Boa constrictors are nonpoisonous snakes endemic to Central and South America. They are very large, with males measuring 6 to 8 feet and females measuring 8 to 10 feed. In the wild their diet consists of amphibians, birds, lizards, small mammals and other snakes.
There are several factors to take into consideration when feeding boa constrictors in captivity.
- The size of your boa will determine type and size of prey it can consume. Young boas should eat baby or small young rats, or rabbits, while full-grown boas can consume large rats, small chickens and small rabbits which are frozen specifically for the purpose of feeding wildlife in captivity. Make sure the size of the prey is no larger than the widest point of the boa’s midsection.
- Never feed your boa live food as it may cause your snake to become aggressive. Also the prey may escape or injury your boa. Never feed your snake wild animals. Wild animals may carry parasites or bacteria. Only feed your snake prey that were raised in sterile environments and fed organic diets that guarantee your pet will not get contaminated with parasites or bacteria.
- Prey animals are frozen when you receive them. Make sure the prey is thawed out and slightly warm (can use boiling water). Dangle the prey in front of the snake with tongs. Make sure you wash your hands after feeding your boa. To keep your boa from accidentally consuming substrate from its habitat, it is recommended that you move your boa into a different container when feeding.
- Young boas can be fed pinkies (baby mice) once a week. Large boas (6 months old and older) can graduate to pre-killed adult mice, rats, chicks and eventually rabbits (1-2 times a month.) Remember don’t feed prey that is larger than the widest part of the snake.
- The size of the prey is obviously important, but the frequency of feeding is equally important. You have to give your boa enough time to properly digest each meal before trying to feed it again. Wait until 2-3 days after the snake defecate before offering another meal. This works out to a feeding schedule to every 7 to 12 days.
Proper feeding your boa constrictor is very important. Only feed prey that is from a company who sells prey animals for reptiles in captivity. Remember, make sure not to feed prey that is too large for your snake as it may choke.