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Boa Care sheet

Selecting Your Boa

Choose an animal that has clear firm skin, rounded body shape, clean vent, clear eyes, and who actively flicks its tongue around when handled. All boas are naturally shy about having their heads touched or handled by strangers. When held, the snake should grip you gently but firmly when moving around. All young snakes are food for other, larger snakes, birds, lizards and mammalian predators so your hatchling may be a bit nervous at first but should settle down quickly.

Young snakes may be a little snappy, but quickly grow out of this when handled on a regular basis.    
   

Your new baby –When the babies are born here at Boas and Balls, they are placed in a plastic shoe box on paper towels with a small water dish, and a small hid. They usually shed in 7-10 days and we will start offering food the next week. Depending on the species, we offer live fuzzy or hopper mice for their first few meals. We simply placing the prey in the cages and letting the babies follow their instincts. Once a week you will need to change the bedding and water, clean everything and give fresh bedding and water.
Most common boas are very docile and reluctant to bite. Occasional babies can be snappy, but they are small and the bites are harmless. But when calmly and consistently handled, the youngsters grow into very docile and trusting adults. A lot of biting can be avoided if the babies are not picked up with the hand, but instead are lifted with a small hook (or bent piece of coat-hanger wire) and set in the hand.
Boas undergo an ontogenetic color change as they mature. Newborns typically are grayish-brown. With age the snakes begin to develop more yellow and brown pigment. As boas approach adult size, their colors become more saturated and intense; pink, orange or yellow highlights or iridescence may become visible on the sides of the head and body.

       
   
   

Enclosure-- If you are just maintaining one or two animals, your most economical option will be a traditional enclosure like an aquarium. Enclosures can be made as simple or elaborate as you are capable of caring for, but remember that the more “stuff” you put in a cage, the more “stuff” you have to clean and disinfect on a regular basis. If you choose an aquarium with a screen top, I recommend covering all but about 1/3 of the top with foil tape, or a piece of plexi glass, to help maintain a higher humidity. Juvenile boas seem to do well in smaller enclosures this makes them feel more secure, a small snake in a big cage can become overwhelmed and stressed.

Make sure you get an escape-proof enclosure.
Select an enclosure especially designed for housing snakes, such as the glass tanks with the locking screen lids. All snakes are escape artists; boas are especially powerful and cunning when it comes to breaking out. A good starter tank for a hatchling is a 20-gallon tank. Offspring are very nervous and need smaller spaces for the first six months. As the snake grows you will need to house it in something suitable for its size. The habitat width and length should not equal less than the length of the snake. For example, if you have a 3ft snake, then the width can be 12” and the length can be 24”. It is ok to house an adult snake in an enclosure larger than its length.

       

Sulcata Tortoise Care Sheet

(African Spurred Tortoise)


(GEOCHELONE SULCATA)

Origin : Northern Africa.

Size:  On average 30 inches in carapace length, and 80 to 110 pounds.   Sometimes larger.
(note;  Geochelone sulcata require room to roam!!!)

Habitat:
Dry arid areas with weed clumps, shrubs
with shallow ponds mud hole to soak and cool down in extreme heat.

Heating:  Never use heat rocks! Can severally injury your tortoise. Use a ceramic infrared bulb 150 watts very important use dome lamp at either have ceramic or porcelain sockets.
Best to use a basking heat source from above the enclosure placed in an area that will provide a hot spot to a warm area and to a cool side .Should have at least two hides one in the warm area and one on the cool side.

Lighting: Full spectrum UVB is necessary for proper health and proper development for your tortoise.

Temperature: Very important to monitor the temperature in your tortoise enclosure use at least two good thermometers one on the hot side floor temperature and one on the cool side floor temperature
on the hot side temperature should not exceed 90 degrees on the cool side should not drop below 72 degrees.

Soaking:
Soak hatchlings & juveniles 3 times a week hatchling for about 5 minutes, juveniles for about 10 minutes. Soak adults once a week for 10 to 15 minutes.
Water should be luke warm (tepid) in a shallow dish pan no deeper than the bottom of the shell for larger tortoise you may want to use a shallow kiddy pool.

Substrate: The best thing to use for them is a 50/50 mixture of sterile soil (topsoil) and sterile play ground sand.  We use cypress mulch for the inside pens.  Sulcata’s spend a lot of time digging and making borrows.

Feeding: Very important don’t over feed or to force growth feeding can cause severe heath problems for your tortoise. For hatchling to 6 months feed aprox ¼ cup once every day 6 months to a year feed ¼ to ½
Cup once every day juveniles should be fed aprox 1 cup every day and adults should be fed larger rations.
(note if your tortoise does not finish it’s day rations fed a little less.) Always provide fresh drinking water.

Diet: Very important Sulcata tortoise’s diet is mostly high fiber low protein their diet intake should be a variety of grasses, weeds , clover , Sulcata’s are grazing animals ( NEVER FEED ICEBERG LETTUCE )
On occasion can be fed fruits strawberries, banana, cantaloupe, berries, peaches no pits, apricots no pits,
Apples no seeds, pears. Never feed chard, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans or any kind of beans, corn, sprouts of any kind, tomatoes of any kind or any type of vegetable that has legume, oranges or citrus fruits
On occasion can also fed in place of fruit Opuntia cactus .
(Note make sure all food is free of pesticide free)

Supplements: Tri-Cal 2:1 ratio phosphorous free calcium supplement Nekton –Rep multi vitamin or Rep-Cal calcium and multi vitamin. The calcium and multi vitamin should be sprinkled onto food twice a week.
Outdoor housing: during warmer dry months of the year area should be free from poisonous plants , pesticides , fertilizers, sharp objects etc anything that can harm your tortoise. The wall of your outdoor enclosure should be at least 24” tall and aprox 12” underground since sulcata’s enjoy digging and making borrows. the walls should be reinforced to with stand pushing from inside out Can use a dog house or something similar for the hide with a heat source inside provide a swallow pool for soaking and wading .
As your sulcata grows it will require more room the best thing to do is to do the adult set up for the area at least 12‘x 12’ the larger the better since sulcata’s like to roam about and graze.