Rainbow Boa Forum
The forum is a place for members to share good practice and ask questions about Rainbow Boas and their general care. It is free to register and easy to use. There are plenty of regular members, so any queries about Rainbow Boa care, Rainbow Boa breeding, Rainbow Boa health and Rainbow Boa keeping should be answered within a short space of time.
Frequently Asked Questions.
The RainbowBoa.co.uk Forum is a good place to gain advice and feedback which is personalised for your specific problem or enquiry. We always welcome any questions you may have regarding your Rainbow Boa and our members will eagerly offer friendly and informed answers. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may help you in your search for Rainbow Boa advice.
How humid does it need to be in my Rainbow Boa’s vivarium?
Most Rainbow Boas require very high levels of humidity, but it depends on the species on how high that may be (see care sheets for specific species related levels).
Generally hatchling and young Rainbow Boas should be kept in conditions of 80 plus humidity, but adults can handle it a little lower than that. Aim for around 75-80 in adults, but a little more is better than less. Rainbow Boas can dehydrate if the humidity levels are not maintained, so it is very important to have an accurate Hydrometer to monitor the humidity. Rainbow Boas cannot handle humidity of less than 50%, as they are likely to dehydrate at this level.
There are a few ways of maintaining the correct humidity. One of these is to place the water bowl in the warm side of the vivarium. The bowl should have a large surface area to enhance the ability of evaporation.
You should also mist your vivarium a few times a day with water from a spray bottle.
A damp hide is another good way of maintaining the humidity. This can be a bought hide made for the purpose or simply a plastic sandwich box with a hole cut into the lid. Fill this hide with damp sphagnum moss, so that your Rainbow Boa always has a place to retreat if the humidity drops too low for them.
Do I need a thermostat?
Yes, uncontrolled heat sources can cause many problems. Minor problems include stress, respiratory infections and loss of appetite if the temperatures are not correct. Rainbow Boas need heat to help them digest their food, so a low temperature can cause digestive problems. A really high temperature can cause burns to your snake and even death. It does not take many degrees to push the temperature up into dangerous levels, so always ensure any heat source is regulated by a thermostat. Thermometers and heat guards for bulbs are also vital equipment within the vivarium.
What size vivarium do I need to house my Rainbow Boa?
Rainbow Boas do not require large enclosures and can become stressed if they are housed in a vivarium that is too large for them. Generally the size of the vivarium depends on the length of the snake. A good rule to remember is that the perfect size vivarium is when the length of the snake equals the length of the front and one side of the vivarium, i.e. if you have a 3ft Rainbow Boa then the right size vivarium for that snake would be about 2ft by 1ft. A baby Rainbow Boa can be housed in a small faunarium or RUB (plastic box with air holes added) until it becomes large enough to be comfortable in a vivarium.
My Rainbow Boa keeps trying to bite me! Help!
Rainbow Boas have a reputation for being nippy when young, but most grow out of this feistiness as they age. If your Rainbow Boa is really aggressive there are a few things you can do to tame it down.
Regular handling is the key, as once your snake gets used to been handled, then they will learn not to mind it too much. If you are scared of being bitten, wear gloves to protect yourself or place you snake in a pillowcase, so that you can handle your snake through the cotton without it being able to strike.
Once your snake recognises your scent and understands that you are not a threat, then it will usually be calmer around you. You can speed up this recognition of scent by placing an item of your clothing in the vivarium for a while or by always using the same scented soap before every handling session.
If I am bitten by my Rainbow Boa, will it hurt?
Rainbow Boa bites do not hurt, but the shock of one might shake you up a little. Rainbow Boa teeth do not do much damage to your skin, but as it may bleed it is advised that you treat the area with antiseptic to ensure the wound does not become infected.
Sometimes a Rainbow Boa may bite and refuse to let go. It is important that you do not pull you Rainbow Boa out of the bite as you may damage it’s teeth in doing so. If you are bitten by a persistent snake who does not want to release you, hold the head of the snake under running water. This usually encourages the snake to let go.
My Rainbow Boa has developed dull skin and the eyes have turned blue. Should I worry?
No, your Rainbow Boa is just starting the shedding process, so this is nothing to worry about. Shedding normally takes between 2 to 3 weeks depending on the snake. There is little you need to do to help, as Rainbow Boas will shed their skin without assistance, but ensure that a large water bowl is available so your snake can soak itself if it wants to. A rock, stone or log in the vivarium also helps. After your snake has shed, remove the shed skin immediately, along with any faeces that usually accompanies it. Check that all the shed has come away from your snake, especially around the eyes as retained eye caps can be a problem.
My Rainbow Boa is not eating, what shall I do?
All snakes are designed not to eat regularly, as they are opportunist hunters in the wild. Rainbow Boas are no exception and you should not worry too much if your Rainbow Boa misses the odd feed.
You should only begin to worry about your Rainbow Boa if it begins to lose a lot of weight after a prolonged fast. This is why regular weight checks are important as part of your Rainbow Boa care routine.
To encourage your Rainbow Boa to eat there are various techniques you can use. Braining involves making an incision into the head of the prey item to expose the brain matter and is a very good technique to entice your Rainbow Boa to eat. You can also try a variation in diet to see if a different type of prey is more appetising. Mice, Rats and Gerbils are all safe to feed to your Rainbow Boa, so try something different and see if that works. Another technique is to place your Rainbow Boa in a confined, dark box with the prey item and leave them together for a while. Sometimes the closeness to the prey item and the lack of any other distractions will encourage your snake to eat.
Can I feed my Rainbow Boa live food?
Feeding live food is very unadvisable, not just because of the cruelty inflicted on the prey item, but also because an uneaten rodent can also do a lot of damage to your snake. Rodents have sharp claws and strong jaws and teeth, so if they decided to attack your snake then serious injury can be caused. They are quite capable of gnawing your Rainbow Boa's flesh to the bone and many snakes have been put down or died from these injuries. If you do decide to feed your Rainbow Boa with a live food item then do not for any reason leave them unattended together.
There are also many legal and moral arguments regarding the feeding of live prey items, so you should check out the animal cruelty and protection laws beforehand to ensure that live feeding is legal in your area.
Still Got Questions?
Then please join the forum. Our regular members will welcome your questions and it would be great to have you as part of TheRainbowboa.co.uk community.