Brazilian Rainbow Boas

The rainbow boa is a beautiful snake that can be a great pet, but you can’t just bring a snake home and expect it to thrive without knowing its preferences and needs. A Brazilian rainbow boa can live up to 20 years in captivity, so you’re making a commitment when you bring one home. Here are some tips for taking care of a rainbow boa.

How big will a rainbow boa get?

At birth, rainbow boas are small, maybe 8 to 12 inches in length. Don’t let their size fool you. They can easily get to be 4 to 6 feet as an adult. They can weigh up to 8 pounds and will need a vivarium of at least 48 inches long by 18 inches high. Glass tanks with a screen top are not ideal. Rainbow boas like humidity and heat.  The screen top will let out too much humidity.  

Do rainbow boas need a heat pad or lamp?

Rainbow boas are naturally found in the Amazon, so they do appreciate a warmer temperature. They prefer it to be in the 85 to 90F degree range. Nighttime temperatures don’t need to be as warm for adults, but you still need to keep them warm. A heat pad or lamp can provide the warmer temperatures required.

Do Brazilian rainbow boas like to be handled?

Young rainbow boas are naturally skittish. In the wild, they have to be wary of predators until they are able to better protect themselves due to their size. When you get a baby rainbow boa, you must teach it to become tame to your touch. Never hold a rainbow boa after eating. Let it have some time to digest its food. Let your baby boa become accustomed to your hand. Don’t startle it. It may be very busy when you hold it. If it bites, don’t pull away because it can damage the snake’s teeth.

How much should I feed my rainbow boa?

Young boas may need to eat a pinky rat every four to seven days. Adult boas eat every 10 to 14 days. The food source should not be any bigger than the widest part of the boa’s girth. Live rodents can damage your boa, so pre-killed or thawed mice or rats are safer for your snake. Make sure to include fresh, clean water every day. Boas will appreciate a bowl large enough to take a soak in.

Are rainbow boas hard to care for?

Rainbow boas are often considered intermediate pets and may not be recommended for beginners. They are actually very easy to care for because they do not require a lot of technical requirements and they only eat every week or so. Rainbow boas are also solitary creatures. They are most active in the early evening or night. Newspaper, wood, or coconut hulls are good substrates, but wood may be the most difficult to keep clean. Brazilian boas are known for their vibrant, beautiful colors. It’s natural to want to own one. Just make sure you do your research to make sure the conditions in your home are right for one.

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