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  • [Housing] Just got my first boa

    Ok so im new to boas and i need all the info i can get ive done some research and all the questions that i asked led me to this website so i joined... I work at an emergency vet hospital (dogs and cats with the occasional guinea pig)and during my shift some special person dropped off a 6ft red tail boa in a pillow case. I love snakes so i took it home, he/ she seems skinny it has fold on its belly and if there anything like ball pythons that means there malnourished right? It also seems very aggressive which is why i think they dropped it off, it strikes at any movement. It also is shedding but its blotches here and there which means to low of humidity right? Its also got this redish pink tint to the sides of its belly and face. Over all it seems pretty healthy no mucus in the mouth no breathing problems mite free. Here in town there isn't a whole lot of help with how to raise a boa i dont even think they sell them at the local pet stores so my questions are as follows. And as vets go the closest one is about an hour and a half away and yes if any health problems happen ill gladly make the trip..

    How big of a tank should i get?

    How often do they eat and what size meal? I have a colony of mice for my ball pythons but i don't think there gonna cut it.

    How often should they shed?

    Its measures six ft from tip to tail how thick or fat should it be?

    Humidity and temp?

    Like i said i have two ball pythons that ive had for four years but this guy is nothing like my little guys. But i know the basics for snake husbandry. Any and all information is welcome especially little tricks to make it more friendly lol.
    You can also email me anytime at [email protected]

  • #2
    Re: Just got my first boa

    sorry crappy quality there from my cell but you can see the tiny white scar on its forehead and the redish tinge on the side of him and the overall thinness. he was drinking water for thirty minutes pretty sad state for such a beautiful animal.







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    • #3
      Re: Just got my first boa

      Originally posted by Reyes81487 View Post
      How big of a tank should i get?

      How often do they eat and what size meal? I have a colony of mice for my ball pythons but i don't think there gonna cut it.

      How often should they shed?

      Its measures six ft from tip to tail how thick or fat should it be?

      Humidity and temp?

      Like i said i have two ball pythons that ive had for four years but this guy is nothing like my little guys. But i know the basics for snake husbandry. Any and all information is welcome especially little tricks to make it more friendly lol.
      You can also email me anytime at [email protected]
      CHECK THIS OUT FOR SURE

      RedTailBoas Presents the Ultimate Boa Care Guide!

      BUT HERES WHAT I HAVE ......

      Ok i shall help to the best of my know how OH YA PICS PLEASE LOTS OF THEM TO

      1) idk about the belly fold
      2) yes low humidity = bad sheds
      3) the pink and reds are probably just the boas coloring
      4) if you have the money i would look into a boaphile check them out at theboaphile.com you can get a 421D with is 4x2x1 for $209 or they have 6ft cages as well
      4) judging age by length i say feed every 2 weeks (maybe once a week to get weight back on)
      5) they shed when they shed my babies tend to around every 4 weeks and my adults every 6 (i think dont quote me just guessing)
      6) weights hard to detimine if its a male its going to be smaller if its a female they really just range in weight so pics would really help to see how skinny it is
      7) humidity and temps -- hudmidy i stay around 50-60% temps cool side should be about 80-82 hot side 87-89

      hope this helps

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      • #4
        Re: Just got my first boa

        also to add looking at the pics it was probably once feed very well because it does have a large head from the pics and the head looks disproportional to the body so maybe lately they stopped feeding it just my other .02 hopefully some more experinced people chime in to dude

        BTW WELCOME TO THE FORUM BEST SITE EVER DUDE

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        • #5
          Re: Just got my first boa

          Hi,

          I too second the boaphileplastics.com cages. They retain heat well, humidity well, and if you opt for any of their supplies (heat, light, etc) then your cage has all the room for that stuff cut out to fit great (unlike if you buy it later and tryto just throw it in there).

          All of their cages come assembled but the wait is sometime (mine took about 7 - 7 1/2 weeks). If you go for a fish tank then you will be hard pressed to get good temps with a screen lid and humidity (I used 55gal before and it was only good for keeping low - mid 70s without lots of other stuff). there's tricks to that if you need to use one for the time being (like blocking off some of the screen and insulating and what not).

          Either way a 4x2x1-2 will be good for 6 footer, and if you got a fem who hits 8~ you might try a 6x cage. I have my 8 footer in a 422D (4x2x17.5) and there's not much of a space issue. I might try a 6 x 2 x 2 anyways but I don't think anything is wrong with a good 4x2x1-2

          I have a 6 foot that's a bit bigger than yours (she's female I'm told) and is eating large rats pre-killed (they like if you can dangle it in front). I try to feed mine every Friday but sometimes they will skip a week. My 8 footer skipped this weeks meal and just shed today for example but will definitly not skip this Fridays. Just try a 1 week or 2 week and try to stick with it. Routine is good.

          I also would say the thickness/fatness depends on the sex in adulthood from what I've read. Though I'm just guessing my 6~ footer looks around 25-30% fatter than yours but I sometimes feed 2 at a time of the mediums vs a large (my stock is shrinking). Preferably you want a bigger meal vs two smaller but sometimes stuff happens.

          I don't track my snakes activity per se so I can't throw out average shed times but mine shed atleast once every 3 months , but sometimes every month 1/2 - 2 months. It depends if they skip a meal or what not and what you feed them. Feeding pretty hefty prey will invoke more growth and more shed.

