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Old 09-07-2008, 09:56 AM   #1
Tricks to get a neonate to feed?

I know I've seen tips on how to get non-feeder baby boas to eat, but I'm having no luck finding them now.

Short of force feeding (which I don't want to do unless I have to as a last resort), what can I do to entice a baby boa who hasn't yet eaten to feed?

First meal offering was a live pink rat, two weeks after birth. 2 of 5 took that meal. Three weeks after birth, each were offered a f/t rat pink. 3 of 5 took that one. A week later, the same. 4 of 5 fed. Now, 4 of the five babies have also shed at different times, leaving only the one that has neither shed nor fed, and is starting to look skinny.

Just looking for tips - I tried a f/t rat pink last night dipped in chicken broth. This boa wasn't the smallest of the litter (which is why I wasn't worried at first), but has never struck at food, and doesn't hiss as much as the others.

The entire litter is now just over two months old, and they are Surinam redtails.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I will try picking up a live rat pink again in the next few days.

Old 09-07-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
Hi Lauren, at the risk of asking a stupid question, are you warming up the pinks higher than room temps before you try feeding? Once mine are thawed, I soak them in hot water from the tap for a few minutes to bring up the core temp of the food, and my babies take them without hesitation.
Old 09-07-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
Tray a Live mouse fuzzy. i had one that was like that and the fuzzy did the trick. didnt want rats. i also had one that i use a live hamster fuzzy to get started. that worked also.
Old 09-07-2008, 02:58 PM   #4
I'd be inclined to give it a good soak, and see if there is a shed waiting to come off. As mentioned, switching prey items (mouse vs rat) might be all that is needed.
Old 09-07-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
I agree with Paul, try switching the prey item. I find that the increased movement of a live fuzzy mouse or hopper mouse compared to a live mouse pink or rat pink will usually do the trick. It stimulates their feeding response. You will probably have to offer 3 or 4 meals of live fuzzy or hopper mice and then try the switch to f/t for your reluctant feeder. He will eventually switch over, just be patient.

I also agree with Harald that a soaking and a shed might be needed. If your baby looks skinny and wrinkled it could very well be a shed that has not happened yet. If the baby is holding on to a shed it could be stressing it out.
Old 09-07-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
Try leaving the animal alone for two weeks.
Next feeding trial should be acouple hrs before sunrise.
Intro the prey and leave it undisturbed for no less then 12 hrs.
True patience will prevail over a multitude of "home remedies"
Old 09-08-2008, 09:53 AM   #7
Yes, I always soak f/t prey in hot water before offering to my snakes - there are only a couple of established adults who will take "room temp" f/t, so I'm used to having to pre-heat. Every time I've attempted to feed the babies, I leave them with the prey for 12 - 18 hrs, and remove the prey if not eaten by then, and have not attempted more often than 5-7 days, seems to have worked for the others.

I will try a live mouse fuzzy this weekend, will soak for a half hour tonight in case shedding is the issue. She does look a bit wrinkly and looking skinny is why I was starting to get nervous, especially since all the other littermates have now shed and fed.

Thanks, all! Fingers crossed.
Old 09-08-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
A retained shed will exaggerate the wrinkly and skinny look for sure. Just stay calm, I had a baby go for like 2 months without eating once. It was a little nerveracking but it pulled through, and so did I! LOL
Old 09-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #9
Yep, live mouse fuzzy will be more active, and just might make for a grab.

Also, I've had better luck with dropping in the pinky at night, and leave them be in the wee hours. This is the time when they are usually most active, and has proved useful to me in the past.

Good luck!
Old 09-09-2008, 09:09 AM   #10
Me too - every time I've tried feeding, it's been after dark. This is the only baby who is "really nice" - meaning doesn't hiss at me when I open the bin... probably reduced agressiveness which doesn't exactly help with feeding. I'll let you know how it goes when I try feeding next time, hopefully the shedding (and/or prey choice) is the issue.

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