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Old 05-18-17, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to prevent my boas breeding

Hi,

I've just picked up a pair of lovely hog island boas, one male, one female. They bred with their previous owner and had 19 babies! I do not want to breed them, but equally I don't want to separate them any more than is necessary as they have lived together their entire lives and seem perfectly happy interacting.

So what I'm looking for ideally is a way to prevent them breeding without having to physically separate them. I realise this may be an impossible ask so if it is do they give any sign of being 'in season' as such that I can read and take steps to keep them apart, and further signs that it's safe to put them together again.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-17, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

The only way to avoid them breeding is to separate them. This is not a social species and keeping them together does them no favour. What you may see as interacting could be in reality competition in a non-agressive way for space between them.

Pairings are done mid to late winter and some breeders will create a night drop to cycle their females into breeding mode, but be aware that it's not necessity to do so and boas will breed at any time of the year. For the health and well-being of your animals, please separate them.
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Old 05-19-17, 06:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

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The only way to avoid them breeding is to separate them. This is not a social species and keeping them together does them no favour. What you may see as interacting could be in reality competition in a non-agressive way for space between them.

Pairings are done mid to late winter and some breeders will create a night drop to cycle their females into breeding mode, but be aware that it's not necessity to do so and boas will breed at any time of the year. For the health and well-being of your animals, please separate them.
Thank you. I will split the viv into two vertical layers (it's a large viv - over 6 feet), and they can have a floor each. I had no idea that they might not like being together, and the previous owner asked me specifically to keep them as a pair!
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Old 05-19-17, 08:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

I like the idea of keeping them in a divided enclosure. Otherwise there's no way to stop nature from taking it's course.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

How high is the enclosure that you're dividing? My only concern is how you'd heat both levels. Unless it is very high a ceramic would be out and putting a heat mat inside an enclosure - particularly for a heavier bodied snake - isn't ideal.

Best solution would be a second viv to be honest.
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Old 05-20-17, 02:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

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How high is the enclosure that you're dividing? My only concern is how you'd heat both levels. Unless it is very high a ceramic would be out and putting a heat mat inside an enclosure - particularly for a heavier bodied snake - isn't ideal.

Best solution would be a second viv to be honest.
It's 2 feet high, so they'd have a foot of height each. Do you think that would be enough? They show no interest at all in climbing the half a tree that's in there now.
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Old 05-20-17, 06:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

How are you going to heat both levels?
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Old 05-20-17, 09:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

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How are you going to heat both levels?
The heater (ceramic bulb type) is mounted just under half way up the wall at one end of the viv. I've created a dividing floor out of marine ply, and vented the 'hot' end where the heater is with 20 mm holes. I'm working on some beading to stop the substrate falling through the hole. I've also place smaller holes long the edges and at the cold end, the idea being convection will naturally carry the heat up and around, ensuring both 'floors' maintain the same gradient as the open viv does now.

Any thoughts on why this might not work, and also if 1ft of height is enough for each snake?

Cheers.
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Old 05-20-17, 10:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

Personally I'd want more height for a boa - others will disagree. I like 2' of height at least for any adult snake (except maybe python curtus sp. ), more of course for arboreal species.

As I say that's just me though. I like the height a) to provide climbing opportunities and b) it makes setting up heat and UV lighting much easier. Can fit bigger plants in too .
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Old 05-20-17, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

I agree with danny that more height would be nice. Seems all terrestrial snakes will climb when given the chance, now their abilities might be limited. Personally I like 16" cages for things like boas. Gives you enough to play with a large branch and it's climbing to them. Admittedly my BP is in a 11" tall cage but still has a large branch he can climb onto.

Top cage is BP you can see the branch
middle King
bottom BCI

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Old 05-20-17, 12:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

This can be a temporary solution then until I can afford a similar high quality viv setup to duplicate my current one. You mentioned UV. I don't have that. Can you recommend a setup and how long/when to use it please?
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Old 05-20-17, 12:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

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This can be a temporary solution then until I can afford a similar high quality viv setup to duplicate my current one. You mentioned UV. I don't have that. Can you recommend a setup and how long/when to use it please?
Hotly debated on here as to whether you need it. Personally I provide it for all my snakes (bar a true albino), others will say its not needed.

I find my Boa basking under hers a few hours a day though.

I wouldn't necessarily be so keen on fitting it whilst they only have the 12" of height - means they are very close to it most of the time.

In a 2' high, 6' long viv I'd put a 30W T8 10% uvb bulb in for a boa. No reflector, plenty of shade and completely dark hides in both the warm and cold ends at least. I'd mount it so it was closer to the warm end as well, not in the centre of the viv. Allows for photoregulation much like they thermoregulate.
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Old 05-20-17, 12:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

Recent lengthy and in depth debate re the provision of uv for snakes

Need Information please
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Old 05-20-17, 01:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: How to prevent my boas breeding

Many thanks, I'll take a look.
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