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Brazilian rainbow boa
ophiophilist wrote in snakecommunity
Hi, snakecommunity. I've been keeping snakes for about five years and recently bought a baby Brazilian Rainbow Boa. I've wanted one for a long time and researched before making the purchase.

I have the baby in a tub on paper towels with Reptile Basics hides on either side, plus a humid hide and water bowl. I mist the inside of the lid daily to add to the ambient humidity, so there's always condensation on the inside, and I clean with diluted chlorhexidine. I do know to be careful of mold. Temps are low to mid 70s on the cool side to 82-83 on the warm side, achieved by a room air conditioner and a small UTH on a thermostat, monitored with both a probe thermometer and checks with my temp gun. I brought the baby home from a reptile show on Saturday, haven't messed with her other than once to clean when she pooped. One of her siblings bit me at the show while handling, but she hasn't offered to bite yet and when I did move her to clean, she gripped my hand firmly but gently and was very outgoing. No mites, no apparent health problems, she looks good and seems to be behaving like a healthy baby snake. I've seen her using all three hides. I plan to offer food this weekend and see if she's interested.

Because there is always something you can do to improve, I wanted to ask if there are any BRB keepers here and if so, what tips you might have beyond the usual care sheet information that have proven useful to you. I was curious, do they tend to respond better to tease feeding (dangling f/t prey in front of them to entice a feeding strike) or by putting the prey in the cage and leaving? And what kind of climbing space do you offer? Do you see them using it? I've heard varying info on feeding - some say these snakes can get obese easily and should be allowed to grow slowly, but others suggest feeding babies as often as every four days. What's worked for you?

And because this would not be complete without a photo, here's my new addition. In less than a week I've really been impressed with this species and am very glad I got her. She'll be in an increasingly larger series of tubs until she's big enough to warrant an adult-sized 4'x2' boa cage. I snapped a quick photo just before putting her in her setup.

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My BRB is nine years old, and has lived her whole life on moist eco earth or coconut husk. I've found she prefers it a little on the wet side, and not too warm. She's never had any issues with shedding.

I give her two mice once a week because she's afraid of rats. Generally, put the mouse in the cage and make sure she kills it before offering the second. Most of the time she won't eat the first mouse till she's killed the second, but if she ends up killing and starting to eat the first mouse, I wait till she's fed to add the second mouse. I always watch to make sure she kills the animal before I leave the room.

Tease feeding is good if you can get her to do it. They're also generally a little bitey as juveniles, just because they're nervous. They usually grow out of it. Watch for signs of R.I.; my fiancee kept his on aspen with a humid hide and never had a problem, but friends of his apparently have. He also says the ones he's familiar with were pretty voracious feeders. They're also primarily terrestrial, but they'll use a branch if you give it to them. Be especially cautious about mite vectors (other snakes, your clothes after a herp show, bedding coming from a pet store, etc.). We've noticed in clearing a couple of rescues of mite problems that they seem harder to kick in snakes with heat pits, like BRBs. Freezing or baking your bedding (except paper towels) is usually a good idea. Newspaper is our friend. :)

Good point, I keep her on paper towel but I got some aspen for another snake. I'll toss it in the freezer just in case. Thanks for the tips! She was exploring last night so I think she's ready to eat tonight.

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