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  • My first boa, Gomez.

    This fellow sorta landed in my lap on mothers day. Right place at the right time. Someone was wanting to re-home him. I happened to be at the shop they were at. He was being co-habbed with a female that had been re-homed a day previously. They lived in a tank without any heat source, and about four inches of sand. That's it. I own Ball Pythons, so this is a whole new ball (haha) game for me.

    Learning as much as possible as quickly as possible. He hadn't eaten since 4/21 and she was giving him "a few mice" on fed day. He's 56 inches long. Figured I'd offer him a meal today and he snapped it RIGHT up. I cheered and clapped like a fool. I'm so accustomed to picky snobby ball pythons!

    Anyhow he's so beautiful. I do not have a clue what he is. He's so pink, and speckled and pretty. I just wanted to share him. We've dubbed him Gomez because his little mustache marking reminded my wife and I of Gomez Adams from the movies.





















  • #2
    Re: My first boa, Gomez.

    Nice snake, Gomez...I'm looking to get a boa myself...maybe a columbian but I'm not sure....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My first boa, Gomez.

      Congratulations on your new buddy, at his size I'd stay away from mice. Medium to large rats would be much better for him, 1 every 2 to 3 weeks. Best of luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My first boa, Gomez.

        Hey, welcome here, you too Gomez! Love the name, he's gorgeous! I'm still laughing about your description of ball pythons: [quote]...I'm so accustomed to picky snobby ball pythons! [QUOTE] LOL!!!!
        Looks like you both had a lucky day....I'd like to slap ppl that keep snakes in unheated tanks filled with sand...& then put THEM in one! Yes, many boas have the cutest little 'staches as well as the most
        wonderful appetites.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My first boa, Gomez.

          Just because a boa will take food doesn't mean you should be feeding him. Take things slow because if he was on mice, his system will need to get accustomed to larger food. He should be on small rats at this point. Larger than weaned rats but smaller than medium. Between 50 and 100 grams would be ideal. It is always best to feed dead prey. Many of us prefer frozen/thaw because they are cheaper but fresh killed works as well. This is for the best interest of both our snake and it is more humane for the prey. Boas usually have no issues eating dead prey as long as it is warmed up to around body temperature. Ball pythons need convincing and it is not easy.

          Your new guy, Gomez is looking good especially for being fed only mice. He isn't very thin like I would expect. He looks like he needs a little more exercise to strengthen some muscles but he looks great.

          Remember that heavy snakes like boas and ball pythons do not need to eat frequently. Best to eat 1 prey item of appropriate size at a time. A small rat would be fine for 2 weeks to 3 weeks for a boa. Feeding on the conservative side is not a bad thing for boas as they tend to get over weight easy. Boas don't know when they are overweight unlike ball pythons... I don't know if you've had the pleasure of a 6 month fast from a ball python yet. I've even heard of a ball python fasting for 12 months before accepting food again. I know a few people who they have 3-4 ball pythons who eat F/K (Fresh Killed) and a boa. If the ball pythons are not interested in eating that 2 weeks, it goes to the boa. I can't say if that is the best idea but at least it wouldn't waste the rat.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My first boa, Gomez.

            I love how dark the face is on him! Also this is good advice ^
            Previously jjurczyk



            facebook.com/k1ssy

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My first boa, Gomez.

              I agree with most of acephantom903's post but it's really best NOT to re-offer food that other snakes have rejected, UNLESS you've had ALL of them for not less than a year (preferably more+) & KNOW they are healthy,
              because you are not only sharing food but most likely pathogens or even parasites (mites). Even then, it's STILL a risk. Gomez is beautiful, but he should be in quarantine for not less than 6-12 months for the safety of all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                Welcome to RTB and thanks for the EXCELLENT photos of your handsome new addition. I am a wee bit concerned at the fact that it seems his mouth is open in every shot, you might want to keep a close eye on that, I would be a little more than concerned about it knowing his past history with the lack of proper husbandry. If you have a good exotic vet nearby, it probably wouldn't hurt to have a little checkup just to make sure all is good. Again, welcome and we hope you stay a while!
                http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                  Originally posted by Swanworld View Post
                  Nice snake, Gomez...I'm looking to get a boa myself...maybe a columbian but I'm not sure....

                  Awesome. I wanted one in the future, but didn't know what type. I don't know what type he is but I have him now haha.

