Redtailboa.net  

Go Back   Redtailboa.net > General > HELP ME!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-02-2011, 05:22 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Boa not eating

Hi there,
My red tail boa hasn't eaten in two months. I have only had him a little over a year and last winter he didn't hibernate so I am wondering if that is what he is doing. He doesn't seem to have lost weight and his temperament is still the same. I take him out a few times a week and he is energetic and moves around. How long should I wait before I get worried? He usually is a hearty eater but he seems to not want anything to do with food. Any thoughts? I appreciate your advice. Thanks.
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2011, 05:50 AM
HERPHAPPY's Avatar
HERPHAPPY HERPHAPPY is offline
Regular Rattlebrat
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 15,065
Re: Boa not eating

Time to re-check all conditions in your snake's cage: temperatures, humidity, privacy...?
If those aren't at fault, and assuming stools have looked normal? no other signs of illness? (wheezing/bubbling as in RI? etc) I think it's more than likely just due to the time of year. A couple months of fasting are not an issue for a snake that has normal body weight and no signs of illness and it's more common than you might think. I am also assuming there aren't other environmental changes (excessive handling? stalking cats & dogs...??? etc)
By the way, your redtail should NOT actually be hibernating...(that involves fasting & cooling down) But during the winter many snakes go off feed for a few months due to slightly cooler temperatures* and shorter day-lengths. (*as I said, check your cage temperatures!?)
__________________
MANY FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES........

Last edited by HERPHAPPY; 02-02-2011 at 05:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:33 AM
Stargazer's Avatar
Stargazer Stargazer is offline
Resident Fruit Loop
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 33,227
Send a message via Yahoo to Stargazer
Re: Boa not eating

Need more info. How old is he; what sized prey does he usually eat and how often, and how do you feed? Do you feed live or frozen-thawed/pre-killed? If you can tell us exactly how you feed and maybe post pics of the snake and set up, we can maybe give you some ideas.
__________________

My boa could eat your honor student.
R.I.P The English language and the correct spelling of "definitely"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:41 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

He is about 4 years old and just about 6 feet long. I typically feed him a large rat every 2-3 weeks and I feed him frozen/thawed pre-killed prey. I always put him in the bathtub to give him plenty of room and he usually goes for it before I can even get the rat close to him. He has a big enclosure 6 feet by 2 feet with branches to climb on. Humidity typically is around 60-70 and temps range from 70-85 on cool and warm side respectively. I will have to get you a picture tomorrow as I don't have my camera handy. Does this help?
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:43 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

I forgot to mention that I only 2 other snakes (ball pythons) and no other animals so he is not stressed. He hangs out with the other snakes in the evenings as he has for the past year so nothing has really changed.
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:47 AM
Stargazer's Avatar
Stargazer Stargazer is offline
Resident Fruit Loop
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 33,227
Send a message via Yahoo to Stargazer
Re: Boa not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolie View Post
He is about 4 years old and just about 6 feet long. I typically feed him a large rat every 2-3 weeks and I feed him frozen/thawed pre-killed prey. I always put him in the bathtub to give him plenty of room and he usually goes for it before I can even get the rat close to him. He has a big enclosure 6 feet by 2 feet with branches to climb on. Humidity typically is around 60-70 and temps range from 70-85 on cool and warm side respectively. I will have to get you a picture tomorrow as I don't have my camera handy. Does this help?
Yes. 2 months is not a long time for a boa this age to fast, and it's possible that it's seasonal. I wouldn't be worried yet. But if it were my snake, I'd change up the feeding pattern and leave the dead rat in his cage near his hide box and then give some privacy. I'd go one size smaller and maybe try freshly killed. Others here have many tricks for getting snakes to eat.

BTW, what do you mean that your snakes hang out together in the evening? I have visions of them going out clubbing together. LOL
__________________

My boa could eat your honor student.
R.I.P The English language and the correct spelling of "definitely"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:55 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

I take all my snakes out in the evening when I watch TV and they all sit together piled on top of each other. Typically the ball pythons like to sit on my boa as he is warmer and I guess bigger. They all like to be handled a lot so I sit with them when I watch TV. Kind of funny but they love it. I have a picture of the three of them I will post tomorrow.
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:56 AM
Stargazer's Avatar
Stargazer Stargazer is offline
Resident Fruit Loop
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 33,227
Send a message via Yahoo to Stargazer
Re: Boa not eating

Oh now I gotta see a picture of this. ha ha
__________________

My boa could eat your honor student.
R.I.P The English language and the correct spelling of "definitely"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-02-2011, 07:00 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

Hope this picture works.

Snakes.jpg
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-02-2011, 07:02 AM
Stargazer's Avatar
Stargazer Stargazer is offline
Resident Fruit Loop
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 33,227
Send a message via Yahoo to Stargazer
Re: Boa not eating

That is way too cute for words. They look like they're all watching TV, really. ha ha
__________________

My boa could eat your honor student.
R.I.P The English language and the correct spelling of "definitely"
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:59 PM
HERPHAPPY's Avatar
HERPHAPPY HERPHAPPY is offline
Regular Rattlebrat
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 15,065
Re: Boa not eating

Very cute picture! Your temps in cage sound a little cool btw...

