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  • [Feeding Issue] Wont eat rats...?

    About a month ago my boyfriend and I drove two and a half hours to rescue a Colombian, she had been kept in a 10 gallon aquarium, wasn't let out ever, had no heat source, no water, and was being fed disease ridden prey. She had scars all along her body and a respiratory infection. The guy admitted to beating on her. She's also moody, not sure if that's typical to boas or just a sign of her mistreatment.

    Anyways, she's about 4.5' maybe 5' long, so I thought she'd be eating medium to large rats, right? But she wont accept small rats (weanlings?), medium, or large (tried large, then medium, then small), but she will eat mice. What's the deal with that? I'm considering just getting mice instead since I have two Ball Pythons that'll eat them too. But I mean...does this occur often, is there something about their scent that's more appealing than rats or something? I'm not much of a boa person, they're beautiful and everything, I just like pythons more. It's mostly my boyfriend's but he works long/late shifts so I'm usually the one doing the care for her and even if she makes me a little uncomfortable I'll still give her the best care that I can. It's been two weeks since she ate last and she's still refusing the small rats I got.

  • #2
    Re: Wont eat rats...?

    Have you tried feeding after dark like leaving it in there over night ( pre-killed) to avoid any more " scars" or sometimes I just cover the enclosure with a blanket.
    Good luck and I am sure you will get some more suggestions
    TakeCare,
    Harmon

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    • #3
      Re: Wont eat rats...?

      You can try all different tricks from kicking the humidity up a couple of days before feeding, or putting the snake and the dead or half dead rat in a bag together in the dark for a couple of hours, or even putting a little chicken broth on the rat will usually work. There are also some appetite stimulants that have worked for me in the past.

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      • #4
        Re: Wont eat rats...?

        Originally posted by SNIKTTIME View Post
        or putting the snake and the dead or half dead rat in a bag together in the dark for a couple of hours.
        I think that could be very stressful and possibly harmful to the snake and the owner.

        Mat.

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        • #5
          Re: Wont eat rats...?

          Yeah, I've tried feeding during daylight hours and then again a nighttime, it's really dry at this time of year but the humidity usually sits around 55%, she also has a big water dish she can sit herself in.

          This is my dilemma because here I am with a dead rat, she refuses it then I have nothing to do with it, she's the only large snake I have and she's in quarantine right now anyways. But I did try feeding her a mouse once and she accepted it almost immediately that's where my curiosity is coming from since she always refuses rats but accepts a mouse if I offer one, well I assume so since I tried it once.

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          • #6
            Re: Wont eat rats...?

            I ve heard on here that someone had that problem and rubbed the scent of the rat on the mouse fed it then went to the rat the next feeding somthing like that kind weeaning of the mouse going to rats.

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            • #7
              Re: Wont eat rats...?

              I was thinking of trying that...it just seemed strange that a boa of her size wasn't already used to eating rats instead of mice.

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              • #8
                Re: Wont eat rats...?

                I have a common boa that i got from a guy that treated him the same way as your snake. Well except for the beating part. But anyways he is also 4 1/2 feet long and was eating live mice when i got him. The way i got around the defensive attitude was i would place my hand in front of him several times a day just to show him that i meant no harm. You can also place a piece of your clothing in there with him. He wouldnt eat anything at all for the first few weeks. So someone suggested that i try F/T rats. Apparently the smell of those things were just to much for him and he had been munching on those ever since!

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                • #9
                  Re: Wont eat rats...?

                  IMO -- your first priority is to get it to accept food regularly every 10-14 days , wether its mice, or rats . A 5 ft Boa doen't need to eat weekly. Once it is doing that , then work on switching it to the rodent of your preference . I'd try to get it to eat regularly for 4 consecutive times , then wait for 3 weeks, and offer a rat that was scented by a mouse. --- Keep these first few meals a little smaller to be less intimidating to her . You can work on bulking her up later on.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Wont eat rats...?

                    god thats horrible how he treated her, no wonder the poor thing is snappy it will take a little while to gain her trust but im sure you will with patience and gentle handling

                    have you tried feeding her a small rat after she eats the mouse? if she stays in feeding mode after she eats the mouse this would prob work.

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