I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 09-10-2005, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, not really. One of DH's coworkers got into a little bit of a bind with his living situation and asked if we could snake-sit for a while. DH told me it wasn't a huge snake, just 18 inches or so. The coworker brought it to the house today (I'm at work, so I missed this).

Now there's a three-to-four-foot long red-tailed boa constrictor sitting in an aquarium on my dining room table

I've spent the day reading up on taking care of these critters...this should be an interesting learning experience. I don't mind the day-to-day stuff, but I told DH that I wasn't feeding it, and DS isn't watching, either. I'm all for learning about nature, but dumping a rat into an aquarium with a snake ain't natural. Reading up on it, though, it appears that lots of people use dead frozen rats. I'm glad the snake's real daddy is taking care of feeding her, because I am SO not defrosting dead rats. Yuck.
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#2 of 5 Old 09-10-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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ew! we had a snake in our biology class and my teacher raised mice to feed it. it was horrible to watch... i started to watch it and then stopped becuase it was so....gross. snakes are pretty neat though if you ignore the yucky eating.

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#3 of 5 Old 09-11-2005, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now I've been home, so I'll update.

The snake is actually very pretty. Her name is Victoria, and while she is about three feet long, she's not nearly as fat as I thought - only about an inch and a half at the most. I haven't had her out of the aquarium/habitat yet, because I think they need a day or two to settle down after being moved. Apparently the coworker (whom we'll call "Kurt," since that's his name) has been feeding her live rodents - I told DH he needs to let Kurt know that Vicky's feeding habits are going to change. He also needs to get a thermometer and a humidity gauge, because if I'm gonna do this, it's going to get done right.
She barely moved all day. There's a tree branch in the cage, and she spent the whole day coiled up in the fork of it. I know she can move, though, 'cause I left the room and came back a few minutes later to find her entirely on the floor of the habitat, then back up in the tree again in the time it took to pour a glass of V-8.
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#4 of 5 Old 09-12-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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sounds like she isn't being kept warm enough. Shouldn't feed a cold snake, they can't digest unless their temp gets up at least 80 degrees (maybe more for a tropical snake like a boa). Shouldn't feed a stressed snake either, and the move to a new house is stressful for any animal. She can easily go a month without food, so it's probably best not to feed her for a while. Live rats can kill a snake. When they bite, they go for the backbone, and that can get infected resulting in death. Some snakes won't eat thawed rodents, but you can teach them to.

ETA - there is a full-spectrum light on her, isn't there? Snakes absolutely must have sunlight or simulated sunlight or they will get rickets.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-12-2005, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the setup:
the habitat is aquarium-like, but it's got sliding glass doors in front. It's probably 2'H x 3'L x 2' deep. She has a hidey-log and some faux tree branches, and he's using something that looks like crumbled bark for bedding. As far as heat, there's one of these mounted, pointing down, in a PVC (fake wood) top, with what looks like a blacklight bulb. He also has one of those heat mats underneath the habitat, and he gave us a misting bottle. I asked DH to request a thermometer and hygrometer from Kurt (even if he doesn't put out, I already bought a set, just in case). It feels pretty warm in there, though, and we have radiator heat and haven't been running the AC, so humidity shouldn't be too hard to maintain.
Light-wise, she's sitting right inside a large window, so there's plenty of natural light getting to her.

Thanks for the input!
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