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Old 08-21-18, 07:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Another Boa Update

I've been radio silent again, as the forum has been very slow lately, but I figured I'd do an update and let everyone know the gang is still all healthy and trucking along.

I was wanting to wait until I could get Dominika's weight, but the scale I bought is faulty...I was looking on Amazon at various postage scales, but many of them had overall bad reviews for faultiness. I really like the ones that have that separated readout for the weights and controls, like this one. Does anyone have any recommendations for a scale like this under $100 that might not be faulty right out of the box? It doesn't have to have such a heavy weight limit, that's just what I normally see for this style of scale. The scale is only going to be to weigh the bigger snakes, so I see no reason to spend more than that unless it's the best way to get a semi-reliable scale.

Anyways...on to the snakes!

Tirel is doing very good, she's been moved up to medium rats every 2 weeks. I haven't weighed her in awhile, but she's getting ready to shed again so I'll get a new weight on her then. Last weight was 1,009 grams last month. I haven't measured her, but she has to be closing in on 4.5' now, as Nymeria is now exactly 4' and there's still a noticeable difference in length between the two.



Nymeria, as mentioned, hit 4' recently. Still eating small rats every 2-3 weeks. Her last weight was 827 grams just about a week ago.



Crona is getting very close to a prey size upgrade, still getting weaned rats or day old chicks every 2 weeks rn. His last weight was 455 grams, and last length was 40".



Howl hasn't been weighed in awhile, but once he poops I'll get a recent weight on him. Not much has changed with him, just his usual gorgeous self.



Dominika is also her usual self, enjoying her mix of rats, rabbits, and chickens. I have some photos and videos of her on my phone, but none on my laptop.

She is coming a long way! I can now touch her with minimal flightiness, and she will come and interact with me instead of running. I have a couple videos of her from last month when I was dampening her bedding (her enclosure is the only one still able to maintain EcoEarth without getting overly damp). I was turning over her bedding to put some moisture in it, and she came out of her hide on the opposite end to come sniff the bedding, and then my fingers. She ended up sitting on top of the pile and digging her nose in it. So, I moved to the other end to wet that so I wouldn't have to take her out. She then proceeded to come investigate me on that side, too. XD When I was done, she stayed in her pile nosing around for a few more hours before retiring to her hide again.

She's taken a lot of trust building to get to this point. I've all but eliminated handling, and any time I do need to take her out, I try to gain her trust first. I touch her, let her sniff me, and if she isn't too flighty when I touch her, I take her out. If she gets worked up, I try my best to work around her. There have only been a few times I've had to take her out despite her wishes. I believe this is why I've had a sudden increase in our relationship the past few months. She also appreciates having a jungle gym to climb on vs being on the floor or ground, and will be less flighty and anxious if she can climb.

Cloud is staying pretty much the same as well, he continues to lighten up, but is starting to move sluggish and his bone popping issues persist. His ribs also have been misshapen in some areas due to a cat attack as a baby, and those are getting bigger and more obvious, where I used to only be able to feel them. I'm wondering if it's some sort of reptile arthritis? The vets I've visited so far have no idea what's up, but I think I've found a promising vet's office, and I'll see if maybe I can get him in for them to see him. The X-rays I had done on him last year didn't show anything worrisome to the vet at the time, but I'll have him send the X-rays to the new vet, it's too bad I don't have any from when he was a baby.

Good news is, I'm getting new AP cages in soon, hopefully no later than end of next month (ordered them in July). Cloud will have to sacrifice a bit of floor length and height, and River a bit of height, but at least this way I'll be able to move the two of them with me so I can keep an eye on them and give them some better care.

