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Old 03-10-18, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Another week, another snuggle buddy.

When I got my BRB, I really thought that maintaining high humidity would be my biggest problem. In reality, the humidity has been a cinch to maintain: one sheet of clear plastic sized to the W x L-2" of my screen top and the humidity has stayed at 95%+ with misting just once or twice a week.

It's feeding the little pain-in-the-butt that's making me crazy. I waited 7 days after the first pinky finally disappeared - he pooped a few days later so I'm more confident that he actually ate it - after being in the enclosure for 29 hours.

So yesterday, I gave him a live peach fuzzie. I even tried holding the squirming little thing by the scruff with tweezers and repeatedly booping Salazar with it to try and piss him off enough that he'd strike. I thought baby BRBs were supposed to be so defensive and bitey that they'd strike at anything. Not this guy. I never knew fuzzies could sqeal that loud. We're now at 25 hours and counting...

I don't think that I'm the right owner for a BRB. So far I'm not enjoying having him.
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Old 03-10-18, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Just wondering about why the live feeding if it bothers you so much? BRB wouldn't eat otherwise? Snakes can also get stressed when trying to force food onto them. Also some snakes won't respond too well to a mouse hanging off forceps danging in their face.. They'll notice it, and the hand, and you behind it, and get scared.

Luckily these guys don't need all that much food, so there's no need really to panic over it. Is it a new born, or how old is it? I would just take a shallow plastic deli cup and pull a few scent trails through the vivarium over the branches to that dish and leave 1-2 pinkies in there overnight. If he didn't eat by next morning, repeat it 5 days later. Take his/her weight every 2 weeks to see if there's any significant weight loss. If there is significant weight loss (>10% of total weight) then you can take a small container with no substrate and leave snake + some pinkies in there overnight... just place box+snake back in vivarium (and that box should have air holes of course).
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Old 03-10-18, 08:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

It is a baby and currently weighs 29-30 grams. As outlined in a previous post, a lot of red flags have come up for me about the ethics of the breeding company from which I got him. I was told that he had been started on live food but they are a HUGE reptile breeder in Florida and I suspect he may not yet have been an established feeder when I got him. They told me they start all their babies on live pinkies. I thought it better to continue the live food until it was settled in and feeding consistently and then switch to f/t. I don't have a problem feeding live; I was just really surprised that such a loud noise could come out of such a tiny baby. I think I just hit the wrong emoji.
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Last edited by phenyx; 03-10-18 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 03-10-18, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Sorry you are having trouble with your little one. Don't judge all brb by your one specimen though. Mine has been a very manageable pet and is only about 4 months old. Hopefully things even put for you as it gets some age.

I am curious... If you had such a struggle with the pinky, why change immediately after a success? I would think you would want a couple of good feeding before trying to make a change. Let the little guy get comfortable and confident. Just put a pinkie in there and leave him alone. Be patient. A snake won't starve itself to death. Hunger always wins eventually.
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Old 03-10-18, 11:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

My selection at the feeder shop was limited and someone, bigsnakegirl I think, who commented on my last post (my apologies I'm really terrible with names) said that pinkies were basically just bags of water and that, from the picture I posted he was of a size to handle fuzzies. The one he has now is a peach fuzzie and it's the same weight/size as the previous pinky was so I didn't think it'd be too big a difference.
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Old 03-11-18, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Perhaps he just wasn't hungry yet. I have three BRBs and they are all fantastic eaters. While I love to have all my snakes on the same feeding schedule, they don't always cooperate. Give him a few more days between feedings. Also, consider switching to F/T as they are MUCH easier to maintain
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Old 03-11-18, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

I don't have a problem feeding live as long as the snake gets things over quickly enough that the prey doesn't suffer. What I have a problem with is a live peach fuzzie slowly starving to death because this jerk of a snake won't eat it. After more than 48 hours I finally put the dying fuzzie in a ziplock bag and into the freezer to put it out of its misery.

I am not the right owner for this snake.

Is there anyone here in the Tampa Bay Area that would like a baby BRB?
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Old 03-11-18, 09:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

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Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
I don't have a problem feeding live as long as the snake gets things over quickly enough that the prey doesn't suffer. What I have a problem with is a live peach fuzzie slowly starving to death because this jerk of a snake won't eat it. After more than 48 hours I finally put the dying fuzzie in a ziplock bag and into the freezer to put it out of its misery.

I am not the right owner for this snake.

Is there anyone here in the Tampa Bay Area that would like a baby BRB?
I will be in st Pete at the end of the month. Pm me.
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Old 03-12-18, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Don't throw in the towel just yet Phenyx. These things happen more often than you might think. I have (8) snakes and even though I would only consider one a finicky feeder I know it can be very frustrating, especially with new or younger snakes. I have a few snakes that will randomly take a food break for a month or two. I used to get all worked up about it but not anymore. For me the key is detachment. I think if a healthy snake, or any animal, is willing to starve itself to death when consistently offered food then it probably shouldn't be in the gene pool anyway. As long as your husbandry is dialed in and your snake isn't ill, which it doesn't seem like yours is, then don't even worry if they don't eat. Your snake ate a week or so ago. That means it could easily go months before it really needs to eat again. These animals are great at storing their food reserves. I've had snakes go months without eating and then take a poop out of nowhere. This helped me to not worry or get stressed when they don't eat. I agree with the other members that have suggested increasing the time between feedings to every 10-14 days. Offering food too often can sometimes exacerbate feeding issues. Also if your animal is refusing live food it might not hurt to try f/t. You could get lucky and he'll take it. You also don't have the added stress of the prey item starving to death. If he doesn't eat then it's no big deal, on to the next one. Try to take a more relaxed attitude and trust the process. The hunger ALWAYS wins in the end.
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Old 03-19-18, 11:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: UPDATE Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Earlier this week, I brought in a zoo med nano with a 40w ceramic heater to raise Jerkface's (yes, his name is now Jerkface) ambient temp from 74 (room temp at my house) to 78 degrees. This decision was based on a thread I found here from several years ago about a CRB with similar feeding issues that were resolved with higher ambients. I also moved him into a proper 10 gallon viv. Once the ambient temp came up, he immediately got more active and stopped staying in his hides 24/7.

