrictor: An Interview With BigReese

While thinking about a snake as an ideal pet, research indicates that some planning, preparation and thought should go into the purchase. An easy way to prepare is to talk to someone who is a long time snake owner. So, I decided to interview BigReese.

BigReese has owned and cared for snakes going back more than 20 years. He has raised giant boa constrictors, baby boa constrictors, and pythons. Recently, he and his wife acquired a baby red tail boa constrictor (see photos below).

I interviewed BigReese at his home where he has created an optimum environment for his new addition. Her name is Brownie:

CG: Well first, why the name Brownie?

BR: My wife named her Brownie because she is brown.

CG: How can you tell if a snake is a female?

BR: The best way to be sure is to wait until she is older. She can be tested by using a special probing instrument. This probe is inserted anally. The further the probe goes in means it's a male. This should be done by someone who knows the snake's anatomy.

CG: Why a red tail boa constrictor? Are there other kinds of boas?

BR: The red tails tend to be the most docile. There are many kinds of boa constrictors, like Suriname boas, rainbow boas, rosy boas. All with different patterns. The red tail boa constrictor is from South America.

CG: You and your wife went to, was it snake shows? Is this where I should start my search for a snake?

BR: It's a good place to go. Shopping online, you don't know what you are getting. It's better to look, touch and feel.

CG: How could you tell if Brownie was healthy? Why pick her and not another?

BR: This is the importance of shopping in person. Her skin was clear, her scales were even. Also her nose and eyes were clear. I looked around the edges of her mouth. If a snake has folds on her skin, you don't want that. I spent a 1/2 hour handling her so I could feel how she was breathing.

CG: What should I expect to pay for a red tail boa constrictor? The price range?

BR: Generally, between $100-$300. The dealers at the last show we went to had lots of snakes so the prices were competitive. Dealers make most of their money on the rare snakes like the albino boas and pythons.

CG: Before I even think about buying a snake, what preparations should I make at home?

BR: Have a low traffic area to put the tank, not where a lot of people pass by who can bother your pet. Provide a peaceful environment. The enclosure should have branches and hiding places. You also need a way to regulate the temperature; it should be between 80-88 degrees. Snakes are cold-blooded. You should also be able to control the humidity.

CG: How big will she get?

BR: Right now, Brownie is about 18 inches long at 8 months old. If you buy a red tail boa constrictor, be prepared for a small snake to become a very large snake. Females can grow to be 8-10 feet long and males can be about 8 feet.

CG: Few people can start out by setting aside a room for snakes, let alone redoing the heating system as you did in this room. And now I see that you have purchased a gigantic tank. What is this new tank for?

BR: The new tank is for her rapid growth rate. I like to be prepared. Within a year she will outgrow the tank she is in, which is 24 inches long and 15 inches wide. The new enclosure is 48 inches long by 24 inches in depth and the height is 24 inches. The new tank is made of polyethylene; it retains heat better than a fish tank and provides a more secure environment. It has glass only in the front. But in 2-3 years she will outgrow the new tank.

CG: Is it okay to put more than one snake in a tank?

BR: No. A couple reasons are, if one snake gets sick then the others will get sick. Also it would be difficult to feed two snakes at the same time. The only time to put two together is for breeding.

CG: OK, so now I've bought my snake home. What is the diet? Vegetables? Bugs?

BR: For a young snake you start with a live mouse once a week, the smallest size. An adult eats large rats, rabbits, guinea pigs; one every 10-14 days.

CG: Where do you get this snake food?

BR: I get it at a reptile store.

CG: I have to say, the first time I saw one of your snakes eat its prey I was amazed! The speed of catching that mouse! If I had blinked I would have missed it. What does your wife think about this feeding?

BR: She was amazed too and for an hour she talked about it.

CG: How does a boa constrictor kill its prey?

BR: They bite it, then coil their body around their prey.

CG: In other words they are constricting?

BR: Yes and no. They don't crush their prey like people believe they do. They hold the prey tightly so the prey can no longer breathe, hence the name constrictor. Once the prey is dead the snake will dislocate its jaw so it can swallow the prey whole.

CG: How often do you feed Brownie?

BR: Every week I give her one mouse because she is still small.

CG: Does it matter if it is a mouse or rat?

BR: Size matters so a mouse for a baby snake. At about a year and a half, then you can feed it a small rat.

CG: I don't particularly want a snake to be gigantic. Is there any way I can control the growth of the snake?

