Are you worried your boa constrictor isn’t getting the proper nutrition?
Do you want to make sure your boa constrictor is getting the best food?
If you aren’t sure you are on the right track with feeding your boa constrictor, you might ask:
What do you feed a pet boa constrictor?
What you feed your boa constrictor will depend on your snake’s age, with baby boas starting with pinkie mice. As they grow, the prey’s size will increase with full-grown adults eating rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, or even hamsters.
Feeding your boa correctly is such an essential aspect of taking good care of them.
Continue reading for more information on what to feed your pet boa constrictor.
Table of Contents
What Do You Feed A Pet Boa Constrictor?
Boa constrictors, like most snakes, are carnivorous animals.
Small animals are the makeup of a boa constrictor’s diet, whether they are in the wild or a tank in your living room.
A boa constrictor in the wild will eat small animals, including rats, birds and lizards, and even bats and squirrels.
Your pet boa constrictor has a very similar diet to their wild counterparts.
The diet of your adult pet boa constrictors is mainly going to be rats, as this food source has a high nutritional value, and are large enough to satisfy your pet.
Boa constrictors are known for reaching sizes of 8′ or 9′ feet long, and their strong muscular bodies need to have the proper nutrition to stay healthy.
A large rat will give them exactly what they need.
Rats are easy to find at local pet stores or even online.
Feeding A Young Boa Constrictor Vs. Feeding An Adult Boa
What your boa constrictor eats will change slightly as they grow from a hatchling to an adult.
When you have a younger, smaller boa, they will need smaller food.
Hatchling boas start out eating pinkies, baby mice who are only a few days old and do not yet have fur.
Purchase these feeders frozen, but remember, you will need to thaw them before being fed to your snake.
As your boa gets larger, the size and kind of prey will increase to things like the larger rats we discussed above.
The size of prey you give your boa is heavily dependent on the size of your snake.
You will phase from pinkies to fuzzies to small mice for juveniles and make your way to small rats and larger rats.
It is less important to focus on the age of your boa, but rather their size.
No matter the age of your boa, you will always need to select food proportional to your snake’s size.
This means the food should be approximately the same width as the thickest, or middle part, of your boa constrictor’s body.
Anything larger than this and your boa will have trouble eating and digesting the meal.
It may result in regurgitation, a painful and harmful, and sometimes deadly, process.
How Often Do I Feed My Boa?
Boas have a slower metabolism and do not need to be fed daily, like many other household pets.
Starting out, baby boas have a faster metabolism than adults and will require feedings more often.
They should be fed once every five to seven days, as their growth is more rapid at this stage of life.
As they mature, the frequency of the feedings should be decreased.
Adults will only need to be fed once every ten days to two weeks.
You might be wondering how you know when to start spacing out the feedings.
When your pet reaches 3′ to 4′ feet in length, you should reduce feedings to every 10 to 14 days.
The feedings’ frequency is just as important as what you feed them and how big the prey is.
You need to give your boa time to fully digest their meal before you go to provide them with another one.
Overfeeding, compounded with a lack of activity, will lead to obesity in your boa constrictor.
With obesity comes health problems and even a shortened lifespan.
Do I Feed My Boa Live Prey Or Wild Caught Prey?
Feeding your boa constrictor live prey is not recommended.
Putting a live rat or other creature into your boa’s tank presents a risk to your pet.
Your boa constrictor is likely to be bitten, scratched, and seriously injured as the prey quite literally fights for their life.
These bites and scratches may quickly become infected and cause greater health issues and even death to your boa constrictor.
We recommend avoiding using live prey altogether, instead use tongs to wiggle pre-killed prey to simulate a live animal’s movements.
This will stimulate your boas desire for food.
If you start with dead prey from the time they are young, boa constrictors can be trained to eat and do well with this kind of diet.
With live prey, you will also run the risk of it escaping from your boa.
If you must feed your boa live prey, make sure you are supervising and step in as necessary.
Remove the prey after 15 to 30 minutes if your snake has not eaten it.
When it comes to wild-caught prey, we don’t recommend catching anything to give your boa directly.
You have no idea where these small creatures have been, and they could be carrying parasites or harmful bacteria.
Quality feeders are not hard to come by and are available for purchase from your local pet shop or online.
To provide your boa constrictor with the best life, you need to give them a good home and the best possible nutrients.
Feeding them the right kind and size of food will give them the best chance to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
A healthy and well cared for boa constrictor will live a long life in your care.