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  • [General Care] My beautiful girl

    Hey everyone!

    After spending a couple of months reading up on boas and boa care, and trying to decide on whether I should or shouldn't own one, I finally made the choice and got a beautiful female BCC.

    At least, they say she's a BCC and the store registered her with the authorities as a BCC (by the way, I live in Germany)... Colombian BCC even! I intend to double-check that, though... And I'd like to verify some facts, as some of the information and advice the store's giving me comes into conflict with certain widely-accepted guidelines I found on the Internet and in specialty books.

    That's one of the reasons I'd really appreciate some advice or thoughts on certain issues - maybe you could help me out?

    About her being a BCC or BCI, I guess I'll know that for sure when she first sheds. I'll take good care to help her shed in one piece... I'm not confident in my ability to determine whether she's a BCC or BCI from saddle count, patterns or head shape... I would say she resembles the Boaphile's "Colombian High Pink Pastels" remarcably well, though... I'm posting some pictures to give you an idea, though the color reproduction is crap - she's much more beautiful in reality, with shades of pink and a very dark red, almost black tail (I'm gonna post some more in better quality later). It doesn't actually make any difference, whatever she turns out to be, she's a gorgeous girl and I love her! Called her Eva, by the way...

    Now, I'm gonna start out with some general info, first of all about the enclosure and environment:
    Vivarium dimensions (l x w x h): 150 cm x 80 cm x 100 cm (4.9 ft x 2.6 ft x 3.3 ft)
    Temperatures (day): Basking spot 33 C (91.4 F), "Cool" end: 26 C (78.8 F), Middle of enclosure: 28 C (82.4 F)
    Temperatures (night): Ambient temperature of 27 C (80.6 F) (a bit high I think, right?)
    Humidity: 55-60%
    Substrate: wood shavings (they were recommended by the store where I got her, but I think I'm going to switch to Astroturf, I don't want her to ingest any of it; until then, I'll feed her in another enclosure)
    During the day, heat and light is provided by a 75W UV light bulb, on 10 hours a day (during the winter). During the night, a ceramic heat bulb provides heat.
    The wooden walls are padded on the inside with some sort of plates made up of this dark-colored, relatively fragile material that looks and feels like cork... I have no idea what it is, but the store said it's supposed to help with the day-long regulation of humidity.
    She's also got an empty log (made out of cork or something similar, manufactured to resemble a log) for a hiding place, some branches to climb on and a water bowl... Any thoughts so far? Should I change anything? What should my next improvement priorities be? And should I lower the nighttime temperature? What about the substrate?

    About her behaviour...
    She's got her own room where I set up the tank and I've left her alone for two days after I got her, to give her a chance to settle in She mostly stays on the cool side, hiding at the base of the log's dark side (sometimes on the log's cool side, sometimes on it's warmer side). Just after I got her, she tried out the branches for a couple of hours, and went to sleep on one of them. In the morning I got a bit worried - couldn't find her anywhere! I finally found her burrowed at the cool base of the log - she stayed there for a very long time. Even while burrowed, she was alert when I moved around her (checking on her, a bit worried about her not getting out). She was flicking her tongue all the time and pulling a bit back with quick reactions whenever I touched her (not getting out of the substtrate, though).

    She probably would have stayed there longer, but I got really worried after about 36 hours of her being there and took her out to check on her. She was a bit frightened in the beginning and tried to pull back away from me, but never made any threatening moves and never tried to strike. She calmed down quickly and started investigating my arms, keeping a steady, ferm grip on my hand and forearm. She didn't try to get away at all anymore, she just flicked her tongue at every inch of my arm. Deciding she looks healthy and ok, I put her back after about 5 minutes (she was definitely pleased to be back in her tank now ). I saw some people posting about their snakes burrowing and from the opinions I couldn't find cause for alarm... Still, why would she burrow, though? Could that have been due to the temperature being too high? Or too low? Or could it have something to do with the humidity? Or, more likely, the stress of being moved to a new home?

    At any rate, today I picked her up again and handled her for around 30 minutes, just chilling and letting her carry on with her investigations... She was again reluctant to be picked up at first, but calmed down right away. She shows all the signs of being a healthy snake, no loose folds of skin, no mites, clean, no signs of obesity (as far as I can tell), tongue flicking steadily, mouth closed... She did do something weird however - she rubbed her jaw and head against my arm a couple of times. She shows absolutely no signs of shedding, though, could it be anything else? I've put her back and now she's sleeping on top of the log - hehe, I was happy she didn't feel like hiding anymore, at least for now.

    Oh, and I never saw her anywhere near the water...

    Which brings me to the feeding part - the thing I'm a bit concerned about at the moment.

