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Old 12-24-16, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BRB not eating.

First off let me say Merry Christmas to everyone. Just a quick question, my 2 year old brb has been on a little bit of a hunger strike lately. Last meal was 11/22. I am not worried because my ball python used to refuse food for months in the winter, but this is the first time my brb has gone more then 2 weeks between eating. Just wanted to see if it was something fairly common in other brb's over the winter? Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 12-24-16, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Merry Christmas back.
I do not have BRBs, but in general just keep track of body weight. As long as they are not losing weight (or significant amounts) they should be fine.
Other more informed on BRBs hopefully will chime in.

And of course, what are all the stats on the noodle and enclosure? Someone will ask.
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Old 12-24-16, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Definitely double check your husbandry. Too high/low of temps, too low of humidity, too large of meals, shed cycles, other sources of stress, etc. will all contribute to a snake not eating. Breeding season could also be a cause, but I don't think that's common with rainbows. Poop, sheds, and behavior are all normal (outside of not eating)?

I have not experienced any fasts with my BRBs, but my oldest only turned 2 in Aug and he's not large enough for sexual maturity yet.
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Old 12-25-16, 05:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. Definitely look at husbandry first! Then after correcting that if need be, check the animal for illnesses or injury. Good luck..
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Old 12-25-16, 08:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Thanks for the info as always guys. I am pretty sure my husbandry is fine. Hot side is 84 and cool side 78-80 F. His last shed was on 12/12 and 1 piece. I try and keep humidity at 60%+. I am feeding him a med rat every two weeks and he was taking them fine, but now when i offer them he shys away like he is scared. I will look at reducing feeder size maybe and see if that helps. His weight is fine and I am not worried yet, but he has always been a great feeder up until this "fast".
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Old 12-25-16, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis13 View Post
Thanks for the info as always guys. I am pretty sure my husbandry is fine. Hot side is 84 and cool side 78-80 F. His last shed was on 12/12 and 1 piece. I try and keep humidity at 60%+. I am feeding him a med rat every two weeks and he was taking them fine, but now when i offer them he shys away like he is scared. I will look at reducing feeder size maybe and see if that helps. His weight is fine and I am not worried yet, but he has always been a great feeder up until this "fast".
60% is dangerously low. It should never, at any time, fall below 80%, and a constant 90%+ is best. Although they can tolerate 75% to a degree, extended periods of time this low will cause dehydration in the long term. Stabilizing the humidity will be a large step to getting him to eat reliably (if he isn't on a breeding fast).
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Old 12-25-16, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

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60% is dangerously low. It should never, at any time, fall below 80%, and a constant 90%+ is best. Although they can tolerate 75% to a degree, extended periods of time this low will cause dehydration in the long term. Stabilizing the humidity will be a large step to getting him to eat reliably (if he isn't on a breeding fast).
Thank you I do mist so I know it does increase and then decrease as the day goes on, but I will make sure that I maintain a more stable balance of higher humidity and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 12-25-16, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Some male boas will definitely go off food during breeding season no matter the species. If everything check out, thats probably the root cause.
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Old 12-25-16, 03:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

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Thank you I do mist so I know it does increase and then decrease as the day goes on, but I will make sure that I maintain a more stable balance of higher humidity and see if that makes a difference.
There's your culprit right there: misting. What sort of set up do you have? Bedding, enclosure type, etc. In the correct set up, you should never need to mist at all, misting is more like a bandaid (and a bad one at that) than a source of humidity.
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Old 12-25-16, 05:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
There's your culprit right there: misting. What sort of set up do you have? Bedding, enclosure type, etc. In the correct set up, you should never need to mist at all, misting is more like a bandaid (and a bad one at that) than a source of humidity.
He is in a 4'x2'x18" sealed wooden enclosure with cyprus much and heat tape under one end.
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Old 12-25-16, 05:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

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He is in a 4'x2'x18" sealed wooden enclosure with cyprus much and heat tape under one end.
I take it either the heat tape is inside the enclosure or you've modified the floor so the heat can get through? Heat doesn't travel through wood very easily. I have two PVC enclosures and when stacked directly on top of each other if I don't set the temps low enough in both, the top one overheats as the heat rises from the heat panel below it. I have two wooden enclosures stacked on top of each other and the bottom one doesn't affect the top one whatsoever even with both a CHE and an RHP. I never could get a UTH to heat through it so that's why I went with CHEs and RHPs in those enclosures.

I would try changing the bedding and potentially installing a heat panel in there. I've had bad luck with cypress mulch as far as humidity goes, but EcoEarth has worked absolute wonders with me. But, EcoEarth is best paired with an ambient heat source as belly heat doesn't evaporate the moisture in the bedding fast enough and it tends to mold. When I tried cypress mulch by itself it would dry out completely within a day, but EcoEarth holds its humidity for 1-2 weeks. The thicker the bedding is the longer it lasts and the more humidity it provides, I keep my bedding 1"-2" thick in my 6'x2'x3's.
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Old 12-25-16, 06:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
I take it either the heat tape is inside the enclosure or you've modified the floor so the heat can get through? Heat doesn't travel through wood very easily. I have two PVC enclosures and when stacked directly on top of each other if I don't set the temps low enough in both, the top one overheats as the heat rises from the heat panel below it. I have two wooden enclosures stacked on top of each other and the bottom one doesn't affect the top one whatsoever even with both a CHE and an RHP. I never could get a UTH to heat through it so that's why I went with CHEs and RHPs in those enclosures.

I would try changing the bedding and potentially installing a heat panel in there. I've had bad luck with cypress mulch as far as humidity goes, but EcoEarth has worked absolute wonders with me. But, EcoEarth is best paired with an ambient heat source as belly heat doesn't evaporate the moisture in the bedding fast enough and it tends to mold. When I tried cypress mulch by itself it would dry out completely within a day, but EcoEarth holds its humidity for 1-2 weeks. The thicker the bedding is the longer it lasts and the more humidity it provides, I keep my bedding 1"-2" thick in my 6'x2'x3's.
Your are correct on pretty much everything you said regarding the heat tape. I will change out the substrate because I have noticed it drying out and I will also look into the RHP. I have them in some of my other enclosures. I am not sure if that is causing the eating issue because he has been in that enclosure for 6+ mos with no eating issues, but I think your advice is spot on. Thank You!
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Old 01-01-17, 07:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

If after fixing the humidity he still wont eat then check the freshness of your rats. My brb got super picky because the mice I was giving her weren't fresh enough for her taste.
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Old 01-16-17, 02:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Well I am happy to report that after a 6 week fast my 2yr old male took a medium rat like a champ last night. I don't know if it was because my temps and humidity were more dialed in, because he realized that there would be no breeding, or just because he got hungry enough, but I am glad he is back to his old self now.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: BRB not eating.

Congrats! It could really have been anything. lol
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