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  • [Behavior] Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

    Ok heres my problem ive had my boa for about 4 years. Ok so i will be honest i have not had my snake on a regular basis, but anyway. I had noticed that my snake would strike at the tank. I figured it was cause it wasnt on a regular basis. But about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago i feed it 2 medium rats, and it ate them fine. My snake sits at the back of the tank and its head is in the middle of the tank staring out in the S position. Like i feel its gonna strike if i get close. I fed it 1 more about a week ago. And after it ate that one fine, it slept and then the next day it was in the same position, the S. And well yesterday i fed it 1 more rat thinking i guess it may just still be hungry well sure enough it ate the other rat. So i figured ok, after 4 rats in like 2 and 1/2 weeks it would be good and not still in the S position, but then i woke up today and left for work, came home and sure enough still in the S position... I've opened the tank and tried to slowly pick up the snake, but it turns and looks like it my strike me.... does any 1 have any suggestions?? i dont know what to do... HELP.

  • #2
    Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

    Here is what you should do first.

    Read the Ultimate care guide here Clay English RedTailBoas.com - Purchase Information and Terms of Service and make sure your doing the things outlined in the guide. These are how the people on the site keep their boas healthy and HAPPY. One thing that comes to mind is how many of us use front opening enclosures that are solid around all sides except the front, these keep the snake feeling secure....being able to see on all sides of a glass tank is great for fish but snakes don't like it too much. Do you have something like this?

    Check the temps in the cool section of the tank and the warm section, also the humidity. What are they, post back here?

    How often do you feed? Thawed, pre-killed, or live?

    Feeding a boa does not make it less nippy, while its true that if it is hungry it can be more likely to be in a hunt mode and mistake your hand or arm for a meal this does not sound like your problem.

    Your problem sounds like your boa is not HAPPY and it could be for various reasons. Second, it is not handled frequently so it does not associate handling as a safe and good experience. How often exactly have you handled your boa?

    I don't mean to offend you, and trust me if I am taking the time to write this post at all its because I want to help you not offend you. But, it seems you are afraid of your boa, is this the case? It is important to honest here because there are things you can do to help yourself enjoy your boa as much as a dog or cat.

    Just because the snake is coiled in an "S" shape does not mean it will strike you. Their almost always in this position at rest and most snakes, always have there heads facing to the open space as well. If you are worried about taking a hit were a glove of some type and a sweatshirt. If you are afraid of taking a hit with this type of protection then you need to rethink keeping boas. If you want to tame an aggressive snake you will have to handle it more, it wont get that way by feeding it more.

    Report back some answers to the questions asked and they I or others will give you the advice you need to help out in this situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

      Welcome to the board!

      Definitely read through the Ultimate Care Guide as stated above. I want to point out too that feeding that much is not a good idea for many reasons. Firstly it can cause regurgitation, and secondly, if done on a regular basis is considered "power feeding," which can lead to various health problems. I agree that with the snake being nippy, it may not be happy or feel secure. Could you describe the boa and the setup it's in? (type of cage, size, size and age of boa, location of cage, hides, substrate, cool side temperature, warm side temperature, humidity, etc)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

        Ok so heres the situation. Ive had this snake for probably close to 4 years. The tank its in is 4x2x2 tank with 2 screen tops that come out.
        I will be completely honest cause i want to make my snake happy.

        I have not been the best snake keeper. I will say that i am getting better because a friend and i our getting back into our snakes.

        Ok the setup has a few driftwood logs to climb on and lay on. I have a big water bowl at one end and a hiddy log that it can lay on or in. Also some greenary plants vine things.

        temps im not sure cause i dont have a themometer in the tank and the humidity not sure either. Im working on changing that. I have a new Day Bulb and Night bulb that will be on a timers. Right now i only have a Day light.

        I wanna point out that i have just tried taking the snake out, i put a glove on and all yes the snake struck at the glove and all. I decided not to try to take it out, also when i took the glove off there were a few tooth pieces in the glove...

        So thats what i have and like ive said if some1 thinks im like mistreating my snake im sorry. Im turning myself around and im sorry. Im sure my snake is agressive because of my mistreatment and bad habitat... So pointers??

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

          The first thing you need to do is get a solid lid. The screen top isn't keeping any moisture in the cage, and the humidity isn't high enough for a tropical snake. This can cause health issues and might be the main reason your snake is nippy.

          All of the driftwood and greenery isn't really necessary either, a water bowl and hide box are pretty much all you need. The main thing with driftwood is bacteria can grow on it, which you definitely don't want.