BR: No. You can't control it. A boa constrictor is destined to be a big snake. If you want a small snake get a Ball Python. I had a Burmese Python but they get big too.

CG: Brownie has just shed her skin. What does that mean? And how often will that happen?

BR: It means she is growing. A snake's skin doesn't expand like ours does when we grow. When she grows she has to shed her skin. This will happen about once a month when she is young and less as she gets larger. I save skins to check her growth pattern.

CG: Do snakes need playmates?

BR: Other snakes? No. But if you want your snake to be a pet you have to be the snake's playmate starting at a young age. Take them out of the tank maybe twice a week for at least a 1/2 hour each time.

CG: Do they need exercise?

BR: Yes. When you handle them you can allow them to climb on different safe objects specifically for them.

CG: And what is the life span?

BR: In captivity, approximately 20 years.

CG: What if I think my snake is sick?

BR: If you hear wheezing, or see bubbles coming from the nose or mouth, or small black dots crawling, which are commonly mites, take your snake to a vet immediately.

CG: I know your wife has never raised snakes. What does she think about having a snake as a pet? I mean, she looks very happy when she holds Brownie. Has she gotten involved in the feeding, or taking her out of the tank?

BR: She takes her out of the tank and she'll clean the tank. But no feeding! That'll probably take some time.

CG: Have you ever been bitten by one of your snakes?

BR: Yes. When you get bitten, it's usually because of something you've done.

CG: Like what?

BR: If you startle the snake, like grabbing it out of the tank too fast. Or if you smell like the food. One time my big snake bit me after I handled rats. I forgot to close her tank and she was trying to get out; when I went to close the tank, she bit me. When they are shedding they can bite you because thy can't see. So at that time leave them alone.

CG: Do you think you might like to breed Brownie?

BR: Yes, in the future.

CG: How many babies are normally produced?

BR: Boa constrictors are born live and 25 can be born at one time.

CG: What would you do with all of those baby snakes?

BR: Buy more tanks for them.

CG: One more thing I need to know and I think the readers would want to know. Any dangers? So often we read about a snake, or maybe this is just an urban legend, but a snake gets out of its tank and eats a family of 6, or someone comes home and the cat or dog is missing. Are snakes known to eat people?

BR: No, snakes don't eat people but a large boa constrictor or python is a big responsibility. When Brownie is 8 feet long, only experienced snake handlers should be around her.

CG: BigReese, Thank you so much! There seems to be a rather large 'snakes as pets' community out there. But I think, for now, I will just enjoy visiting Brownie. If you get more snakes or when you breed Brownie, can I come back and interview you?

BR: Yes.

CG: I'd love to see baby snakes! Thanks again!

For more information and slide shows see the two links below:

More by this Author


Comments 76 comments

Nic 8 years ago

Your interview is so informative and fun. And wow what good parents BigReese and Mrs. BigReese appear to be! One of my brothers owned a snake for almost a minute. I wish he could have read your article before buying it. Oh well.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

BigReese is quite serious about his pets. It's great because I get to visit and he and Mrs BigReese do all the work.

Brownie is beautiful!


Vicky★ 8 years ago

It is so nice!

I read it again and again because I can't u understand some words.

Also I want to buy little baby snake but

my mother afraid of any snakes.

It is so sad .


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hello Vicky,

Snakes can be a lot of work and some grow very big. It does take a lot of

research and planning. Big Reese suggests a ball python but that may be too big for you...and your mother!

Thanks for writing!


josephine 8 years ago

uh uh................................................


BkCreative 8 years ago

Love your comment!

Thanks!


Jo 8 years ago

I thought 'snake' even though unusual' for a baby name was a REAL baby, not a SNAKE. I hate snakes...........female, male, it does not matter.........andIt is not because they are probably the most miss understood species in the world besideman, but they are snakes, even though I have known some guys that would fix that description.As a child I had a big encounter with a hugh snake, so after that I have not had any feeling for themexcept to RUN.......ok,I am not sure if I should say 'congratulation's on your newest event to your apparently growingfamily (mating should be interesting)......uh uh uh


BkCreative 8 years ago

I'd love to know about this big snake event you had when you were but a mere child! I too look forward to the mating but that will be awhile. Will keep you posted!


abelle 8 years ago

nice article-i didn't know it was so hard to determine a snake's gender.  how do snakes tell another snake's gender?  not with an anal probe, surely!!


