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  1. #1
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    Converting live feeding bi to prekilled or frozen

    Well hello again. Normally when doing this I will feed the boa live for a few times. Then I will try pre killed. The issue is the people who had him before me would just throw the live mouse in the cage and let the boa take it on its own. He does not strike right away. I'm afraid that if I don't follow this that he will not eat as he refused to eat live yesterday from the tongs. I had to leave the mouse in with him for a few hours. I kept checking every 15 min to half hour to make sure he was ok. I really don't want to leave the live mouse in the cage with him for an extended period of time like that. Normally when changing a snake from live to prekilled and then to frozen. I start to offer the mouse while it's in the death throws. And then slowly progress to offering it fully dead. But since this guy won't take from tongs what do you guys recommend?

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  2. #2
    Registered User WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Converting live feeding bi to prekilled or frozen

    If your boa's hungry and the prey is warm enough, I'd imagine he should switch to f/t on his own. My Sonoran was only eating live when I bought her and switched to f/t on her first meal home without any issue.

    It may be that your guy's a shy feeder. Try leaving his food on the ground for him and leaving him be for a while. You may also want to try heating up his prey to 90-95F (think "live mouse temps") instead of just thawing it. Dakski gave me a good tip a while back of putting your rodent in a plastic bag, putting that bag in some hot water to thaw/warm up, and feeding when the prey's at temperature. This allows the rodent to thaw without the prey scent being washed out (I previously just put my f/t mice in a bucket of warm water to thaw them). Both of my boas have been feeding a bit more vigorously since I started doing this; maybe it'll work for you, too.

    Also, how old/large is your boa, and how often are you feeding him? Depending on how frequently he has/is being fed, he just might not be hungry.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Converting live feeding bi to prekilled or frozen

    How old is this boa, what size feeder is it eating, and how often?

    Boas are usually garbage disposals and converting them is just a matter of waiting them out and realizing they won't starve to death if they happen to miss a meal. If yours is very young and a shy feeder then you may simply need to leave the dead feeder in the enclosure and walk away instead of trying to get it to eat off the tongs.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member AbsoluteApril's Avatar
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    Just use a dead mouse. Show it to the boa, make sure he knows it's there, then drop in the cage, and leave for an hour or so. Boas usually don't have issue converting and will normally take f/t very easily. Shouldn;t even need the 'prekilled' stage.

    for example - The babies I just had, 7 of 9 took f/t as their first meal. They don't take off tongs, they tend to shy away. I just make sure they are awake, show the dead rodent on tongs, then drop it near them and leave.
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  8. #5
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Converting live feeding bi to prekilled or frozen

    I find my boas prefer the scent of the prey over the heat of the prey.

    My pythons, with heat pits, like the prey warmed up with hot water for about a minute (hairdryer also works) before feeding and that tends to get them to happily strike/eat.

    The boas, I defrost the prey in a plastic bag, at room temp, then put the baggie in warm water for about 30 seconds, and then offer to them. I think the last step is unnecessary, but I do it anyway.

    My boas tend to go by scent and movement. I've had issues with them striking the acrylic doors before I can offer prey - hence having drapes over all my boa tanks. They smell the prey in the room and are ready. Behira, my BI female, will not eat if I leave it in her tank. She needs to strike. However, getting her to do that is pretty simple. Feliz, my BC, and Jeff, my male BI, strike too, but I've never tried leaving it for them. They are on the rats too quick anyway.

    If your boa seems scared of the tongs, you can try leaving the prey item, but you might try offering it a little away from your boa and letting your boa come to it.

    Also, if a mouse doesn't work, try a rat (appropriate size - rat pup is the size of an adult mouse). My boas LOVE rats, and seem to like that scent better than mice, although I cannot say they are too discerning.

    Finally, are temps ok? Humidity ok? Ample hides?

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