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Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

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  • [Feeding Issue] Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

    Hello Everyone,

    i am new to this forum and have a quick question, when feeding my new baby boa i put her in a feeding box so she dosn't associate my hand with food when i pick her out of her viv. This has worked perfectly with my Ball python. The problem occurs when getting the boa (suki) out of the feeding box and putting suki back in her viv. My Ball python is perfect and knows the difference between my hand and a rat so i can pick her out no problem what so ever, but my little boa goes mental and strikes at anything that goes near the box let alone inside even after she has eaten. This makes it obviously difficult for me to remove her from the feeding box so im using a snake hook at the moment as its nicer for me and her. saves me unwravelling her from my hand. Do you think she will grow out of this once she learn my hand is definately not food she is like 3-4 months old i lost count or should i just feed her in the viv??

    Thanks

    Billy

  • #2
    Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

    It's not necessary. I recommend using tongs or hemostats to feed the boa in its enclosure.


    Tim

    http://www.facebook.com/BoidsOhio?bookmark_t=page


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    • #3
      Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

      You do not have to feed your boas in another enclosure. If you leave her in her cage to feed her you don't have to worry about moving her after she eats. My boas are the same. When they eat, they will be in feeding mode the whole day and strike at anything. I used to feed them in a seperate cage, but found that I is safer to leave them in their homes

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      • #4
        Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

        Agreed with the rest of the responses. It seems that the feeding box idea was/is an old practice and for the most part people feed in the enclosure now. I have found that the feeding response in the cage is usually due to the animal smelling food that has been thawed or brought into the house, then they are in food mode in their cage. On a typical day with no food present they are curious when the cage opens but are quick to realize that it is not feeding time, typical strikes at this point are a defensive strike and there is a definite difference between a feeding strike and a defensive strike. Boas tend to stay in food mode for a while, like [MENTION=19556]ElNino95[/MENTION] said, mine also stay in that mode for the remainder of the day and anything moving is fair game for a strike. This is where the feeding box is an issue. Yeah with a small snake, this is not that big of a deal, but an animal of size in feed mode can become quite a handful. If they are in their cage, its easy, close the door and they will typically reside to the heat and begin the couch potato mode. Not to mention, if a snake is upset after a feed and is trying to strike out and then you have to wrangle it up and force it back in the cage, this CAN be enough of an upset to bring on a regurgitated food item, not always but CAN. I am pretty confident in saying that I think the "norm" nowadays is to just feed in their enclosure, at least from what I have observed. Hope tis gives you a little insight!

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        • #5
          Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

          I think the main thing is to feed as many hands as possible so your boa just finally gets SICK of them & loses interest, LOL! (just kidding!...I couldn't help myself)

          Seriously...Just feed your snake IN the cage...it's the best way & safer in the long run (when she gets much bigger). Most boas have BIG appetites...but there are ways to "tell them" it's not feeding time and for you
          to totally avoid "feeding mistake" bites.

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          • #6
            Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

            What are some ways to let your snake know that it isn't feeding time when you open the cage?

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            • #7
              Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

              Originally posted by JackTar View Post
              What are some ways to let your snake know that it isn't feeding time when you open the cage?
              Many here like to use "hook training"...that is, they use a snake hook just to gently touch their snake (rather than risking their hand when unsure what the boa is thinking); the boa will associate that with being handled (if you only do that before you handle them, never when you're going to feed).

              You can use your scent (assuming you have NOT touched their food): either use a small towel or your worn shirt to dangle in & touch the snake with (when NOT feeding), or with some snakes, you can just blow air across your hand in their direction to give them your scent (watch that they "get it" by flicking their tongue...their sense of smell is quite excellent).

              You can also use a gentle spray of water to their face when they are clearly "coming after food" to help re-focus their train of thought.

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              • #8
                Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

                Copied from a post I made on Boa Constrictor Keepers that was turned into an Admin post and made into a file for the group...

                Feeding OUTSIDE your snake’s enclosure is not a good idea.

                What matters are facts that aren't conjecture or opinion, but can be proven.

                What's proven then?

                1) Feeding outside of the enclosure causes stress to the animal. You are unnecessarily moving an animal after consuming a meal. This can and often will cause the animal to regurgitate. Regurgitating purges the animal’s system of the necessary and beneficial bacteria and enzymes necessary to survive. Repeated regurges, or meals and regurges too close together, will eventually kill the animal. This is a scientific fact about the animals.

                2) When boas sense food they go into "food mode" which is essentially an instinctual heightened awareness brought on by the smell, heat, or sight of a prey item. When snakes are in this "feed mode" they are much more likely to bite. It is not because they are temperamentally aggressive, they are just instinctually on the hunt for food. Moving a snake in this "feeding mode" can make a snake more dangerous to move. This is obvious. When a predator is hungry, and looking to eat, it goes without saying that the chances of biting increase. Obviously if the snake is being placed in a "feeding box" and they are taking food, they are in "food mode." Having to move the snake after a meal lends yourself to being bitten or bitten and constricted which is another unnecessary risk of feeding outside of the enclosure.

                Feeding outside the enclosure in a separate feeding box presents these risks. No matter what your opinion is regarding cage aggression, substrate ingestion, or any other “pro” to moving your snake, you cannot debate these facts. They are very real facts and very real risks.

                Feeding inside your snake’s home enclosure eliminates these risks. And to refute the most commonly used arguments for moving your snake, let me say this: Cage aggression has been shown numerous times to be a myth. Ingesting substrate is a minimal risk at best. Snakes are designed to ingest a certain amount of debris without issue. Yes, they can handle it. No one washes off their prey in the wild.

                The following picture has been used many times to illustrate the concept of moving a snake in feeding mode. While it may not be dangerous with your 6 month old baby boa, the concept should be recognized for all animals so, as they grow, you don't get caught in a dangerous bad habit. Tell me that moving a snake in feed mode isn't a bad idea. Try moving this girl in feed mode and then tell me if you think it’s safe...

                ~ Scott McKinnon

                That should cover the topic pretty well lol

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                • #9
                  Re: Should i use a feeding box? My baby boa wants to strangle my hand!

                  Thanks for your responses guys. I recently fed my boa in her viv with no issues at all and have also handled her a few days post feeding with no issues. Thanks again.

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