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BRB Not Eating. Help Please!

Discussion in 'Rainbow Boas' started by EskemoBob, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    First off I haves read up on multiple posts about feeding and the community here seems very helpful. I received my snake Dec 1st and he ate the first 2 times I fed him (frozen/thawed hoppers[one size below adult?]) He shed for me and since hasn't eaten. Its been almost 8 weeks since he has eaten and still looks healthy. I been offering food every week or so and have had no luck. Its primary home is a 75gallon with a humid shelter (always about80+) and the tank temperature are 80 - 84 during the day and 70 to 75 at night. Humidity is always at ~60% some people have told me that aince it is winter (rather chilly earlier in Jan/Feb) it might be hibernating, but Im getting a little worried. I tried feeding it tonight and looked interested but didn't seem to want it. I got a little aggressive and he struck at the mouse but no luck. I have tried leaving food in small box for an hour but also has failed. I believe my conditions are right for housing so I feel like its just being picky. My next move is to start keeping a weight record to see if it is loosing weight and to try to leave food in the feeding box over night... my last resort is to take him to. Vet for an examination but I'm going to wait until I hopefully hear some tips or solutions from the community here. Thanks for reading and I appreciate any help!

    Other info
    Its about 2-3 ft in length
    Very friendly non headshy snake. Very active.
    I use a ceramic heater and an under the tank heater during the day and leave the heating pad on at night.

    I'm sorry this is AP detailed but I hope I can get some feedback from you'all. Thanks again

  2. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hi Mitch
    DON'T worry!! 8 weeks is not a long time in snake terms.
    Your temps seem a bit on the low side: Try raising the daytime temps to 80-85F with a basking spot of near 90. Night time temps can go down to 75-80.
    It could also be that he's just not hungry yet. I recommend trying again in 5-7 days.
    One thing to remember, heat up the thawed mouse/rat to a good temp: you can use a hairdryer or just dip it into a pan of hot (not boiling) water just before offering it to your BRB. Sometimes they'll smell that it is food, but if it's not hot enough, they won't go for it.

    Otherwise it sounds like he's just trying to drive you nuts! Relax: he'll eat when he's hungry! :)

    I used to keep BRBs and absolutely love them -- the most beautiful boa in my opinion.
  3. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    Yeah I left my BRB in a box with a mouse in it over a heat pad for about 7 hours today when i went to work.. no luck. I talked to a someone who recommended feeding a size smaller (fuzzy) so i will try that in 5 days, hopefully that will work! People have told me 4-6 months of no eating isnt surprising just as long as they are healthy and active.. guess I was just a little paranoid. Thanks Blackjack for your help
  4. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You're welcome. :)
    Try not to worry. Snakes often go on fasts in winter or at other times, (sometimes I think just to drive us crazy!) He'll eat when he's ready.
  5. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    So, any update on this?
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I guess I should ask what are you feeding? Live or F/T?
  7. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    I have been meaning to update you for a while now folks! Last Tuesday (3/22) I found a skin in the tank so that is good news..I tried feeding a frozen/thawed pinky and no luck.. *le sigh
    any more tips/feedback would be appreciated!

    I have pics this time :]

    Attached Files:

  8. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have no experience with this type of snake, so am unable to offer advice...Basically just wanted to tell you THANK YOU for posting the pictures. He is indeed a Gorgeous little snake with very vibrant coloring and markings.
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    My BRB is not a picky eater at all - most will readily take F/T when they are hungry.

    Bump your temps a little, and make a spot that is almost 90 degrees, maybe your little guy will eat for you soon.
  10. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I agree that the temps need to be higher than what you originally posted.
    Also, make sure the mouse is REALLY WARM! Either dip it in a pot of hot water immediately before offering it, or put it on a heat pad or heat it with a blow dryer.
    You might try to do some "pinkie-slapping": slap the snake on the side of the neck or body with the mouse (not the head!!), to get it mad enough to bite. Be sure to use LONG feeding tongs, or you will be bitten! That's how I have to do it to get my chondro hatchlings eating.

    You have a beautiful BRB: I love how their sides turn light grey/white at night!! :)
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    He is so gorgeous! I agree with bumping up the temps a bit.

    Hope he eats soon! Keep us posted.
  12. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    So its been a while.. I'm sorry for not updating. New job, Summer School, and moved into a new place...

    Good News! I took my snake to the vet about a month ago, no parasites, nothing wrong... doc suggested giving some meds just in case. The following week I bought a live mouse just for sniffs and giggles and he ate :) the next week he ate another (live) so at least he is eating... I am going to try to switch him back to frozen/thawed tomorrow when I try to feed him.

    Sorry for keeping ya'll on the edge of your seats, have a fantastic evening!
  13. Wynd

    Wynd Elite Member

    He's stunning! So many beautiful species :x
  14. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    So he has been doing great the past month, he has been eating live every week on a regular schedule.. its so nice. I can tell that he is growing, I cant wait for him to get big.

    A question that I have is: is feeding live really that bad? My mother did it with her snakes for 30 years and said there was never any issues... I was thinking about breeding my own mice, just so I know they are healthy and free of mites and parasites... I think I converted him from frozen to live and I don't think he will eat frozen now... What do you guys think?
  15. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    Feeding live is always a risk. Which means you could go 30 years without a problem like your mom, or you could have your snake killed by its very first live meal. THe trouble is there is no way to know, and when it happens it happens way too fast for us to do anything about it. We can pull the mouse off hopefully before the snake is killed, but damage will be done.

    Personally I did have a ball python a long time ago when I was a kid that was killed by a mouse. So it strikes a chord with me and I will never feed live. I also think that we can kill the feeders faster and with less pain than the snake, so its more fair to both animals.

    BRBs are generally fantastic feeders, and even the most stubborn animals can be converted. I got a 15 year old ball python that had been fed live its entire life with no issues. I switched her over anyways. It took about 5 months, but she finally ate a thawed rat. My BRB has always eaten pre-killed for frozen-thawed with no hesitation, as do all my snakes.

    Its just not worth the risk to me. Also, keeping rats in a freezer is much easier than caring for a live colony or buying live ones every week. Freezing them also kills any mites or parasites in them. It's cheaper too!!
  16. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    What is the best method to prep a frozen mouse maybe I just suck at it...
  17. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    depends on the size. for an adult mouse and up, i put it in a ziplock bag, and let it sit on top of the cage or somewhere warm for a while to let it thaw. (i have about 7 various sizes of rats sitting out right now, theyll be ready later today lol). Then, once they are fully thawed, i microwave a bowl of water and submerge the bag in the water for a little while. until it is nice and warm to the touch. then grab with tongs and dangle in front of the hungry snake :)
  18. EskemoBob

    EskemoBob Member

    sometimes the mouse explodes... too long in the bag of hot water?
  19. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    Yes that would mean its too hot. Do you mean it explodes in the bag or when the snake contricts? My rainbow popped quite a few fuzzies when he was little. He's an enthusiastic feeder lol. It's a little gross, but depending on how big the rupture is chances are it's still fine to feed the broken mouse to the snake.

    If the mouse is fully thawed when you put it in the water, it should only take a minute or so to warm it up. And the water should be rather warm, but not boiling hot. If you can't put your hand in the water, I would say its too hot.

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