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Discussion Starter #1
HELP SERIOUSLY
I have been thinking about getting rid of my Kenyan Sand Boa because she hasn't eaten. She is about 10" long, and I offer her frozen thawed pinkie mice. I have done all of my research, ( it took me months) but I've never heard of this happening. My snake hasn't eat in over a month (at least). I feed her in a small delly cup, and leave the mouse with her overnight. She has eaten really well before, she hasn't eaten live. I don't want to feed live because I don't want her to get hooked on that. I recently upgraded her tank to 2/3 of her 20 gallon. I know that may be a little big, but she has to have a cool side and a warm side (with her heat mat set to 95degrees). I have her on Aspen and she's been sticking her whole head out, but hasn't been very active. I have fake plants and some cork bark for her, and a water dish. I change her water every day, and declorinate it. I feel like a bad snake mom and I'm on the urge of getting rid of her and I would NOT want to do that. Again, please help I'm desperate. I also haven't been holding her and I feel she will become aggressive.
 

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Double check temps, may be too cold. Temperature is the most likely cause.

Also are you sure its female? Males go off their food this time of year.

Final point is that a pinkie is too small of a meal for a 10inch kenyan, should be able to eat a fuzzy or a small mouse.
 

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HELP SERIOUSLY
I have been thinking about getting rid of my Kenyan Sand Boa because she hasn't eaten. She is about 10" long, and I offer her frozen thawed pinkie mice. I have done all of my research, ( it took me months) but I've never heard of this happening. My snake hasn't eat in over a month (at least). I feed her in a small delly cup, and leave the mouse with her overnight. She has eaten really well before, she hasn't eaten live. I don't want to feed live because I don't want her to get hooked on that. I recently upgraded her tank to 2/3 of her 20 gallon. I know that may be a little big, but she has to have a cool side and a warm side (with her heat mat set to 95degrees). I have her on Aspen and she's been sticking her whole head out, but hasn't been very active. I have fake plants and some cork bark for her, and a water dish. I change her water every day, and declorinate it. I feel like a bad snake mom and I'm on the urge of getting rid of her and I would NOT want to do that. Again, please help I'm desperate. I also haven't been holding her and I feel she will become aggressive.
ok firstly, 1 month feeding refusal is not a long time for a snake to go without food, as long as she has not lost a lot of weight then you do not need to be worried.

How old is she and are you certain it is a female and not a male? My male sand boa is currently on a feeding strike (has been 3 months) as he has other things on his mind, he does it every year and so I just let it happen until he wants to feed again. This could very well be the case for your sand boa is refusing.

There is absolutely no need to feed live at this point, that should be the very last resort and even that should be considered months down the line. I've noticed a lot of American groups on Facebook suggest to sand boa keepers to feed live if they refuse but this can all be avoided if a little imagination is used during feeding time. The issue with sand boa's is they are a stealthy hunter, often waiting under sand to ambush prey which runs over them, I always try to replicate this during feeding. To do this, defrost the food item, warm it up slightly with a hairdryer or warm water, find where the sand boa is resting and then use some tongs to gently 'walk' the mouse over the area she is resting - let her have a good smell every now and then - my sand boa goes crazy for this technique and will not feed any other way. Also, taking her out and putting her in a separate tub with the food will be causing her more stress, leave her in the enclosure to feed.

The food seems a bit small for her, try her on fuzzy.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Double check temps, may be too cold. Temperature is the most likely cause.

Also are you sure its female? Males go off their food this time of year.

Final point is that a pinkie is too small of a meal for a 10inch kenyan, should be able to eat a fuzzy or a small mouse.
She gets fed a bigger pinkie, I have check the size, again she has eaten before, I'm pretty sure she is a girl, but idk for sure
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Double check temps, may be too cold. Temperature is the most likely cause.

Also are you sure its female? Males go off their food this time of year.

