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Old 12-04-17, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

My Colombian rainbow Boa wonít eat no matter what I do. I got him one month ago from bhb reptiles as a baby and I did everything everyone says to do when you first get a snake. I had the enclosure setup prior with proper temps and a numerous amount of hides, and when I got him I put him in and left him alone for a week before even attempting to feed him. After a week I tried feeding a fuzzy to him and he showed absolutely no interest, I waited a few days and then tried again, still nothing. He doesnít even acknowledge it. So after that I waited a week and tried again, this time braining the mouse, heating it up hot, and coating it in chicken broth. Still nothing. No interest. Iíve tried once every 3 days from then, trying new methods i find online to no avail. Itís been a little over a month now and the snake still shows absolutely no interest in food. The tempts are where they need to be, cool side 75 hot spot 85-87. Humidity is always over 70%. in addition, the snake shed fully and nicely with eye caps a week after I got him so I know heís not in shed currently. I cant try rats because they are too big for him, even pinkies. Hereís a full list of the things Iíve already tried:

Braining the mouse, Blow drying the mouse, Scenting the mouse, Cutting open the belly of the mouse, moving the snake to a smaller enclosure with more hides to help with security, leaving the mouse overnight, placing the snake into a small tub with the mouse overnight, wetting the mouse in very hot water prior to offering, offering smaller and larger sized mice of different colors.

What the hell am I supposed to do now. Iím scared for my snake, and I just want him to eat so I know heís ok. This whole thing is stressing me out. Iíve made absolute sure my husbandry is on point and I did a TON of research before getting the snake in the first place so what in the world could I be doing wrong.
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Old 12-05-17, 09:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Well, don't stress out. Remember these snakes are built to go without food for some time. I would try and get the humidity up and over 80% first. Then i would refrain from so many feeding attempts and give the little guy a break from that. Consider contacting BHB and finding out exactly how the animal was housed and what they were feeding him. Make sure the animal has fresh water.
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Old 12-05-17, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Well BHB keeps their animals in tiny boxes, so moving it suddenly to a larger size may require a bit more time for the animal to adjust. Just let it be, he'll get around and start feeding. They can go long without food, no need to worry.
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Old 12-06-17, 08:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Pics of the enclosure and size of the snake? Don't offer food so often, that will just stress it out. Is it losing weight? 87 is a bit warm for rainbow boas, even colombians. I'd lower your hot spot to 84 at the most. I also would try to keep the humidity around 80%+, just make sure it's humid without soaking the enclosure.
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Old 12-06-17, 09:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

I'll post a picture when I get home from work today, but I can give you some info on how it's setup until then. Its a 10 gallon glass aquarium with a mixture of cyprus mulch and sphagnum moss as the substrate (about 1 inch so he can burrow). The humidity in my house is already 60-70% so by misting in the morning and night I can keep humidity constantly above 80%. Yes I am aware that glass tanks aren't recommended, and originally I had him in an 110 qt rubbermaid tub but I temporarily moved him to the smaller glass tank to help him feel more secure, and I'll move him back to the tub once he gets a little bit bigger and starts eating. As far as I can tell he isn't loosing any weight, I don't have a scale to measure though. One thing I have noticed is that he's not really using his mouth at all. He's almost too docile I guess? It's hard to explain. When I first got him he snapped at everything that moved, but now, he wont even attempt to bite me If my hand is right in front of his face. Usually you'd consider this a good thing, but its got me worried there might be something wrong with his mouth or jaw. I also almost never see him out of hiding, and I've never seen him drink or soak in his water bowl. For heating I've got 2 small zoomed heat pads covering about half the cage, but they don't heat the cage up enough so I've also got a purple/red heat lamp pointed towards the hot spot. All of the heating equipment is connected to a thermostat set to 85 F. Oh, and every time I try to offer him a mouse, he runs away from the mouse and tries to get out of the enclosure. I'd assume this is stress related? I've got 2 hides, one log hide on the warm side, and one DIY hide made out of tupperware with a fake plant inside of it on the cold side.
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Old 12-06-17, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Continue to offer food every five days, your boa should decide to eat at some point. It doesn't seem you have any problems with your husbandry just try not to worry. Also, make sure you're not handling your snake at all, until the boa is on a steady feeding schedule. Make sure to get a scale, they are pretty cheap on Amazon. If you are worried about your snake not drinking you can place him in a container with water (don't drown him, he should still be able to comftorably rest his body without his snout underwater. You can place a rock in the container to do this). This isn't necessary but it won't hurt your snake and is just a precautionary measure. Preferably don't move your snake until he is eating regularly. Just because the snake is not using its mouth does not mean there is something wrong with it. Snakes usually will not bite and instead will just try to "run" away. My advice is to not be to worried, when I was first starting as a snake keeper I would look at every little tiny thing with my snakes. I learned snakes are living animals, and not every snake will act or look the same as someone else's. Don't bother the snake until they eat, it is better to feed in the enclosure they are in, then a separate feeding enclosure.