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hey Abelle,

Maybe the female wears lipstick or something. This is a tricky one. But I suppose they can work it out.

CBelle


Math Lady 8 years ago

Hello again BKCreative,

This is a great interview. I can use it with my students. Something extra for science and to show them what an interview looks like.

I was looking for the 'golden ration' when I saw this. I appreciate anything with math or science.

Thank you very much!


Mrs. BigReese 8 years ago

Before we came across our little "Brownie", I did not know what having a snake as a pet would be like. I trusted my husband when he said snakes were fascinating pets, and now I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. They are fascinating!

I was never really a pet person, but snakes are quiet and very clean. I'm enjoying learning all about Brownie's habits, likes and dislikes. The oddest thing about Brownie is how she eats. She's a Boa Constrictor and of course constricts her prey, then swallows it whole (just like on the Discovery channel)!

Owning a snake or any pet is a commitment and every effort should be made to keep your pet healthy and happy. A happy pet makes a happy pet "parent"!!


BkCreative 8 years ago

Dear Mrs BigReese,

Thank you so much for writing! Snakes are quiet! I've learned so much from BigReese like the fact that boa constrictors have live births.

Looking forward to your next members of the snake family.

BKCreative


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hello Math Lady,

Thanks for writing and your requests. Of all my hubs this one is now the most popular - after the Korean kimchi! Had no idea snakes were so popular.

Glad you found the info useful for students and I will continue to write similar types of articles. Just discovered one of my former students in S. Korea has a porcupine as a pet. Now that is big news. She sent me a picture and hopefully I can arrange an interview with her soon.

My next interview will be with a music scholar who is doing a documentary about a very important part of American music history.

Please do keep checking!

BkCreative


Jenny 8 years ago

It's very interesting to me. I want a snake as a pet someday. But the problem is food. How can I get mice? ^^


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BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi there Jenny,

Big Reese buys his mice at a pet store. There was a time he used to breed his own food. I'm not sure of the diet of all snakes. I'll have to check with him. He usually goes in for very large snakes and I think you may want something very small. Before you are ready to get a snake let me know and I will do some research for you.

Meanwhile, your daughter has a porcupine? She sent me a picture. It is so cute and so tiny. I'll have to ask her if I can put the picture online and maybe interview her too. I don't know anyone who has a porcupine as a pet. I'm going to forward the picture to BigReese and wife!

Thanks for writing!

Carolyn


CuzRoger 8 years ago

All very intresting. I was wondering...........

1 What happpens if you feed more than one mouse at a time?

2 Do they have to be alive?

3 Do snakes need water?

It would also be interesting to have some perspective in the pics to confirm Brownie's size. How about taking a series of pics over time with, say, a ruler nearby? We would then see how she is growing.


BkCreative 8 years ago

CuzRoger,

I like your suggestions and will ask BigReese for a photo with perspective.

I do know that one mouse at a time is pretty much all they need and once they are digesting a whole mouse I don't believe they have an interest in another - I don't think they are greedy like people.

There are some people who say the mice (food) can be killed, by the snake owner as the snake will eat a dead mouse - but good grief I don't want to kill them when I know the snake will do what's natural. I've read too that some people will sell mice already killed but BigReese says then you don't know if the food is healthy or how old it is.

I've asked BigReese to keep me up to date. You know this has been my most popular article online. I had no idea it would get such a response. It's even beating the kimchi recipe.

Thanks for your ideas!

BkCreative


BkCreative 8 years ago

Dear CuzRoger,

BigReese has given me more info in answer to your questions. He tells me that he has had to stun rats if they were too aggessive towards the snake so the rat wouldn't bite the snake.

I'm going to work on another article with BigReese, specifically about the feeding of boa constrictors and he promised to take pictures to monitor her size.

Thanks for your suggestions!

BkCreative


Lbbj 8 years ago

Can you give some more information about feeding. Can it be frozen? Why, why not. It seems it is done.


Carolyn 8 years ago

Hi Lbbj!

I will find out more information about feeding and then post in on the website. I need to check with BigReese to make sure it is correct. I've heard that some people buy frozen rats or mice so they can have them on hand when needed. I'm going to work with BigReese and do another column only about feeding.

Thank you very much for asking!


Mike Hawk 8 years ago

How big are baby boa constrictors? and would it be ok to keep a baby boa in a fish tank with a heat lamp?


