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New rescued Boa

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  • New rescued Boa

    I am rather inexperienced with boas in particular. A former roomate of mine bought a baby burmese and we raised it for a year before I moved away, so I am generally comfortable and experienced with boids, just not boas. Anyway, I decided I wanted to get a boa and signed up at a rescue service (because I really hate pet stores and I would rather take an unwanted animal than a cute baby that everyone wants). Anyway, he is a columbian red tail, between five and six feet. his largest diameter is about 4 inches. He was pretty friendly (that being a relative word) when I went and got him, but after an hour in the car and transfer to a new cage he is quite pissed off and I don't plan to reach my hand in the cage for a little while. I'm going to give him about a week off before I try to handle him again. His physical condition now is real good. He's the most active snake I think I've ever seen, very alert, checked for bugs and parasites and disease... clean bill of health. So, my question. Does anyone have any clue how old he might be? Second, I read a little here about power feeding and how unhealthy it is. Symptoms are bigger body and disproportionately smaller head?? That concerns me because I have seen six foot boas before that just seemed smaller than him. He almost more resembles the proportions of my friend's burmese. So I was wondering if anyone could elaborate more on specifics on how to judge this and possible things I can do to improve his health besides normal care. I don't think he is simply overweight. The rescue organization was just feeding him 3 mice a week for two months to get him adjusted and stabalized (apparently his last home was less than ideal).

    I wish I had a digital camera to help you out with my description, but this will just have to do... thankyou.

  • #2
    Re:New rescued Boa

    ANd welcome to the site, you are a saint to rescue a sub adult boa,
    Clay has a free web service care sheet that you can download to your PC .

    99.9%of all questions asked are answered on this page. Your most important concern is cage heat and humidity almost all disease in snakes is the end result of poor cage husbandry. if he's in a fish tank the first concern I would have is getting him in a reptile set up, the best cage for the buck comes from that boaphile it keeps humidity and heat and he pays shipping to the door. Glass cages tend to dry out the snake and have huge gradients that lead to immune suppresion and RI, mouth rot and digestioin problems Boa's need heat. his cage come with heat strips installed all you need is a thermostat.

    I would use plain old new paper for cage substatrate its the best in my book and is really cheap.

    Most pet store wood bark can have mites,
    Set up his cage give him a really big water dish I like the ceramic ones for the great danes..
    And leave this snake alone for about 1 week to chill settle and generally relax .
    You could use a small box with a small hole it for a hide if you don't have any yet.
    there's so much to cover and he probably has problems if he was a rescue, go to the rescue sites on this page and contact some of the other people who rescue via private e-mail
    good luck.
    And thank you for trying to help another reptile out of a really bad situation, you proably saved his life.

    if you want to handle a grumpy snake I use a small hand towel I put it over the head and then gently support the snake and lift it out of the cage and sit and hold it for a while, if he's really whipping around or showing alot of aggresion he probably spent his life in a cage without any human contact except for the occasional live feeding ( not reccomended) that tried to bite him .. :P
    I did this with a fire breathing argentine and it worked after a couple weeks, man she was a scary snake.... she never tagged me but she did try.. hehe

    psps I never met a boa who didn't eventually warm up to human contact.... them pythons can be a bit unpredictable and they have the longer curvy teeth than most boa's ....


    • #3
      Re:New rescued Boa

      Hey aristotle, welcome to the forums!!! Anything you need to learn about boas is here. Most people here can help you with a variety of questions. People like __LEE__, Clay, Sclark, Baracuda, tatdady, there all knowledgable but ther are others too. Thats what were here for!!

      As far as the temperment, boas can stress easily. The car ride was probably extremely stressful for him. Also, he's in new surroundings, give him a chance to adjust. If you have the right heat, humidity, hides for him to hide in when he's stressed, those things will let him adjust well. Doug explained it well.

      As far as the age, I would guess he's about 4-5 years old but i might be off a little but not by much. Steve could probably guess closer than me. Once again, welcome to the forums!!! 8) 8)


      • #4
        Re:New rescued Boa

        Hello aristoli,

        Welcome to the forums..

        Like Doug pointed out, Clay has some great care sheets for boas that will start you in the right direction.. So unless you have specific questions I will leave you to read the care sheets..

        OK an age guess.. That is so hard to do correctly because there are so many factors involved, how it was cared for since birth, feeding, etc..

        But I will put a guess assuming its a male, you did say he.. About 5 years old. With normal Col redtails I always assume the male will max out at about 6 foot.. ALthough I have a 6 foot 9 inch male that was a rescue and he is 6 years old.. So its all a guess..



        • #5
          Re:New rescued Boa

          hey now steve u mean had a 6' 9" male hahahahaha

          yes aristoli i agree with all of what doug says except for leaving the snake alone for a week man i hate that kind of wait lol i usually leave them alone for 2 days then i start to slowly work with them for 30 min each day after the 2 day wait to let him get used to his new surroundings. as far as the ticked off part ...this is what i usually do before picking up any snake i touch them down by there tail and if they don't swing around and try to bite me i just pick them up slowly but surely and get them out of course all my cages are top loaders so i have to actually work to get a snake out lol i know steve says he just reaches in and scratches their heads before picking them up but i like my way just in case lol
          HOPE THIS HELPS.



          • #6
            Re:New rescued Boa

            Well good to here that you have a new boa...
            Have fun with it...
            I wait for around a week my self... for snakes and about three days for most other things..
            Eric aka....Red