Size of Red Tail Boa ok?

Discussion in 'Boas' started by Ryan1990, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    Hiya,
    I have a red tail boa which is around 2 and a half years old. Its a male and is still growing, but its hard to measure him and seeing him every day makes it hard to see how fast. I measured him using a peice of string, cutting it then measuring the string and he's around 5ft long. I'm just wondering if this a good size for a boa of that age and how long they grow (noticably) for. He's on one fairly large rat once a week. I know he's not over weight, got a very healthy build just worried that maybe his growth rate isnt so good? Maybe something I can change as so he's can reach his full potential :) So if anyone could let me know if that sounds like a good size or not that'd be great. I'm pretty sure I'm feeding him the right amount but again any advice appreciated :p
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. jeepnphreak

    jeepnphreak Embryo

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    good news is that I would say hes right in tha tball park of where he should be. I have two males now that are 5 and 7 years old and both has maxed out in the 6.5 foot range. 5 feet and 2 years are pretty close to where mine where back then. useally males will get to there adult size in 3 ish years.
    I think, I'd have to recheck my boabook, but male typicaly are in the 5-maby 7 foot range as adults
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    That's a great size, my female is just over 2 1/2 yrs old and is just over 5ft.
    One large rat a week is also good.
    My adult male maxed out around 8.5ft and my female just hovering around 9ft
    The growth "spurt" is between 2nd and 3rd year, then they slow down a bit, not much...lol
    Between 5 and 6 years they are about fully grown but can grow a little, but much slower rate.


    A great little gadget if you can take digi pics and load to computer.
    It's a snake measuring program from serpwidgets
    Take a photo of snake or lizard, referably from above with something of a known length in pic as well. Simply set program to known length then trace a dotted line the full length of animal and bingo, you know how long it is.
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

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    That sounds about right, some may grow larger/faster than others, some may grow slower. Also feeding plays a part of it all, but at that size and age he sounds just fine.
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    Thanks for the replies guys :p
    Makes me feel much better... I downloaded that programme bruno and measured him.
    He's 64" long so I was pretty close, he's 5 foot 4 inches.
    I worked out how old he is more accuratly, he was born in about september/october 2006 so that puts him at about 2 and a half right?
    I've put some pics of him up in another thread if you wanna have a look, let me know how you think he looks :)
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    That program is brilliant isn't, takes the guess work out and it's very accurate.
    You now have a better idea how old he is and that is a good size for age. Could make 6ft by christmas if he feeds well, then will slow down slightly.
     
  12. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    Well I measured my boa again, just over a month since the last time I measured him and I'm amazed... he's gone from 64" to nearly 68" in just over a month!! :lol: lol. Obviously having a bit of a growth spurt I guess.
    Just thought I'd let you guys know how he's doing, not far off 6 foot now.. will let you know when he reaches it :D lol.
     
  13. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    That's great news, sounds like you have everything right.
    Should continue to grow visibly till around 5 yrs old, then slow down.
     
  14. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    Thanks :lol: glad that he's growing well and on target to be a healthy sized boa.
    He's just gone from "large" rats to "giant" rats now, although there is hardly any difference in them at all and he didnt struggle at all with it.
    Just wondering... will rats always be big enough food item for a male boa or will I eventually need to switch to small rabbits? Or could I just feed 2 rats instead? What would you say is best... this is obviously a few years down the line, if at all.
     
  15. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi Ryan,
    Even my largest boa (9ft) only has "Jumbo" or "Giant" rats (one) and they get fed every 7 to 10 days.
    Mine didnt like rabbits but doesn't mean to say yours wont. One disadvantage with rabbits they can get "hooked" on them, sometimes bunnies are in short supply, and then they wont eat rats, apart from the extra cost.
    Round here bunnies are £5+ and if they refuse it's a lot of cash to waste.
    The only time mine have eaten 2 rats is the female after giving birth, most other times they are happy with just one BIG rat.
     
  16. VinnyD

    VinnyD Embryo

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    At 2 1/2 years old and 5' is actually kinda large for a Boa but it's most likely a Common Boa which is the fastest growing boa ssp. My 2005 male Suriname is only about 4 1/2' at almost 5 yrs of age. But i slow grow my snake's. They get fed every 14 days or so. I only believe (Esp Bcc's) that slow growing your Boa is the best thing you can do for it. Does your Boa have a "boxed" body shape where you can see the muscles? Boa's are NOT supp to be round like Python's. Boa's are supp to have a lean boxed musclar body shape!!!
     