As a side note, has anyone else been experiencing an abnormally humid summer? It's been absolutely ridiculous this year here in NC. Weather channel is quoting about 85%+ humidity, and I can believe it! I've had to switch to aspen because even bone-dry EcoEarth was causing the walls to drip with condensation. Even with aspen, it gets a little damp in the mornings when it's cool. It's also been almost impossible to go this summer without an A/C as the heat has often been 95F. The trailer is insulated quite well, which means it's not quite as awful indoors, and is a sweet relief as I'm used to very poorly-insulated places that were a pain to heat in the winter and likely would feel like an oven in this heat.
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Old 08-21-18, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

Glad to hear the critters are all doing well BSG. They're looking great too. I've acquired 2 boas recently (BCI & BCO) and I'm still getting used to them. I'm in GA and it's been really humid here too. I think I'll have to drill some more holes in my QT tubs. They've been running about 70% humidity lately.
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Old 08-21-18, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

Your snakes are beautiful BSG! I live in west central Florida. Humidity here has been our usual steamy and damp. Heat index seem to have been a bit lower though.
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Old 08-22-18, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
Glad to hear the critters are all doing well BSG. They're looking great too. I've acquired 2 boas recently (BCI & BCO) and I'm still getting used to them. I'm in GA and it's been really humid here too. I think I'll have to drill some more holes in my QT tubs. They've been running about 70% humidity lately.
Thanks! After losing all my rainbows in a 2 year span, it's been a bit hard, but I'm glad no one else seems affected. Tirel gave me a scare recently when she was sleeping oddly: she was partly buried under her aspen with her head hidden. I thought for sure she was dead, she didn't even react when I slid open her door. Luckily, when I poked her she jumped like a startled cat and then spent the next few hours patiently waiting for food. lmao

Boas are definitely different animals. I started out with my bp Bud as a kid, but wasn't very impressed. (I still love him though, he's gonna be 12 years this year!) Once I got Cloud, that really ignited my passion for snakes, and I currently have more boas than anything. lol

How's your BCO's attitude? I hear many are snappy.

70% is about what I like (for my boas anyways), but once the walls start dripping it's a little ridiculous. Usually the humidity outside the enclosures is low enough the extra humidity escapes without building up, too. :/

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Your snakes are beautiful BSG! I live in west central Florida. Humidity here has been our usual steamy and damp. Heat index seem to have been a bit lower though.
Thanks!

Lucky you. lol It's at least 10 degrees hotter than it normally is here this year. Summer started late, and may be ending early...
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Old 08-23-18, 01:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

all your boas are looking great BSG and im glad all your snakes are doing well.

it has been really quite lately on here
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Old 08-23-18, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

@ BSG- Yours and Rich's boas were really big influences in my decision to keep them so thanks for that .The BCO isn't snappy but she does huff and puff quite a bit. I've tried one f/t feeding last week which she refused. She was being fed live at the breeder's place. I'm going to try f/t one more time and if she doesn't take I'll get a live feeder. The BCI on the other hand is really mellow and has eaten f/t twice already.




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Old 08-24-18, 05:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

For some reason, the "huffing and puffing" concept has me worried. Plus, I've never seen a snake with its mouth open while being held before. Though since you know Xena better than me, perhaps I shouldn't be very concerned.
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Old 08-24-18, 05:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

@ CWB- No need for concern lots of snakes will hiss as a defense mechanism. Its pretty common. She usually calms down after a couple of minutes.
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Old 08-24-18, 07:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

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Originally Posted by richardhind View Post
all your boas are looking great BSG and im glad all your snakes are doing well.

it has been really quite lately on here
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
@ BSG- Yours and Rich's boas were really big influences in my decision to keep them so thanks for that .The BCO isn't snappy but she does huff and puff quite a bit. I've tried one f/t feeding last week which she refused. She was being fed live at the breeder's place. I'm going to try f/t one more time and if she doesn't take I'll get a live feeder. The BCI on the other hand is really mellow and has eaten f/t twice already.




I'm always glad to hear when other keepers "turn to the dark side." haha Glad my boas were an inspiration. :P

Classic attitude at least, hopefully she takes f/t for you soon. Sometimes the nervous ones can be a bit difficult on that front.

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For some reason, the "huffing and puffing" concept has me worried. Plus, I've never seen a snake with its mouth open while being held before. Though since you know Xena better than me, perhaps I shouldn't be very concerned.
Some boas are just hissers, the mouth is open because she's hissing. My little Tirel also came to me as a hisser. XD A little over 2 years later, and she's quite docile, even in shed. Crona is still a bit snappy at times, but he's a lot more accommodating now that he's over 2 years old.

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Old 11-25-18, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

I haven't taken any lengths recently, but here are some updates.