Final point is that a pinkie is too small of a meal for a 10inch kenyan, should be able to eat a fuzzy or a small mouse.
The temp is set to 95 degrees too
 

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ok firstly, 1 month feeding refusal is not a long time for a snake to go without food, as long as she has not lost a lot of weight then you do not need to be worried.

How old is she and are you certain it is a female and not a male? My male sand boa is currently on a feeding strike (has been 3 months) as he has other things on his mind, he does it every year and so I just let it happen until he wants to feed again. This could very well be the case for your sand boa is refusing.

There is absolutely no need to feed live at this point, that should be the very last resort and even that should be considered months down the line. I've noticed a lot of American groups on Facebook suggest to sand boa keepers to feed live if they refuse but this can all be avoided if a little imagination is used during feeding time. The issue with sand boa's is they are a stealthy hunter, often waiting under sand to ambush prey which runs over them, I always try to replicate this during feeding. To do this, defrost the food item, warm it up slightly with a hairdryer or warm water, find where the sand boa is resting and then use some tongs to gently 'walk' the mouse over the area she is resting - let her have a good smell every now and then - my sand boa goes crazy for this technique and will not feed any other way. Also, taking her out and putting her in a separate tub with the food will be causing her more stress, leave her in the enclosure to feed.

The food seems a bit small for her, try her on fuzzy.
I will try to feed her in her enclosure, and wiggle the mouse with tongs. She has eaten in her delly for the year she has lived. I will double check with the breeder I have bought her from to check how she was being fed, and if she is certainly a female. She shouldn't be stressed since she seems very alert and is shedding at the right amount. Thank you for the recommendations.
 

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ok firstly, 1 month feeding refusal is not a long time for a snake to go without food, as long as she has not lost a lot of weight then you do not need to be worried.

How old is she and are you certain it is a female and not a male? My male sand boa is currently on a feeding strike (has been 3 months) as he has other things on his mind, he does it every year and so I just let it happen until he wants to feed again. This could very well be the case for your sand boa is refusing.

There is absolutely no need to feed live at this point, that should be the very last resort and even that should be considered months down the line. I've noticed a lot of American groups on Facebook suggest to sand boa keepers to feed live if they refuse but this can all be avoided if a little imagination is used during feeding time. The issue with sand boa's is they are a stealthy hunter, often waiting under sand to ambush prey which runs over them, I always try to replicate this during feeding. To do this, defrost the food item, warm it up slightly with a hairdryer or warm water, find where the sand boa is resting and then use some tongs to gently 'walk' the mouse over the area she is resting - let her have a good smell every now and then - my sand boa goes crazy for this technique and will not feed any other way. Also, taking her out and putting her in a separate tub with the food will be causing her more stress, leave her in the enclosure to feed.

The food seems a bit small for her, try her on fuzzy.
I do thaw it in the fridge and heat it up with warm water for about 10 mins. In the fridge it sits for a couple hours.
 

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Also remember that if you have suddenly gone to a bigger enclosure, this can put them off too, i have found with some of mine that they prefer a smaller enclosure. Might just be mine. As stated already, 1 month is not a long time for a feed strike. But each animal is different, if you are really concerned, take it to a vet. Chances are tho, if you leave it alone for a couple of weeks, dont disturb it, it'll feed soon enough.
 

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The temp is set to 95 degrees too
With a heat mat.
Sand boas burrow down to avoid heat, not to access it.
Having kept and bred a number of sand boas, including javelins, I can say with absolute confidence that your set up is the problem.
Heat mats are fine in a heated room to give a localised hot spot, or for snakes that aren't overly fussy about temperatures.
Sand boas, however, do need a high ambient air temperature.
Your best bet is to house in a wooden viv, with overhead heating. A spot lamp is perfect, controlled by a dimming thermostat. Give 12 to 14 hours heat and light then off at night. Where they come from gets very cold overnight.
I have tried using mats, they just do not work.
At 10 inches it's not newborn so was clearly feeding previously.
Change the set up, and it will feed.
95 is fine, but overhead, not underneath.
 