  17. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    For some reason I thought I'd replied to this lol... I have recently realised my boa was probably a little over weight and have now switched to feeding every 2 weeks instead of every week and he's body shape has definatly got more boxed since I have.. It gives me more days of handling aswell because he gets very grumpy for a few days after feeding so when feeding every 7 days I only had 3 or 4 days where I could handle him, not I've got well over a week which will hopefully keep his calm temper :).
    I measured him using that programme again today and I actually couldn't believe the measurements so I did it 4 times with a different picture each time and he measured 71",72",74" and 74" so he's somewhere around the 6ft mark already! :) lol. He's grown 7 or 8 inches since March 9th (nearly 3 months). I'm guessing he's gonna start slowing down pretty soon? One thing I've noticed compared to most boa's his head is quite small lol... is this normal for younger boa's? Does their head grow last?
     
  18. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

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    Do you want him to get big? All my adult male Boas (and I have some that are 7-8yrs old) are no bigger than 5.5ft and I keep in Iris CB110 tubs. From birth I feed them weekly and increase size of meal as needed, but once they hit 2yrs of age and about 4ft, they get nothing more than a medium rat every two weeks. Once they hit that length/size, I don't need nor want them to grow much more and reduce their meals to every 2wks and maintain their meal sizes.

    Adult females on the other hand I also feed every 1-2wks depending on the time of year situation, but I bump up to large rats and onto jumbo and eventually top off at Colossal rats. I wantfemales larger than the males and prefer them in the 6-7ft range Vs my males in the 4-5.5ft range and I feed them this way. I prefer them at these sizes as keepers and breeders Vs any larger. If you don't want a large male or large Boa, don't feed them large meals, and don't feed them so often. They don't need it, and are just eating what you give them.
     
  19. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    I'm not specifically bothered by having a big boa, but if its healthy for him to reach his full potential size I don't see whats wrong with feeding him sufficient amounts to do so. However if you (and others) feel it is unhealthy for them to be fed every 14 days (as I'm feeding him now) then I will decrease it or feed him smaller rats (on large ones at the moment). I'm purely keeping him as a pet so if a smaller size is better for breeding only, obviously this isn't what I need/want but if its healthier for them to be that way then I will change how I feed him. I just always thought snakes were the same as lizards that a good growth rate shows health (as long as they're not overweight with it). Thanks for your help :)
     
  20. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

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    They don't need a lot of food. Remember that in the wild they can go for months without feeding. He'll be as healthy on a medium rat every two weeks as he would a large or jumbo rat every two week, but he won't grow as large. I not only don't want a large male for breeding, but with limited space, I also don't need or want them too large period, it's wasted space. It also cost more to feed large rats Vs medium rats. There are many pros and no cons to topping off a male Boa at medium rats. Other than he won't grow as large and for me that's another pro.

    It's personal preference, if he looks good and is doing fine on a large rats, keep him there. If you want him to get bigger and bigger, increase the size of his meals, but I would still only feed him every 2wks. I wouldn't take a 6-7ft Boa that was fed Jumbo rats and offer them medium rats all of a sudden, my males simply never see anything larger than a medium rat every 2ks, so they never get as thick or as large as if I were to feed them larger and larger meals.
     
  21. Ryan1990

    Ryan1990 Embryo

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    Thanks for the help :)
    Ok so I'll stick with feeding one large rat every 2 weeks. Large size isn't a problem tbh as I have only one and have the space for him as long as he doesn't reach around 9ft+ which I doubt will happen. I will go by how is body shape and weight are looking, if he seems to be gaining too much weight then I'll go to slightly smaller rats (my pet store offers quite a variety of rat sizes).
    Thanks again.
     
  22. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    My 2 big guys get a jumbo rat every 2 weeks, one is 8.5 the other 9ft
    The size of rats do vary a lot.
    I found one site that supplies them Honeybrooke Farm and they do give average sizes
    Mediums...200-295 grams
    Large.........300-395 grams
    Giant or jumbo....400+ grams
     
  23. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

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    That's on the large side, medium rats usually weigh in at 125-175g. Large rats 225-275g, Jumbos 300-350g, 400+ Colosal rats.
    As you mention, sizes vary quite a bit. The Mediums I feed, when I refer to medium rats, weigh 125-150g and so on.
     

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