                  Originally posted by Herm713 View Post
                  Congratulations on your new buddy, at his size I'd stay away from mice. Medium to large rats would be much better for him, 1 every 2 to 3 weeks. Best of luck
                  That's what I figured. I'm trying to wean my mouser BP off mice and onto the small to small medium rats she SHOULD be eating. I had a few already in the freezer so we thawed one and gave it a try. We had planned on waiting at least three weeks for another feeding. I figured it would be best that way, glad I was on the money there. I have been a member of some other boa groups and picked up that tidbit already. Had seen a great deal of discussion on over feeding and obese boas too!



                  [QUOTE=Noelle7206;731898]Hey, welcome here, you too Gomez! Love the name, he's gorgeous! I'm still laughing about your description of ball pythons: [quote]...I'm so accustomed to picky snobby ball pythons!
                  LOL!!!!
                  Looks like you both had a lucky day....I'd like to slap ppl that keep snakes in unheated tanks filled with sand...& then put THEM in one! Yes, many boas have the cutest little 'staches as well as the most
                  wonderful appetites.
                  Thank you! The name was almost automatic. We couldn't help ourselves. He was dubbed Dusty when we picked him up. I said "no oh no no no no" but the longer I stood there looking at him laying in sand ice cold to the touch the more my willpower vanished. We fed him one of the small to smallish medium rat I have in my freezer my mouser BP still refuses. Bought a few to to keep on hand, and have not needed them yet. Till now! He was in no way picky! It's a nice change.

                  Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
                  Just because a boa will take food doesn't mean you should be feeding him. Take things slow because if he was on mice, his system will need to get accustomed to larger food. He should be on small rats at this point. Larger than weaned rats but smaller than medium. Between 50 and 100 grams would be ideal. It is always best to feed dead prey. Many of us prefer frozen/thaw because they are cheaper but fresh killed works as well. This is for the best interest of both our snake and it is more humane for the prey. Boas usually have no issues eating dead prey as long as it is warmed up to around body temperature. Ball pythons need convincing and it is not easy.

                  Your new guy, Gomez is looking good especially for being fed only mice. He isn't very thin like I would expect. He looks like he needs a little more exercise to strengthen some muscles but he looks great.

                  Remember that heavy snakes like boas and ball pythons do not need to eat frequently. Best to eat 1 prey item of appropriate size at a time. A small rat would be fine for 2 weeks to 3 weeks for a boa. Feeding on the conservative side is not a bad thing for boas as they tend to get over weight easy. Boas don't know when they are overweight unlike ball pythons... I don't know if you've had the pleasure of a 6 month fast from a ball python yet. I've even heard of a ball python fasting for 12 months before accepting food again. I know a few people who they have 3-4 ball pythons who eat F/K (Fresh Killed) and a boa. If the ball pythons are not interested in eating that 2 weeks, it goes to the boa. I can't say if that is the best idea but at least it wouldn't waste the rat.
                  He was already used to eating pre-killed, so we had no issue there. The rat was mid size, I do not know the weight though. Digital scales are on my to-do list. Also I thought about getting feeding tongs, but just dropping it in was more than enough. I may still get a pair, just to have.

                  I'm glad he looks okay, I didn't think he looked too bad. The scars and missing scales I guess is what got me, I'm just a worry wart about things. How do you suggest providing him exercise?

                  My current BP eats once a week, I don't know her age or her weight... really need to get on that digital scale business. She is about three and a half feet long. I've had her since February and haven't had any issues with her spare her refusal of a small rat several times. She digs those mice though. We will get it eventually.

                  Thank you for the advice!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                    Originally posted by Jessica View Post
                    I love how dark the face is on him! Also this is good advice ^
                    I do too! I love that it's so dark, but his body fades out to pink. Is he just a "normal" red tail or what would I call him?

                    Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                    I agree with most of acephantom903's post but it's really best NOT to re-offer food that other snakes have rejected, UNLESS you've had ALL of them for not less than a year (preferably more+) & KNOW they are healthy,
                    because you are not only sharing food but most likely pathogens or even parasites (mites). Even then, it's STILL a risk. Gomez is beautiful, but he should be in quarantine for not less than 6-12 months for the safety of all.
                    Gomez is on the other side of the house, my BP lives in my office. It's just my wife and I here. So not much traffic. I should have clarified that I had rats in the freezer for when my BP decided she was going to move on from her beloved mice. So we thawed one out and offered it to him, they were still in their sealed pack. I did end up putting the other two in a one gallon freezer bag though, is that enough to keep them from getting freezer burn? I didn't think it would be wise to offer one species of snake something and give it to another. We both wash our hands before and after handling either snake and only I handle my ball python and rather infrequently. My house is small, but Gomez on the total opposite side of the house. Is that far enough away for quarantine? Side note, my office door also stays closed while I'm at work, which is five to six days a week about 14 hours a day.