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hi Mike Hawk -

I do believe most people start off with fish tanks and just buy larger ones as the boa grows. I remember BigReese had large fish tanks. I'll check with him about the heat lamp. I know they need the steady warmth but I don't know the source of the heat.

Thanks for writing!


lo 8 years ago

i have had the pleasure of meeting "little" brownie personally, my daughter is married to big reese. i must say, he is slowly helping me come to grips with my fear of snakes. brownie is beautiful and looks very peaceful. i have not held her yet, but maybe one day. i look forward to watching her grow in amazement....


Mike Hawk 8 years ago

How should I make the environment in the fish tank for a boa?


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hi Again Mike Hawk,

I will contact BigReese tonight - or Mrs. BigReese who is also involved with the red tail boa and see what info I can get for you as I want it to be as accurate as possible. I'm also going to see if I can get BigReese to respond directly to you. I admit I have enjoyed knowing him and his snakes but he does all the work - and I just look on.

At the latest I will actually see him and his new red tail boa on Thursday - she is getting ready to shed. She is still in the fish tank - but he has the large tank ready for her.

Did you see the pictures below? I'm going to move them up so everyone can see her and the new tank!

Thanks again for writing!


BkCreative 8 years ago

Hi Mother of Mrs BigReese and MotherInLaw of BigReese.

I'm so glad you wrote and shared some information with the community. I must get your daughter or son-in-law online to answer some questions.

I must catch up with both of them as I want to do interview number 2 to discuss the feeding and maybe interview 3 to discuss setting up everything because Mike Hawk has asked some good questions.

Thanks again for writing!


Mrs. BigReese 8 years ago

Wow,wow,wow!! There is so much interest in our little Browine!! I will get together with Mr. BigReese and we will answer everyone's questions!

Hey Weezie!!!!!

Mrs. BigReese


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BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Mrs. Big Reese...thank you so very much!

Brownie is a hot one!


Big Reese 8 years ago

Hello to everyone. On thursday I have a follow up interview about feeding. I will try to explain the different ways feeding can be done. One comment I wanted to respond to is from mike hawk regarding heating a tank. Please don't use a lamp of any kind for heating any snake. What I would suggest is what is pictured above. A polyethelene tank with a radiant heat panel on a proportional thermostat. keep the room temp in the 70s. and you will be fine. I also will have pictures of the cage and everything in it you will need to make your snake happy. After thursday I will check this thread often and will be more than happy to answer any questions. Happy thanksgiving to all!


BkReese 8 years ago

Ah BigReese!

Thank you so much for writing! Only you can answer all the questions as I don't want to give misinformation.

I look forward to the next interview(S) - about feeding, and about setting up the tank as Mike Hawk asked. I also need more pictures of Brownie to check her growth.

Thanks again to you and MrsBigReese (and her mom)!


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BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi - Meant to sign it BkCreative!


joe 7 years ago

snakes don't dislocate their jaws they have a stretchy membrane in between where the two jaw bones meet and this alows them to open there mouths wide other than that great info.


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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for reading...

In all my research on the net I've only seen the term 'dislocated jaw' used. This is from 'The Independent Science' magazine to "ABC's Science in the News" and many many more. One website used the term 'disarticulating' - totally new to me. What you describe sounds like a jaw dislocating by the use of a stretchy membrane.

BKC


redtail 7 years ago

what if I buy another snake - can I put it in the same tank if they are the same breed?


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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

redtail - I am so glad you asked. BigReese and Mrs BigReese just bought another redtail boa constrictor. He said he will not put the new one in with the other because you want to be sure the new one is healthy - also he will always keep his snakes separate because it makes for easy feeding.

Because BigReese has the new baby I am going to interview him about that and do a 4th interview and will post it later in June.

Thanks for writing!


charm_baker profile image

charm_baker 7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Wow - poor snakes - an anal probe??? You would think the further up you went would indicate it's a female:) Either way - yipes!!!!!!! Not to mention having 25 born at one time (and we woman think we have it hard!) This article was fabulous, and for those readers who haven't already done so, go read the sequel! (I accidentally read that one first - but it's great too.)

Thanks for clearing up the understanding about hot blooded versus cold-blooded also. I could never get how that goes! Now I know that cold-blooded things like boas need a HOT or warm environment (the boas's was 80-88 degrees).


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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Charm-Baker - love your comments and humor. I value your opinion!

