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New Baby Dwarf Boa Pics!!

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by Bunny5layer, Jan 28, 2009.

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  1. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    Picked her up last night (at least I think its female)... she was kept in the worst conditions, her viv was freezing cold, and nothing was right. no hides, no thermometer, just 5 inches of soil on top of a small heat mat in a glass tank which measures 24"x18"x18". The previous owner bought her 2 weeks ago from a pet shop which never gave her any advice on the subject. I'm so mad at them!!!! :mad:. The previous owner had never taken her out of the tank because the Boa had bitten her when she tried... and every other person which went near!.. i don't think its even 2 months old, so its bound to be a little snappy. So i reached in and picked her up to everyones amazement, and handled her with no problems (apart from the fact that she was FREEZING cold!)

    She also hasn't eaten since she had her, so i was a little concerned about purchasing her, but i just couldn't bear to leave her there one more moment, so i happily parted with my cash and took her home. Ive made 3 temporary hides out of a cardboard tube, and left only about an inch and a half of soil in the bottom so the heat mat has an effect on the tank lol. I've also covered the mesh top and sides with a blanket to give extra security for the snake, and to keep more heat in.

    She had only just been changed to fluffs, so i think i'll just get a couple of pinkies and see what happens tonight.

    If anyone has any ideas on making her more comfortable feeding (other than the obvious warming under a lamp and wiggling it about in front of the snake) then I'd be happy to hear them.

    Anyway, here are some pictures :)





    Thanks for looking :)

  2. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Congratulations with your baby! I am glad you chose her, against the belief of only buying the strongest! I also do that, take the once that needs the most.;)

    I don't own a boa so can't really give you advice but I hope she eats her pinkies.

    You will get lots of advice from the rest of the crowd.;)
  3. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member


    Okay, I went to the shop where the snake was 1st purchased, and they explained that he/she was around 4 months old, and was feeding on fuzzies every 2 weeks. The ignorant girl who bought it hadn't been able to feed the snake for 3-4 weeks. I tried last night for ages in a separate box because i don't like the substrate in the enclosure, and the lil guy was just not interested. I realized he has only just been moved again, but the move shouldn't of been too stressful for him because i had him in a teeny pillowcase and in the warm the whole time.

    I'll try again when i feed my python on Friday, but i don't think the Boa will show any interest again. I'm so tempted to try a live pinky, but afraid it may cause more harm due to the fact it might be put off of F/T for good. Besides, theres no way i can get live mice around here, unless i breed my own.... and then the snake will have to wait even longer.

    I've never had a Boa before, and just wondered if they tended to be fussy eaters or not. it may be a month that this lil guy hasn't eaten, and im really worried :( :( :(

    I'm begging anyone for advice!

    Thank you
  4. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Halo Hayley. I am sorry they missed your thread, I know that there was a lot for them to deal with. I will direct them to you as soon as everyone is back online in about 3 to 4 hours time.

    I have read before that Boa's are not good eaters in general. I think he is maybe a little stressed because of the move and also the huge temperature difference. Snakes metabolism is very slow so I think he is not starving yet, maybe he needs a little adapting time.

    Why dont you read through the other threads, you might find some useful information.

    I can also guarantee you that they are going to ask what substrate you are using, also your temperature, light set-up and humidity(if they need it). Why dont you get all that information ready so long.

