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RE: Female Rubber Boa not eatting.

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Fri Oct 13 11:44:01 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

Raccoonone,
Can't really answer your first question with complete assurance but it would seem to me that a break here and there to warmer conditions during winter time burmation should not have any effect. After all, males of the species routinely come to the surface to thermoregulate under surface objects during winter months any time suitable conditions of temperature and sunshine occur. I have found the species (males only) during every month of the year here in Oregon.

The species can still be somewhat active at around 60 degrees. If you can place the boa where temperatures are in the 50s or 40s, that would reduce activity by the specimen thereby conserving its body reserves. The more active is a snake, the greater amount of body reserves it will use. Thus the aim is to keep the snake from using it body reserves during the time of year it normally is inactive and does not feed.

In my estimation, the major concern with this species is to maintain its internal water balance. When the species becomes stressed due to partial dehydration, problems can arise. Even though water is continuously available in my cages, I nevertheless periodically soak my boas in quart or gallon jars in shallow water for 12 - 15 minutes. That amount of time allows the snake(s) to calm down sufficiently to take in water should they need it. I soaked all of my adult specimens in this manner yesterday and did the same last week with all of the juvenile and subadult specimens.

I won't need to do so again for another 1 1/2 to 2 months during the coming inactive winter time. In all of my cages, even 5 gallon aquaria, I give the boas a choice where they wish to remain with a hide that is dry and one that has moist substrate beneath it. I use coarse Douglas fir sawdust as my substrate and dry moss and substrate beneath one hide and damp moss and dry substrate or damp moss and damp substrate beneath a second hide. Note, excessive moisture can promote fungal growth in certain substrates so I stress the word 'moist' as the moss or substrate should merely be slightly damp to provide the type of higher humidity that the species normally encounters when under ground.

Richard F. Hoyer


   

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