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Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

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  • [General Care] Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

    HELP! !!!!
    iv had my rosy for over 10 months now ... he still wont eat , i have tired everything an me , my vet , and the breeder are STUMPED !!!! he has not lost any weight and has shed twice .. his temp , enclosure, substrate, an all are like it supposed to be .. but he will not eat ..

  • #2
    Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

    Hello...I keep rosy fact, I bred the ones I have (& many others) some years ago. How old is your rosy? You mentioned the breeder so I assume yours is a yearling? Did he have a strong (or ANY?)
    feeding record when you got him? I never sold any until they fed about 10 times...most of mine were feisty about eating (in fact, some I HAD to feed before their first shed so they'd quit biting, lol) but I've seen the opposite too.

    One thing that makes a difference (IMO) is inbreeding, which many sellers do. My rosies came from w/c rescued snakes, totally un-related, & they knew how to survive. The one year I tried breeding a c/b pair of Mexican rosy boas
    that I'd gotten from a breeder, they produced weak babies that fed extremely poorly. I never put them together again...I sold the adults as pets. As captive breeders, we often keep alive snakes that do NOT survive in the wild, out
    of kindness...but if they go on to reproduce, you get problems. I cannot say for SURE that IS the issue with your snake lets explore some other possibilities too?

    You mentioned his housing (temps etc) are correct, but:
    Consider where his cage is located...high traffic area in your house? noisy? (snakes feel bass notes from stereo & stresses them) other pets around? (snakes can smell you keep any other snakes, like kingsnakes?)
    How often do you handle this snake? And is there any one else handling him in your household? Did he EVER eat for you? even once? Is there a normal photoperiod where his cage is? (ie. normal day & night cycles?)

    What are you feeding him? An unstressed & hungry rosy boa may initially accept frozen-thawed...but many rosies really prefer live pinkies/fuzzies or even rat pinks/fuzzies. Have you tried?
    Do you feed him at night? (you should) Does he have PLENTY of hiding places in his cage? One thing they love is burrowing in CAREFRESH substrate...try giving him 3" deep in his cage. Also, hide boxes should be not too much
    bigger than he is, curled up...with a small doorway to feel secure.

    How are you offering his food? do you have & use feeding tongs? ever try the slight wiggle of the prey? or a light "tap on the shoulder" so he turns & grabs it? (your breeder should know & have told you this too, but
    some also tell you they're on frozen-thawed when they aren't...ahem!) The reason that I, as a rosy boa breeder for years, never sold them until they fed EASILY & had fed at least 10 times for me, was because
    I know they can be inconsistent feeders at all honestly, I don't think most breeders are that meticulous though. Another thing that matters big-time is whether the snake was shipped to you...was he?
    Shipping is stressful and often subjects the snakes to cold temps that may inspire the snake to try to hibernate by the time you get him.

    Snakes can & do go a long time without eating...but trust me, he'll be losing wt. soon. Many ppl like rosy boas as beginner snakes since they are small, cute & docile. However, they can be "different" to feed...less
    predictable...and they TEND to go off feed this time of year ANYWAY. One option that may work: since you KNOW he has NO food in his stomach, you might try a hibernation for him now. That will slow his metabolism
    down (so he isn't starving) and may prompt a strong desire to eat after wards. Unless the other questions I asked above are clearly the issues to address, hibernation is what I'd recommend right now, since at this
    point you are also fighting his good INSTINCTS to not eat; wild snakes that get caught with food in their stomach when it's too cold to digest can die, as it rots just like food in your refrigerator does. Trust me, snakes
    KNOW it's winter, even though they live indoors with us.

    Hibernate: Normal cage or a smaller one if the regular one won't fit: Needs to be dark and about 50-58*...he must have a water bowl (they wake & drink...our well-heated houses,are dehydrating). Make sure that
    no ants or other things (pets?) can get to him and don't look in (briefly!) more than once/week to change water...never touch or handle him during that time. NOTE: Do NOT do this abruptly, but gradually lower his cage
    temps & lights over about 2-3 weeks. *Never hibernate a snake that has ANY symptoms of whistling when they breathe-R.I.- but since you said the vet found nothing, it should be ok.* Hibernate him for about
    2 months or a bit longer (esp. if it's cold where you are...snakes sense the drafts in our houses & the reduced light of winter) and then bring him out just as gradually as he went in, gradually increasing his cage temps.

