apparently we adopted a boa constrictor?
my mother in law and her husband do construction. a few months ago they went to an abandoned house and found a pet red tailed boa abandoned there. the asian guys they worked with wanted to take him home and eat him, so they took him home as a pet. they are out of town this week so brittney (my wife) and i have been taking care of their animals, including harvey.
we found out that the reason why he never comes out from under his rock is because she had no idea how to take care of him and had the wrong bedding, wrong feeding schedule, wrong food, wrong light, wrong temperature, wrong humidity, and no thermometer or humidity gauge to judge if it is correct or not. they have never cleaned out his house or given him a bath (they drink through their skin and since his humidity was WAY too low and he doesn't get weekly baths, he's very dehydrated). my mother in law is afraid of him, so he doesn't get held very much or get out to get some exercise. he was obviously handled a lot by the people who abandoned him. he is a very sweet snake (as long as you're not wearing a mouse suit that day!). i've held him many times and i'm very fond of him. my mother in law has been trying to give him away to someone who is more snake savvy this whole time. his home is also too small... but it is *okay* for now.
so this week we bought him all of the appropriate stuff and got his habitat more suitable for him. we bought different bedding and added moss (to increase the humidity). we cleaned his tank and furniture. we got him a thermometer and humidity gauge (i know he needs at least one more thermometer, but we were on a limited budget and this was unexpected and we will get him two more soon... so he can have one on the cool side and the middle). i gave him a bath so he could get hydrated. everyday i let him have some playtime crawling up and down me (i'm a jungle gym!) for some exercise. we got him an infrared light that is on all of the time so he will get warm, but it won't be a bright light that will bother him or make him think it's daytime all of the time. the natural light in the window lets him know when it's daytime and time to sleep (he's nocturnal). we got him FROZEN mice (my mother in law refuses to believe us on the dangers of live food... he already has a scar on his face from where a poor mouse scratched him trying to defend himself).
anyways... so now he seems much happier. my mother in law had noted that he was acting like he was sick before she left, but he seems to be feeling much happier and healthier now.
and he hasn't been hiding under his rock constantly. she was trading the bearded dragon's light with harvey every twelve hours... but the problem with that is that harvey doesn't like to be awake when it's bright out, so he would sleep under his rock, and then at night when he was ready to be awake he was too cold to move.
he is actually out from under his rock anytime we go to visit him now. seems much happier.
we told my mother in law about all of the stuff that she wasn't doing right (she had "rescued" him, which is why she had an animal she had no idea how to take care of). she got mad that we were telling her how to raise her snake and she was like, "that's it. i'm tired of hearing about him. when i get home i'm just throwing him away" and brittney said, "don't do that, mom, we'll take him".
so, i guess now i'm a mommy of a snake?
he's about three feet long now which means he's about a year old. in another year he will be between four and six feet long and weigh about ten pounds. by then he will have to have a custom house built that is the size of a closet.
when he's an adult he can be eight to twelve feet long depending on his age. he will continue growing for the rest of his life. and... when he's bigger (in about a year/year and half) he'll be eating guinea pigs and rabbits! *GASPS!* (i am the proud mommy of three bunnies, three kitties, and a bearded dragon!)
i told harvey that i have no problem being his mommy most days, but i couldn't be his mommy on feeding days. :(
i love him tons and he seems to really like me the best of everyone i've seen him with... but...
I'M SO CONFLICTED.
anyone out there with a large snake?
i would have never adopted a large snake (although they are more sociable and make better pets and like being handled more than smaller snakes) because i cannot handle feeding them small animals. i always wanted another small snake like i had when i was little (i had an albino garter snake... he looked like a really big pink worm) because they are fine with eating bugs and fish patties. but this wasn't planned. it was more of a necessity for harvey's best interests.
i think, more than likely, we are going to try to find him a home with less conflicted people... but for now, he needs better care so i guess we are his parents.
He sounds like a really nice snake. I'm relieved he has someone on his side. I think finding him another home where people will care for him correctly seems ideal, though. It has to work for both of you. You want what's best for him, but rabbits...
P.S. I'm happy to see that you're back.
P.S.S. Disclaimer: I've never been the caretaker of a snake.
My mom used to have a smaller snake (California King? I can't remember. He was about 3 feet long and black and white striped) as a classroom pet, and we'd keep him at home during the summer. He ate mice. My parents would ask me to feed him sometimes, but I couldn't do it. He was a very nice snake and I liked handling him...I just couldn't bring myself to put a mouse in his cage knowing what would happen to it (yeah, we did live mice. I wasn't aware that you could get frozen ones).
Anyway, in your case...if you're comfortable having him around most of the time, can give him proper care/housing, keep him away from your other pets, and get someone else to do the actual feeding, maybe it would be ok for you to keep him (how often does he eat?). Otherwise, I'd try to find someone else who can care for him and isn't conflicted about his eating habits. Maybe you could find someone close by so you can visit occasionally.
Don't forget to check legislation on reptiles in your state. I know that in Michigan practically all "exotics" are illegal to keep unless you have a licence (and you have to qualify for that), while in Colorado it seems just about anything goes.
And yes, it will get much, much bigger. You might find out if there is a reptile refuge in your area. They will have a lot more space and the proper facilities, and more budget than you do.