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Old 09-16-2006, 04:03 AM   #1
Question Quick Size Question

So what is the average size for a female Burmese Python at 4 mo. of age? I have had her for about 5 weeks and she is in her first shed with me but her 5th lifetime shed, trying to get her onto fuzzy rats or juvie mice (a step up from rat crawlers). She usually eats 2-3 rat crawlers 2x/week. Currently she is 35", she was 22" when I got her, but I am reading people's posts about 6-8 foot burmese at six months. My question is, is my girl small/underfed? Do they grow a lot from the 4th-6th months? Is her size and growth rate normal for her species? I've read so many places that the females can mature at 18-24 feet and that they do a huge amount of their growing by 18 months, seems to me at this rate she won't be very large and I was hoping for a large one...
Old 09-16-2006, 04:36 AM   #2
Unfortunately, there are so many variables involved with snake growth it is difficult to refer to "average". Temperature, feeding schedule, meal size, etc are the biggest factors...all of which end up being manipulated by the keepers. Rest assured that she is not undersized for her age. As for people's posts about 6-8 ft burms at 6 months - well, I don't want to dismiss the idea, but it is unlikely...and, if true, very unhealthy for the snake. That is about the average size for a female at 1yr of age, so you are well on your way.

Females grow pretty quickly until they reach about 12 ft (which happens to coincide with sexual maturity...and yes, I know they can be bred smaller than that). After that, they will slow down somewhat. You will notice that between 10-12 feet, she will begin to fill out...slowing her lengthwise growth, but adding girth.

As for the feeding, at her current length, she should be able to eat adult mice or small rats with ease. There is nothing wrong with using smaller prey items, they go down readily and are easily digested...it just takes alot of them to satisfy a hungry burm. She will continue to grow on her current regimen, but she will tend to grow longer and stay thinner until you increase the prey size.
Old 09-16-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
I have been trying to increase the prey size but so far she is refusing any prey with hair, rats/mice both, so maybe I will have to let her get hungry enough. She didn't eat very much this week because she is in shed so maybe by the time she decides to eat she will be willing to try something larger. I don't plan to breed her but I want to provide her with optimal care, I got her as a companion since I have long periods of chronic illness. Snakes don't require a ball being thrown daily and if you just want to chill out they are ok with that. She is handled daily and I am building her a bigger cage, but she is currently housed in a 36Lx24Wx24H aquarium. Thank you for replying, some of my questions probably sound stupid, but I would rather sound ignorant than neglect my girl, she is nothing like the wild snakes I used to keep.
Old 09-16-2006, 02:23 PM   #4
Sometimes you have to trick them into it. Since she is already taking multiple prey items, it should be pretty easy. Give her something she likes...then as she is swallowing the last of it, introduce the prey item you want her to take. For the first time or two, I would add the second prey item as the last of the body is going back...that is, while you can still see it there, but the front 2/3 of her mouth is empty. She may just bite down on it and take it herself, you may have to hold it as she finishes the the first item and works her way onto the second. Usually, it only takes a couple times of doing this for them to start taking the new prey item on their own. Of course, I couldn't convince one of my albino burms of that, lol...she did not want rats, period. I had to chain them in like that until she was big enough for rabbits. It looked pretty funny when she was pushing 7 ft - that initial mouse was like giving her a piece of popcorn, lol.
Old 09-16-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
Thanks for the good advice. I will try that when she is done shedding. Your method seems preferable to letting her get super-hungry.
Old 10-11-2006, 10:30 PM   #6
Thumbs up Answer for size

Hello Fellow Burmese owner,

When Burmese hatch they can be between 19 to 24 inches. At 4 mos. they can reach 36 in if it is a healthy-well fed- female. You are feeding it too small of food. Hatchling Burmese can eat adult mice to small rats. My 3 year old female is 10ft.+ and my 2yr old male is 7ft+. Please feed your snake once a week for maxim health. Also remmember, Your snake can eat larger items than you think. Both of my snakes were eating medium rats by 7 mos. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via e-mail. Watermon2@msn.com
Old 10-23-2006, 07:12 PM   #7
I got her straightened out, my computer has been down for awhile. Anyway, she is eating two adult mice every 5-6 days and she shed three weeks after she had her first shed in my care. Shedding every three weeks seems awful frequent, but she is growing. I got her in August as a 22" 4 mo. old and now she is six months and 40", so I guess she's probably ok. I just looked at a post of a 6 mo. old male retic at 6 feet long, I thought they grew slower than burmese, but maybe now she is growing well she'll catch up. I thought that females grew bigger and faster. No problems with the second shed, she managed to get it all off in one piece, though she still has that mark on her head, it looks like it will eventually go away. She has a good appetite, is gentle but active when I handle her, and no signs of illness or parasites.
Old 10-25-2006, 01:34 AM   #8
Retics do not grow slower than burms, but they should be lighter bodied at any given length. In fact, most retics start out longer than burms right out of the egg...and will usually be longer at any age milestone you choose to check (6 months, 1 year, 2 years). Certainly, the frequency of feedings and the size of meals factor into the equation, but that should be of no surprise.

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