KSB Help - First time owner

Hello! I’m looking for advice for anybody who has some experience with keeping young Kenyan Sand Boas. I’m new to this site so if this should post somewhere or something, please feel free to tell me.

I got him (I confess, an impulse buy…) at a reptile show in January. My worry is that since then he has only eaten once, a little pinkie mouse. He has also shed exactly once. My main question is, am I being neurotic and prematurely freaking out or do I need to take him to the vet or what??

He’s currently housed in a plastic tub with sand for substrate. I’ve been taking him out to try to feed him in a separate, empty plastic tub to avoid impaction. I also tried feeding him in his enclosure but I set the mouse on a sterilized pringles lid in the hopes he’d feed off of that if I just left him alone. This worked exactly once, in mid-February. I’ve tried heating the mouse in a plastic baggie in a warm water bath and have also tried using a hair dryer. I’ve tried wiggling to the side of the head, in front, and gently lifting at his lip with the mouse to try to get him to latch on. He has shown no interest in feeding and actively runs from the food and/or avoids where I’ve left it.

Right now he is exactly 10 g, but unfortunately I didn’t weigh him when I got him. Really kicking myself for it, now. I’m going to do regular weigh ins going forward and will update the numbers if he still won’t eat. But am I being neurotic? How worried should I be? Do you guys have any advice on anything I’m doing wrong or that I should try? I would be really devastated if this little guy didn’t thrive.

His name is Gelato Bean and I call him Jelly Bean. Just a general FYI if I start talking about jelly beans so it doesn’t confuse anybody.

Also, my long term plan with him is to move him into a 20 gallon glass tank. I was going to put some air plants, succulents, things like that in there. I also want to try putting a tile mosaic on the back glass wall using aquarium silicone as a replacement for grout. So if anybody has advice or input on that I’d love to hear it as well, although those concerns are a ways down the line given my worries about his eating.

1 Like

Right now you want to keep him in an enclosure that is as small as possible up until he is a consistant feeder.

I would recommend to keep feeding in the enclosure vs outside of it.

Males IMO are a little more finicky when it comes to food however some of it could be husbandry related as well.

Do you know how many time he hate prior to you acquiring it?

What are your current temps?

1 Like

Thank you for your response!

The breeder said that they offered food weekly and that he had eaten a couple of days before I bought him, but unfortunately I didn’t ask a single follow up question to that.

His current tub is about 10" by 14" with a hot side and a cool side. The hot side is about 92 plus or minus a degree at most, the other side doesn’t have a thermometer on it but just now I checked and it’s at 84.

With feeding inside the enclosure, should I be looking at switching his substrate? I used to work at a vet clinic located inside a petsmart and we didn’t get any sand boas, but we did get lots of leopard geckos and beardies with impaction issues because petsmart pushes those calcium sands. Just makes me nervous.

So enclosure en temps are good so now it’s really a matter of has he been well started or not which that it never easy to tell without a record, with smaller species I tend to at least give them 10 meals before letting them go and those have to be F/T meals, obviously you also have that question of whether the animal or not was completely switch to F/T.

As far as substrate I have never be a fan of sand in captivity I use coco husk which is fine coconut bedding, I buy it by bricks pour water let them expend than dry and use them with smaller species. If/when I feed F/T I simply put the feeder on a piece of paper towel.

Now I know that it’s often not a choice and also not convenient to find live pinks unless you have a specialty store nearby and right now with everything that is going on could be even harder, but have you tried live?

I fortunately have a good store nearby and went to get a live pink, but i had left a thawed in with him when i went to pick it up and he had eaten it so i let my friend’s KSB have the live

1 Like

Having 3 sand boas myself I feed all mine outside of their homes in really small containers. The food item is f/t but heated up to really hot Temps. I always feed at night and I make sure the snakes are on some kind of heat while being offered food. The food item and snake are placed in a container and then either covered or “buried” in their substrate (holes in container left exposed of course). I leave them in with their food for a minimum of 30 min cause I’ve noticed they can be slow eaters. If I have one that doesn’t eat then I don’t mess with them for a week and try again.

I’ve also had success getting one picky eater to eat again by taking out water in their enclosure and instead giving a good warm soak the day before I plan on feeding. Another breeder friend of mine suggested the technique and is their go to way of dealing with Sands in general.