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Old 10-11-17, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct-2017
Posts: 3
Unhappy New KSB owner: feeding issues


This is my first time posting on this forum and I am hoping anybody will be able to provide any sort of suggestions from experience. SO, I recently got a baby male Kenyan Sand Boa. He was VERY young when I bought him (I was told only a day or two old, I realize they probably should not have sold him to me this young). It has been a little over 2 weeks since then. They told me that he had clearly not yet had his first shed, nonetheless his first meal. About a week or so ago he had his first wasn't great...the shed came off in multiple pieces He had a water bowl, but I assume he was still dehydrated, so I provided him with a humid hide (he immediately took to it and loved spending his time in there). After that shed, I waited a day to make sure he was completely finished, and then I attempted to feed him. I am aware that babies sometimes prefer to get started on live pinkies, however I only have access to f/t. With that being said, I thawed the pinky in warm water, and simply attempted to give it to him by wiggling it with tongs, I attempted this for 5min or so. Nothing. Since then, I have tried a new method once a day (always at night, when he's awake).

Here's everything I've tried:
- braining the pinky
- marinating pinky in chicken broth
- leaving him overnight with it in deli cup
- leaving pinky overnight in his enclosure (on plate AND on just the substrate)

I am at a loss for what to do. I cannot find any info on how long a baby KSB is okay without eating at all. I am thinking about contacting the breeder I purchased him from to see if he can help me. If anyone has ANY ideas or suggestions I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thank you!

P.S. He is on shredded aspen, temps range 80 cool side-93 warm side
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Old 10-11-17, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New KSB owner: feeding issues

Welcome to the forum Sam. Congrats on the new KSB. I agree that the breeder should not have sold you an animal that wasn't an established feeder. How are you measuring your temps and is your heat source regulated by a thermostat? If you're sure your temps are dialed in then it sounds like you're taking all the right steps. You don't want to offer food so often though. If your snake refuses a meal wait 7 days before trying again. Keep offering food every 7-10 days until he catches on. Make sure your prey items are totally thawed and maybe super heat them with a hair dryer before serving them to the snake. I would also avoid handling the animal until it's eaten 2-3 times consecutively. Best wishes with the new critter and please keep us posted on your progress
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Old 10-11-17, 04:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 501
Re: New KSB owner: feeding issues

You definitely have to get them hydrated or they won't eat and the species that do eat despite dehydration may fail to digest. Even my biggest eater that will try to take about anything offered at any time will delay a meal to drink water and digest it before coming back for the rodent if he's been laying in the heat a lot or his bowl got too low. Baby sand boas can dehydrate fast with just a normal dish in a normal enclosure setup if they aren't getting any moisture from food. Often they like drinking water droplets if you mist near them or put them in a separate container to not get the enclosure too wet. You could possibly use the humid hide to mist the upper parts for actual water drops when he's interested in it. They also generally eat in the dark. After he's hydrated and the lights go out try getting him to feed or people often confine them to small dark containers and bags with a pinky. That usually works but most have live pinkies to start.

Without live pinkies or sometimes for very stubborn babies you can scent them with actual chicks but people have used anything chicken (someone even said they use wet cat food for their baby boas but I don't know if I would suggest that) or especially for desert snakes that would come across them lizards are preferred. A supply of feeder lizards isn't easy or many snakes would probably prefer them. Everyone I talk to wants a source of feeder lizards to use for stubborn snakes or adding variety but no one wants the effort of making one. I have a bin of house geckos I'm trying to get consistently breeding.
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Old 10-11-17, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct-2017
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Re: New KSB owner: feeding issues

Thanks for the responses! To answer your question EL Ziggy, my heat source is regulated by a thermostat and I also use a temp gun to check temps. I will wait another week until I offer food. I was just scared about the amount of time he can go without his first meal I will definitely make sure his humid hide is moist with water droplets. I'll keep you guys posted!
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