    She's about 80 cm (2.6 ft) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) in diameter at mid body. The store said she's almost one year old. At any rate, they've always fed her live prey. Thankfully, she has no scars or signs of having been injured. They said she is one of the best feeders they had at the store. Could be they were just working their marketing charms on me, but I actually saw her feed last Thursday at the store (6 days before picking her up), and she snatched the mouse right away, perfect strike. Then, after she swallowed the first one, they gave her a few minutes, then went and got another mouse and put it in - she immediately constricted and ate that one too. They explained they've been feeding her two mice every 9-11 days for a while now. I found that pretty weird, since everywhere I looked people say "feed just one item per meal". They say she's never regurgitated, but to me, asking to strike and constrict a second time on a full stomach is asking for trouble. The mice she feeds on are about 7.5 cm (3 in) in length (w/o the tail ofc) and 2.5-3 cm (1-1.2 in) in diameter (a bit on the lean side for her, right? maybe that's why she gets two).

    I definitely want to switch her to frozen/freshly thawed food right away, so I bought some frozen mice which I was thinking of feeding her on Sunday or Monday (that would make 10-11 days since her last "double" meal)... But I'm really hesitant about feeding her two of them at the same meal. I'd rather switch her to rat pups or weaned rats - these would be a little bit bigger, so a single item every 7-8 days should make for a nice meal, right? What do you think? And should I still feed her the 4 mice I already bought, say one every, hmmm, 6 days? Or just throw them away and stick with the rats?

    Alright, that's it for now, thanks for taking the time to read all this!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: My beautiful girl

    nice boa and wow thats an awesome tank! from the pics i would say bci from what i understand bcc columbians are hard to come by beautiful boa either way i like that little tail stripe it has. 80 is not to low its about right maybe a few degress warmer but i think it will be fine you sound like you know what your doing and did your research. Congrats on you boa i'm sure you will be very very happy if you have any other questions dont be afriad to ask

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My beautiful girl

      Welcome to RedTailBoas forum

      She looks like a very pretty Colombian type Boa as you said. Much like the Pastel Boas on Jeff Ronne's website. I like to use Aspen bedding/substrate. If you use wood make certain it is Aspen and not pine or definitely not cedar shavings.
      I'm guessing by her age and size she could actually be eating sml F/T Rats. Starting her on weanling Rats for a couple weeks then moving up to sml Rats would work fine I'm sure.
      Her name is Eva . ? . ? . . .

      How about that , my Grandmother's maiden name was Eva Marie Funk
      A German lady ha ha, I miss her pastries , Apple Kuchen / Apfelkuchen ,
      Apple pie, Molasses cookies.That was good stuff !

      Temps and humidity sound pretty good to me
      I'm looking forward to better pictures

      You sound very happy with your beautiful new Boa !!!!

      Lar M
      Boas By Klevitz

      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My beautiful girl

        Originally posted by BadRed View Post
        Hey everyone!

        After spending a couple of months reading up on boas and boa care, and trying to decide on whether I should or shouldn't own one, I finally made the choice and got a beautiful female BCC.
        Good job on this. Also add this to your reading if you haven't already, I think you will enjoy them both.

        The Complete Boa Constrictor its also available on Amazon and direct from the author at Cutting Edge Herps (Google it), he will sign it if you ask.

        Also a must read is the Ultimate Care Guide thats available here on this site.

        Redtailboas.com - Amazing Boas and the Ultimate Care Guide

        Originally posted by BadRed View Post
        Now, I'm gonna start out with some general info, first of all about the enclosure and environment:
        Vivarium dimensions (l x w x h): 150 cm x 80 cm x 100 cm (4.9 ft x 2.6 ft x 3.3 ft)
        Temperatures (day): Basking spot 33 C (91.4 F), "Cool" end: 26 C (78.8 F), Middle of enclosure: 28 C (82.4 F)
        Temperatures (night): Ambient temperature of 27 C (80.6 F) (a bit high I think, right?)
        Humidity: 55-60%
        Substrate: wood shavings (they were recommended by the store where I got her, but I think I'm going to switch to Astroturf, I don't want her to ingest any of it; until then, I'll feed her in another enclosure)
        During the day, heat and light is provided by a 75W UV light bulb, on 10 hours a day (during the winter). During the night, a ceramic heat bulb provides heat.
        She's also got an empty log (made out of cork or something similar, manufactured to resemble a log) for a hiding place, some branches to climb on and a water bowl... Any thoughts so far? Should I change anything? What should my next improvement priorities be? And should I lower the nighttime temperature? What about the substrate?
        These are all fine, night time is fine. Boas don't really need light to survive, some enjoy them some do not. A ceramic heater is good, a radiant heat panel would be best and provide the type of heat your looking for from above the tank. There are many places to purchase RHP, but make sure you get a proportional thermostat as well. The whole thing is pricey but is a wonderful way to provide heat. If the way you have it now works than maybe don't change it, but if you asked me the best way this would be my advice.