Decided to try the deli cup method for feeding tonight because Monday is when I feed my BP. I put Jerkface into a deli cup sized rubbermaid container with an f/t pinky instead of the live ones I've been offering because I am not going through that again.

He ignored the pinky for several hours and eventually I covered the viv with a towel because my cats were being too nosy. Sometime in the last few hours he must have eaten the pinky because it's not in the deli cup anymore. So, as in the thread with the CRB, higher ambients than room temperature again seem to have made the difference.

And the deli cup.

And covering the Little Prince's viv.

He's still a pain in the butt.
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Old 03-20-18, 04:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Yay! I'm glad he ate for you Phenyx and f/t too. That's a big step forward.
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Old 03-21-18, 06:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
Sorry you are having trouble with your little one. Don't judge all brb by your one specimen though. Mine has been a very manageable pet and is only about 4 months old. Hopefully things even put for you as it gets some age.

I am curious... If you had such a struggle with the pinky, why change immediately after a success? I would think you would want a couple of good feeding before trying to make a change. Let the little guy get comfortable and confident. Just put a pinkie in there and leave him alone. Be patient. A snake won't starve itself to death. Hunger always wins eventually.
Pinkies are not very nutritious, the sooner it gets on bigger prey the better. Even doubling or tripling the pinkies won't do much towards providing enough nutrition for a growing baby rainbow, and he may stay at his current weight or even lose weight eating the meals he currently is. OP posted a picture of the pinks, and they're barely the size of the snake's head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
Perhaps he just wasn't hungry yet. I have three BRBs and they are all fantastic eaters. While I love to have all my snakes on the same feeding schedule, they don't always cooperate. Give him a few more days between feedings. Also, consider switching to F/T as they are MUCH easier to maintain
I agree, a hungry boa won't refuse food for long, so long as all husbandry is within parameters. I would go straight to f/t, and offer until he takes it. Best to just rip the bandaid all at once, so to speak, or you'll end up with a headache taking all the roundabout passages trying to get him to eat a certain way...a hungry snake will take whatever is offered to them.

Temperature is also important for this species - I keep my BRBs slightly warmer than is typically recommended to aid in digestion. If you keep them too cool you get gross twisted, mucusy capsules. Raise the temps a couple degrees, and you'll get normal-looking feces. My ambients sit at 79-83F with a hot spot of 86-87F.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
Earlier this week, I brought in a zoo med nano with a 40w ceramic heater to raise Jerkface's (yes, his name is now Jerkface) ambient temp from 74 (room temp at my house) to 78 degrees. This decision was based on a thread I found here from several years ago about a CRB with similar feeding issues that were resolved with higher ambients. I also moved him into a proper 10 gallon viv. Once the ambient temp came up, he immediately got more active and stopped staying in his hides 24/7.

Decided to try the deli cup method for feeding tonight because Monday is when I feed my BP. I put Jerkface into a deli cup sized rubbermaid container with an f/t pinky instead of the live ones I've been offering because I am not going through that again.

He ignored the pinky for several hours and eventually I covered the viv with a towel because my cats were being too nosy. Sometime in the last few hours he must have eaten the pinky because it's not in the deli cup anymore. So, as in the thread with the CRB, higher ambients than room temperature again seem to have made the difference.

And the deli cup.

And covering the Little Prince's viv.

He's still a pain in the butt.
Great to hear! I'd raise the ambients even further, as per my advise above in this reply, and go ahead and try a fuzzy. 74F is entirely too cold to be keeping a BRB, and 78F is even a tad on the cool side, especially if a nice high hot spot is not being offered.
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Old 03-21-18, 06:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
Pinkies are not very nutritious, the sooner it gets on bigger prey the better. Even doubling or tripling the pinkies won't do much towards providing enough nutrition for a growing baby rainbow, and he may stay at his current weight or even lose weight eating the meals he currently is. OP posted a picture of the pinks, and they're barely the size of the snake's head.
I agree but sometimes getting the snake on a regular feeding pattern takes precedence. Minimizing change helps that. Once the snake is feeding regularly then make the change. Eating a pinky is more nutritious than refusing a fuzzy.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

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Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
I agree but sometimes getting the snake on a regular feeding pattern takes precedence. Minimizing change helps that. Once the snake is feeding regularly then make the change. Eating a pinky is more nutritious than refusing a fuzzy.
I'd honestly argue it's more stressful to try making so many changes to their diet in such a short time, and that a pink is barely better than eating nothing at all. The snake could potentially not grow or even lose mass eating pinkies.
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Old 03-22-18, 11:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Another week, another snuggle buddy.

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
especially if a nice high hot spot is not being offered.
He has a hot spot that's 87 degrees.

I had been thinking of offering a fuzzie at his next feed, but there's been so much debate about how much and how often to feed and the math you're supposed to do to figure out

(1/3% X WTF^2)
Air-Speed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

that I don't know what I'm supposed to feed anymore.

BigSnakeGirl, you seem to be very knowledgeable about Boas. May I PM you?
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