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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I purchased a young, 20 inch, Brazilian Rainbow Boa 22 days ago. He is active, looks healthy, even tempered, and absolutely beautiful; however, he will not eat at all. He supposedly ate one pinky every other Monday. I have tried each week to feed him and have tried various techniques, but he is entirely uninterested in the pinky.

I have tried feeding him in a dark box, at night, in his cage (only because I was desperate, I would prefer he eat in a separate eating container), and in the light. I haven't brained the pinky or tired a live one yet, but I will if I need to. I'm just hoping he will catch on and eat a frozen/thawed one.

I am contemplating taking him to a vet because if there is an underlining issue, I want to nip it in the bud now and not wait until it's too late. At first, I thought he was just stressed out due to being near a new person and in a new environment; however, it has been almost a month and still nothing.

Additionally, his cage has the right temperature, humidity, hide spots, etc. He seems happy, but does hide in his coconut substrate most of the day.

I would like some advice. I have been told to keep waiting, but I'm still going to worry until he takes food. I don't want anything to happen to him. He is super sweet and a truly remarkable snake.

Thank you for any advice,
Natalie
 

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What is the temp and humidity??
I had this problem except with a CRB.
Just keep trying weekly, dont try more often than that, it will just cause the snake stress.
Try defrosting the pinky just by leaving it to thaw, then heat it up with a hairdryer until its luke warm to touch,(dont cook it) then put it on some tongs and wave it about in the Viv. Best times to feed are late at night or early morning while its still dark.
Dont handle your snake, just change the water regularily.
rainbow Boas can be difficult. remember they are nocturnal and quite shy snakes, they like to hide. Have you got lots of things for your snake to climb on, they are semi arboreal at that age.
how much does your snake weigh?? has he lost weight?? To be honest if he's not losing weight dont worry, a month not feeding is nothing.
Eventually, out of desperation I ended up live feeding and then assist feeding but that was only after many months and when she started dropping weight and getting weak. She eats just fine now but only if I initiate a feeding strike/coil hence the hot mouse and the tongs.
Try not to worry though, its not unusual, you will get there eventually.
 

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Are you trying rat pinks or mice pinks?

My BRB is incredibly shy and so is a shy feeder as well. Personally I would try warming up the prey, braining it and leaving it in over night without disturbing the little chap.

How much coverage are you providing? I find my chap does better when his enclosure is completely packed out with hiding spots and plants.
 

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Try leaving the food item in the hide overnight.
 

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i had the same problem with one of my young BRB's when i kept them. i was advised by a breeder on here to try the tail tapping method...you just gently tap the tail of the snake with the pinky and then after a little bit of tapping put the pinky in front of the snake's head. this worked almost immediately for me. it does cheese the snake off a bit so don't try it too many times at once because it will put the poor thing off, but it worked a treat - especially when the pinky was brained and all juicy and gooey...
 

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I have had quite a few baby BRBs and it is not unusual to have one or two that are relucant feeders. I have never used mouse pinks always atarting them on rat pups, warmed up and brained, and as suggested above left in overnight.
Also, I always defrost in air and warm up without soaking in water as I think that this will take some of the rat smell away. On a couple of occasions I have tried washing the rat pup and then dunking it into the insides of a day old chick - a bit messy but this has worked for me. I find that BRBs do respond to chicks.
 

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Strike feeding works well with my BRB, I left a rat in his viv one eve and he didn't eat it but when I waggled it in his face the next morning he struck and ate it. But rats are certainly the way forward as mice will be too small when they get larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The temp is sitting at the high end of the 90s due to him being in a 10gl with a 60wt bulb. The cool end is around 80ish. I let someone burrow my humidity gauge, so I don't that. It was around 60, but that was a month ago.

I have only been trying weekly and always at night. My method of defrosting is to let the pinky thaw out until soft but cool and then heating it up with a heat lamp. I don't use water because it makes their skin too thin.

He loves to climb! I have a tree branch and a long piece of fake vines...he was tons of hide spots from it :)

He isn't losing weight to my knowledge, but I will go ahead and weight him and keep track. I'm not extremely worried; however, I would be super happy and relieved if he would just eat.

