How to Feed a Rosy Boa Snake

If you just bought a pet snake and it happens to be a Rosy Boa, you may have a few questions on how to feed your new pet. I decided to do some research on how to feed a Rosy Boa. Learning how to feed your snake is an important factor in giving it a life of quality.

So, how do you feed a rosy boa? Feed your Rosy Boa the proper amount of food at a reasonable time according to things such as weight, length, age, and species. These factors coincide with one another to ensure the health of the snake you own. Rosy boas will typically eat mice or rats that are pre-killed or frozen.

While that information may be easy to go off of, there are many other things to consider when feeding your snake. You need to know how often you should feed your pet to make sure you are not starving it or feeding it too much.

How to Feed Your Rosy Boa 

Feeding a pet snake should not be too difficult, but it should be dealt with caution. Some snakes can and will bite if you are in the process of feeding them. It is not because they are agitated, or because of their temperament. You may be letting your hand come too close to the snake which will cause it to think you are offering it as prey.

Now, with a rosy boa, they are not likely to bite in this situation. They are gentle and calm creatures. If you are still worried about the possibility of getting bit by your snake there is a solution.

You can purchase a collapsible snake hook that allows you to hook your snake in and out of its enclosure safely, and will lessen the chance of your getting bit in the feeding process. A link to purchasing a great-quality snake hook can be found here.

If you are not able to purchase a snake hook, another way of reaching for them would be to grab them from behind, that way your hand is not coming towards its face and it won’t think you are food.

Rosy boas are good eaters, they rarely skip their meals and are not picky to whether their prey is alive or pre-killed, or if it is a rodent or a mouse. The only thing to be careful about is handling them before or after being fed. 

  • If you decide to handle your snake before it is fed it may be hungry and may mistake you for food. Though it is uncommon for a rosy boa to bite its owner it can still be possible. 
  • If you decide to handle your snake after it is fed be careful on how much you move it because it can regurgitate its food onto you. The best advice would be to simply wait two hours for its food to settle.

If you are still unsure on how to feed your rosy boa, I have attached a link to a snake feeding video: here.

What to Feed Your Rosy Boa

Most snakes eat similar things, a commonly known fact about snakes is that they can eat rats or mice, and many other things. But, it is more common for them to eat rat or mice. 

Believe it or not, there is a noticeable difference in size and weight when it comes to rodent and mice. There is no difference to which prey tastes better for your snake.

But if you would rather feed it an equivalent of one prey to another, here is information on their differences below. Your snake may also have a preference of its own when it comes to domesticated mice.

Mice

AgeWeightLengthEquivalent
Mice Pinkies1-5 days0.5-3 grams0.5-1 inches
Mice Fuzzies6-13 days3-6 grams1-1.5 inchesRat Pinky
Mice Hoppers2-3 weeks7-12 grams1.5-2 inchesRat Fuzzy 
Weaned Mice3-4 weeks13-18 grams2-2.5 inchesRat Fuzzy
Large Mice4-6 weeks19-25 grams2.5-3 inchesRat Pup
X-Large Mice 6 months 30+ grams 3+ inchesWeaned Rat 

Rat

AgeWeightLengthEquivalent
Rat Pinkies1-4 days3-8 grams1-2 in.Mouse Fuzzy
Rat Fuzzies7-13 days9-20 grams2-2.5 in.Hopper or Weaned Mice
Rat Pups2-3 weeks21-30 grams2.5-3.5 in.Large Mouse
Weaned Rats3-4 weeks31-45 grams3.5-4.5 in.X Large Mouse
Small Rats4-6 weeks46-79 grams4.5-6 in.
Medium Rats6-8 weeks80-149 grams6-8 in.
Large Rats8-10 weeks150-265 grams8-9 in.1/2 lb Rabbit
X-Large RatsAdult Rat266-360 grams9-11 in.1 lb Rabbit
XX-Large RatsAdult RatOver 361 grams11+ inches1.5 lb Rabbit

When choosing the type of prey you will want to feed your snake you will need to seriously consider feeding it something that is pre-killed. Some owners favor feeding their snakes prey that is still alive, but that can become a danger to your snakes well being.

Having pre-killed mice saves you the process of having to watch your snakes feed on it. (You will need to make sure the mouse or rodent does no cause serious harm to your snake.) By having pre-killed prey you can freeze them for days or months, which can save you money than if you were to upkeep the health of live prey. 

Having live prey can result in injuries for your snake. The prey will try to fight for its life, even if it means scratching or biting the snake. These bites and scratches can result in an infection that you will need to take care of.

A Feeding Schedule to Follow

There is not a specific feeding schedule catered to a Rosy Boa that you can follow but a more generalized schedule follows the weight of the snake to how much it needs to be fed and how often.

This can be useful at the beginning of your journey of owning a pet snake. But as time goes on, you are likely to know your snake’s feeding habits and know how often it will need to be fed.

Snake WeightFood SizeFrequency
04-15 grams2-3 grams (Single Pinks)Every 4 to 5 days 
16-23 grams6 grams (Double Pinks) Every 4 to 5 days 
24-30 grams5-7 grams (Small Fuzzies)Every 5 to 6 days
31-50 grams7-9 grams (Regular Fuzzies)Every 5 to 6 days
51-90 grams9-12 grams (Hoppers)Every 5 to 6 days
91-170 grams14-20 grams (Weaned)Every 7 days
170+grams (Female)24-30 grams (Adult)Every 6 to 8 days
170+grams (Male)24-30 grams (Adult)Every 7 to 14 days

Whether you want to follow this chart for your snake is up to you. Information provided by fellow pet (rosy boa) snake owners discuss the feeding guide they found best to follow for a rosy boa. 

