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My Rainbow Boa Won't Eat

Discussion in 'Rainbow Boas' started by littlefawnmom, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    Hi
    I'm getting a baby Rainbow Boa from a friend that does not have the time to give her little friend. My problem is she told me that her baby Rainbow hasn't eaten for over 2 months. She has a heated rock and hiding places in her 10 gallon tank. She has tried to shed and still has old skin on her head. She is getting really skinny, but don't know why she wont eat. Any ideas? My other question is someone told them to put fish rock in the bottom of the tank instead of dirt. Iv'e never heard of such a thing and I have two 4 an a half ft. boa's and I have dirt in the bottom of my python tank. Should I use some kind of wood shavings?
     
  2. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    What temp is the vivarium? Humidity too. That hot rock might burn the little guy I would get rid of it. Sounds to me like he needs a whole new set up with proper temps and humidity and hides. Until that gets corrected he may not eat.
     
  3. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    ok thank you. What do you think about wood shavings? And what about moss? my pythons don't have moss, but heard it's good.
     
  4. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    It sounds like the setup is all wrong and that's probably why it isn't eating. First things first, I agree with trappen and the hot rock needs to go. Secondly, rainbow boas have different care needs from other boas. They need very high humidity. If the snake is shedding in pieces and has stuck shed the humidity isn't high enough. A 10 gallon may be too small to get a proper temperature gradient (important for proper digestion and so the snake can thermoregulate) and even if it's not, if it has a screen top, it will need to be covered to hold in humidity. These guys are difficult to keep in tanks. I would absolutely not put fish gravel in there either. It won't hold in humidity and would be pretty rough on the poor guy.

    Chances are if he has a proper setup he will eat. Rainbow boas can be sensitive and easily stressed. I would also advise against handling him at all unless you absolutely have to until he is eating.
     
  5. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    Shavings fine as long as they are not pine or cedar. Sphagnum moss is good at holding moisture but I wouldn't use it as a substrate. As for the stuck shed on his head you could get a pillow case with moistened towels in it, put him in tie it shut and put back into the vivarium overnight to help get it off. First thing first is to get temps and humidity in check though.
     
  6. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    Ok so heat rock has to go, Moss is good, cover top to keep humidity in check, no fish rock (which I figured), So I will get wood shavings and moss tomorrow before I pick her up. What about a under tank heat pad? What would you guys recommend for covering the screen top? Sorry I probably sound like someone who doesn't know what I'm doing, but this is my first baby boa.
     
  7. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    UTH pad yes! Don't forget your digital thermo/hygrometer with probe. You can use foil then cover that with plastic wrap. Also what type of heater other than UTH will you have?
     
  8. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    I'm not sure except a heat lamp?
     
  9. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    I would try not to use a heat lamp unless you have to. Lamps dry out the air a lot so it will be a constant battle trying to get the humidity high enough. In a 10 gallon if you cover the top with foil and maybe even insulate the sides, depending on how warm you keep your home you may be able to just use an under tank heater and get the temps you need. Rainbow boas don't need very high temps compared to some snakes (highest needed would be low 80's on the warm side). I'm also not sure about using wood shavings. You're going to need the humidity up around 70-80 percent, so I'm not sure if shavings would mold. For my animals that require high humidity I use cypress mulch because it's really mold resistant.
     
  10. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    You can find the digital thermometer/ hydrometer at Walmart, for $12. It's the acurite brand and has probes.
    I would also go with cypress mulch.
    I can't wait to see some photos!
     
  11. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    Thank you for your help. :)
     
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I keep my Rainbow on Coconut husk fiber - it is dirt-like in texture, and holds moisture very well. I am considering switching to Sphagnum peat, which is of a similar texture, but holds massive amounts of water, and is mold resistant. (I use it in my high-humidity carnivorous plants terrarium, and the stuff will has yet to mold.)

    Definitely cover that screen lid, until you can make something nicer. You can bump humidity very quickly by covering it with a soaking wet towel. You will have to re-moisten the towel every day or so to maintain it, but it will help a lot during shedding.

    BRB definitely do not like it hot. They can bask up to 90ºF, but much warmer than that, and they will overheat. Care must be taken during warmer months that their cage does not overheat.
     
  13. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    Thanks to all the help from all of you. We got Kaa on Friday, fixed her tank getting a bottom heat pad tomorrow because top light is like you all said to hot and dries out her habitat. She still hasn't eaten, but I read that when you transport a snake to a new place, you should leave them alone for 2 wks. to adjust.?. We have also been working on the humidity level. It's still really low, but after we get the bottom head pad. We will try the wet towel trick covering the top and if it's still low we will cover lid with tin foil and clear wrap. Anymore advice? Don't think my Petco Humidity gauge works either. We just bought it and with as much moss and moisture that we have put in her habitat I think it should be reading higher the 43. Testing it tonight with the salt and sealed bag trick to see if it goes to 75... Also is a mister a good thing to look for?
     
  14. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Well, did you get the recommended digital thermometer and hydrometer?
    You'll also definitely need to permanently cover the screen top. I suggest a semi permanent fix, such as a piece of plastic to cover the entire top.
     
  15. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    those little dial guages dont work at all. You need to invest in a good digital one.
     
  16. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    We got a digital thermometer with humidity on it as well. her tank is sitting at 93 humidity and 77 temp now.
     
  17. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    EXCITING UPDATE: BABY KAA ATE TONIGHT!!! SUPER HAPPY MAMMA RITE HERE. NOW WAIT 4 DAYS AND FEED HER AGAIN. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR GUY'S HELP :x
     
  18. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    Good to hear!!
     
  19. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Whoa, you should wait seven days to feed her, she does not need to eat every four days.
     
  20. littlefawnmom

    littlefawnmom Member

    Ok because I read every 4 to 7 days and since she hasn't eaten in so long is why I was gonna feed her in 4 days.Plus I'm feeding her Pinky mice, not rats because I grabbed the wrong package at Petco.
     

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