I currently have one cage that is 4' X 2' that houses eight individuals (five females, three males). I do this for several reasons. There are probably about as many cons as pros, but all the cons are fairly easy to handle. Here are a few of each so you can make your own decision.
- It takes up only a little more room than a rack system for the same number, but allows each of the snakes to roam long distances (for a captive anyway).
- A greater number of hide spots with a wide heat gradient is easier to provide.
- They are semi-social for a snake, and often like to ball up together. In fact, I believe Dorcas's research found that Rubber Boas hibernate in groups in the wild.
- I only have to change substrate in one cage instead of multiple cages. :-)
- When the time is right for breeding, they will take care of it, and I don't have to worry about timing.
"In early 1970's, I had one subadult from a litter eat another littermate only slightly smaller as a result of the two latching onto the same prey item. It is always best to either monitor snakes as they feed to prevent this sort of thing or have the snakes in separate containers thus avoiding such problems. I just have never take that final step and have not had a problem since and have fed groups of boas at the same time for over 30 years now. I use to monitor the snakes and as soon as they latched onto a mouse, I would put them in a different part of the cage so another boa would not attempt to take the same mouse. I don't bother doing that any more.
"I am sure that struggles have occurred but they have a means of overcoming the situation and preventing themselves from being eaten . I do not feed juvenile boas with larger subadults or adults. I am always taking a chance and I realize that but so far, only the one episode about 30 years ago. I read long ago about other individuals or zoos having had problems in this regard."
Go ahead and keep Rubber Boas together in one cage if you so desire. Just be sure to feed them seperately.
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