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feeding of C. bottae

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Fri May 19 01:25:19 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

The following is a copy of the post I submitted to the Utah Herp. Asso. forum that may be of some interest.

Richard F. Hoyer
=========================

If any of you have ever maintained a number of specimens of C. bottae, you probably realize that some specimens of this species can be somewhat fickle when it come to taking prey in captivity. Some boas are excellent feeders from day one while others stubbornly refuse food for months, sometimes for better than a year. Other specimens will be good feeders at times and then go off feeding for no apparent reason.

I have learned that one just needs to be patient and that eventually almost all C. bottae will take quarry under captive conditions. The key is to not panic and during the active season, to maintain specimens at about room temperature during daylight hours and allow the temperature to fall during the night as is it does in the wild.

I began providing opportunities to take prey starting the second week of April. Up until about two weeks ago, only four or five of my adult specimens had take prey this spring and none of the subadult or juveniles born last year had taken a meal.

Well that has all changed the past week. Five days ago I thawed out approximately 25 nestling lab mice from newborn pinkies at about 1.4 grams each to fuzzies of about 5.4 grams each. All but three mice were taken by the boas in 30 hours exposure. Those last three then went to my female Harris' Hawk. so weren't wasted.

This morning I thawed out the following prey items:
6 embryonic E. Cottontail Rabbits at 1.8 g each
2 nestling deer mice at 6.3 g each
3 nestling deer mice at 3.7 g each
5 nestling deer mice at 7.9 g each
9 nestling deer mice at 5.4 g each
5 nestling deer mice at 2-9 g each
6 nestling deer mice at 2.1 g each

Our native deer mouse usually gets better feeding response from more of the boas than the lab mouse and thus the reason I maintain a lab colony of Peromyscus maniculatus. At any rate, by about 6 PM, all 6 embryonic rabbits and all 30 mice had been consumed by 18 boas. And a number of boas took meals for the first time this year.

Richard F. Hoyer


   

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