        As Lar said make sure its not an aromatic wood such as pine or cedar.

        Originally posted by BadRed View Post
        she rubbed her jaw and head against my arm a couple of times. She shows absolutely no signs of shedding, though, could it be anything else? I've put her back and now she's sleeping on top of the log - hehe, I was happy she didn't feel like hiding anymore, at least for now.

        Oh, and I never saw her anywhere near the water...
        If she has water she will use it. Boas are active at night, you will catch her drinking. There not water buffalo they don't drink a while lot. The jaw might be a realignment thing after eating sometimes they don't get it right.

        Originally posted by BadRed View Post
        The mice she feeds on are about 7.5 cm (3 in) in length (w/o the tail ofc) and 2.5-3 cm (1-1.2 in) in diameter (a bit on the lean side for her, right? maybe that's why she gets two).

        I definitely want to switch her to frozen/freshly thawed food right away, so I bought some frozen mice which I was thinking of feeding her on Sunday or Monday (that would make 10-11 days since her last "double" meal)... But I'm really hesitant about feeding her two of them at the same meal. I'd rather switch her to rat pups or weaned rats - these would be a little bit bigger, so a single item every 7-8 days should make for a nice meal, right? What do you think? And should I still feed her the 4 mice I already bought, say one every, hmmm, 6 days? Or just throw them away and stick with the rats?

        Alright, that's it for now, thanks for taking the time to read all this!
        Definitely move her over to rats of an appropriate size. There is a sizing comparison in the guide of mice to rats and also based loosely on the size of the animal your feeding. She is a little small if she is one year, but BCC do grow slower than BCI, but in general they get a bit larger. I wouldn't worry about her size, keeping her lean is not a bad thing. Slow growing for a long life.

        Congrats you seem like a dedicated an conscientious owner....just the kind we like to see contributing to this hobby.

        Check out your fellow countryman here Welcome to H.J.Winner he has some nice morphs.

        Also, I spent some time studying in Germany prior to the EU which is what I was there studying. Where in Germany are you from?
        Last edited by nediver; 12-26-2009, 09:27 AM. Reason: typo

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My beautiful girl

          Thanks for your comments!


          nice boa and wow thats an awesome tank!
          Thanks!

          from the pics i would say bci from what i understand bcc columbians are hard to come by
          Yup, there are quite a few aspects suggesting she's in fact a BCI and not a BCC like they said... If the scale count will prove she's not a BCC I'll stop by the store and tell them politely they should double-check their information But like I said, it's of little actual importance to me what she is, in the end I just want to have the facts straight about her.




          She looks like a very pretty Colombian type Boa as you said. Much like the Pastel Boas on Jeff Ronne's website.
          Thanks I'm crazy about some sick morphs I see out there and I hope to get some of them one day, but her I wouldn't trade for any of them

          I like to use Aspen bedding/substrate. If you use wood make certain it is Aspen and not pine or definitely not cedar shavings.
          They gave me a big sack of beech wood bedding no. 8, the package says it's good for reptile tanks, bird cages, etc. Do you feed yours in a separate enclosure, then? I know it's sometimes recommended to do so, even when using, say, Astroturf... I read that the reason for this would be not to create an association between the opening of the cage and feeding time (thus risking a feeding strike towards the hand), but considering that I handle her and change her water every day, and only feed her once a week, I doubt such an association would come up. Or is there also some other reason for feeding them in a separate enclosure?

          I'm guessing by her age and size she could actually be eating sml F/T Rats. Starting her on weanling Rats for a couple weeks then moving up to sml Rats would work fine I'm sure.
          Thanks for the advice, I'm gonna do just that.

          Her name is Eva . ? . ? . . .
          Yeah, I know, kind of a weird name for a snake, but after racking my brains and combing the Internet trying to find one, a friend suggested Eva (maybe she was joking), and I liked it a lot, it seemed like a nice name - so that was it.

          How about that , my Grandmother's maiden name was Eva Marie Funk
          A German lady ha ha, I miss her pastries , Apple Kuchen / Apfelkuchen ,
          Apple pie, Molasses cookies.That was good stuff !
          Yeah, they're pretty much spoiling us here in the deserts department. Still, for many of us, I guess nothing ever beats Grandma's pies!

          I'm looking forward to better pictures
          I'll try to take some that show her real color, I'll post them soon I hope.




          The Complete Boa Constrictor its also available on Amazon and direct from the author at Cutting Edge Herps (Google it), he will sign it if you ask.
          Looks like a great resource, I'll have to get it soon, just trying to recover a bit right now as I bought everything in one big lump and it cost me a small fortune. Thanks for the tip about getting it from the author, I think I'll do just that! I bought The Boa Constrictor Manual (Advanced Vivarium Systems) and Boas (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) off Amazon.com, they're smaller compared to this one but they made for an interesting lecture nonetheless.

