Captive Husbandry




Caging Requirements


Babies measure approximately 12"-16" and do well in a 6 quart container. I use aspen for bedding, a disposable 8 oz. water bowl, and a semicircle of ¾" plastic screen for a perch.

  • 1 year olds I place in a similar setup; however, I use a 16 oz. disposable water bowl and a 12 quart container.
  • 1-2 year olds should be moved to a 2x2x2 arboreal setup that we build, based on their size and because they love to climb.
  • 2 year olds I house in a specifically designed 2x2x4 cage that we also build ourselves. This also works great for their final cage for breeding purposes. However, they can still be housed in just about any 3'-4' cage.

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Temperature Requirements


Hispaniola, where these animals are found, has a definite seasonal temperature variation. I suggest their tank temperature to be in the low 80°'s with a warmer area in the high 80°'s. Make sure that the animals can thermo-regulate themselves. Offer high areas on the warm side along with the cool side. Night temperatures should drop five to ten degrees.

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Water Requirements


Most of our collection enjoys having a water container large enough to submerse themselves in. I believe this is an important part of their captive husbandry.


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Sexing


Sexing is very easy using a probe. Males probe 8+ subcaudal scales while females usually less than 4. Before sexing, I suggest waiting until they are at least six months old.

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Breeding


Breeding is usually very easy. Simply lower the temperature from mid December to mid April; the temperature should be 10° to 15° lower at night. We usually group breed with two males and four females. They are left together for two weeks, then separated, fed if interested, then left apart for one week, and then reintroduced. I usually repeat this procedure until mid or late April. Gestation lasts approximately 200-230 days.



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Caring for Young


Dominican Red Mountain Boas give birth to usually 12-30 live babies. You will need to remove the mother when she is done birthing. Babies can be left in the same tank that they were born in. Spray the tank with warm water and keep it very moist for 24 hours. You will then need to remove the babies and keep them in a ten gallon tank on very damp paper towels for 2 days. Dominican Red Mountain Boas shed quickly after being born. Now, transfer the animals into individual 6 quart containers.


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Feeding Babies


Do not attempt to feed the babies for two weeks. Then, offer small, fuzzy, live mice for their first meal. Animals that feed should be marked and only offered mice from this point on. For animals that did not feed, wait two days and then try live anoles, geckos, or baby quail, dead or alive. Once the animals have eaten, feed them what they like for ten feedings, then do not feed them for one week and start scenting live mice with their favorite food. By the time they are 3-4 months old, they should be eating frozen rodents or quail every 3-4 days and growing rapidly. They are very hardy babies and will easily switch to rodents. We only sell established babies that are feeding on mice or rats.


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Size


Adults average 5'-6' with the rare freak measuring 7'-8' with a similar body type of a jungle carpet python.


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Musking


Some people might percieve the Dominican Red Mountain Boas to be similar to the common Haitian Boa, and think that they would musk while being handled. The exact opposite is true; the more these snakes are handled, the better they are. When handled regularly, Dominican Red Mountain Boas will never musk; they are calm, docile, gentle, gorgeous pets.


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