    ps: The images took a long time to open on my side.
  5. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    The setup is a glass exo terra viv measuring 24"x18"x18", substrate is soil-like substrate which holds moisture (never seen it before, but the shop owner assured me it was okay), temp ranges from about 73 (coolest) - 87 (warmest) humidity is about 80%. Lighting is a 60W heat lamp over one side during the day (at least 12 hrs) and there is a 17"x11" heat mat over the same side. I have made 3 hides out of a cardboard tube, one over the warmest spot, one over the coolest, and one in the middle. There are also a couple of pieces of wood in there, a plant (which it always seems to hide behind) and a little water dish. Thanks for looking back.
  6. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    Sorry I never had a boa. Just corn snakes and a ball python a long time ago,lol. But check the caresheets to make sure the temps are okay. Also I would change the substrate to just paper towels for right now so you can monitor her better. Please do not feed her live prey, it would be horrible if that pretty snake got a wound from a bite. Hopefully people that are better informed will help you soon! :) :)
  7. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    The Center has a large selection of caresheets available to all members.
    Go to the Forums about Snakes, and find the listing for Boa Constrictor caresheet. I'm sure it will be of immense help to you!
  8. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    I did look for the care sheet but only found this one: Common Boa Constrictor Caresheet. I thought Boa's are maybe like Tarantula's, each sub-species has its own requirements.:confused:
  9. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    me too :( I've been looking at caresheets for a couple of days, and each seem to be a little different. I wouldn't of thought a common boa has the same requirements as a dwarf anyway, due to the size difference! It's more humid than my irian Jayas tank, but thats basically the only difference in heat/humidity. The heat in the middle of the Boa's tank is around 80, slowly rising throughout the day. At night it gets colder so i leave the heat lamp on a little longer until i go to bed, and turn it back on as soon as i wake. I've also covered the tank with a blanket which is covering the top back and sides to provide extra security, and to keep more warmth in. I think the temperature is about right, and the best thing to do is probably leave the snake completely alone for a week for it to get more used to the surroundings, but I'm scared to wait that long without feeding it, because its been about a month already. At its age, it should be fed every week, and it's been underfed already. :( I'm afraid that the previous owners have caused too much damage. It seems very lethargic and slow, which with my other snake at his age was all over the place!
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok let's back up and regroup. ;) Judging from that picture the snake is fine. Its not thin. They can go for quite a while without eating.

    The common boa caresheet is going to be your best source of info. A baby boa is pretty much a baby boa. As for it being a dwarf, many shops will tack the name on to a regular common boa so people don't freak about the name boa constrictor and think that they are getting something that will get huge. And true dwarf boas are expensive!
    You just got the snake. Leave it alone for a week to settle in to it's new home. It's stressed regardless of mode of transport. Aside from making sure that it has water, and any waste is cleaned out, leave it alone. No fussing over it or handling.
    I would also remove the substrate and just use papers. That way you will not have to disturb it when it comes time to feed. Your temperature is a bit low. Aim for 80-85 degrees with a basking area of 90-95.
    How cold is colder? if its getting too cool at night the snake will not feed.
    When you do try to feed go with a fuzzy or a hopper. A pinky is too small for that snake. In fact once it starts feeding you can feed it adult mice!
  11. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    Lol I'm worried it may not be a dwarf now, but i guess thats okay. it's getting around 70 degrees at night.. which I'm really worried about. Although even that is much warmer than what it was before. I was thinking maybe she wasn't feeding before in the other house because it was too cold, and last night was understandable as she had only moved in with me the night before. If the snake is only about 4-5 months, and hasn't fed for a month, isn't that worrying on the snakes health? I don't know how long they can go without food. The heat change may have caused her some stress too. I've noticed that even though the colder temperature is a little lower than the usual standards, she still stays curled up in that corner behind a plant.

    Also, if i am to change the substrate for a while to newspaper or something, then wouldn't that cause more stress with me pulling her out and changing it.. yet again?

    I'm stuck!

    Thanks for your feedback so far :) has eased my mind a little.

    ..oh and a quick p.s. i did get 10 fuzzies not pinkies. i re-though about it yesterday and realized pinkies were far too small.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't freak out. An adult common boa is going to be about the same length as your carpet, just bulkier.
    It isn't going to turn into a giant.
    70 is a bit cool. Try and get the cage temps up to 75-80 degrees for night time. Either a bigger heat pad or a ceramic heat emitter.
    Exactly. Without heat they won't feed. Snakes seem to realize that if they are too cold they cannot digest the food so it basically lays in their stomach and rots, which can kill them.
    Not really. Snake metabolism is different. Since their bodies don't have to burn calories to produce their own body heat they don't need as much food. And from the picture the snake HAS been feeding. Just not for you.
    An incredible time by our standards! My male ball python will go for 5-6 months every winter and eat nothing!
    As long as the snake is not noticeabley losing weight its not a problem.
    New situation. She hasn't had time to settle in yet. And the hides may be too flimsy for her liking. Replace them with something heavier.
    Go ahead and do it now and get it over with. It won't make that much difference.
  13. briana1399

    briana1399 Elite Member

    I have a boa! A red tailed one....they are fun :) I might be able to help if you need something. Maybe the same thing Merlin would say but's worth a shot!:)
  14. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    I did last night, but she doesn't seem to like it. I'll take a picture...



