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Might Be Getting Some BRBs and I Have Some Questions!

Discussion in 'Rainbow Boas' started by Katsura, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Hey guys!

    Well, I have two ball pythons, and I'm looking to get another snake. I wanted another ball, but my boyfriend likes variety so we went through our options and settled on a Brazilian Rainbow Boa. From what I was able to figure out they seem to be pretty easy to care for as well as generally well-mannered; but I wasn't able to really find any good care sheets for the little buggers. I looked, but the one care sheet I found seemed to be the same one copy-pasted and posted on several different sites.

    In a nutshell, it wasn't really helpful.

    So now I come to you, my fellow herpers, with some questions regarding the handling and care of these guys.

    1. As I mentioned above, from what I read BRBs seem to have a decent temperament. Is this true? Will I be able to take out my BRB on a daily/every other day basis and hold it without fearing it's going to bite me? I know each animal has a different personality; I'm asking on a general level, and I know about handling during shedding/eating.

    2. We were going to get one (1) originally, but we might get two. Is it okay to house BRBs together? Additionally, I have a 10 gallon tank I was thinking about using; would this be an acceptable size for a hatchling? Two hatchlings? We would, of course, upgrade to something bigger at the earliest possible time we could or when it is necessary.

    3. From what I've read the housing and temperature is pretty similar to that of a ball pythons'; two hides, hot side, cool side, water dish, something to climb on, and substrate. Also, I read that the warm temperature should be about 90 degrees and the cool side about 80 degrees, with a slight drop at night being acceptable. Additionally, I read that the humidity should be between 70-80% and that it should never drop down to or lower than 50%, and that a "humidity box" should always be in the cage in case the snake needs it or wants it. Also, BRBs don't need a specific photoperiod, do they? Our regular 12h light 12h dark should suffice. Is this all correct?

    4. As far as feeding goes, I've read that babies should be started on mice and upgraded to rats as soon as possible. Basically like a ball python, correct? Offer the snake a meal that is about or slightly bigger than the biggest part of it's body excluding the head, and offer rats asap because they're nutritionally better for the snake. 5-7 days for babies and about every two weeks for adults, moving up in size when the meal ceases to make a noticeable bulge in the snake's body. Correct?

    Sorry for my long-winded paragraphs, guys. But thanks so much for the help. I take pride in my snakes and caring for them properly is a very serious matter to me, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right or at least know how to do everything right before I purchase the snake(s).

    Oh, also any stories about experiences with your BRBs would be very much welcomed.

    Thanks again guys!!!!!
  2. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Congratulations on your decision: BRBs are wonderful snakes and beautiful -- here is mine showing her lovely rainbow colors at night:

    It looks like you've already got pretty good info. I can recommend this caresheet: The Rainbow - Brazilian Rainbow Boa care sheet, Brazilian Rainbow boa care, Brazilian Rainbow Boa information, Brazilian Rainbow Boa breeding, Brazilian Rainbow boas in captivity.

    Here are my comments to your points.

    1) Yes they are generally quite good tempered; although juveniles can be a bit nippy, but calm down with regular handling. Evenings are best to handle as they are nocturnal. My BRB bit me if I took her out in the mornings, but was no problem in the evenings. Also they have a VERY STRONG grip, stronger than you would expect, but you can unwind them pretty easily if you start AT THE TAIL END.

    2) Personally I do not recommend housing any snakes together for several reasons: one: they are not social animals and tend to cause each other stress. two: if you find a regurgitated meal, you don't know which animal is sick. three: if one animal becomes ill for whatever reason, the other is likely to get sick as well. It is not worth the stress and risks, IMO. But if you do decide to house them together anyway, I would recommend getting the biggest tank you can find, so they have the chance to get as far away from each other as possible without stress. (However this will make heating and humidity harder to keep up.)

    3) younger brbs will appreciate a bit higher humidity (up to 90%) and the temps can be 70-86°F. My girl LOVED to climb, so a sturdy climbing branch is a good idea: BE CAREFUL -- they are STRONG and clever snakes, and will find a way to escape if there is one. They can push open a fairly heavy lid, so make sure whatever you have has lock-down type clamps. a moist moss box is always a good idea. 12h light/12 hr dark is good.
    Here is a pic of my girl on her branch:

    4) there is a lot of debate about whether rats are nutritionally better for snakes than mice. However your BRB will get big enough to take small adult rats, so you'll save time and money feeding rats. Hatchling BRBs can even be started on pinkie rats and moved up to fuzzy rats then gradually bigger. DO NOT FEED LIVE! BRBs are much more beautiful without rat bite scars!!

    They are inquisitive snakes and like to be out exploring: just keep an eye on them so they can't go down a toilet or behind the fridge, etc. Mine was fond of the staircase: (I should mention that she was a Marajo Island rainbow boa female and rather unusually large)

    Their sides turn white/grey at night:

    Check out the website above: that guy helped me a lot when I had my BRB.

    I hope that helps. Post pics when you get your baby!! :)

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