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Adding Another Red Tail Boa Constrictor to the Home: Interview 4 with BigReese
baby red tail boa constrictor
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?
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 constrictorClick thumbnail to view full-size
All Boa Constrictor Interviews with BigReese
- 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...
- Feeding a Baby Boa Constrictor: Interview 2 with Big...
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...
- Providing an Optimum Environment for Your Boa Constr...
This is the third interview with BigReese. He has been a snake owner for more than 20 years now. After purchasing his new red-tail baby boa constrictor named Brownie, I asked him many questions about buying...