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 12-06-17 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 12-06-17, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

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Well BHB keeps their animals in tiny boxes, so moving it suddenly to a larger size may require a bit more time for the animal to adjust. Just let it be, he'll get around and start feeding. They can go long without food, no need to worry.
Well, i disagree with your statement about BHB and their keeping of animals in "tiny boxes"... Just not true. Brian and Lori's reptile facility is mainly rack systems and large glass and wooden enclosures for the retics and larger constrictor species. He (Brian) keeps all his hatchlings in appropriate sized hatchling racks.
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Old 12-06-17, 04:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

You're kidding right...? Tiny boxes, no light, no nothing. Some form of substrate and a water bowl.







...can post 100's more if you want. Internet is literally swarmed with his line breeding factory pictures.

I find that highly inadequate, and sends a very wrong image towards the hobby on how to keep your reptiles.

Last edited by TRD; 12-06-17 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 12-06-17, 04:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Here is a picture of my current setup:
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Old 12-06-17, 04:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Ok, to help your guy settling in, for starters put some sheets of pref black paper on the sides and back. From the snake's perspective this "new world" may feel wide in the open. Baby snakes are prey animals to many predators. Once he gets feeding you can start removing the sheets again one by one.

It may help to put some branches diagonal into it, so there's something "overhead" and hang those fake leaves over that, or get another bunch to hang over them. He may also like to climb on them, he may feel more secure under it.

He should get plenty of "peace" for now.
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Old 12-06-17, 05:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Clark View Post
Well, i disagree with your statement about BHB and their keeping of animals in "tiny boxes"... Just not true. Brian and Lori's reptile facility is mainly rack systems and large glass and wooden enclosures for the retics and larger constrictor species. He (Brian) keeps all his hatchlings in appropriate sized hatchling racks.
All I have to say about this Albert is I invite you to look into how he keeps his monitors, giants, and cribos for your own reference. The husbandry issues and lack of space for those specific species is really inexcusable and a prime example of what TRD is talking about. Grossly obese, nose rub and mouth rot all due to lack of space. I know Brian's got a target on his back because he is a bigger name in the hobby and perhaps not all of what people say is true about him, but this is. It may work for a lot of colubrids and some smaller boid species, but there are errors being made and it comes down to the dollars and cents.
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Old 12-06-17, 06:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Ok ill try the black sheets. As for the bhb thing, i know bhb has got some issues with their care, but i watched brians blog and saw that he was very passionate about his reptiles. Also, they were the only ones that had CRBs in stock, otherwise i wouldve chosen another breede just because i personally prefer buying from smaller breeders because the massive breeders tend to lose quality as the amount of animals increases. Not always, but i see it a lot. Anyways, ill post an update soon letting you all know if hes eaten or not. Thanks a bunch for the help.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD View Post
You're kidding right...? Tiny boxes, no light, no nothing. Some form of substrate and a water bowl.







...can post 100's more if you want. Internet is literally swarmed with his line breeding factory pictures.

I find that highly inadequate, and sends a very wrong image towards the hobby on how to keep your reptiles.
Well, no I am not kidding. I see no "tiny boxes" as you call them. What I do see is multiple ARS racks with a tub that has water dish and a Sani chips substrate. The retic is on a newspaper substrate. The python looks to be on a Repti bark / orchid bark combo. He has fluorescent lighting in the aisles. Also , I believe most of his animals are for sale and not his personal pets. I have been purchasing animals from Brian for years and never had one with any issues at all. They all have been healthy and are some of my most productive breeders.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

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Originally Posted by Andy_G View Post
All I have to say about this Albert is I invite you to look into how he keeps his monitors, giants, and cribos for your own reference. The husbandry issues and lack of space for those specific species is really inexcusable and a prime example of what TRD is talking about. Grossly obese, nose rub and mouth rot all due to lack of space. I know Brian's got a target on his back because he is a bigger name in the hobby and perhaps not all of what people say is true about him, but this is. It may work for a lot of colubrids and some smaller boid species, but there are errors being made and it comes down to the dollars and cents.
Andy, I have been dealing with Brian for years. He has quality animals and if there are isolated issues with some people I can stand up and say it's bound to be a few. Grossly obese, nose rub, mouth rot and lack of space? Really? I doubt that. He's very well accomplished and a national and internationally known and respected breeder who I know has a handle on his collection. If there were gross inadequacies in his husbandry I am sure he would be on top of it.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Colombian Rainbow Boa Wonít Eat. Tried Everything. Need Help.

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Originally Posted by Umbrax View Post
Ok ill try the black sheets. As for the bhb thing, i know bhb has got some issues with their care, but i watched brians blog and saw that he was very passionate about his reptiles. Also, they were the only ones that had CRBs in stock, otherwise i wouldve chosen another breede just because i personally prefer buying from smaller breeders because the massive breeders tend to lose quality as the amount of animals increases. Not always, but i see it a lot. Anyways, ill post an update soon letting you all know if hes eaten or not. Thanks a bunch for the help.
Once your husbandry is tweaked to the correct humidity and hide size just give the animal time to adjust to the enviornment. Triple check the temps and humidity daily until the animal begins to take food. Since he is a new acquisition it's always a good thing to refer back to the breeder for specifics when things arise concerning health and welfare of a animal that was purchased. It's not like he came from a big box store, you got him from a respected and reputable breeder.
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