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  • [Feeding Issue] Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

    So about six weeks ago I got two baby Blood boas. Much to my chagrin they have yet to eat for me. According to the breeder they ate three times for him before shipping, they were about a month old when he shipped them and they were eating live hoppers. They're currently in "shoebox" sized tubs. Warm spot is about 88 degrees cool side is 78-80, humidity around 65-70%, I put a hide in there for them but they mostly just burrow into the shavings. Same setup as my 2015 litter. I left them alone for two weeks before offering them a meal, and have continued to leave them alone and offer them a meal once a week. I thought maybe it was because I was offering rat pups not mice hoppers so I've switched over to mouse hoppers (also tried mouse fuzzies). They show absolutely no interest, never strike or anything. At this point it's been almost two months since they've eaten so I'm starting to get worried.

    Unfortunately getting live feeders is going to be difficult, the local chain pet stores only sell adult mice. There aren't any rodent breeders in my area, I know of a few in Connecticut and New Hampshire so I'm planning on contacting them this week to see if I can pick up some live hoppers from them. Unfortunately this means a 4-6 hour round trip drive for me. I've actually never had to feed live in two decades I've been keeping reptiles so I find this incredibly frustrating. It doesn't look like they've lost any weight but they're pretty small anyway so it's hard to tell. At this point I just want to get them to eat something : /

    So what's the longest you've ever had a baby boa go without eating?
    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
    www.outworldreptiles.com

  • #2
    Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

    How warm do you get the F/T feeders? A google search says that normal mice body temp is 98.4°F. Maybe they are expecting something closer to that? I honestly have no idea. I was just throwing out an idea.

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    • #3
      Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

      Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
      How warm do you get the F/T feeders? A google search says that normal mice body temp is 98.4°F. Maybe they are expecting something closer to that? I honestly have no idea. I was just throwing out an idea.
      Yeah I've been heating them up to 98-99 degrees. Still nothing. They show absolutely zero interest : /

      I've never tried the chicken broth method before because that just always seemed silly to me...but maybe I'll try it before making the 5 hour drive, lol.
      “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
      www.outworldreptiles.com

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      • #4
        Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

        If it gets them into feeding mode I don't see why not. I've also heard of the nutrients in a tube used for young ball pythons who refused to eat as a last case scenario just so that they don't die. I couldn't find them online.

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        • #5
          Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

          No experience with "blood boas" but had more than my share of fussy eaters...never have I taken the temperature of any warmed feeders, and I doubt that it's that critical. I'd look for other issues...assuming it's not
          privacy/habitat/temps, it's likely that the food you're offering isn't "the same". It's best to stick with whatever they ate successfully before (even live, as needed) & worry about switching later. That said, I know how
          badly you want to see your new babies eat but they shouldn't be in trouble for some months...and it sounds as if you're doing things correctly otherwise...just hang in there.

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          • #6
            Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

            Well this may make some people cringe and/or start an argument but I have had babies go that long without eating and I actually started assist feeding them. It took several times of doing this before they started eating on their own but it did work and if done carefully, it won't hurt the boa.

            A friend of mine had babies around the same time I did, he refused to assist feed, saying that if they didn't eat, they weren't meant to. We both tried every method in the book and I finally decided to assist. My babies lived and thrived and to this day are still doing very well and have better than normal appetites. My friend lost every single baby.

            It's your decision, assist feeding isn't for everyone, I was terrified to do it but did not want to lose any babies. Let us know how they progress please and good luck.
            http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

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            • #7
              Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

              Originally posted by zamora View Post
              I actually started assist feeding them.
              I have done this with one boa and only had to two times then it started feeding on its own. Out of my 2015 litter there were two that went 6 weeks plus before they started eating. I think they will start up again soon.

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              • #8
                Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                The only thing with assist feeding that I can think of is I would be concerned about the snake getting too stressed and regurgitating. I guess it depends on the snake's attitude.

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                • #9
                  Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                  I think I'm going to try one more feeding on Wednesday. Then assuming that's a failure, drive up to New Hampshire to get some live hoppers. If they don't eat those then I may try assisted an assisted feeding the following week. Argh.
                  “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
                  www.outworldreptiles.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                    Originally posted by zamora View Post
                    Well this may make some people cringe and/or start an argument but I have had babies go that long without eating and I actually started assist feeding them. It took several times of doing this before they started eating on their own but it did work and if done carefully, it won't hurt the boa.

                    A friend of mine had babies around the same time I did, he refused to assist feed, saying that if they didn't eat, they weren't meant to. We both tried every method in the book and I finally decided to assist. My babies lived and thrived and to this day are still doing very well and have better than normal appetites. My friend lost every single baby.

                    It's your decision, assist feeding isn't for everyone, I was terrified to do it but did not want to lose any babies. Let us know how they progress please and good luck.
                    I "sort of agree" with those who say "if they don't eat, it's nature's way..." but that said, I do all I can with snakes under my roof...only I have way more luck with 'tube-feeding' (using Gerber's chicken babyfood,
                    slightly thinned w/ water); it's quite gentle if you do it right, though the inexperienced person could apply too much force with either tube or assist-feeding, so I guess it's just my preferred skill. I did try "assist"
                    feeding a few times in my early snake-keeping days...it seemed rougher on the snake than tube-feeding...the feeding tube is lubricated & nowhere near the diameter of what they can swallow easily.

                    I've seen that little bit of easily-digested food serve to "wake up" a snake's natural appetite. What happens is they get too low on energy to feel hungry, so they just spiral downwards & die...the same
                    as we would in a hospital without the use of I.V. fluids to keep us going until our appetite returns. In any event, I wouldn't suggest that you try either tube or assist feeds until you have exhausted trying
                    to feed with real feeders, yes get the live if that's what he took before! These are not "spoiled children" but snakes...you have to work with their instincts & some just take longer than others to adapt.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                      I'm not opposed to feeding live when necessary the problem is I don't have anywhere to get live feeders. There were a couple vendors at the last expo I was at but I don't have their contact information and only one is listed on the expo's website and they're 8 hours away : /


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
                      www.outworldreptiles.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                        There's GOT to be someone near enough to you...ever try a free 'want' ad? or networking...call the nearest zoo, exotic vet, herp club, etc. I don't do Facebook, but many ppl have luck with that too.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                          I've reached out to a few people that I met at the expo, they're all in NY. I think I found someone in Connecticut that's about 3 hours away. So far that's the closest I've found.


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                          “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
                          www.outworldreptiles.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                            Originally posted by Zaphod42 View Post
                            I've reached out to a few people that I met at the expo, they're all in NY. I think I found someone in Connecticut that's about 3 hours away. So far that's the closest I've found.


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                            New England Herpetological Society is pretty close to you, I think? They are in Weymouth MA.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Longest you've gone without a baby boa eating?

                              Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                              New England Herpetological Society is pretty close to you, I think? They are in Weymouth MA.
                              Fairly close. I actually sent them an email earlier today but I haven't heard back yet. For some reason Connecticut and NY seem to have the most active reptile communities. I've gone to the Massachusetts Reptile Expo and the New England Reptile Expo and there are never that many folks from MA, I haven't met any in the Boston area. I'm all alone.
                              “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
                              www.outworldreptiles.com

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