Worried about Burm growth // Am I an idiot?

Yes. I know how utterly crazy it sounds for someone worried about a burm growing, but here I am.
If no unit is mentioned, think metric before imperial.
Food weight is according to seller.
I also own a ball, but that came from a shelter and was an adult when adopted.

TLDR: Yearling burm, sitting at 350grams as of 31.05. Is he just a slow grower or am I underfeeding the snake?
Enclosure 180x80x80. Radiant Heat Panel, Daytemp 30, night drop to 26, cool side ~2degrees colder. LED and Exo Terra UVB Bulb

I purchased the small bugger in October at the Houten show, and his paperwork says he was born May 14th 2021, I’ll leave the math to you. Upon purchase, he was weighing 164grams and 73cm long.

Initially he got fed 11-20g rats weekly until March, since then he’s been getting 20-30g rats every two weeks, there’s two left. Next size planned is 30-60g biweekly.

Now ofc I like to look at all the pretty pictures here and on other websites, and one thing I noticed is that apparently Burms easily hit a kilo and meter around their first birthday and I’m just here looking at my Burm being all ??? tiny baby ???
I haven’t measured his length in a while, my last entry is in February (82cm). Ofc I told myself I’d post here today and then went ahead and fed him yesterday anyways so I’d rather not annoy him to get his length.

The vet has found he has Balantidia, however according to him it’s pretty common in pet reptiles he sees and unless I notice feeding issues or runny poop treating it is possible, but not really reasonable.
Since food goes in at the front and comes out at the back in a proper shape I am not concerned about that just yet. (Despite having underestimated the poop size.)

He’s generally an active snake and will cruise around his enclosure (180x80x80) when the lights go out. He still dislikes his hides and will rather bury himself in the cocohusk or just doze in the open below the UV lamp. Curious when handled, never hissed or striked. Can be a Diva when feeding, sometimes he just opens his mouth and wants you to put the head in.

Picture from February, general bodyshape is still pretty much the same. Has definitely gotten longer though.
I only have dumb photos, measuring is the only reason I take full body pics. Can take a current picture if preferred.


Your feeding frequency is fine. You can up the size of the pret tho. Bigger meal, bigger snake. Those 20 gram rats… He needs to eat 50 of those to gain a kilo if he could convert 100% of the food into size gains (he can’t do that of course…)

He has had a good slow start and his intestines have properly had the time to develop, so I would go up in prey size. I think he can handle a 80 gram rat (big weaner) with ease.

I feed my 3 year old burm every 4-6 weeks a big meal. Been doing this for the last year. The year before that I fed him every two weeks. But he grew to fast in my opinion, so I cut down the frequency but still keep him on fairly big prey. He is about 2.20-2.50m and takes rabbits, doves and XXL rats.

It is better for them to get some good quality rest in between feedings. Because digesting is very hard on them. Their blood thickens, heart rate goes up, hormonal shifts, etc. So better feed a bit bigger and less frequent than the other way around. This way of feeding is also more natural I guess.

Bottom line; you are doing nothing wrong and your burm is fine. Dont be afraid to switch to bigger prey items. He can probably handle way more (size wise) than you think. Just don’t slam him with giant rats every week. Every two weeks a decent meal and I’ll speak to you in a year :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thanks for the feedback!

I am aware snakes can handle a lot more than they look like, but I’m a bit wary of my noodly idiots.
I have 60-90g rats at home for my Ball, and honestly have no idea how the heck my Burm would get those into his stomach, but nature finds a way I guess. We’ll see if he wants to eat it or if he’s too confused about the food being so big all of the sudden :joy:

My plan was to switch to 4 weeks after he outgrows the 60-90g rats, how did you decide when to switch? 2 year mark? Or simply when you felt you could watch the snake grow every time you looked at it?


After having snakes (Pythons or boas) for a while, you get a feeling on how big they are and how big the meal.


No worries!

Hahah just give it to him. If it’s too big he’ll might give it a go, fail and then lose interest. He is old enough to be able to handle it.

I made the switch because he was growing hard and he was building up subcutaneous fat. So I cut him down a lot and now I try to get him lean again. The fat wasn’t visible, but I could feel it under his skin. We tend to overfeed in the reptile hobby. A podcast episode about this topic I can highly recommend: "I Killed Her with Love" : The Giant Snake Problem | Dan Liebel - YouTube

You need to get a feel for it. Don’t be afraid to give him too big of a meal. He’ll either eat it or he won’t. If it fits, it fits lol Feeding frequency (and keeping it low) is way more important. In the wild it’s perfectly possible for them to eat 6-8 times a year. Don’t mimick that though, but they can surely get along with way less than we generally think. They are super effective at getting all energy out of their food and also super effective at sparingly burning that energy.