Thanks for your help :) I'll post any new news. He was hunting around last night, so maybe I should try again in a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, late last night I feed baby Noah and he ate without any problems. He had been hunting around his cage for the past three nights, so I know he was hungry. The pinky I feed him split when I went to feel its temperature, which I believe got his attention real quick with such a strong smell haha I want to say, "Thank you!" to everyone for all your help and wonderful advice. I was so worried, but now I just feel relived. I say it's a Christmas Miracle :notworthy:

Thanks again!

Natalie
 

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Glad she has eaten or you. I hae found that once they start eating routinely BRBs very rarely miss a meal, that's my experience anyway. Personally I would disturb him as little as possible for a few days to kettle him chill out until his next feed. Love BRBs. Any photos ?
 

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First of all before I say anything else I want to point out that I am a novice and have only been keeping my snakes for about 4 months. So anything I say is based not on a life long experience but just what i do and what I have been told by a VERY reputable person that I trust fully.

I have a rainbow boa and it was my furst snake it is about 8 months old and is gorgeous. I see lots of questions about humidity in vivs and I try my hardest to keep mine high but I find it hard to do. However what is not hard to do is to to provide a moist hide. The humidity in there must be very high. It has moss in it which I check is always damp and I have that hide sat under the heat source. It is always damp and warm when I check it (daily). I think as long as you have a hide like this then humidity in a viv is not that important. I DO spray my viv every day but the general viv humidity is only about 50 -60%. It rises to 70% ish after a spray but is soon back down to about 50%. I am not worried as the boa has somewhere to go to get that humid feeling. My rainbow boa is a dustbin for food and has never missed a feed. So if the temps are about right and you have a moist box then I would not worry too much about humidity levels.

I hope everything goes well with yours. I know I love mine to bits :)
 

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50-60% for an 8 month old is way low. A wet hide is not enough, you need to get that humidity up in the whole viv. Whats your snake supposed to do to get warm/cold if the only place its humid enough for the snake to breath properly is in the hot/wet hide.
Why cant you keep it more humid? I dont get it..
What substrate do you use. What sort of viv is it?? How much ventilation have you got.
You say the humidity in there must be very high..are you not monitoring it then??
Seriously Gazb, I know some people argue for wet hides as sufficient for some species but not rainbows...I will probably get a lot of people disagree with me and I dont pretend to be the worlds expert but what you are doing concerns me...
 

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50-60% for an 8 month old is way low. A wet hide is not enough, you need to get that humidity up in the whole viv. Whats your snake supposed to do to get warm/cold if the only place its humid enough for the snake to breath properly is in the hot/wet hide.
Why cant you keep it more humid? I dont get it..
What substrate do you use. What sort of viv is it?? How much ventilation have you got.
You say the humidity in there must be very high..are you not monitoring it then??
Seriously Gazb, I know some people argue for wet hides as sufficient for some species but not rainbows...I will probably get a lot of people disagree with me and I dont pretend to be the worlds expert but what you are doing concerns me...
As a newbie I am always open to listening to advice. Thanks LimaVictor. You are right, I don't monitor humidity inside the moist hide. I only use a very cheap stick on meter for the rest of the (custom made wooden, glass lined) viv ( built for me by ND Aquarics) and we all know how inaccurate they are. I spray every morning and keep an eye on the moist hide. I use orchid bark as the substrate.
My rainbow boa is doing well and never missed a feed and uses all 3 hides that he has.

I was advised on this set up by someone who I believe to be one if the country's leading experts. He is someone I 100% trust. He has worked with David Attenborough and is even credited in the end credits on the life in cold blood series. If he tells me that this set up is fine, the snake is thriving (not just existing) then I am happy that I have things about right.
 

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your snake is eating so he must be fairly happy...what you are doing goes against everything ive ever been told.
id love to know this guys reasoning. Maybe im doing it wrong.
 

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I have a nice moist hide and a big water bowl in mine. The moist hide is obviously nice and humid for them. And the big water bowl helps with keeping a higher than normal ambient humidity. I spray once a day at night and that brings it to up to around 70-85% humidity for a good while. There is still water droplets on the glass in the morning so stays humid for a nice Long time.
 
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