                    Originally posted by zamora View Post
                    Welcome to RTB and thanks for the EXCELLENT photos of your handsome new addition. I am a wee bit concerned at the fact that it seems his mouth is open in every shot, you might want to keep a close eye on that, I would be a little more than concerned about it knowing his past history with the lack of proper husbandry. If you have a good exotic vet nearby, it probably wouldn't hurt to have a little checkup just to make sure all is good. Again, welcome and we hope you stay a while!
                    Thank you for noticing that. It was something I meant to ask but once I hit post I couldn't find it again till it was approved. I did notice his mouth open like that, but no raspy or weezy sounds, no drool. I am going to grab a few more photos of him this weekend. His mouth doesn't seem to be open like this anymore. He drank quite a bit when he settled down here. Could that have been dehydration? I did find a semi-close by Vet who specializes in snakes and is at the clinic two days a week. So I have back up there.

                    Do you have files on this forum with a "husbandry for dummies" type deal for clueless noobs like me? I've not had a great deal of time to sit down and really flip through the forum just yet.

                    Thanks again, I've never photographed a snake. It's a lot harder than horses, that's for sure.


                    Many many thanks to everyone!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                      Originally posted by justaTripp View Post
                      The rat was mid size, I do not know the weight though. Digital scales are on my to-do list. Also I thought about getting feeding tongs, but just dropping it in was more than enough. I may still get a pair, just to have.
                      What source do you get your frozens from? Most sources which aren't pet stores list the range of weight the prey items are. Scales are nice but not essential. They are better when used with young animals because you don't want to go too fast feeding them. Your boa sounds to be (assuming normal feeding pattern of proper portions) 3 or 4 years old being almost 5 foot. Trust me, you will want to use tongs. As he gets more comfortable he will start to meet you at the door with the food. Nobody looks to get bit by an adult boa. You want the tongs to hold the prey 8 inches or more from your hand. I have 16" hemostats because I'm overly cautious... my girl is still 9 months old.

                      I have no clue how old your ball python is because 3-4 foot is their average length. Some females get bigger but not usually.

                      How you give all snakes exercise is to make them move. Handling, exploring, climbing, etc. Those all build muscle. If they sit in one or 2 spots all week, that really wouldn't be good for maintaining strong muscles, don't you think? A boa's perfect body shape should be like [] when they are supporting themselves. Laying down they might get a little wider. lol In the pictures it looked like his neck muscles are not as strong as normal. Boas like to explore and use their neck muscles for anchoring in new locations which will build those muscles quick.

                      I hadn't even noticed the scar on his nose. His good looks distracted me. To me it looks like a scrape which is healed over. He wont grow back the scales because they aren't really scales but hardened skin that we call scales.

                      EDIT:Husbandry for dummies? http://www.redtailboas.com/f110/down...ion-3-a-31312/

                      Noelle was referring to what I said about giving one prey item to a boa if a ball python had rejected it. It isn't the safest thing to do like I mentioned but some people do it. You should definitely not do it if a snake in still in quarantine. It is a good thing that you are quarantining new additions. Mites travel 10 feet at night so as long as it is over 10 feet away and preferably as far away as possible, the better.

                      Keep an eye on his mouth. It doesn't look like an issue to me, just that he was curious and ready to keep sniffing. Better safe than sorry to keep an eye out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                        Originally posted by justaTripp View Post
                        ....Do you have files on this forum with a "husbandry for dummies" type deal for clueless noobs like me? I've not had a great deal of time to sit down and really flip through the forum just yet.
                        ...
                        If you click on 'forum' above you'll first see the 'latest posts' and below that is a bright red band that says 'Boa General Care & husbandry', and 2nd under that is "Care Guide Articles".
                        I wouldn't call you "clueless" at all, nor a dummy! (the only 'dummy' is the one who doesn't ask questions, and you've been asking good ones!)