Also, has it occurred to you that the bathtub is gonna feel cold too (unless you pre-warm it with hot water?) You may also want to switch to feeding in his enclosure for your safety: At some point this is asking for trouble when your snake is still in feeding mode and you want to return him to his cage...many bites result (see "bleeders club")!

Also, when your snake is unapproachable for a while after eating in the tub, he may get into trouble with nearby plumbing when unobserved for even just a few minutes, so please be careful? I highly recommend that you not continue to "push your luck", just feed him in his cage... (make sure he doesn't swallow substrate...put it on a plate/box if need be?) Some snakes also get a little stressed* being handled (when being moved to another location to feed) and thereby refuse food, but it does sound like that* would not be an issue with yours since you cuddle him on a regular basis...(I totally approve of snake cuddling!!!)

One other thing could cause your snake to refuse food, that is thinking about mating!? If your boa is a male and one of the bps is a female, I think it's possible (this is speculation, not something I have tested?) he may be inclined to fast as many males do in breeding season...??? (would invite other opinions on this!!!????) Anyway these are my thoughts on your question.
__________________
MANY FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES........

Last edited by HERPHAPPY; 02-02-2011 at 07:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-03-2011, 02:35 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

Thanks for the thoughts and advice. I didn't think about the tub being cold and that could be part of it. I do watch him carefully and make sure he can't get into anything and use these massive leather ski gloves so as not to get bit. He never has struck at me though but I see your point about handling him afterwards. I just don't like feeding my snakes in the cages so as not to confuse my hand with food. I have only been bitten once and that was my dumb fault for not paying attention when they weren't ready to settle down yet. I will give that a try.

All my snakes are male - would that still make him think about going into mating/breeding? I never thought about that.
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-03-2011, 03:01 AM
Stargazer's Avatar
Stargazer Stargazer is offline
Resident Fruit Loop
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 33,227
Send a message via Yahoo to Stargazer
Re: Boa not eating

I feed my snakes in their cages and they never mistake my hand for food. In fact I reach into their hide boxes almost every day and scratch their heads. Since I feed on newspaper (I put it on top of the aspen), they have come to associate newspaper with feeding. If there's no newspaper, it will not occur to them to munch on my hand. I think there would be no harm in trying it one time just to see if you can get him to eat.
__________________

My boa could eat your honor student.
R.I.P The English language and the correct spelling of "definitely"
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-03-2011, 03:15 AM
Katie M's Avatar
Katie M Katie M is offline
Text Addict
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,164
Send a message via MSN to Katie M
Re: Boa not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolie View Post
Thanks for the thoughts and advice. I didn't think about the tub being cold and that could be part of it. I do watch him carefully and make sure he can't get into anything and use these massive leather ski gloves so as not to get bit. He never has struck at me though but I see your point about handling him afterwards. I just don't like feeding my snakes in the cages so as not to confuse my hand with food. I have only been bitten once and that was my dumb fault for not paying attention when they weren't ready to settle down yet. I will give that a try.
All my snakes are male - would that still make him think about going into mating/breeding? I never thought about that.
I would agree that your temps are a little low. I like to keep my low end at 78-80 and my hot end at 88-90. See if you can't get a range established like that in his cage - that way he can get warm if he wants, and cool if he wants.

As far as being nervous about feeding in his cage - totally understandable, as that train of thought was HUGE not to many years back. That said, keep in mind how often you're in his cage throughout the week. You're in there nightly to pull him out to snuggle. You're in their often to clean his urates and his defecations, or to fix his cage when he knocks things over and to refresh his water bowl, or if you're like me, sometimes you'll also just open his cage to say hi and pet him for a few minutes. Times that by however many days are between feeding day, and you'll see that you spend 99% of your time in his cage withOUT food. He knows that too. Make sure you feed his food with tongs, and then he'll associate the tongs with food, and not your hands. With over 200 snakes, every single snake I have eats in it's cage, and I have yet to run into a snake that confuses me for food on a non-feeding day or night. Just something to consider
__________________
http://www.iherp.com/katiem
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-03-2011, 06:28 AM
HERPHAPPY's Avatar
HERPHAPPY HERPHAPPY is offline
Regular Rattlebrat
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 15,065
Re: Boa not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolie View Post
Thanks for the thoughts and advice. I didn't think about the tub being cold and that could be part of it. I do watch him carefully and make sure he can't get into anything and use these massive leather ski gloves so as not to get bit. He never has struck at me though but I see your point about handling him afterwards. I just don't like feeding my snakes in the cages so as not to confuse my hand with food. I have only been bitten once and that was my dumb fault for not paying attention when they weren't ready to settle down yet. I will give that a try.
All my snakes are male - would that still make him think about going into mating/breeding? I never thought about that.
Your snake is only going to get bigger, he can reach alot more than what your gloves can protect. I hate to think of you getting a bad bite after feeding that can totally be avoided...and it's a safety issue too: snakes in a feeding mode are also going to constrict...that's a very dangerous time to be handling your snake, others have made this mistake, you don't have to.