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Haven’t read any replies..,

I had a hatchling Sand boa that was a very reluctant feeder ...thankfully someone told me to put the snake plus a warmed up fuzzy in a very , very small , covered container and leave it in the viv for an hour ( in the dark)
Ate every time .
 

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Haven’t read any replies..,

I had a hatchling Sand boa that was a very reluctant feeder ...thankfully someone told me to put the snake plus a warmed up fuzzy in a very , very small , covered container and leave it in the viv for an hour ( in the dark)
Ate every time .
That's basically what I do but it's not working.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
With a heat mat.
Sand boas burrow down to avoid heat, not to access it.
Having kept and bred a number of sand boas, including javelins, I can say with absolute confidence that your set up is the problem.
Heat mats are fine in a heated room to give a localised hot spot, or for snakes that aren't overly fussy about temperatures.
Sand boas, however, do need a high ambient air temperature.
Your best bet is to house in a wooden viv, with overhead heating. A spot lamp is perfect, controlled by a dimming thermostat. Give 12 to 14 hours heat and light then off at night. Where they come from gets very cold overnight.
I have tried using mats, they just do not work.
At 10 inches it's not newborn so was clearly feeding previously.
Change the set up, and it will feed.
95 is fine, but overhead, not underneath.
I'll think about that. I have heard from many Kenyan Sand Boa owners have recommend heat mats because they prefer belly heat. She has a warm side and a cold side to escape the heat if she wanted to
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also remember that if you have suddenly gone to a bigger enclosure, this can put them off too, i have found with some of mine that they prefer a smaller enclosure. Might just be mine. As stated already, 1 month is not a long time for a feed strike. But each animal is different, if you are really concerned, take it to a vet. Chances are tho, if you leave it alone for a couple of weeks, dont disturb it, it'll feed soon enough.
I have left her alone for a while. Im not sure if she'll let me hold her because I havent held her in like a week. She has already bit me twice
 

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I have left her alone for a while. Im not sure if she'll let me hold her because I havent held her in like a week. She has already bit me twice
Wow ... mine was so quiet and placid..

Are you certain the temps aren’t too high ?

That may explain the skittishness and being nippy


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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I'll think about that. I have heard from many Kenyan Sand Boa owners have recommend heat mats because they prefer belly heat. She has a warm side and a cold side to escape the heat if she wanted to
No, you don't.
You have a warm base and a cool surface.
This is COMPLETELY against how they live.
You also say that the heater is set at 95, but is around 90?
There is a huge amount of misunderstanding among keepers who regurgitate false advice, and almost always when they have never kept these snakes.
Sand boas are desert dwellers. They burrow to escape daytime heat.
So providing a heat source underground will completely confuse it. Please, please remember that these are, no matter how many generations captive bred, wild animals. And will try to act as they evolved to do.
Keeping a Sand boa on a mat is just wrong and leads to these issues.
Also, removing it to feed is also a fault, they do not like disturbance.
Your answer is very simple.
Change your housing.
Unless you have it kept in a heated room that is at least 32C warm, then that mat is not helping.
They like VERY high ambient air temperatures by day, cold at night. An overhead basking spot of 95F is needed.
Overhead heating for a single animal is the basic requirement.
Using a heat mat is just trying to keep it as cheaply as possible.
You dont have to take my advice, I've kept saharan and Kenyan Sand boas, and bred rough scaled, tartar and javelins (the latter, as far as I am aware, the only litter produced in the UK for nearly 10 years).
Without sounding big-headed, I doubt there are many others on here with the same experience of Sand boas who still post here.
As I said, it's up to you how you keep your snake but I would strongly suggest you consider my advice.
 

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I hate that phrase "they need belly heat". It comes from the worst parts of the leopard gecko husbandry community. Where they try to justify keeping a desert animal in a drawer so they can keep hundreds of them in a rack.

Try to replicate the animal's natural environment and let it exhibit its natural behaviours. A sand boa wants to thermoregulate by coming near to the warm surface of the substrate to warm up and burrowing down to escape from the heat.
 
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