                        As far as what is meant by 'quarantine', it depends on who you ask & how much they have invested: those with the most invested have been known to house new snakes in a different BUILDING from their collection, &
                        always change their clothes too. It's not absolute safety when sharing the same circulating air (within the same house/bldg) but it's pretty good to have them in separate rooms at opposite ends of the house. Your hands
                        should be washed thoroughly, also anything you'd normally carry from one room to the other should be washed/disinfected (things like grab tongs etc), & certainly don't re-offer food. If you're wondering what all the fuss
                        is about, there are contagious diseases like IBD ("inclusion body disease") which is fatal & has no treatment, and pesky things like mites (which you CAN treat for but which are thought to spread diseases like IBD, and if
                        ignored, can kill snakes outright thru loss of blood). I'm not trying to give you nightmares but the last I read, IBD can have a very long incubation time (6-12 mos) & affects boas/pythons the most, so do the best you can.

                        You said your BP eats once a week & is about 3.5' long? Normally we recommend feeding once a week only for 'baby' snakes (hatchlings/neonates) for the 3-6 months of their life, gradually transitioning to larger prey offered
                        at longer intervals. A BP that's 3.5' long is at least 3-4 years old*, so I'm wondering what size food he/she is eating so often? Then again, BP's can be fussy eaters...hopefully yours isn't overweight, but if not, I'm inclined to
                        say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", lol... (*Ball pythons are 'adult's at that size but I've personally had a female that was 5' long...they grow their whole life, just slower, & exceptions have lived to 47 years!)

                        DO get yourself some long feeding tongs: you can use 18" non-locking hemostats, or those giant "tweezers" or even BBQ tongs (as long as they're blunt), but you do NOT want your enthusiastic boa to grab your warm & wiggly
                        hand by mistake while in "feed mode"...trust me! This is not just a matter of a bite being inconvenient, it's a matter of your safety when dealing with a large boa. They don't want to bite us, but mistakes happen! Don't make one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                          Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
                          What source do you get your frozens from? Most sources which aren't pet stores list the range of weight the prey items are. Scales are nice but not essential. They are better when used with young animals because you don't want to go too fast feeding them. Your boa sounds to be (assuming normal feeding pattern of proper portions) 3 or 4 years old being almost 5 foot. Trust me, you will want to use tongs. As he gets more comfortable he will start to meet you at the door with the food. Nobody looks to get bit by an adult boa. You want the tongs to hold the prey 8 inches or more from your hand. I have 16" hemostats because I'm overly cautious... my girl is still 9 months old.

                          I have no clue how old your ball python is because 3-4 foot is their average length. Some females get bigger but not usually.

                          How you give all snakes exercise is to make them move. Handling, exploring, climbing, etc. Those all build muscle. If they sit in one or 2 spots all week, that really wouldn't be good for maintaining strong muscles, don't you think? A boa's perfect body shape should be like [] when they are supporting themselves. Laying down they might get a little wider. lol In the pictures it looked like his neck muscles are not as strong as normal. Boas like to explore and use their neck muscles for anchoring in new locations which will build those muscles quick.

                          I hadn't even noticed the scar on his nose. His good looks distracted me. To me it looks like a scrape which is healed over. He wont grow back the scales because they aren't really scales but hardened skin that we call scales.

                          EDIT:Husbandry for dummies? http://www.redtailboas.com/f110/down...ion-3-a-31312/

                          Noelle was referring to what I said about giving one prey item to a boa if a ball python had rejected it. It isn't the safest thing to do like I mentioned but some people do it. You should definitely not do it if a snake in still in quarantine. It is a good thing that you are quarantining new additions. Mites travel 10 feet at night so as long as it is over 10 feet away and preferably as far away as possible, the better.

                          Keep an eye on his mouth. It doesn't look like an issue to me, just that he was curious and ready to keep sniffing. Better safe than sorry to keep an eye out.
                          I got the rats from a small mom and pop pet shop in the next town over. I've yet to have a need to order in bulk online, which I will probably start doing now. I most certainly would prefer not to be bitten, so tongs are on my to-do list as well! Thanks for pointing that out, makes total sense.


                          My Ball Python was an idiotic impulse buy, I was clueless as could be and the pet shop took me for one hell of a ride. I'd elaborate but I just got to the forum, I don't need everyone thinking I'm a complete idiot just yet. The pet store claimed she would have turned a year old on April 29th as per paper work from the breeder but who knows. I'm surprised their reptile "expert" didn't try to also sell me snake kibble.

                          You're totally right on the exercising. I handle Martha (my ball) for about half an hour everyday. Usually that's also all the time I have left before I have to go to bed and get back to work. She naturally has wobbles, but the cork screwing is what affects her the most. She spends that time winding around my arm, up my shoulder and to what seems to be her preferred location, which is my hair tied up in a bun.

