'Red tailed boa' growth rate?

J.huff23

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A few years back I bought a 20 inch or so boa that was labeled as a red tailed boa. I was later told that red tailed boas are rarely offered and I believe it is actually a suriname boa. Whatever the case, I've read that by the second year, they should reach 6-10 feet. I've had my girl for well over 3-4 years and she may be about 4 feet. I know that different online care sheets state different information.

My question is, is this rate of growth normal? As stated I've had her going on 4 years and she is only about 4 feet maybe a few inches longer. I fear that somehow her growth has stunted. Just looking for some feedback. Thank you.
 

basin79

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She's growing perfectly fine. There's absolutely no way she'd reach 10 foot in her second year. She won't reach 10 foot in her life.

A BCI/BCC/BCL aren't retics. They grow steady and shouldn't be rushed. Not that retics or any snake should either. But their growth rate just isn't the same.
 

basin79

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I'm not sure what that is?
It's where you stroke the snake gently with a snake hook or similar when you enter the viv and AREN'T feeding. It "turns them off" after they're used to it. As in stops the feeding response when they aren't going to be fed.
 

J.huff23

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It's where you stroke the snake gently with a snake hook or similar when you enter the viv and AREN'T feeding. It "turns them off" after they're used to it. As in stops the feeding response when they aren't going to be fed.
I will have to do this because she has a heavy feeding response whenever I enter her enclosure. She came close to biting me last time I was in there. And she's truly an angel in terms of her behavior so that was very out of character for her. I'm going to give this a try!
 

basin79

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I will have to do this because she has a heavy feeding response whenever I enter her enclosure. She came close to biting me last time I was in there. And she's truly an angel in terms of her behavior so that was very out of character for her. I'm going to give this a try!
It's well worth doing. She won't hurt at 4ft but it's no fun having a large constrictor bite you.

You just have to be consistent. So whenever you go in and you're not feeding give her a stroke with a snake hook. It doesn't take them long to realise what the deal is.
 

Rick McJimsey

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Good to see you around, J.Huff!

Your boa is doing fine as far as growth rate, they don't get up to ridiculous sizes quickly like a retic might. She's gorgeous, too.

A personal note on hook training/tap training: I received a rescue carpet python in October, and was told by the "foster carers" to always use a hook to remove him from his enclosure to avoid bites. He was a bit nippy in his cage at first. I took a few bites within the first couple weeks of ownership, and he certainly was testy and expecting food every time I'd open his cage. He'd follow my hand very closely etc. However after a few months of working with him, he's an absolute puppy dog. Never used a hook, never used tap training. Just hands on work. He knows when it's food time, he can smell the rodents thawing. Haven't had a bite since like November.
 

basin79

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Good to see you around, J.Huff!

Your boa is doing fine as far as growth rate, they don't get up to ridiculous sizes quickly like a retic might. She's gorgeous, too.

A personal note on hook training/tap training: I received a rescue carpet python in October, and was told by the "foster carers" to always use a hook to remove him from his enclosure to avoid bites. He was a bit nippy in his cage at first. I took a few bites within the first couple weeks of ownership, and he certainly was testy and expecting food every time I'd open his cage. He'd follow my hand very closely etc. However after a few months of working with him, he's an absolute puppy dog. Never used a hook, never used tap training. Just hands on work. He knows when it's food time, he can smell the rodents thawing. Haven't had a bite since like November.
Tap training doesn’t harm the snake in any way. With large constrictors it's a must.
 

Hellblazer

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I had a 20 yr old male that was about 7.5 ft long. Being able to turn of their feeding response like basin79 said definitely makes life easier. Mine grabbed my hand and wrapped up my forearm when it was about 6 ft long. It was my fault, I got in a hurry and reached in quick with a paper towel to clean. I kept getting a tingling feeling in my hand for about a week afterward.
 

viper69

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A few years back I bought a 20 inch or so boa that was labeled as a red tailed boa. I was later told that red tailed boas are rarely offered and I believe it is actually a suriname boa. Whatever the case, I've read that by the second year, they should reach 6-10 feet. I've had my girl for well over 3-4 years and she may be about 4 feet. I know that different online care sheets state different information.

My question is, is this rate of growth normal? As stated I've had her going on 4 years and she is only about 4 feet maybe a few inches longer. I fear that somehow her growth has stunted. Just looking for some feedback. Thank you.
What you have read is wrong. Your rate is fine.

Mind you, rates with snakes depend upon quantity of food, frequency and temperature too.

As for true red-tailed, B.c.c., they are common, you can find them from quite a few breeders, not hard to get one at all. The red saddles are different on a Bcc vs a Bci. Not sure this applies to true red tails vs red tails (Bci), but many boa species can be ID'd by number of saddles and scale count too.

A B.c.c. is very distinctive, and not hard to miss at all compared to a typical B.c.i.
 

viper69

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It's where you stroke the snake gently with a snake hook or similar when you enter the viv and AREN'T feeding. It "turns them off" after they're used to it. As in stops the feeding response when they aren't going to be fed.
Funny in all my years of owning my boa and ball, never heard of that phrase. Though I know exactly what you are talking about. I "train" mine a different way, I usually open her container a few times, just so she can see no food is coming down, included in some handling. There have been periods due to travel where such practice stopped, and she became rather interested in all movement around her container hahahah. Not fun, but managed.

Nice tip, I'll try using my hook for this. Mine is actually a shy snake once she comes out of her container.
 
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