          The Redtailboas.com Ultimate Care Guide is very nice, I use it as a reference, it's a great resource for reliable, to-the-point information.

          These are all fine, night time is fine. Boas don't really need light to survive, some enjoy them some do not. A ceramic heater is good, a radiant heat panel would be best and provide the type of heat your looking for from above the tank. There are many places to purchase RHP, but make sure you get a proportional thermostat as well. The whole thing is pricey but is a wonderful way to provide heat. If the way you have it now works than maybe don't change it, but if you asked me the best way this would be my advice.
          Thanks, I'll try to switch to a radiant heat panel sometime in the future.

          Definitely move her over to rats of an appropriate size. There is a sizing comparison in the guide of mice to rats and also based loosely on the size of the animal your feeding. She is a little small if she is one year, but BCC do grow slower than BCI, but in general they get a bit larger. I wouldn't worry about her size, keeping her lean is not a bad thing. Slow growing for a long life.
          Yup, I'm gonna switch her to rats right away. I also suspected she's a bit small for her age, which may indicate she's a BCC after all... Or is she small even for a BCC? But just like you said, slow growing is a good thing.

          Check out your fellow countryman here Welcome to H.J.Winner he has some nice morphs.
          Nice morphs indeed, I hadn't heard about him!

          Also, I spent some time studying in Germany prior to the EU which is what I was there studying. Where in Germany are you from?
          Well, I live in Germany at the moment, but I actually come from Bucharest, Romania. Long story short, I just moved here in August this year, after deciding for a career change. I'm a psychologist and I used to work as a project manager in an NGO, working on international youth projects. In 2008 I was also a volunteer EMT in the Emergency Services and I got completely hooked, it's the thing I never knew I was missing and now I can't live without it. So I came to Germany to get my paramedic training (it's much more professional and comprehensive here than in Romania). But to answer your question, I now live in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, near Aachen, very close to the Dutch border. The great part is it's just a two-hour drive from my place to Amsterdam (I love that city)!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My beautiful girl

            Congrats on your boa its beautiful. While feeding two items at a time is ill advised I have been doing this with my snakes every other feeding and i have never had a regurge or anything. I do suggest switching her to rats as soon as possible.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My beautiful girl

              Welcome to the forum BRed...and thats a nice little girl you have there...i would have to agree with Lar and say that it is Colombian..and lean more towards the BCI look rather than a BCC.
              Ernest



              www.magikboas2011.wix.com/home Where you will find Available Boas to my Magik BBQ Sauce!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My beautiful girl

                Thanks for the welcomes and input

                I noticed she's only burrowing during the day - at night she's coiled up nicely on top of her log. So now I'm thinking maybe she's not crazy about that UV light I've set up - maybe it's too bright? I'm thinking of getting rid of it and sticking with the ceramic heater until I can get an RHP.

                About that nighttime ceramic heater - I noticed that, in fact, after 3-4 hours it gets the ambient temperature at an average of 28.5-29 C (83.3 - 84.2 F). As a result, I've changed the setting from continuous heating to a cycle of 60 minutes on, 30 minutes off. Would that work ok? Or would it cause harmful / stressful temperature variations?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My beautiful girl

                  Originally posted by BadRed View Post
                  Thanks for the welcomes and input

                  I noticed she's only burrowing during the day - at night she's coiled up nicely on top of her log. So now I'm thinking maybe she's not crazy about that UV light I've set up - maybe it's too bright? I'm thinking of getting rid of it and sticking with the ceramic heater until I can get an RHP.

                  About that nighttime ceramic heater - I noticed that, in fact, after 3-4 hours it gets the ambient temperature at an average of 28.5-29 C (83.3 - 84.2 F). As a result, I've changed the setting from continuous heating to a cycle of 60 minutes on, 30 minutes off. Would that work ok? Or would it cause harmful / stressful temperature variations?
                  My Boa burrows at night some times, i have wondered what the noise was looked at him, he pops his head up from under the substrate with one piece of bark still on his head. quite cute really .

                  The CHE stat i find best is the pulsing type, not sure if you can get one in germany but mines a Habitstat Pulse Porporstial stat Habistat: Thermostats & Heat Mats. The climate control Specialists

                  It keeps the heater always warm so the heater will last longer, it pulses charge to the heater in differant speeds (and maybe different volts) to maintain the same temp, so there isn't a great intence full heat then nothing then a great intence heat again etc etc. Its a nice constant heat from the heater, as i say it pulses at different speeds making sure the heater never gets cold so the snake never really feels a temp change from the heat source.

                  I don't have the day/night one i just turn the stat down around the right time at night and back up when i wake.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My beautiful girl

                    Looks like everything else is covered so all I will say is welcome to the forum!

                    Comment

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