    Then try offering food of proper size for him (a live pinky or fuzzy-eyes closed-) but be careful not to scare him with it. One way to do this is to just put a small steep-sided bowl into the deep Carefresh (so the rim is
    just above the Carefresh) and leave the fuzzy in the bowl overnight for him to find on his own. Check in the morning. Assume he is shy about you watching him or moving the prey too much...easy mistake to make.
    Some snakes (ball pythons too) feel 'tougher' when they can pounce on their prey from above.

    Any questions, just ask...& good luck!!! This really should get easier...

    PS- In case no one ever told you...& FOR BEST RESULTS: Never handle a new snake until it has easily fed for you 2 or 3 them time to settle in is very important to their feeding response. Some
    snakes are more 'forgiving' about this than others, but you won't know until it's too late. So with normal feeding intervals of a week (for a hatchling/neonate) that means you would not be trying to handle it
    for 3 to 4 weeks after it comes home...since you also should avoid feeding for the first week so they can settle in, and you don't want to handle right after they've fed either. So figure a month of hands-off.


    • #3
      Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

      i have tryed to feed him every other week , and iv tryed pinkies or small fussies live and prekilled , when i got him i did not handle him for about 2weeks then tryed to feed him an that is the only time i try and handle him and its very minimal , iv tryed feeding him in and out of his tank at naight mostly ,
      the breeder stated he had a rele strong feeding respone , and he is in my bed room in a corner nook and it is very very low traffic area, i have not tryed putting him into hibernation yet ,
      and my Fiances Dumerlies boa is doing the same thing
      my 2 yr old red tail has always acceted food lol


      • #4
        Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

        Never feed a rosy boa "outside" his tank...that requires handling him, and that can easily interrupt his interest in food. It's not "minimal" to him, you know.

        So no real 'feeding record' came with him...just the breeder's glowing recommendation? Wish I had a dollar for every.... (I must be old-fashioned, supplying feeding records...what was I thinking? LOL)


        • #5
          Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

          no real feeding record , and the only reason i bought from him was i did my research and contacted ppl who had purched from him (35 ppl to be excact ) an non of them have had any issues.
          and he was very informative , till i started having feeding issues an now he wont even respond.


          • #6
            Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

            im almost to the point(for his sake ) i woudl give him to some one who know more about the breed than i , cuz im not gonna let him just sit and starve to death . hes a Ghost San Felipe rosey


            • #7
              Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

              Well I'd suspect a fair amount of inbreeding then, as he's a 'Ghost San Felipe'....and I doubt this is "new" to the breeder you got him from. (sorry) There's nothing more frustrating than a snake that won't eat...

              HOWEVER: either find him an experienced home to give him to (what state are you in?) or try the hibernation I suggested below. For many desert snakes born late in the year, it is normal for them in the wild
              to not eat prior to their first winter...then come out of hibernation 'loaded for bear' (as well as looking for a gf). Hibernation is nature's way so they don't starve: their metabolism drops & they conserve energy,
              whereas by keeping him warm, he WILL starve.

              Does he cruise the cage a lot? Does he seem active or lethargic? (I am betting he is restless???) But, if he seems weak*, the other option is to try a (thick liquid) tube-feed (with vitamins) and/or a vitamin B shot
              from the vet that may perk him up. *Some snakes lose interest in food when they haven't eaten in too a patient in the hospital without an I.V.- they need some nutrition to feel GOOD enough to eat....
              If that seems to be the case (if he is weak) I can further advise you...


              • #8
                Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

                I'm in Louisiana but I'm in Arkansas almost every weekend, an he hides alot he don't come out much at all


                • #9
                  Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

                  Originally posted by Donnie2000 View Post
                  ....he hides alot he don't come out much at all
                  How discouraging for you. Is he hiding on the warm side of his cage? or on the cool side? (he may be TRYING to hibernate?)

                  What did your vet try? Anything? -like a Vit B injection? An oral dose of Flagyl might work to stimulate his appetite too.


                  • #10
                    Re: Help !!!!!! Fedding issue with rosey boa !!

                    Originally posted by Donnie2000 View Post
                    I'm in Louisiana but I'm in Arkansas almost every weekend, an he hides alot he don't come out much at all
                    Have you tried to locate a reptile rescue to take him? I don't know much about them, other than their existence, but there is a Reptile Rescue Center in Little Rock, Janna @ 501-773-1211, and I do
                    know there is at least one good reptile vet in that area, if that helps any?

                    I wouldn't mind helping you but I'm in the far northern portion of AR...and my small house keeps shrinking (no good space for another cage att). I do wish you luck...sadly, not all pets are easy or's
                    our responsibility either way to make the best of it. Just don't wait too long...please.