          When you go in to pick the snake up, if it strikes your glove, you should still handle it for a few minutes. If you leave it alone every time it bites you, it will just learn that it gets rewarded for biting you. It bites, you go away, and that can make it bite you even more in the future. Start by handling it for a few minutes every day, then work up to 5-10 minutes. After a few weeks, you should be able to handle it for 20-30 minutes without a problem. Hope this helps.
          http://www.iherp.com/topshelfmorphs

          http://www.facebook.com/boidsohio

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

            ya agreed if it strikes still take it out it should calm down once its out and YOU MUST get a thermostat/humidity gague immediately so you know what the temps and humidity are that is probably the most important thing to raising a boa so get that done make sure its not to hot/cold/or humid and it might calm down afterwords but since it wasnt held consistently it will take a while to tame it but believe me it can happen keep us updated

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

              Originally posted by EvilFlamez View Post
              Ok so heres the situation. Ive had this snake for probably close to 4 years. The tank its in is 4x2x2 tank with 2 screen tops that come out.
              I will be completely honest cause i want to make my snake happy.

              I have not been the best snake keeper. I will say that i am getting better because a friend and i our getting back into our snakes.

              Ok the setup has a few driftwood logs to climb on and lay on. I have a big water bowl at one end and a hiddy log that it can lay on or in. Also some greenary plants vine things.

              temps im not sure cause i dont have a themometer in the tank and the humidity not sure either. Im working on changing that. I have a new Day Bulb and Night bulb that will be on a timers. Right now i only have a Day light.

              I wanna point out that i have just tried taking the snake out, i put a glove on and all yes the snake struck at the glove and all. I decided not to try to take it out, also when i took the glove off there were a few tooth pieces in the glove...

              So thats what i have and like ive said if some1 thinks im like mistreating my snake im sorry. Im turning myself around and im sorry. Im sure my snake is agressive because of my mistreatment and bad habitat... So pointers??
              I don't think anyone is judging you otherwise you would not be getting this help, but it seems you feel a little guilty about your husbandry and if you want to turn that around you will find the help you need here.

              Are you prepared to spend some money to make the snake happy? If so lets talk about a few things....

              You need to put a cover on that screen top to hold the humidity in. This has already been said. Go get some cheap Plexiglas, it does not need to be thick and cover most of the top, but don't burn it with the light. Others have used aluminum foil and other things.

              Read the guide as I said already. Boas are nocturnal and do not need light at all. In your case it sounds like the light is the only thing keeping it warm.

              Do you have another means of heating the tank besides the light? If not read the guide and it will give you some suggestions. Flex Watt tape is a tremendous value and safe if installed correctly.

              Feed a snake like that a large or medium rat every 2 weeks and thats it. Keep on schedule and feed consistently. You don't want to handle the snake a day or two after feeding so feed middle of the week or say Monday and then you should be good to handle by the end of week and weekend.

              I would worry about getting the heating and other things squared away before I started handling the boa. Give it two weeks or more and then ease into the handling. It is not going to be happy or comfortable with you handling until you get into a routine of handling. Also, it helps to have the snake out of the enclosure as some snakes that are not handled frequently end up being cage aggressive. Since you have a tank you need to come in from above the snake, another thing that makes them feel less secure. So you might want to invest in a snake hook or you can use a paint roller handle in a pinch. The thing you put rollers on to paint walls. You can use this and the glove to get the snake out of the enclosure and then work on handling.

              Like everyone here has said get the basics squared away and then work with the snake. It will come around.

              Lastly, READ THE GUIDE

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                Originally posted by nediver View Post
                I don't think anyone is judging you otherwise you would not be getting this help, but it seems you feel a little guilty about your husbandry and if you want to turn that around you will find the help you need here.

                Are you prepared to spend some money to make the snake happy? If so lets talk about a few things....

                You need to put a cover on that screen top to hold the humidity in. This has already been said. Go get some cheap Plexiglas, it does not need to be thick and cover most of the top, but don't burn it with the light. Others have used aluminum foil and other things.

                Read the guide as I said already. Boas are nocturnal and do not need light at all. In your case it sounds like the light is the only thing keeping it warm.

                Do you have another means of heating the tank besides the light? If not read the guide and it will give you some suggestions. Flex Watt tape is a tremendous value and safe if installed correctly.

                Feed a snake like that a large or medium rat every 2 weeks and thats it. Keep on schedule and feed consistently. You don't want to handle the snake a day or two after feeding so feed middle of the week or say Monday and then you should be good to handle by the end of week and weekend.