A hatchling to about 2 years will eat a rodent, that is not too large for its body, about once a week. By having the rodent be an appropriate size for your rosy boa it will be easier for them to feed on and digest the prey.

There are some that say it is safe to feed your snake a rodent 1 1/2 times bigger than their girth but it is proven that it would cause the snake to eat worse and even skip meals.

An adult does not need to be fed as often as it was when it was a much smaller size. Adults can eat a rodent every 2 weeks, but make sure the rodent is a good size for your size otherwise you would have to feed it more than once every 2 weeks. 

Reasons Why Your Rosy Boa is Not Eating

You will need to learn to keep a watchful eye on your snake and its eating habits. If your snake has stopped feeding and you do not know why here are some common answers to that question. THough these answers can be a serious danger to your snake’s health and will need to be followed up by a veterinarian.

Temperatures

  • This is one of the most important things to be cautious of when owning a pet snake, the warmth of their tank is critical to their health. Some snakes need specific lighting fixtures or substrates in order to feel at home in their tank. Having a warm tank is also not just about having them be content, they rely heavily on temperature to digest their food, and stay active. 
  • If it becomes too cold in the snake’s tank they can become lethargic and develop different illnesses that can even result in pneumonia or an infection in their respiratory system.
  • So before rushing to your local veterinarian’s office, check the temperature of your snake’s enclosure. For a rosy boa, the hot side of their tank should be about 88 to 90 degrees. While the cool side should be 75 to 80 degrees. Make sure to keep track of this temperature to avoid making a trip to the vets. 

Shedding

  • It is very common for a snake to stop its eating when it is in the process of shedding. This is because it will need to focus all its energy on preparing for the removal of the skin.
  • Some things to look out for to know when your snake is about to shed would be if its skin starts to look pale. Or if their eyes look like a blue or milky color. Another thing to look out for is if your snake stops eating for a week or so before.
  • This likely means they are about to shed. 

Mouth Rot

  • This is something similar to what humans experience as a canker sore, a toothache, or when you have bitten your tongue. For a snake, a mouth rot is a painful mouth infection. 
  • Your snake will not want to eat at all, even if it is of the lowest degree of a mouth rot. 
  • If you are not sure whether your snake has a mouth rot or not you can have him receive a check-up at your local veterinarian’s office. 

Respiratory Disease

This can be just as harmful as a mouth rot for your snake. Respiratory disease for them is a human suffering from a cold or flu. They will receive some of the same symptoms such as:

  • Lack of appetite 
  • Eye drainage
  • Nose drainage 
  • Or if it breathing through its mouth
  • Sneezing 

If your snake has any or a combination of these symptoms take him to your vet for an appointment to further diagnose the illness. 

Intestinal Parasites

  • This can also be called “worms” for the snake, which are normal in reptiles. They can become overpopulated in the intestines which will result in your snake eating less. You cannot easily examine the parasites simply by looking at their stool.
  • You must take your snake to your vet to perform a “fecal direct smear” or a floatation. 
  • It is advised to have this procedure done every year to ensure there is nothing going on with your snake’s intestines.

Obstruction and Impaction

  • Obstruction is when a snake feeds on something that may be too large for it to swallow of digest easily.
  • Impaction is the inability for the snake to release its stool. This can happen if their environment does not have enough moisture for it to be able to release stool. 
  • Both impaction and obstruction can cause your snake to stop eating, which means you must soak your snake in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes at least twice a day to cure its impacted stool.
  • Obstruction may require surgical removal from your vet. 

Other Reasons

  • There can be many other reasons for your snake to stop feeding such as other serious diseases, infections in their system, and major organ failure.
  • In order to know for sure your snake’s reason for its refusal to eat go to your veterinarian. They are likely to give you a certain answer.

Basic Facts About Rosy Boas

  • A Rosy Boa is a reasonably sized pet, it is easy to feed and easy to breed as well. It is one of the more commonly owned pet snakes because of their gentle and docile nature. 
  • The general size of a Rosy Boa can range from 10 inches as small hatchlings to almost 4 feet in length when they reach adulthood. The longest (heard of) rosy boa is about 48 inches. 
  • Rosy Boas also typically live around 30 years or more in captivity.  They are likely to thrive in captivity with the right environment and adjustments made to their enclosures. 
  • They are usually available in most pet stores for about $25, and the prices can go up from there. 
  • With their size, they can grow to they usually need a 10 to 15-gallon terrarium.

Related Questions

Are Rosy Boas good pets? Rosy Boas make an excellent pet. They are easy to care for, they don’t grow to be a very large size and they rarely bite when being handled well.

Do Rosy Boas bite? Just like any other snake, Rosy Boas can bite but they are not known to. They are known as gentle snakes so it is not heard of for them to bite.

Are Rosy Boas dangerous? Rosy Boas are a non-venomous snake who also happens to be small. They are known to be docile creatures, and rarely bite even if handled incorrectly.

Himni

Full-time student. Dreaming of snakes. Studying English.

Recent Content