Recommended Terrarium Size for a Red-Tailed Boa

Red-tailed boa constrictors sound like a terrifying snake to be around. There are television shows and other forms of media that portray the boa constrictor as quite large, as they are in real life. But what is the best size of terrarium for them? I decided to find out.

What is the recommended terrarium size for a red-tailed boa?

An adult sized red-tailed boa constrictor, which is at least 3-4 feet long, requires a terrarium which measures about 4 feet by 2 feet, with up to 8 feet of floor space for room to move around. The height of the cage must be around 18 to 24 inches. 

Red-tailed boa constrictors can grow to a very large size in captivity and even larger in the wild. The average size of a red-tailed boa is 10 feet or longer, and they can live up to 25-30 years. There are so many important factors to keeping your red-tailed boa alive and healthy.

The Exact Length and Tank Size of a Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor

A baby boa constrictor is about 17 to 20 inches when they are born. They are fully formed after they hatch and are ready to start eating.

By the seven month mark, your boa will likely grow to about a yard or more in length and weigh about 30lbs, as long as they are on a proper feeding schedule.

By the end of your boa constrictor’s third year, it will have reached maturity, which means it is about 7 feet long or more. You boa will also weigh about 60lbs. However, just because it has reached maturity does not mean it will stop growing.

Your boa will most likely grow to about 10 feet long and weight about 80lbs before it stops growing. Furthermore, there are reports of red-tailed boa constrictors growing even longer.

If your boa has stopped growing after reaching 7 feet, you may want to contact a specialist or veterinarian to examine it for any illnesses. You should keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms: lethargy, congestion, wheezing, or nasal and/or oral discharge.

One home remedy you may try in order to alleviate the snake’s cold would be to raise the temperature of the enclosure to about 81-86 degrees.

It’s important to ensure that whatever tank you purchase is the right fit for your red-tailed boa. Too little space can lead to physical deterioration and even death. A happy snake is a healthy snake, and nothing makes these red-tailed boas happier than plenty of room to move around. 

A link to Amazon’s best terrarium for your adult sized, red-tailed boa constrictor can be found here.

Living Conditions for a Red-Tailed Boa

There are many aspects you need to cover for creating an environment that is comfortable and safe for your red-tailed boa constrictor.

One enclosure necessity for your boa’s safety would be to have a terrarium large enough for it to have room to move around. A 20-gallon tank is safe enough for a boa at its hatchling size, but it will most likely outgrow the tank in time. Once it has outgrown the tank, having a larger one about 3/4 of the length of your boa is ideal.

Boa constrictors are known to come from tropical places, so it is very crucial to have humidity between 60 and 80 percent. You can ensure this humidity range by misting the tank daily, or by buying an electric humidifier. The air temperature for the boa’s enclosure must be about 84 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A basking spot for your boa is about 95 to 100 degrees and is on one side of the tank. Your boa should constantly move between these two spots.

By having two sides, one cooler and the other hot for basking, your boa will be able to communicate its health to you. If your boa spends a lot of time on the cool side of the cage, that is usually a sign that something is wrong. But if your boa never leaves the basking side of the tank, it could mean that the basking side’s temperature is too low, and the boa is seeking warmth to help with feeling sick.

The Diet of a Red-Tailed Boa

First and foremost, when feeding your red-tailed boa, you should know that snakes eat rats.

For a boa, what they eat can depend on their size. Boas need to be fed in order to grow properly. If you keep your boa in a warm and humid terrarium and feed them properly, they will grow faster than boa constrictors who are fed only twice a month.

While knowing these neat facts about quickening the pace of your boa’s growth is great, some enter into a dangerous practice when breeding their boa constrictors. They try to quicken their growth process by meddling with external variables that can end up having a negative effect on their health and their insides.

It is healthy for your boa to grow at its own pace. Don’t try to alter that, because it can cause some serious damage.

Some red-tailed boa constrictors need to be fed larger prey, like rabbits and pigs. For an average-sized adult boa constrictor, rats and mice are just fine. You can feed your constrictor live rodents, or feed them thawed rodents.

It is said that feeding your constrictor live rodents can be slightly dangerous, due to the decent fight the live prey can put up so they don’t get eaten. They can bite or scratch your boa constrictor, and are capable of biting deep enough to tear its muscle.

That being said, you still can feed them live mice if you want, but be sure to keep watch as they kill it to make sure no injuries are sustained. For a simpler and safer way of feeding your red-tailed boa constrictor, feed them a thawed, pre-killed frozen mouse or rat.

Here is a helpful feeding chart about the ideal size of prey for your boa constrictor based on its weight:

Prey TypePrey Weight (grams)Boa Weight (grams)
Hopper Mouse8-1267-155
Medium Mouse 17-20155-222
Jumbo Mouse 27-35 222-3332
Weaned Rat35-45 333-455
Small Rat 50-85455-725
Small Rat (Large Ones)85-105725-1026
Medium Rats 120-1401026-1118 

With regards to how often you should be feeding your red-tailed boa constrictor, it depends on their age and even the season. For a simple answer, be sure to feed your baby boa constrictors weekly, or more specifically every 5-7 days.

Transition into feedings once a week as they grow into adults. Keep in mind that the warmer the environment you keep your boa in, the faster their metabolism will be, which means there is a chance you will need to feed them more.

For a schedule based on how often you should feed your boa constrictor according to its age, please see below:

Boa Age (years)Days in the SummerDays in the Winter
5 and up30-3790

Related Questions 

What is the temperament of a red-tailed boa?

While they can be calm and friendly creatures, it is extremely important to consider their strength, size, the amount of food they eat, and their shedding schedules, and take those into account. Keep in mind their ability to constrict.

How big do Colombian red-tailed boa constrictors get?

Colombian red-tailed boas reach an average size of 6-10 feet in length. The females tend to be larger than the males.

Are boa constrictors good pets?

In general, large snakes are not considered the friendliest of pets for small children. If this kind of snake is mishandled, it may bite. Even though their bite is not poisonous, it can do a fair amount of damage.