                I would worry about getting the heating and other things squared away before I started handling the boa. Give it two weeks or more and then ease into the handling. It is not going to be happy or comfortable with you handling until you get into a routine of handling. Also, it helps to have the snake out of the enclosure as some snakes that are not handled frequently end up being cage aggressive. Since you have a tank you need to come in from above the snake, another thing that makes them feel less secure. So you might want to invest in a snake hook or you can use a paint roller handle in a pinch. The thing you put rollers on to paint walls. You can use this and the glove to get the snake out of the enclosure and then work on handling.

                Like everyone here has said get the basics squared away and then work with the snake. It will come around.

                Lastly, READ THE GUIDE

                Ok so you said the snake doesnt need light? Well if i have a basking light at one end of the tank on the screen top should i not need anything on the other end where the water is? I purchased a Red Night Heat light bulb, (dont need).

                I orderd a thermostat and humdity gauge and recieved them today. Which end of the tank should i place them? I can post a picture of the tank if needed, but like i said its more or less 4 x 1.5 x 1.5 with 2 screen lids that are 1.5 x 1.5.

                Also was said that i dont need any greenary stuff or drift wood? So remove those?

                So ill be changing the tank around a bit. Umm im reading the guide and its helping! Answer these questions for me thanx!!!

                PS sorry had work all day and just got home.
                Last edited by EvilFlamez; 11-04-2009, 01:04 AM. Reason: Chagnge txt mistype

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                  if you really wanna use an overhead heat source, you can use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE), it puts off heat but no light, you can use it day and/or night. only bad thing is that they can have a drying effect on your humidity so you will have to rig something up to help the humidity. a damp towel over the top of the screen, misting a few times a day, tape down some aluminum foil on the screen, replace the screen with plexi, etc....will help with that issue.

                  another overhead heat option are the radiant heat panels, though i dont think they work well in tanks. they work best in custom snake enclosures like Animal Plastics, and other similar cages. they can be pricey at first to purchase, but they are supposed to be easy on your electric bill and last many years. they are installed inside the cage, usually on the top on one end of the cage, and they will never burn your animals.

                  belly heat IMO is a better option for a boa, it is supposed to help them digest food better, although ive heard a few people say its not true. you can buy one from a petstore (UTH), or use flexwatt, either way, you MUST use a thermostat, like a herpstat or ranco to controll the temp of the belly heat. i personally use flexwatt, its very cheap to buy, and i had the husband wire it up for the snakes, but you can buy flexwatt ready to use if you dont know how to wire it up yourself. flexwatt and other UTHs will get very hot very quickly and can easily cause burns if your snake sits on them while they are that hot. you can find a basic thermostat for about $60 online. i personally have a few herpstat IIs that are awesome when looking for thermostats, make sure you get a proportional thermostat, those thermostats will regulate their wattage to keep the temps as constant as possible, ie, your temps will not fluctuate as much. you can even find thermostats that will give you a humidity reading, and some have a night drop option, and if you have multiple racks and such like i do, you can controll diff stacks of cages and racks independently. my herpstat IIs can control 2 diff stacks of cages, and they have the herpstat pro which can control 4 different stacks of cages, its an awesome piece of equipment to have when you have a bunch of snakes LOL.

                  you can also use more than one heat source to achieve proper temps, doesnt have to be only one or the other....

                  as far as the thermostat though, its definately a must-have piece of equipment, no matter what heat source you use, IMO. if you get a good one, it should last the lifetime of the snake so long as you take care of it and dont drop it and such. even if you use overhead heat sources a thermostat can keep your hot-end temps constant, it doesnt have to only be used for belly heat.

                  as far as cage decor, its really up to you. i use fake plants for my smaller, younger babies, they seem to like hiding in the plants and poking their heads out during the day to watch whats going on. most of my larger animals dont have all that much in their cages, just the necessities. they are too big for hides and the fake plants just dont do anything for them once they reach a certain size lol. driftwood looks nice, but it might mold on you, especially if you are doing alot of misting. you would have to bleach it out and air dry it if it molds. any type of wood can mold really, especially in humid environments, like the ones needed for our boas. ive even had the really nice manzanita branches grow a little mold on me a few times

                  these are the thermometers i like, we bought ours at lowes or walmart for $12-15. you could hang it up on one end of the cage, stick the probe on the other side and you are set. it will tell you temps of both sides, plus humidity

                  Acu-Rite Digital Thermometer w/Humidity Gauge at SongbirdGarden.com!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                    Ok so people keep telling me to cover the tank with plexy or foil or wat ever, but do i then not set the light on top of the screen? How do I get the heat light to shine in? Should I not be using lights then?

