Do you have a baby boa constrictor?
Are you worried about making sure you properly care for your baby boa constrictor?
The health and well being of any animal is dependent on good husbandry, and one of your biggest worries might be about feeding your boa.
This might make you ask:
How to feed a baby boa constrictor?
With a baby boa, start with a thawed pinkie mouse and present the prey to your snake, once a week, using a pair of tongs. Always make sure the prey is the appropriate size for your pet to prevent choking or regurgitating and do not handle a snake who has recently eaten.
For even more information about how to feed your baby boa, continue reading.
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How To Feed A Baby Boa Constrictor
Boa constrictors are an excellent choice for snake owners because of their docile nature, but you might feel overwhelmed if you are a newbie and have a baby boa to take care of.
Feeding a baby boa is a common struggle for new owners.
One of the first things to do is to make sure you select food proportional to the snake’s size.
The rodent should be approximately the same width as the thickest part, aka the middle section, of the boa constrictor’s body.
You will only need to feed the snake one food item at each feeding.
Baby boas will start out eating pinkies, baby mice who do are so young they do not have fur yet.
These are available frozen from various places, but before feeding them to your snake, you will need to thaw them.
Directly before you present the pinkie to your baby boa, warm the rodent by sealing it in a zip-top bag and submerging it in warm water.
You need to do this to warm up the rodent to about 98° to 100° degrees Fahrenheit (37° – 38° C), the live mouse’s temperature.
Using a pair of tongs or ripper tipped feeding tweezers, wiggle the pinkie in front of the boa constrictor to imitate a live animal’s movements.
Never use your hands to feed your boa constrictor directly.
Not only could you be bitten and injured by the snake, but this will have them associating your hands with food, putting you at risk every time you go to handle the boa.
Baby boas have a faster metabolism than the adult members of their species and require more frequent feedings.
Set up a feeding schedule where your baby boa is fed about once every five to seven days.
Watch out for overfeeding as this is harmful to your boa’s overall health and may cause vomiting.
Do not handle the boa after you feed it.
Boas need about 48 hours to properly digest a meal and handling it before those 48 hours are up, is harmful to the animal.
Your boa could regurgitate or vomit up their food if they are handled too soon after eating.
This is painful for the snake and often causes other health issues and even death.
As your baby boa grows, increase the rodent’s size and reduce the feedings to once every ten days to two weeks.
Feeding An Adult Boa Constrictor
The process of feeding a boa constrictor is no different at any age, whether the animal is a baby or an adult.
You will still need to make sure you are providing them with an appropriately sized and temped meal.
As your boa gets older and larger, you will have a better understanding of why hand feeding is a no-no.
These snakes are strong, muscular animals who, as an adult, typically reach sizes of 8′ to 9′ feet long and may weigh as much as 60 pounds.
If your hand represents food, the adults will do some serious damage.
The size and kind of the prey and the frequency of the feedings are the only changes when it comes to feeding a baby, juvenile, or adult boa.
Where babies are fed pinkies, some fully grown adult boas eat large rats.
Some other larger prey you might look at feeding your boa include hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs, but rats have the highest nutritional value.
In the wild, a boa constrictor will eat various small animals, including bats, lizards, birds, rats, and squirrels.
Again, the size and kind of prey you give your boa are entirely dependent on your snake’s size.
The frequency of feedings also starts to diminish as your snake gets older.
As soon as they reach 3′ to 4′ feet in length, cut back feedings to every 10 to 14 days.
When your boa constrictor is fully grown, reduce feedings to twice a month.
The size of the prey is important, but the frequency is just as important.
The animal needs enough time in-between feedings to digest each meal fully.
Obesity in boas, just like in humans, is possible, if you overfeed the animal combined with a lack of activity.
If the boa constrictor is obese, it will open the animal up to many health problems and may even shorten their lifespan.
Should I Use Live Prey?
A common question for snake owners is if they should be feeding the animal live prey or dead prey.
There is always a risk if you feed your snake live prey.
The animal is quite literally in a fight for their life and will do everything to survive, including scratching and biting.
Because there is potential for injury to your snake, dead frozen rodents are a great alternative.
They simply need to be defrosted before feeding.
Wiggling the dead rodent in front of the boa mimics a live rodent’s movements, and most snakes will strike and consume the food after some easy training.
Properly feeding your baby boa will help build a foundation for a healthy adult.
Knowing what to feed your pet, how much and when is such an essential part of taking care of the animal.
Make sure you are providing them with the right-sized food on a proper feeding schedule to keep your snake happy and healthy.