This is my first time posting and an looking for some advice on a non feeding boa, picked up my dream snake a female 2 year old dumerils boa, and let her settle into a rub every so slightly bigger than her critter keeper she was kept in for the last two years, I left her alone and had her feed within the second week, (October) at first very active then point blank refused to move or feed to the next many feeds i tried, all temps correct, humidity etc, I haven’t handled or stressed her out, I do have a theory that perhaps she’s burmating due to the drop in room temperature as the weather got colder. I decided to place her on the viv(December) I’d made her in case the rub wasn’t keeping the temps as well as a viv could (kept in rub to keep everything similar) it’s a med viv exotic so not to overwhelm with space she has three hides and a ceramic heater keeping the viv at a much more consistent temperature, branches and a few plants for cover, and she has a deep substrate to bury into should she wish.
She instantly decided to go into the cool hide and stay there( after a huge poop) and there she stayed until this week. Again this made me feel she has activity decide to brumate possibly?
Anyways she’s been out and basking each night and I’ve been very careful to not disturb her as she can be shy, decided to try a small feed and she acted scared of the mouse and instantly hid and refused again her feed. Now at this point I’m not trying to be to worried, she’s drinking has shed in this time and hasn’t lost any noticeable weight, but I want to have a plan of action if this continues, am I right that she’s In a cool down period or is she super stressed and will continue to have feeding issues, it’s important I don’t get in over my head and she suffer for it, any advice be amazing, many thanks.
What are your temps and humidity and what size enclosure do you have her in? What have you tried feeding her and has she ever eaten when you’ve had her? How many times did you attempt to feed her and how often and how did you (all the details, where you held the mouse, which direction of it was facing the snake, the temperature, etc.)? When did you move her from the tub to the vivarium? Depending on the answers from above you could try scenting the food, braining it, feeding live (extra precautions), trying different ways to feed her (in a box, in a deli cup, in darkness, etc.). Sorry for all of the questions just trying to get an idea of how to help.
As Erie notes, we need specifics in terms of temps/light/cage size/humidity. Just saying they are “correct” does not help us.
Dum’s are not the most active of species and they have quite a slow metabolism, they can comfortable go a month or more without eating so I would not be overly stressed so long as the animal is maintaining healthy weight
Apologies I didn’t want to write an entire essay at first but your right I should have added that info, she’s in a almost three foot wooden vivarium, 16h, 15d, hot spot (on stat) is max 30c over a clay type cave hide creating a warm area she can bask and hide in also, cool end is between 23-25 depending on where probe is, this end has a moist hide, and cork bark makes up other hides in-between.humidity around 50%, I do give enclosure a spray a few times a week, she’s on Coco coir and cypress mulch. I did add a shade dweller but haven’t had it turned on due to worry of extra stress. Shes fed once on med rat with me, I’ve tried shaking, drop feeding, braining with hot water. Rats. Asf, and mice. Close to her and far away, I hoping she will just do it one day but want to be aware of anything I should be looking out for or anything I’ve missed, and also should I just keep trying as I am? I try every few weeks to every week depending, and don’t stress her in any way to be selfish, ie pull her out, noise, electronic equipment. Also been in viv since December, let me know if missed anything, I’m going to try scenting a rat in hamster bedding next? Please tell me if I’m a dope if rather know than not, always learning in this hobby.
Sorry also the pray had always faced her and been warm, ether hot plate method or dipped in warm water to try both ways, I can’t get fresh killed and will not be able to do live feeding and am completely aware that if that’s what she would eventually need I would have to accept I couldn’t keep her for her own well being.
Unless she’s rapidly losing weight or becoming unhealthy then I’d wait until she starts exploring again to attempt to feed her. It probably wouldn’t hurt to attempt to feed her once or twice a week but she most likely won’t take it. I’ve also heard that putting snakes in small deli cups or containers with the food either next to them or hanging by it’s tail above sometimes gets them to eat. But if she’s not coming out of her hide then it might be pointless. Has she ever gone anywhere other than the hide in her bigger enclosure. If not then you would have better luck putting her back in the tub.
Similar Leopard Gecko Story
I got 2 leopard geckos from an expo, one I put in a 16qt tub and the other I put in a 45 gallon aquarium. The one in the tub did great, after a week she ate almost everything I gave her. But the other one didn’t ever eat even when placed in front of her and she spent about 22 hours a day in her humid hide and about 2 hours either behind or in her warm hide. She did that for 2.5 weeks, I decided to move her into a tub and she ate the next day.
I think it’s because she was used to being in a tub her whole life and just having something so big stressed her out, once I put her back in a tub, which was what she was comfortable in, she was less stressed out and started eating.
The first week she was interested in her viv and exploring then decided her hide was the best place to be, but this week I’ve seen her out each night so I’m hoping to get her feeding, just sometimes you want to know your ok with what your doing as don’t have many rep people in my life, I’d be overjoyed if she fed but I’m sure she’s not in any danger at the moment and looks perfect no signs of I’ll health at all, I’ve give the tub a go, worth a try
If she’s exploring you shouldn’t need to move her to the tub, if you try feeding I’d figure out her schedule of when she wakes up and goes to bed and try to feed her a few minutes after she gets up.
Cheers hopefully this is her saying she wants too soon, I adore her and want her to be with me for life and would really like to start getting her out and enjoying her too, she’s absolutely stunning. Luckily I have other snakes to annoy
The hot spot might actually be too hot. Dums actually seem to prefer life a little cooler. I do not use any additional heat for mine, she just gets room ambient.
What time of day are you trying to feed? It might help to try in the evening or after lights out, playing to the crepuscular nature of their behaviour.
You might also try drop feeding - place the warmed prey item outside her hide entrance, close up the enclosure, and leave the room. Check back in the morning
Another possibility is to try “nest feeding” I have never heard of Dums being nest raiders but it never hurts to try. Take 3-6 fuzzy mice and pile them in a bowl with some soiled bedding and then place the bowl the enclosure overnight. Typically, this works best with live fuzzies however, but I have a couple species that take F/T this way
I would not do this. If she is stressed then the constant contact/harassment would just stress her more.