                          She'll climb over it and perch up there. Occasionally she'll begin to corkscrew, like in this photo. So I gently take her down and hold her in my hands so she doesn't hurt herself.





                          She is still my main squeeze though.


                          We did obtain a pretty awesome sturdy branch about the circumference of a coke can and about 12 feet long. It's smooth, and dry and it almost looks like it's carved out of stone. When I have a little free time I'll handle him for a while and then let him climb the branch in my living room, always supervised. He seems to dig it. Will find a spot near the top and he seems to just survey his new domain.

                          From the living room to my office you go through a dining room, a large kitchen and down a hall. So it's way more than ten feet. Again, we always wash hands before and after. When I am hanging out with Martha, it's usually in my office while I'm decompression and relaxing at my desk catching up on stuff before bed.


                          Again thank you thank you thank you for all your advice and help and for taking the time to talk with me and explain things to me. I am about the check out the link you provided before I hit the hay. Again, thank you!
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                            I just made a ridiculously long post and I don't think I posted it correctly! It appears to be gone. I'll give it another go. haha.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My first boa, Gomez.

                              Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                              If you click on 'forum' above you'll first see the 'latest posts' and below that is a bright red band that says 'Boa General Care & husbandry', and 2nd under that is "Care Guide Articles".
                              I wouldn't call you "clueless" at all, nor a dummy! (the only 'dummy' is the one who doesn't ask questions, and you've been asking good ones!)

                              As far as what is meant by 'quarantine', it depends on who you ask & how much they have invested: those with the most invested have been known to house new snakes in a different BUILDING from their collection, &
                              always change their clothes too. It's not absolute safety when sharing the same circulating air (within the same house/bldg) but it's pretty good to have them in separate rooms at opposite ends of the house. Your hands
                              should be washed thoroughly, also anything you'd normally carry from one room to the other should be washed/disinfected (things like grab tongs etc), & certainly don't re-offer food. If you're wondering what all the fuss
                              is about, there are contagious diseases like IBD ("inclusion body disease") which is fatal & has no treatment, and pesky things like mites (which you CAN treat for but which are thought to spread diseases like IBD, and if
                              ignored, can kill snakes outright thru loss of blood). I'm not trying to give you nightmares but the last I read, IBD can have a very long incubation time (6-12 mos) & affects boas/pythons the most, so do the best you can.

                              You said your BP eats once a week & is about 3.5' long? Normally we recommend feeding once a week only for 'baby' snakes (hatchlings/neonates) for the 3-6 months of their life, gradually transitioning to larger prey offered
                              at longer intervals. A BP that's 3.5' long is at least 3-4 years old*, so I'm wondering what size food he/she is eating so often? Then again, BP's can be fussy eaters...hopefully yours isn't overweight, but if not, I'm inclined to
                              say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", lol... (*Ball pythons are 'adult's at that size but I've personally had a female that was 5' long...they grow their whole life, just slower, & exceptions have lived to 47 years!)

                              DO get yourself some long feeding tongs: you can use 18" non-locking hemostats, or those giant "tweezers" or even BBQ tongs (as long as they're blunt), but you do NOT want your enthusiastic boa to grab your warm & wiggly
                              hand by mistake while in "feed mode"...trust me! This is not just a matter of a bite being inconvenient, it's a matter of your safety when dealing with a large boa. They don't want to bite us, but mistakes happen! Don't make one.
                              Thank you for the guide through the page. This weekend I hope to have some time to sit down and actually read up. We do wash our hands, but change of clothes doesn't happen. I actually don't handle him as often as my wife does. He is kind of her snake, where my BP is my snake and she really doesn't handle her much. I've read lots about mites on ball python forums over the last few months. One of the reasons I insisted we keep Gomez in the living room. You have to go through a dining room, a kitchen and down a hall to get to my office and my BP's lair (lol) and typically when I'm not home the office door is closed. The pet shop "expert" had breeders papers that claimed she was going to be a year old April 29th. I haven't actually measured her, it's a guess on her length. I might just be nuts, I think tomorrow I'm going to measure her length. Many of the BP groups I'm in recommend feeding weekly. Perhaps this is why she is so reluctant to accept a small rat? I do not believe she's overweight at all. I can still see the ridge of her spine, but she's not round.

                              Tongs are indeed officially on my to-do list. I don't want to be bitten if it can be avoided. I'm an equestrian. I get hurt by animals often enough. Thank you for all your awesome advice!

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