                    There is a glass middle sectio, should I just leave the basking light there and then cover one end of the tank with plexy or foil?

                    Cause the basking light won't be on at night and I was gonna use a red light heat light at night, isn't that ok?? I know boas are nocturnal I didn't think they could see the red light. Can they?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                      Any answers?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                        I would suggest that you take better care of him!

                        What do you mean you haven't had it on a regular basis?Have you been moving him from one person to another?...............If so he's probably stressed to the max!

                        1.Stop feeding him so much.

                        If you feeding him in his enclosure that could trigger that response(especially since it seems every time you go to mess with him the first thing you try is to feed him again)

                        2.Make sure heating is as perfect as possible......(so he can digest all those rats)

                        3.Leave him alone!

                        When you get agitated you want to bite someone's head off when they just keep on and on don't you?.............Your snake can relate!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                          Originally posted by bishop View Post
                          I would suggest that you take better care of him!

                          What do you mean you haven't had it on a regular basis?Have you been moving him from one person to another?...............If so he's probably stressed to the max!

                          1.Stop feeding him so much.

                          If you feeding him in his enclosure that could trigger that response(especially since it seems every time you go to mess with him the first thing you try is to feed him again)

                          2.Make sure heating is as perfect as possible......(so he can digest all those rats)

                          3.Leave him alone!

                          When you get agitated you want to bite someone's head off when they just keep on and on don't you?.............Your snake can relate!
                          Umm, I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate ur real up frontness about that, I'm trying ok. And if u'd read the other post, I know about not feeding him any more.
                          Maybe you could answer my most recent questions and not dwell on the other posts before it. I've got his tank completely cleaned out and i've got his humidty up to 50 or so, and on the cool side constent temp of 85. Also me and my friend took him out and he was completly fine.
                          I haven't got a heat pad yet , but got paid today will order or buy one.
                          Thank you very much!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                            Originally posted by EvilFlamez View Post
                            Umm, I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate ur real up frontness about that, I'm trying ok. And if u'd read the other post, I know about not feeding him any more.
                            Maybe you could answer my most recent questions and not dwell on the other posts before it. I've got his tank completely cleaned out and i've got his humidty up to 50 or so, and on the cool side constent temp of 85. Also me and my friend took him out and he was completly fine.
                            I haven't got a heat pad yet , but got paid today will order or buy one.
                            Thank you very much!
                            I'm sorry,but when I clicked to respond to this tread there was no responses yet..(I had to go do something so it took forever to type).
                            So I was unaware of anything you said other than what was in your original text.

                            I realize your trying and I respect that........But when you ask a question wouldn't you want a upfront answer?........I would!

                            And I'm an upfront person,I don't beat around the bush! lol

                            I really don't have anything to apologize for............But I will anyway! lol
                            I'm Sorry!

                            peace

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help!!!, Odd Agression!!

                              Evil,

                              I have been with you from your original posts and happy to help you, if you show and effort to help yourself. I do not blame Bishop, you need to understand that some people ask a lot of questions that can be answered by just doing some research. It gets frustrating when you care so much for these animals and people post things like, "my boa really likes carrots and I feed him a 5 lb bag and now he won't poop, what do you think is wrong" or "my boa has snot pouring out his nostrils and he is wheezing, do you think he has swine flu, cause you know my cousins sister had it and they were over yesterday". These are both a joke, but you can see how some questions might seem really dumb to people who have taken the time to understand the needs of raising a boa and get frustrated at those who don't make that commitment until something doesn't seem right.

                              I commend you for being honest and forthright and saying, "I haven't been the best at this" but I want to get better. In that spirit you cannot fault anyone here for giving you harsh honesty back, when they think the same thing.

                              Some questions for you:

                              what type of thermometer and hydrometer did you get?

                              More than one?

                              Where did you position them or the one?

                              How did you cover the top of the screen?

                              How are you maintaining humidity?

                              You want to remove the light cause you learned boas don't need light, great...I asked this once before...what will you heat with then?

                              Why did you take the snake out even though you got previous advice to leave it alone for a week or so to settle down and get HAPPY?

                              Have you finished reading the guide? What did you learn to do differently?

                              What is the warm side temps and the cold side temps, night and day readings?

                              Can you post pics of the snake and its setup as it is now?

                              If you want answers you will get them here, but only if you show a commitment to learning and "working at getting better" as you say.

                              Comment

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