How Do I Take Care of My Pet Boa
Boa Constrictor care sheet
Housing: a well ventilated, large wooden vivarium
Heating: basking temperature of 88 degrees with ambient air temperature of 85 degrees
Diet: Carnivorous diet of mice, rats, and other mammals
Rehoming: What happens if I cant take proper care of my boa?
HOW DO I HOUSE MY BOA?
Common boa constrictors do best with a large terrestrial vivarium for their enclosure. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat. Also PVC terrestrial cages should be considered for humidity and cleaning. They are light weight and very easy to clean, move, or stack. As a juvenile the boa will thrive in enclosure around 3ft in length and 2ft in depth and height. As the boa grows this enclosure will need to be upgraded to a 4ft wooden enclosure. Large females may require a 5 or 6ft enclosure when fully grown. Please also provide the snake with a nice hide to retreat in. This make them happy. Cleaning the cage is critical for the snakes health. urine and feces provides the ideal atmosphere for respiratory infections. Give the boa plenty of exercise to prevent nose rubs and stress.
HOW DO I PROVIDE HEAT FOR MY BOA?
Common boas require a day-time temperature of 86F with a basking spot of around 88F. The best way to achieve this is to use a ceramic heat emitter on one side of the enclosure being controlled by either a pulse proportional thermostat. This will keep temperatures steady throughout the day and night whilst also creating a slight temperature gradient in the enclosure. A basking light can also be used but is not necessary, if one is introduced the temperature should not exceed 90F and the basking light should only be on for 10-12 consecutive hours per day. All basking lights and ceramic heat bulbs must be guarded to ensure the snake cannot come into contact with the bulb.
If a ceramic is being used as the sole heat source it is advisable to use LED lights to light the enclosure for 10-12 consecutive hours per day. This provides the boa with a good day/night cycle.
Temperatures should be monitored daily using a thermometer.
WHAT DIET IS IDEAL FOR MY BOA?
A boa constrictor's diet consists of frozen thawed rats, mice and rabbits. When young the boa will be eating frozen mice roughly once a week. The size of the prey increases as the snake gets bigger moving from small mice up through XL mice to rats and eventually a small rabbit. When fully grown the snake only needs to be fed a large meal once every 2-3 weeks.
Water should aways be available for both drinking and bathing. We advise providing a bowl large enough for the snake to submerge itself inside on the cool end of the vivarium. Water should be changed daily to ensure it remains fresh.
ARE DECORATIONS GOOD FOR MY BOA?
Whilst any loose substrate has the small potential to be accidentally swallowed, we have found this to not be a problem with coarse beech wood chips or coarse bark chips and that is what we keep our common boa constrictors on. They are also very easy to clean.
When decorating the enclosures it is advisable to include a number or large decorations ensuring there is at least on good hiding spot at the warm and cold ends. This will help the boa feel more secure and also allow it to use the entirety of it's enclosure confidently. The vivarium should be decorated with various pieces of wood and artificial plants to achieve this.
A juvenile common boa constrictors enclosure can also include some vertical structure as they will climb if given the opportunity. These vertical structures are best created using natural wood decorations and vines.
CAN MY BOAS LIVE TOGETHER? WHAT ABOUT BREEDING?
If you keep a male and female together, they may breed. You do not need to do anything to encourage this, providing they are healthy and the conditions are good, it will happen naturally. You need to consider whether you want this to happen. What will you do with the babies?
A gravid female does not require any additional nesting material. In some cases if the male is extremely active or is stressin the female it may be worth temporarily removing him from the enclosure. Common Boa constrictors are a livebearing species so they will not lay eggs. Roughly 24 weeks after mating she will give birth, the babies should be removed immediately and placed in a smaller enclosure with a moist substrate.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CANT TAKE CARE OF MY BOA?
Boas look cool but comes with a lot of responsibilities and they get "BIG". Please be sure you can provide the proper care and space for these Boas. Please adhere to your state and local laws when owning a boa. I don't recommend boas for first time snake owners. Some boas can be challenging to deal with and all have different Temperaments. Be patient with baby boas, they are scared when leaving the Breeding facility, being on a plane, and handled many times. some do well and some can be a bit nippy. We ask that you give your boa time to adjust to its atmosphere before handling it, so that your experience will be positive. If you cannot take care of your boa try to reach out to your breeder to see if they can re-home the boa. Most breeders will not except rescued boas into their facility due to diseases and contamination they may spread to other animals. It is best for the animal that you find it the proper owner who loves and can afford them. We can help with this rehoming process as a service to the species. We love boas so taking care of them is a big part of our lives. Don't be prideful, make the call.