First off, the biggest update is that Cloud and River finally have their temporary cages. Their old wooden ones got destroyed after our trailer was cut up by a vandalizer, so they've been hanging out in these tiny 100+ qt tubs until I could get something in. I plan on building River something bigger at some point, but for now she can at least move around and escape her waste. I was able to salvage the panels and CHEs, but idk if I'll keep the CHEs yet. Because of funds, and River's current size/growth rate, I had to downsize Cloud to a 4'x2'x1', but River's cage is the same floor space as her old one, just a foot shorter (so 6'x2'x2').

Both Cloud and River went into shed immediately after moving into their new cages.





Tirel last weighed in at 1,168 grams last month. Still eating medium rats, and has been getting more active as of late. Potentially due to being able to shut the door now that all the cat stuff is out of the room.





Nymeria broke 1,000 grams recently, but I forgot to record when. Last weight recorded was 927 grams beginning of last month. Still eating small rats, but I may bump her in a feeding or two.



Last weight on Crona was 518 grams last month, I'm alternating weaned and small rats to finish off the last of his weaneds, but he's pretty much officially on smalls now.



I still haven't found a scale to weight Cloud and Dominika, but I'll probably just go ahead and get one of those postage scales I was looking at and hope for the best.

Had her out re-dampen her EcoEarth, and attempt to weigh her. Unfortunately, the scale was maxed out. Even Cloud maxed it out. The scale I have maxes at 11 lbs, but includes the tared weight, so I need to find something bigger.



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Old 11-25-18, 05:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

A visual representation of Cloud over the past 2 years or so.

Back in 2015 I moved into the really gross trailer I used to live in. After about a year there, I started to notice he was losing mass, despite previously maintaining weight the couple years prior.

Dec 15, 3 months after moving into the trailer, still normal body tone.



March 2016, around the time I started worrying he was losing body tone, but he still looked a good weight.



Then all of a sudden in Dec 2016, he shed and darkened up considerably, and looked like he got noticeably thinner, enough I was now worried.

During shed:



Immediately after shed:



He's now been out of the trailer for almost a year, and is slowly starting to look like he's returning to normal. I haven't been able to weigh him, but he was at one point during that period in time at 8 lbs, when he's normally 8.5-9 lbs.

He has also been having this weird bone popping issue that has stumped every vet so far. When you pick him up, it's just like cracking your knuckles or stretching and popping your back, exactly the same. I've had vets think maybe it was his stomach gurgling, or his lung moving air when I describe it, but once they have it on hand they realize I do literally mean what I'm saying. None of my other snakes do this, and I feel like the popping is getting quieter and less frequent, but hopefully that isn't just wishful thinking.

Him now:









Although he does have a bit of a crest on the front half of his body, his spine isn't really visible, and you can't see the individual vertebrae. I feel like he's getting close to his normal weight again, but I'd like to be able to weigh him again.

I was feeding him weekly for awhile, but he's mostly been eating like normal, and I've been adding chickens to his diet of rats and rabbits. Idk if feeding him more is what's helping, the added variety, or just time away from the trailer. He hasn't been putting on weight very quickly, even when I was feeding weekly, but he has seemed to at least be gaining mass visually. The X-ray I had done on him early this year showed he had normal fat deposits and feces, and the vet said he thought Cloud was still at a healthy weight. I just don't really know what could have caused these changes. Most of the snakes have appeared to remain healthy, but at least 3 of the living snakes showed issues with weight loss which have pretty much fixed on their own (minimal medication in the case of River). So this has been some sort of weird invisible thing I haven't been able to have diagnosed or realistically treated. :/

Either way, maybe this will help visually map out his progress, and give me something to fall back on later when I need to, or get worried. XD
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Old 11-25-18, 05:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

Those are nice photos. It's good to see one of the snakes get a food upgrade.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

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Those are nice photos. It's good to see one of the snakes get a food upgrade.
Yeah they've been growing a lot, even without any real changes in their diet. Crona and Nymeria are the two right at the edge of moving up, I just haven't been alternating Nymeria because Howl will eat the leftover smalls, and I don't have anyone to eat Crona's weaned rats.
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Old 11-29-18, 07:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Another Boa Update

really glad everyones settled nicely bsg, all looking great
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