Boa constrictor ssp

The Boa constrictor is one the most common snake in captivity in Sweden and many other countries. Maybe because its docile temper and size. But most certain because of its beautiful colors and patterns. When I say Boa constrictor I'm not talking about the purebred imperators or constrictors but the crossbreeds that most of the boa constrictors are. If you are looking for a caresheet for a special subspecies, this is not the one.

Size

A Boa constrictor reaches a length between 180-280cm. The size depends on what kind of crossbreed it is, when the constrictors tend to get larger then most imperators. It is often difficult to know what kind of crossbreed it is. A boa that is 200cm long will have a weight of 5-8 kg depending on its fat reserves. That is good to have in mind when you are considering to buy a Boa constrictor.

Behavior

The Boa constrictor is a nocturnal snake but it will move during the day to regulate its body temperature. Being nocturnal means that it will be active at night to find food and water. There for it is natural for the snake to eat during dusk and the night. So if the snake is reluctant to eat it might be a good idea to feed it later in the pm. Because the snake is hunting during night you might not want to handle it at that time because the risk of a bite increases.

Feeding

A juveniles first meal will be a small pinkie or maybe a ratpinkie. But it will grow fast the first two years so it will start to eat bigger mice, then rats and when its around 180-200cm it will eat guinea pigs and bunny's. This is another thing that is good to keep in mind when considering getting a Boa constrictor. If you can't give it those kind of preys, maybe a smaller snake would fit better. I recommend that you try to get the snake used to pre-killed prey as soon as possible. Some juveniles will eat pre-killed from the start, others will not. But it is worth the effort. Feeding pre-killed food does not only save the snake from unnecessary injures, it will also be easier for you to have a storage of food, in the freezer. Vitamins can be injected with a needle or powdered on the prey. If you inject vitamins the prey must be pre-killed! Remember to read on the jar how much vitamins the snake is suppose to have. I give vitamins occasionally and my snakes are feeling just fine. Giving to much can sometimes hurt the snake more then giving none. Some say that vitamins disappear when you freeze pre-killed prey but it's a very small amount so the snake will not be affected by it. It's not recommended to re-freeze prey. When the prey is being put in a freezer the decaying process is being slowed down. So the prey will not be fresh forever and will certainly not be if you re-freeze it.

Water

The watercontainer most be of a size so that the snake can soak its body in the water. If you have more then one snake in the same container, the watercontainer most be big enough for them all. The watercontainer needs to be cleaned and re-filled with fresh water everyday. You wouldn't want to drink yesterdays water so why should your snake? The water you will fill the container with should not be too hot or too cold. If its too cold, the snake might take a bath in it before it has warmed up and get a cold. If you have to place the watercontainer under the hotspot to raise the humidity, you must have a smaller waterbowl on the cooler side. This is because warm water is a good growing spot for bacteria and the snake might get sick out of drinking it.

The cage should be as long as the snake and the dept and height should be half the snake's length. But the bigger the better! The temperature should be 24 degrees on the cold side and 28 on the warm side with a basking spot with 30-37 degrees. The temperature at night should be between 24-26 degrees. Why the snake needs different temperatures is so that it can choose and regulate its body temperature. The humidity should be around 60-80%. You need a humidity-meter to be sure of the humidity. There are several different ways and tools to raise your humidity. Fogers, dimmers and rainsystems are the most effective. But sometimes a big bowl of water and a heavy "rain" a week that really moistens the substrate (doesn't work with paper as substrate) will do.

The most natural substrate is bark



// By: Therese Alpstig