I am working on the next interview because there is a new addition to the snake family (and also a bearded dragon). Alas my computer crashed and had to be sent out for some rest, relaxation, and renewal.

Please stay tuned!


HHKim 7 years ago

Very interesting interview...

In my home town, No one grows (or even "think of" snake as a pet, but your interview makes me want to grow snakes too, :D!

But, how do you handle the snake if it becomes too large...??


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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

HHKim - you asked a great question - about handling a snake when it becomes too large.

These red tail boa constrictors grow to be very large - the males about 8 feet and the females 10 feet - but BigReese is a very big man who goes to the gym five times a week and has for the last 20 plus years. These snakes, although a docile breed are very strong and so are not recommended for a child or someone who is not at all familiar with a snake.

I have always handled BigReese's snakes only when he has been present.

It is always best to do a lot of current research before buying a snake as a pet. It's important to know what you are getting into with any pet.

I'm glad you asked the question. Thank you!


Raggits 7 years ago

Good hub! My youngest son is a snake fanatic. I bought his first ball python 10 years ago. She died of heat exposure. (my mom hates snakes) And it was a few years before we got him another. I find snakes fascinating! The first pythons name was Sheila and when she wanted attention, she would squeak at us. Watching her eat was another experience. She was big enough after 2 years to eat 3 white mice every couple weeks. My daughter used her as a head and waist ornament and Sheila loved the attention. Sheila was never taken out of the house and there was only once that she got out of her 'house' but we found her hiding in the closet under some suitcases and boxes. I was a fright I thought she had gotten outside, we actually tore the house apart looking for her. Fun days! Also my son informed me that you can tell a snakes gender by the length and shape of the tail......male has a long slender tale and the female is more heavy to the anus then tail gets pointy. :)


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BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello again Raggits!

I read your comment here last and now I know about Sheila. My son has also had a ball python and he particularly likes the red tail boa.

It is absolutely fascinating to watch them it. Nature at its finest.

I am working on a 4th hub with BigReese which I think you will enjoye. He started with snakes over 20 years ago and now that he is a grown man he has gotten quite sophisticated with their care, housing and feeding.

So glad you enjoyed these hubs. I had the benefit of visiting these snakes and enjoying them.

Stay tuned!


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Great Hub! The red tail boa is a gorgeous snake. I had a ball python many years ago for a few years until he somehow escaped his tank (his guaranteed lid never to escape or so the store claimed) and I woke to find him in my room and my cat on top of my fridge. I found a wonderful home for him immediately. I always wanted a boa though since the markings are just so pretty but for some reason they just scared me a little. Very informative hub!


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BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you theherbivorehippi! I saw BigReese recently and his care for his pets just amazes me. He takes no short cuts, they receive regular gentle car. He researches, has books and stays well informed. I got to hold 2 of the red tails and they are just so mellow. They also have a bearded dragon in a beautiful environment and I got to hold him (I was taught to hold him correctly). Such a nice time I have.

BigReese tells me there is another type of boa with different markings - it's new to me!

Thanks for writing and I'm glad your cats got out of the way (Loooooove the kitty cats)!


Billy 6 years ago

Nice info. Very true about bites almost always being due to humman error (i.e. bad handling technique, putting hand in the viv while smelling of rodents etc.) I always tell people never to handle their snakes on feeding day, or if you are defrosting a rodent in the same room (their sense of smell is amazing!) and never while they are about to shed... Other than that, just move slowly and don't startle them. In over 25 years of snake keeping I've been struck at several times, almost always as a feeding response.


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BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for your input Billy. People need to know this. There is a tendency to fear snakes and it is really our lack of knowlegde that can make them seem frightening. These snakes are just so beautiful and amazing. I'm so glad I can handle them.

Thanks for writing!


-_- 6 years ago

Live mice/rats can hurt and cause damage to your snake

it is best to feed them frozen mice/rats that have been thawed out.


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BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

The problem with frozen food is that you do not know what you are getting for your pet. Was the rat/mouse diseased, malnourished?

You have to know your snakes, know when they are getting ready to shed and are vulnerable, know when to reduce food. For example Big Reese told me he fed his big snake a big rat and he could see immediately that she was not hungry - seems as weather cools down she wants to eat less - so he immediately removed the rat. They normally strike so quickly there is little chance of a fight. If the rat is aggressive you have to remove it and stun it.

