This Disappears When Logged In

My 8 Footer Bit Me but Wont Strike a F/t

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by ashleyshaw88, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. ashleyshaw88

    ashleyshaw88 New Member

    This is my first post and it is a bit awkward. I just rescued 2 RTBs from someone who couldn't afford to feed them. The last feeding was about 2 weeks ago so they should be hungry. Apparently this guys had them for 8 months after his friend left them on him and has been feeding live and unfortunately in the same tanks they've been housed in. I don't want to feed live and have done plenty of research on it but neither one would strike at a f/t rat. I didn't have enough weight on the top of the cage and the 8 foot female got out and under a cabinet in my bathroom. When I reached under to ease her out she struck and bit the side of my hand, but let go instantly. The previous owner said she was finicky when she is hungry, but I can't have a snake that wants to bite just because I'm moving near her face. The previous owner said handling hasn't been an issue before but I'm only going off what he said. It bled pretty bad and I cleaned it and mananged to get her out and everything, but I'm unsure what to do. The other one I was able to remove and replace in his cage without issue, hungry or not. They are probably about 7 years old, and I'm wondering what to do with my female. I'm going to keep trying f/t in a seperate containing unit for him but I don't trust her enough to handle by myself right now. Should I try to feed her live in her tank to take the edge off and try to get her used to handling more or will it be too late at this stage? I just got these snakes today and I've never known a RTB to just be aggressive in nature before, but I've yet to try taming one this large and this old. Please help!
  2. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    There is a lot more info you'll need to post. But i'll let the RTB experts get with you on that. Day one is never a great time to start messing with older critters. Their world just changed and that makes them unbalanced, they don't like being unbalanced... I'd let them rest in their new surroundings a couple days and just let them see you. Than start aproaching them slowly and back off if they get to nervous. An escape does force the issue though, and that had to be delt with, understandable.
  3. ashleyshaw88

    ashleyshaw88 New Member

    After they refused the f/t I had intended to leave them alone for a day or so but underestimated her strength and unfortunately the issue was pressed. I can provide as much info as I have if you know which particulars I need. I'm hoping she is just freaking out from the move and not having her normal food. I am sure escaping didn't help her stress levels any but she is very large (I am 5'1" and 95 lbs so that's something I worry about too) and I'm now dealing with a lot more than I thought to handle. My friend's 9 ft female is amazing, she won't even squeeze me hard, but I don't think that they've been as tame as I was led to believe, unless they used to be and maybe the last owner just hadn't paid enough attention to them?
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Add to that the snake was stressed from the escape itself. It is in an unknown place in an unfamiliar situation. When you reached infor it, you startled it and it defended itself.
    Don't write it off yet!
    I have one corn who managed to get out one night (Granddaughters!) In the process of grabbing him, he turned and snapped at me. In the 10 years I have owned him he has never shown any sign of aggression until then. And never has since.
  5. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You can remove an aggressive snake by dropping a light towel (like a kitchen towel) over its head and then reaching in to take hold of the middle of its body. I'd also recommend getting good sized snake hooks and using them.

    Re: feeding. If you have a newspaper or paper towel substrate, you can feed in the enclosure (but not if both snakes are housed together.) I would not recommend feeding live. Make sure the F/T rat is very warm when you offer it. You can use a hair-dryer, heat lamp or just drop it in VERY hot (not boiling) water just before feeding -- I do that and it provides a bit of fluids at the same time. Use LONG feeding tongs and wiggle the rat around the terrarium (not too close to the snakes head, as it might shy away.) For my BP I found that making tapping noises on the feeding box or terrarium with my fingernails or with the tongs gets him more interested.
    For now I would just recommend letting them get settled for a week and then trying again. When they are REALLY hungry, they'll take F/T. (Feed in the early evening or at night)
    I hope that helps a bit.
    Let us know what your set-up is: enclosure size, heating methods, temps warm and cold side, etc.
  6. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Yeah, give at least a week to let them settle in and get used to their new home. I would look into housing them separately to help.facilitate feeding. Also if the are separate, if one gets sick you can tell which one it is. Of course you underestimated the strength-- and 8 foot boa constrictor is essentially an 8 foot tube of pure muscle. A general rule of thumb is: 1 person for every 6 feet of snake, so you should have someone else with you. Given your size, (not trying to underestimate you or your strength) you may need two other people with you. If it should wrap you up-it could easily over power you and seriously injure you. Another thing to remember, if.she escaped after you attempted to feed- she MAY have been in feed mode. In feed mode anything around her face is a target. It does not matter if she ate the rat or not, if she has been tempted she will snap at it. I also agree that the F/T rat probably was not warm enough. Good luck and keep us posted. Just so I know, are you close to North Carolina?
  7. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Any update here?

Share This Page