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Posted by Raven01 on May 12, 2003 at 11:05:34:
In Reply to: new Candoia (longish) posted by Carlton on May 09, 2003 at 18:58:00:
Hi there! As I mentioned to Carlton, I also have Solomon Island ground boas and tried lots of ways to get my wc male to eat. Jerry Conway is pretty much THE authority on these little guys and gave me lots of ideas to get mine feeding, even though he didn't sell him to me. I also got some great ideas from Jim Kavney of Hiss-N-Things (where I got my wc female Solomon Island ground boa). If I had to guess Sonya, yours are also wc or captive born (if they were inexpensive) and that means you get to do the trial and error thing, too. :) It's GREAT that you found something yours would eat fairly quickly though I'm sorry you lost so many of them. Unfortunately, that is often the case with the neonates from what I've read. I went through a number of items over the last year trying to get my guy to eat willingly. The guy I purchased him from said he was eatting live geckos. Okay, that was no problem because I can get those. I tried two different types of geckos (two sizes of each), live pinks, frozen pinks, fresh killed pinks, frogs (two different types & sizes), and a slew of other things. When he started losing weight, I began assist feeding him with Lizard Maker scented pinks (that's by placing the head of the pinky in his mouth and then he'd swallow it on his own). Last month I found his 'trigger' food. My Mom had caught some wild mice and they started breeding. I figured I could prekill and freeze the offspring, then use them to feed some of my smaller snakes. On a whim a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try offering one of the live pinks to my male S.I. He ate it without me having to scent it or anything. After almost a year, I found something the little guy would eat on his own - figures it wouldn't be something readily available. Mom is now officially in the moust breeding hobby. lol I've also heard of people using small feeder fish and tadpoles, neither of which I could find at the time. I hadn't ever thought of salamanders, that's a great idea.
I also found that neither of my Solomon Islands would eat if they were watched or there was too much activity around. I usually feed my male last thing in the eveing by placing the prey in his tub and then leaving it until the next evening. You can also try closing the snakes in a small container (with air holes) or a paper bag with the top folded over (to provide a dark, contained space) and the prey item, leaving them overnight. The prey is usually gone by the next morning. Actually, this works for most young snakes as I've used it with a number of reluctant feeders over the years. I've also found that my pair does better in a smaller setup in a quieter part of the house than most of my other boas or pythons. I started my male out in a naturalisticly decorated tank and he hid constantly, seeming timid of the large open areas. He started doing much better when I moved him down to a plastic tub (long enough that he could stretch out with a bit of room left over) with just a hide, water dish and branch. Even my female, who's probably around 2 years old, did much better in acclimating with a smaller tub to start out and a quiet area of the house. I think in part this is because they are both wild caught, but I usually treat most new additions in this way now and have good results.
They are also very particular about their temperature ranges from all I've read and my own experience. I keep mine with an ambient temp of 78-80 degrees. They are in Sterlite tubs that are set inside a large tank with several other tubs. I have heat tape secured to 1/2 the tank on a Helix thermostat behind the tubs containg my small carpet pythons and corn snakes but nothing behind the Solomon Islands with a large gap between the heated tubs and theirs. The rear corner of each of the S.I. tubs (nearest the heat tape) is slightly warmer - probably mid eighties at best. It provides something of a basking area though neither of the snakes make use of it - mostly prefering to hang out around the middle or front of the tubs and only in the back area right after feeding, if then. They also like it to be fairly humid, so I provide large water bowls to boost the humidity in the tubs.
All in all, these are great little snakes. I'm also saving up for a pair of Jerry's neonates. When I bought the male, it was my understanding that he was captive bred. Only after I started having feeding problems did I find out he was actually wild caught. Though I love him dearly, and feel he has been more than worth the effort, I'd just as soon not go through the whole not eating thing again. lol