    Also, would it be okay (just for a few days) to leave the light on over night? That way, she will be warmer, but would it confuse her?
    If not, i may be able to grab an extra heat mat later tonight when my partner gets home from work.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It would be better not to leave the light on at night. Messes with their sense of night and day.
    It would be like us trying to sleep with all the lights in the house on.
  16. Bunny5layer

    Bunny5layer Member

    I thought as much about the lighting. She's moving now, wandering around the edges of the tank. Is this good? Maybe its showing her being a little more confident. I think I need some branches in there because I have noticed that when she does move about, shes trying to find a way to climb up. Once she slides down the glass though its as if she's lost all her energy and stays still for ages. I don't know what i should be worrying about or not, but as I said before, im going to stay well out of her way to let her settle in as much as possible. I feed my Irian Jaya on fridays so I'll wait till next friday to feed the Boa. Hope she will be okay by then. Sorry if it seems like i'm stressing over nothing, I'm just worried about her and want her to feel at home.

    Thank you so much for all your support, it's really nice to see complete strangers taking an interest and giving helpful advice :) There should definitely be more people like you in this world!
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The moving around is a good sign. I wouldn't worry about climbing things yet. Just keep the enclosure simple.
    You are welcome. This is what we do. ;)
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I have 2 boas - One eats anything, and everything, and looks around for more. My other is the most finicky snake I have ever owned.

    Give your snake a few days to settle in. Watch him/her, and when you start to notice her getting out and moving around and exploring, that would be an ideal time to try to feed her, as she may be 'on the hunt'. Start by dangling the mouse in front of her, see if she shows any interest. If she doesn't, you can always leave it in a warm spot in her cage (the heat will make it warm for her, and will help to spread the mouse smell around.), put a blanket over her cage to make it dark. Just be wary of substrates, if you are using them, it might be a good idea to put the mouse on a plate or tray or other surface to minimize the chance of your boa consuming any substrate. It is often advisable to feed snakes in a separate bin to avoid that problem. If she doesn't eat right away, wait at least 3 days before trying again.

    Young snakes need to be offered food at least weekly. Though they can go months without food, even as young snakes, it still isn't as easy on them as it is on larger boas.
  19. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Are you sure that's a baby dwarf boa? It looks like a red-tailed boa to me. Hes probably not eating because he is stressed. Are you handling him before you feed him? Try leaving him alone for a week and then try again. Like Merlin said, the snake looks fine. It can go a while without eating.
  20. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Good morning Hayley. I am glad to see that you are feeling better.:) I hope you can get your Boa identified, just so you can have piece of mind. I personally have never heard of a Dwarf Boa, therefore were to scared to tell you to use the caresheet for common boa's.;)

    I was just looking at your photos, isn't the substrate that you are using a bit dangerous to feed on? I have two California Kings that love to burrow, but they also refuse to eat outside their cages so I had to put big pieces of bark in, that allows them to burrow and it is too big to swallow. Both problems solved. I must ad that they have 3 different hides, one hide has a reptile carpet with a heater underneath and the other two hides have a soft bedding of wood shavings that are specially bought for snakes.

    My Kings eat 4-6 rats at a time and they hate it when I open their cage while they eat, for this reasons I started placing all the rats in a lid and put the lid inside the cage. When they are done I remove the lid and put their water dish back. They always go for a bath after lunch.:)

    The way I feed them reduces stress because I do not move them around from cage to feeder and also do not disturb them while eating.;)


    Please keep us posted.;)
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