          I don't know what my humidity is at but I find misting to work well for spiking it throughout the day. Mine seem to like around 85-88 in their basking but I am using both underbelly flex and RHP -- if you just use one or the other they might want higher. I do spike mine to 89-92 sometimes just to give them that if they want it. My 6 footer seems to like the higher temp while my big 8 footer will often go to her cooler side when I spike it to the low 90s. To each their own!

          BTW, congrats on your first boa; they rule! The scar looks like a rat got them. Mine has 2 similar ones. I went to prekilled and frozen (8 footer only seems to take pks, 6 takes thawed) after mine got bite on the head/face too. It's just a reminder to me to never make that mistake again.

          And welcome to the forum!

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          • #6
            Re: Just got my first boa

            congrats hope you enjoy the boa as much as the balls. for the here and there shed put luke warm water in a container large bin with cover just enough for the boa to sit in without having to swim. let him/her soak in there for 45 min-1 hour. after that if you are able to hold the boa w/o getting attacked with a wet towel in hand allow the snake to glide through the towel while you rub the loose skin off or if theres alot it will roll down. works for me on a bad shed. and while your wotking off the skin it should help with aggressivness,hold him as much as you can or as much as the boa will comfortably let you. temp ambient80-85 on one side and hot spot 95plus or minus 5 degrees on the other side. mist the tank for on the hot side for humidity to raise it. you want it 50-60 %. mine are in a 55 screen top 150wat infrared bulb wet towel over 3/4 of top spray once a day mine are also noenates(babies) so as for the big boas info stays the same but size of tank but the pics look like hes/shes comfortable. but boaphile s the way to go as you can see in other posts good luck and congrats on the new addition and welcome to the forum stick around the people are great here.look on the left side of the homepage there is careguides there check em out.

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            • #7
              Re: Just got my first boa

              i have a 4x2x3 cage right now so i think ill hold off on the boaphile for till he she needs the space. i fed him two mice (ill stop that and get some rats next week) they stunned so no moving but his strikes are way off like worse that the ball pythons that i keep i thought they were bad. is that normal or could it be something else? seems like keeping my boa is the same as my ball's except for the humidity and size. lol that sounded funny. thanks guys keep it coming.

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              • #8
                Re: Just got my first boa

                Hi welcome to the forum. I just wanted to say that's very awesome of you to take the boa and give it a great home. The person who left it maybe lost their job and couldn't afford to feed it any longer? Who knows, but they did the right thing bringing it in to a vet office I think. I can't give you any advice as I don't have experience with large boas, but many people on the forum do. Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Re: Just got my first boa

                  Originally posted by pookiebuttons View Post
                  Hi welcome to the forum. I just wanted to say that's very awesome of you to take the boa and give it a great home. The person who left it maybe lost their job and couldn't afford to feed it any longer? Who knows, but they did the right thing bringing it in to a vet office I think. I can't give you any advice as I don't have experience with large boas, but many people on the forum do. Good luck!
                  We don't think it's such a good thing people think because we are a vet hospital we can take in any animal lol most of the time the animal doesn't make it in the doors we usually call animal control to come and pick it up not so much with a 6 ft s ake in a pillow case lol can't say that that's ever happened before. Please save us the call and drop it off at the shelter. Though I'm greatful for the free snake but if I wouldn't have been there the snake would have stayed in that pillow case till morning cuz the girls at the office are to scared of snakes and twenty degree temp would have done some kind of damage if not killed it. Sorry to go off lol but it happens so often that I have to explain.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Just got my first boa

                    I would handle it only when necessary until it is healthier. Wait until it has adjusted to its surroundings and digested at least one meal before you try to acclimate it to handling. Right now it is unhealthy, malnourished, and very stressed. I would soak him in luke warm water to help with the shed and just make sure you give him a hot spot of 87-90F and humidity between 50-60%. He should be able to pound a large rat, feeding once every 7-10 days isn't a bad idea until he puts a little weight on. Your 4x2x3 cage is fine, it should last his whole life. I commend you for rescuing the snake, there's way too many large snakes out there in situations like he was in.
                    http://www.iherp.com/topshelfmorphs

                    http://www.facebook.com/boidsohio

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                    • #11
                      Re: Just got my first boa

                      Beautiful no more to say, after finding out the snake i have just got was not living currectly i can understand the feeling of pitty for the snake and anger towards the pre owners, still i suppose they did the right thing in the end

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                      • #12
                        Re: Just got my first boa

                        the Best advise would be to read the Ultimate Care Guide for Boas...

                        Its written by the Ultimate Pro's and creators of this forum and its free....If you are new to boas Or snake's you will come up on obstacles and most of them are taken care of in the guide...

                        print it and read it more than once

                        RedTailBoas Presents the Ultimate Boa Care Guide!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Just got my first boa

                          Turns out she is the nicest snake I have ever owned lol she hella still and very relaxed I'm excited to have her! Lol

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                          • #14
                            Re: Just got my first boa

                            Having troubles with eating frozen any tips!?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Just got my first boa

                              Originally posted by Reyes81487 View Post
                              Having troubles with eating frozen any tips!?
                              Warm it up in some hot water before offering, braining it or cutting the nose open helps sometimes as well.

                              Mat.

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