Thanks for writing!


arodneyakasly profile image

arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

am a new boa constrictor owner ... i live in trinidad.. now we here don't cater for d owning of snakes as pets .. so its tough following ur lead... need help


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello arodneyaskasly. Sounds like you have the perfect weather for a boa constrictor. Here in New York, Big Reese of course has to provide an environment as similar as possible to the natural environment. He has 3 now and they are doing great.

What questions do you have?


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

well the thing is i caught my boa a couple weeks ago.. i got bit once .. it was no problem .. but i red that u cant tame a snake cuz of its instinctive nature .. but u can get it docile an use to u.. now wat avenues do i have to do that?

that's jus one question that i have .... as u answer i will ask some more...


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I love that you caught a boa constrictor arodneyaskasly! Wow! That is pretty amazing.

The snakes we have here in the US are all captive bred - and do not have the wild instinctive nature like yours and I don't think that yours can be trained. But I am curious as to how big your snake is.

I'm going to contact BigReese because I would love for him to read this and see what he has to say. I know he bought his snakes from breeders he likes. I even went with him to a reptile show where he purchased his last red tail boa constrictor - and she is actually rare because the red on her tail is striped and not the usual red patterns.

Glad you wrote again.


Big Reese 5 years ago

Hello evryone. I'm riting to try to answer arodneyaskasly's question. A snake that is captured will have a disposition that's somewhat aggressive. Remember that in nature anything that is picking up a snake is usually killing and eating it so it will take time for your animal to settle in. Also, captured snakes sometimes have external and internal parasites. If a vet is available to you, have the animal examined. There was a time that most boa constrictors sold in the U.S. were imported and some are still today. Now I have some questions for you. What are you keeping the snake in? How are you monitoring temperature? How long have you had the snake? The snakes size and have you fed it yet? With those answer's I can try to help you more. Take care.


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you BigReese for answering arodneyaskasly's question much better than I can - and I know the 'w' on your computer sticks - so we know you are writing and not riting (and sometimes the letter 'e').

Thanks a million for taking the time to do this and answering so promptly.


arodneyakasly profile image

arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

ok now here in trinidad and tobago .. most of snakes we have here in captivity are caught in the wild ... jus this week end i was in tobago .. an i met a german guy who have a red tail similair to mine that he caught prox a year ago .. an it real docile.. i played wit it an al lthat .. diff is his is abit smaller than mine.. and i have a friend wit 3 boas that live closer to me .. an he caught them all .. now am not disputin that they are gonna b still wild .. i actually agree. but i got a couple tips from my friend as to how to get mine jus like that. as for vets .. its yearsa am callin around askin for vets that deal wit snakes in this country.. an we are backward in that field i do admit.. so no i am yet to meet a vet that deals wit snakes. am keeping the snake in an aquarium, i don't need to monitor temperature cuz i live in da tropics, the heat is already here.. (not sure if that's d right thing) i caught the snake about 2 or 3 weekends ago.. caught it a saturday .. gave it 3 white mice by wednesday and by the next wednesday fed it 4 white mice .. and wel am gonna feed it another 4 on wednesday comin ... now that's where my prob lies.... i wanna no if am over feedin it .. its prox 3 feet in lenth.. again hope the info was useful.. an any assistance will b appreciated


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Sounds like a lot of feeding arodneyaskasly. I will send BigReese an email and just give him some time to get back to you. Three feet is quite a big snake. How did you catch it?

Well, I guess you can tell BigReese all that.


arodneyakasly profile image

arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

well i tried to bring evrything in a nut shell for ya ..and yeh a lot of feeding.. catchin it was easier than some one will assume.. it kinda jus let me take it fom da rafters in the roof it was relaxin in... no hassle... placed it in a pillow case . an that was it .. btw d mice ae not big u no.. will povide pics by tomoro...


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

btw to bk creative, big reese an mrs reese ... yall doin a great job at letting us know more about these snakes. ur thread on this interview has taught me a lot !!!


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

By the way arodneyakasly - I have done several interviews here on hubpages with BigReese and one interview is about bringing home another baby boa, another is feeding a baby and another is providing a home. If you scroll up on this page and look on the right side you will see those hubs with photos and they also have a lot of information.

I did these interviews nearly 2 years ago and when I get out there to visit maybe I can get more pictures so I can update these hubs. The first snake is a female (the photos in this hub) and she is huge now. Females always grow larger than males. The 2nd is a male and the 3rd is the rare female with the striped red tail.