As far as your snake confusing your hand with food in the cage, just make sure you use feeding tongs (as was mentioned) and be sure no rodent scent is on your hands when you reach in. Alot of times I blow air across my hand in the direction of an 'interested' snake as their sense of smell is VERY accurate...you will see your snake change his mind when he gets your scent! ("bleah!!! I'm not eating THAT!") And like Star suggested, he may also associate a plate/box/paper etc upon which you put his food in the cage.... I've had my bci for over 10 years with no bites ever, plan to keep it that way...I feed her in the cage (and she pounces violently on f/t from tongs!) and when I handle her, she recognizes my scent and touch before I pick her up. (You could use your gloves then instead, if you are unsure? Unless they smell like 'feeding time' now...)

If all your snakes are male, hopefully your boa won't be thinking about mating...but I didn't know the genders of the others, just an idea?
__________________
MANY FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES........

Last edited by HERPHAPPY; 02-03-2011 at 06:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-03-2011, 06:59 AM
windeetree's Avatar
windeetree windeetree is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Re: Boa not eating

that pic is great with the 3 of them together. I have 2 snakes and I thought the boa would kill my bp so i keep them seperate. nice to see they get along.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:12 AM
HERPHAPPY's Avatar
HERPHAPPY HERPHAPPY is offline
Regular Rattlebrat
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 15,065
Re: Boa not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by windeetree View Post
that pic is great with the 3 of them together. I have 2 snakes and I thought the boa would kill my bp so i keep them seperate. nice to see they get along.
You never totally know what snakes might do...they have a very good sense of smell, so you always need to make sure (even when introducing snakes to mate) neither one has "rat breath" or rodent scent on their body left from a recent feeding! While some snakes (like kingsnakes & cobras) routinely prey on other snakes, boas and pythons normally do not...but some males may not be compatible either. Another risk of putting two snakes together when not necessary (ie. breeding) may be the transfer of diseases or parasites. But I'm not trying to be a "wet blanket" here, they ARE cute together!
__________________
MANY FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES........
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:52 AM
KaiYudSai's Avatar
KaiYudSai KaiYudSai is offline
RTB Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 773
Re: Boa not eating

First.... I would stop feeding him in the bathtub.... that serves no practical purpose.... and actually can cause problems.... Snakes only eat when they feel totally secure.... snakes are very vulnerable while swallowing prey... so they wont even try to eat if they feel threatened or insecure....So dont handle for at least an hour before feeding........ and feed in the cage.......

The whole wives tale about feeding boas out of their enclosure to stop feeding response aggression is nothing more than a wild internet rumor that has no practical basis.... Boas are fairly intelligent as far as snakes go... but not bright enough to be trained...... feed with tongs ALWAYS.....

Second..... two months is not long enough to be concerned.... your boa is breeding age... and this is the time of the year when boas generally breed... a few of my males stop eating as soon as I start to drop the temps.....
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-04-2011, 05:32 AM
Jolie Jolie is offline
Regular RTB User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 119
Re: Boa not eating

Thanks guys/gals - that helps a lot. I will wait a few more days and then try and feed him in the cage with the newspaper as you suggested. I will let you know how it goes. I sooo appreciate all the suggestions and comments.
__________________
1.0 Ball Python
1.0 Cinnamon Ball Python

1.0 Red Tail Boa
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-04-2011, 06:52 AM
Ashes's Avatar
Ashes Ashes is offline
Too... Much... Funneh
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,234
Send a message via AIM to Ashes Send a message via Yahoo to Ashes
Re: Boa not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERPHAPPY View Post
Your snake is only going to get bigger, he can reach alot more than what your gloves can protect.
Sorry if this is a little off-topic, but I'm curious.

How much bigger will a 4 year old snake get that is already 6 ft? Especially a male?

I'm not in any way trying to challenge your statement (in text it kind of looks like that), I am currently watching my first boa grow and don't know from experience the rate at which they grow. I'm curious about when they reach their full adult size, etc.
__________________
1.0 BCI, Ares
0.1 Dumerils, Hecate
0.0.1 Crested Gecko, Zebedee "Zeb"
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dum not eating... Xiel Soulwraith HELP ME! 10 02-03-2011 03:55 AM
They are eating fuglyfarmhand Feeding 5 12-13-2009 09:48 PM
bp not eating :/ Jenny06 HELP ME! 16 03-02-2009 10:37 PM
Dum still not eating! east_stingray HELP ME! 10 04-10-2004 07:24 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2000-2010 Redtailboa.net. The comments are property of their posters,