Having the right type of bedding for your boa snake is super important. Here is a guide for the kind of bedding/living space you will need for your boa.
What kind of bedding should you buy for your boa? You want to buy material that mimics the forest floor or the environment they are used to as wild creatures. Find snake beddings made of substrates and throw in some things for your snake to hide under, as well as enough heat and humidity for your snake friend.
If you’re buying a boa, you probably have been raising snakes and other animals for a long time. Nobody just buys a boa as their first pet. But if this is new to you, here are some tips and products you can use for your new pet boa.
If you have had boas or any snakes before you know what substrates are. If this word is new to you, I will explain.
Substrates are, by definition on google, a “the surface or material on or from which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment.” Basically, a substrate is the floor which the animal moves around on that feels familiar to them.
It’s a bed or home to them. You know when you feel safe and comfortable in your own house? That’s probably how these animals feel and if you’re going to take care of them, you have to accommodate that.
You don’t want to give your animal ground that would give the animal’s body a rash or would feel unnatural. Therefore, using oily or cedar wood is not a good idea.
I looked up many different kinds of substrates and it is stuff like the forest floor, soil, etc. Think of what outside in nature looks like and you’ve got a pretty good idea.
One of the best substrates I could find was the Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding. It’s organic. It’s not very coarse. It can be used in various settings from dry to more wet areas. The humidity retention is excellent. Also, the guy on the package looks really happy to have a huge snake around his neck.
The Coconut fiber bedding also soaks up the waste product so it’ll be easier to clean up after your snake. It’s less hassle for you and you can enjoy your snake more.
Better than just absorbing the waste product, it also breaks down the odor so your room doesn’t smell bad. I’ve had animals before inside the house that just leaves my room smelling really bad and there isn’t much to do about it so if you’re like me, you’re going to want something that breaks down the odor.
If you’re looking for a natural aesthetic, then this coconut fiber will work great with your habitat. It acts as a great substrate to any plants you have growing in there with the snake.
The bags are for 24 dry quarts. It weighs in at about 6 pounds. The Reptile Prime company assures that their product will hold more humidity longer and even though it is a natural substance it will take more and 35 days for any fungal activity to appear. It also has instructions on the back of the bag for application, instructions, maintenance, and how to clean.
After you are done with using it for your boa, and you have to replace it, I would recommend that you use it in your garden or compost if you have either of those things. Since it’s natural it’ll break down well. It’s not acidic. It is somewhere in the middle, an almost perfect pH level. It’s between 5.2 and 6.8. So it will work great if you’ve really got that green thumb.
The product has a 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. There are great reviews from users of this product, especially those who enjoy the organic benefit. If that is your thing, you like the natural look and you don’t want odor, then I would say this product is definitely for you.
An Alternative Substrate
A cheaper option for you would be Zoo Med’s Forest Floor Natural Cypress Mulch Reptile Bedding. It’s 100% natural cypress mulch with a forest floor look. It’s a nice aesthetic for your terrarium.
It’s great for live plants and incubation for eggs if you’re interested in breeding your boas. It lays smoothly to keep live food from hiding from your snake, in case giving your boa constrictor live food is your way to go.
It’s recommended for many animals, reptiles, amphibians, and tarantulas. If you plan on having other animals eventually after your boa(s) then this will work out great for you.
Along with giving your enclosure a little homey forest look, the cypress mulch is not heat treated. Because of that the mulch will absorb and hold moisture. If you want humidity in your tank then this will work out great for your terrarium.
This product is priced at $14.99 USD with a 4.3 out of 5 stars review. It seems a lot of people use this mulch for various pets. If you have different kinds of pets and are a guru of animals then this might just be the option for you! It works great, it holds moisture well, and it has a wide range of use.
If you really want a simple and cheap way to go, Aspen Shavings and Peat Moss always work. You can buy these online or at a local pet store. They are very accessible and this makes them a popular choice.
Young ball pythons love to burrow in the shavings and moss so this is great for them! This makes a great environment for them to grow. The shavings also make for easy spot cleaning. It’ll make cleaning easier.
These products can be a little bit dusty, so if you’re not into that, then this probably is something to research more. It’s not for everybody but it is not a terrible mess to deal with.
Peat moss should not be used as your main substrate. It is helpful in some ways, like increasing the humidity of your tank or helping to remove the old skin of your snake faster, but it might also invite mites or bugs into your snake’s environment, so be careful of that.
How is Coconut Fiber Product Made?
The material is made from coconut coir. Coconut coir is made of the fibrous middle part of the coconut fruit. You can find an illustration at this link. only the fiber and the absorbent part is used. All the sand and dust is taken out so your habitat for the snake does not get dusty and make a mess of your house.
Housing for Your Snake
Boas become pretty large so you’re going to want a good size enclosure for it. Baby boas will need about a 20-gallon tank but as adults, they will need something much larger.
I once read something that really hits the nail on the head. If your animal can wrap around the walls of your tank and reach more than 2/3 of it, you will need a bigger tank.
How big do Sunglow boas get? You will want somewhere about 8 square feet of floor space. These containers are usually about 4 feet by 2 feet. You want a height of 18 to 24 inches.
How big do male boa constrictors get? They are born about 2 feet long and grow throughout their 20 to 30 years of life. The biggest ever known to man was 18 feet.
Are boa constrictors good pets? They do not make for good pets with children. These snakes may bite if startled or mishandled. This is more of a hobby or niche thing.