Hope you take a look at those hubs because they may answer some questions you have. And I think you will enjoy the photos.


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

already checked them out .. same day i read them the same day i read this one ...


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Good for you - it pays to be informed.

BigReese will show up eventually. I think this week is feeding week. He regularly changes water, cleans the tanks, takes them out to handle them - and has other exotic pets (tarantula and bearded dragon) - then goes to work and the gym etc. etc. etc.

I should have known you were reading thoroughly when you referred to Mrs.BigReese - who does participate.

I just love that you caught this snake. Did you name him/her?


arodneyakasly profile image

arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

yeh i have ... frankie ... male or female.. lol i have no idea.. a friend told me its a male due to da length of da tail .. i don't no if there are anyother way to tell the diff becides probing. the name came about because wen we saw d snake i told my lil bro that if i ever caught it i will name it frankie ... lol so said so done


BigReese 5 years ago

Hello everyone. Arodneyakasly I would like to see pictures of your snake. If you don't already know you have what we call a B.C.C. which is a boa constrictor constrictor. In the u.s. the B.C.I. is the most common which is boa constrictor imperator. The trinidad boa can get large for a boa and doesn't usually suffer from the regurge syndrome in captivity as most other B.C.C. The amount of feeding that you've written is a lot for any boa, b.c.c. or b.c.i. Remember that these are long living reptiles and a lot of people I meet in this hobby overfeed.My feeding is for boas under a year, one small prey item weekly. Year two, one prey item every two weeks. Year three and on, one prey item monthly. The size of prey goes up as the age goes up.My boas eat rats from birth but mice are fine if that's what's available to you.An adult B.C.C. or s. american b.c.i. adult can live on one prey item a month for life. There's a saying here that if you forgot to feed your boa last week it may be the best thing you did for him. Do you know your snakes age? If not, post some pictures of him if you can and Ill take my best guess at his age. Enjoy your new pet and he/she will enjoy you. Take care.


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

hey thanks for that piece of info , cuz it was somthin i was really wonderin... i do have a few pics of my snake ... can u add me on hotmail or gmail ??? abielrodney@hotmail.com or abielrodney@gmail.com ... will send it to u asap


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

yeh if he want to its not a prob... am in da process of collectin pics of different habitats to try an build one myself .... needs help in that aspect as well .. thanks


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arodneyakasly 5 years ago from trinidad and tobago

hey frankie is now a docile pet ... no bite ... jus vey curious an relaxed


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Wow what a photo - thanks for posting that! You know I spoke to BigReese earlier - he was working on controlling the humidity in a tank for one of his snakes - the youngest is shedding - and tomorrow is feeding time for the two not shedding.

I know he will like looking at your snake - what a beauty Frankie is. But I know BigReese won't be off until the weekend. So then he will be back in touch. I'll make sure I send him the link.

I can't believe you caught that big snake.


bambi 5 years ago

5ft red tail boa new to us stays in water all the time is that ok


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi bambi. I've never known a red tail boa to stay in water all the time. It's 3 years since I have interviewed Big Reese about Brownie. Of course she is huge, thick, over 6 feet long and beautiful. Big Reese said when he took her out of her tank during the summer she enjoyed immersing herself in water. Maybe if where you live is very hot your snake is cooling off. If I can reach Big Reese and get an answer I'll come back here.


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BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello again bambi. I spoke to BigReese who said to check for mites - being in the water constantly can be soothing. Also it depends on your set up - do you have an appropriate cage and hide for your red tail boa to disappear into? Hope this helps. Mites can be a big concern. You can see in the interview above he then recommends seeing a vet.


Chris 4 years ago

My Boa has escaped. How in the world do we find it and get it back? We think it's under the gas stove, or inside of it somehow


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Well, I don't know Chris - unless you can shut off the gas and disassemble the stove to check.

I have been able to pull up the entire bottom of my gas stove when I was cleaning it. I have also pulled off the entire top that houses the pilot light. Some parts can be pulled out. I hope you let us know that you found your boa.


snowflake 4 years ago

do you know how big the boa constrictor is?


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Good point snowflake because I do not know how big Chris' boa constrictor is - which means if it is small it can be long gone.


jo 4 years ago

Aall I can say about this hub is........ugggggggggggg


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Well jo as soon as I see BigReese again I am going to update it. After about 3 years Brownie is about 20x the size. You'll be impressed at her beauty. Yes?

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