First buy! Red-tail boa.

Discussion in 'Snakes' started by BoaDin, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. BoaDin

    BoaDin PetForums Newbie

    Dec 1, 2016
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    Got any tips on keeping her, she is a female, if that wasn't too obvious. My parents owned a corn snake is there anything different I should do with my snake, she is 5 months old and quite a curious snake, more then the corn. I've inserted a picture of her to give you a rough size and shape of her. Plus she looks absolutely gorgeous. FB_IMG_1480357820747.jpg
  2. Katalyst

    Katalyst A Lanky Lurcher and a Delinquent Dobermann

    Aug 11, 2015
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    They're not really anything like corns to keep.
    Corns are north American and can tolerate very low temperatures. Common bias are south American and like it hot and a little humid ideally.
    I have always kept mine with as much space as I can provide although at the moment with yours being a neonate, a 3ft viv will do.
    Make sure you heat from above with either a ceramic heat bulb or a reptile radiator. Don't use heat mats. They are hugely inefficient at heating the air and a snake like a common boa will quickly suffer when it's sat on a warm mat breathing cold air.
    As they get heavier, there is a genuine risk of thermal blocking resulting in a hot spot on your heat mat which is more than capable of causing terrible burns even when a correct thermostat is used.
    Use a thermostat to regulate the temperature regardless of what sort of heat emitter you use and using a decent digital thermometer with the probe placed at snake height, create a hot spot of around 33 or 34°c with the ambient warm end temp being about 29 to 30 and the cool end around 24 to 26. This allows for proper thermoregulation. Obviously water bowl goes the cool end and I'd add a moist hide filled with damp sphagnum Moss in the middle. Ensure there is a MINIMUM of 3 hides, one at each end and one in the middle and add some decent branches.
    What ever heat source you use, make sure it has a good guard around it to prevent snake from touching it.
    Don't feed her every week once you've had her for a couple of months. People grow Boas far too quickly by over feeding them and then wonder why they have a massive over weight snake that dies at less than 10 years old.
    I feed newborns every 7 to 10 days for the first 4 to 6 months and then every 10 to 14 at most until a couple of years old. After that, I tend to drop the food even more. I vary rarely see a boa of a good weight with decent muscle tone. The current trend to keep everything in plastic boxes and racking regardless of the snakes size has a lot to answer for!

    Vary the diet and the size of prey. Your boa right now can eat appropriate sized mice and rats as well as quail chicks. In answer few months time you can add day old chicken chicks to that.
    As an adult (expect 6 to 8 foot tops. They rarely exceed that) she will be able to eat rats, adult quail, appropriate sized rabbits, chicken pullets, guinea pigs etc and so forth. Try not to feed too many rats as the jumbo ones are hugely calorific and fatty. Rabbit is a great food if you can get it.

    Obviously all the usual things apply... don't handle her for 48 hours after feeding, feed using tongs and IN the viv. Too many people harp on about feeding in a box outside of the enclosure. All this means is that you have removed the snake from its usual environment and then have to move it when it's full. The only time I'd ever do this is when cohabiting multiple snakes but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

    When she is shedding, a very light mist with tepid water once a day will do her the world of good and make sure her Moss hide stays damp.

  3. lisaben

    lisaben PetForums Newbie

    Feb 1, 2017
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    that is amazing, congratulations, wish i had room for one and wasnt so scared x