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Old 03-30-20, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Baby Boa not eating

Hi everyone, Iím new to keeping boas. I used to have a ball python so Iím not new to snakes entirely, but Iím worried about my new baby boa... I havenít been able to get it to eat for over a week, and I donít know their body language as well as BPs. I also think heís stressed, because he hasnít moved from one spot in a few days. I have an under tank heating mat that puts out around 78-80 degrees of belly heat, and a heat UVB lamp on the other side of the enclosure. Theres lots of clutter for him to hide under and feel secure, like fake plants and moss and branches. Iím new to boas, and Iím worried Iím doing something wrong due to him not heating... any thoughts/suggestions?
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Old 03-30-20, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

Is your heat mat controlled with a thermostat? You'll want a hot spot of 86-90 for your boa. I like ambient temps of 75-80 depending on the time of year. If he's only been with you for a week I wouldn't worry about one missed feeding. Focus on getting your temps dialed in and your snake should eat soon. My boas aren't picky eaters at all. I feed my baby boas every 7-10 days.
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Old 04-01-20, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

Like El Ziggy said, get the temps right. Is that all the heat that mat puts out? All of your decor may be blocking your overhead heat and your mat is not warm enough. I like to go real simple also with the enclosure until the snake is more settled in and established. Currently have two babies, a Snow and an Albino Motley Jungle, both have water bowl and two hides. I use tubs with two mats, one side hot with a surface temp of 88-90 and the cool side mat is set at 75 and my ambient temps are generally 77-80. I always stress over the first feeding and my Snow just arrived Friday and had no hesitation feeding today. Never had a Boa hold out on a meal like my BP’s. You didn’t say your heat was regulated but I’m sure having owned other snakes your aware of the risks of unregulated heat. He may move around more once the temps are dialed in.
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Old 04-01-20, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

I am just using an average undertank heating mat, there isnt a regulation system on it or anything like that.. is simpler better as far as the enclosure goes?? I have it set up really elaborate and natural looking as possible, but if thats not a good thing then I'll change it. I have a heat bulb on the left side of the tank, and the heat mat on the underside of the tank. should I get a different heat mat?
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Old 04-01-20, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

If that mat isn’t getting warm enough it isn’t doing your snake any good. On the other hand a good mat will require a thermostat because they can reach 120 deg or better with out it so it keeps a safe environment for your snake. Is your snake cold when you handle em.
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Old 04-01-20, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

He is cool yes.. I guess I need to get a thermostat then and probably a better mat.
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Old 04-01-20, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

he is cool at night becasue I turn off the heat bulb, thats usually where he hangs out. I guess I need to get a thermostat and better mat, any recommendations on brands for those??
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Old 04-01-20, 09:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

It would be really helpful to know exactly what your set up is. assuming a tank? How big? This will help determine the mat size. I go about 25% of floor. A thermostat for the light set up also. You really only need a ceramic heat emitter, UV isn't really necessary. You can get basic on/off thermostats on line. I have some Century thermostats from Amazon that were under $20 a piece. Another option for now is a lamp dimmer switch for the mat , easy to get at a hardware store provided one is open. May work with lamp also, never done that. But you would need to check temps with a gun no matter how you go
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Old 04-01-20, 09:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

Curious what your ambient temps are with the lamp on all day. Could be to cold at night and to hot during the day. Just thinking here, like I said I’m not exactly sure what your using for heat.
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Old 04-02-20, 03:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

The heat lamp is a small bulb, only puts out 83ish degrees of heat. He likes to bask in it during the day, idk if that’s normal or not. That’s on the left side of the tank, and on the right side I have 2 small zoomed mats under the tank (had two smalls ones so figured to use both instead of get a medium. Humidity is at 65% daily, unless I spray couple times a week to spike it a little. I simplified his cage today so it has a hide on the cool side and a hide on the warm belly heat side, and the water bowl in the middle. Not sure what the volume is of the tank, I’d say roughly 15-20 gallon size?? The substrate is reptibark, and he has now officially refused food for two weeks
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Old 04-02-20, 03:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

I can also take pictures of the setup as well if you’d like, might help paint a better picture
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Old 04-02-20, 07:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

That would help out
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Old 04-02-20, 01:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

Here is a photo of his current setup. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-02-20, 02:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

How are you measuring your temperatures? I'd suggest using a temp gun. You definitely need a thermostat for the heat mat and a dimmer or thermostat for the heat bulb. If the heat lamp and the heat mat are both unregulated it may be too hot. I'd also have hides on the hot and cool sides. I prefer Ultratherm UTHs.

https://www.reptilebasics.com/ultratherm-heat-pads
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Old 04-02-20, 06:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Boa not eating

I went to the store today and picked up a smaller tank, thermostat for the mat, digital thermometer for ambient temps, and put away the heat lamp. I covered the screen top with a towel to trap ambient heat and keep the humidity up. Do you think thatíll work?
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