Kenyan Sand Boa on Your Mind? We Could Not Be Happier For You!!
If a pet snake was on your new year’s resolution for as long as you can go back, but you either had no means or the support to go for it, we are here to give you some good news.
An ideal snake for beginners is here, and it is waiting to be taken under your care!
The question now is, are you ready for it?!
The name Kenyan Sand Boa can sometimes mislead you into thinking that this snake is highly suited to Kenya and that it cannot suit well in other geographical locations. Let us settle this myth first. The Kenyan Sand Boa or the Eryx colubrinos is not just a native of Kenya but a lot of other countries along East Africa like Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia, and the northern parts of Somalia.
For this reason alone, a lot of keepers may also refer to the boa as the East African sand boa, which is not used in the pet trade. Breeders will rather use the old name and not confuse you with further taxonomy.
Female and male both exhibit sexual dimorphism, which is evident during their maturing stage. We are so thankful to the lord when it is easy to tell by looking at it rather than probing the snakes under vents to discover its femoral pores.
Females grow to a maximum of two feet and are more substantial than the males that grown to somewhere around 20 inches but never as long as two feet to compete with them.
There is going to be a lot of emotions when you first look at it up close and touch it or handle it by lifting it. The intricate pattern of its dorsal side, along with the pleasant color and the blotches in a rich combination, is sure to impress you.
The peculiarly narrow head shape, which you will understand, is meant for burrowing and its stout cute tail that you most probably mistook for ahead. The large scales that serve as protection from its predators can leave you speechless even as you stand and admire your fat chance.
We are so sure that the people who discouraged you from going in for this lesser famous snake in comparison to the ball python are going to go green with envy. You must wait and watch till they come to grips with the fact that you chose a prettier snake than the python.
Why the sand boa makes a great pet:
- They may not be as popular as the ball python as far as breeding and pet trade is concerned. Still, they do have a niche fan following comprising of professional breeders and some reptile enthusiasts who think that they make fabulous companions.
- They are easy to breed
- They have an exciting appearance
- Their temperament is lovely, and they are a great addition to your pets.
- They have simple care and husbandry needs
- They can adapt themselves to stay in smaller places
With so many positives, we can tell you how difficult it is to reject a sand boa.
Are there any morphs?
There are hundreds of morphs possible with the sand boa. They can come in hundreds of patterns and a lot of colors on the rainbow. But everyone that has held one and everyone that craves for one sand boa will tell you and nonchalantly that the standard one is the most popular even in comparison to beautiful morphs. Morphs can still be sold at a reasonable price in case you are interested in them for trade.
Sand boas are great beginner’s snake. They allow for frequent handling by their keepers and are not too large. They are also well behaved and very accommodating.
Of course, there are exceptions to the general rule. A couple of them per hundred maybe a little too tacky to touch and may jump or nip at the keeper’s skin. But they are not venomous, and the wound can be dressed with a band-aid and forgotten.
Most of the snakes, when handled, may escape, jerk or spasm, but if they try to jump off your hands, exercise enough caution and cushion their fall or don’t allow them to fall itself in the first place. They are not climbers, and sudden falls can stress them or injure them.
When handling it, you must not bring your hands up front but try to pick it from the underside in the middle. This will give them some solid support and also not trigger the meal and hunger impulse in them or not put them on the defensive, putting them to higher risks.
They can live for a minimum of 30 years if cared for well. Breeding may stop after 15 years of age, but they can rock as old companions. If you are picking them up, you have a pet for a lifetime.
The snake has an undying penchant for burrowing. It is not arboreal and so even if you decorate its cage with plants and other things, it is not going to be of great use to it. Instead, invest in a suitable substrate of sand or paper towels.
Use lightweight furniture such as cork barks to decorate the cage. An adult can be housed in a 10-gallon enclosure. Two or more boas can be housed in the single one provided you separate them at mealtime.
Boas bring forth their young ones:
And this reduces the owner’s investment in incubation tools and equipment. A litter consists of about 11 to 20 babies and sometimes even 30! They are prolific breeders.
Temperature and lighting:
Maintain a minimum of 95F in the enclosure. Gravid females will bask a lot as heat will have a direct health improvement on the fetus. Use an incandescent lamp for heating in the cabinet. A night temperature of 70F is good enough.
The standard Kenyan sand boa retail for $75 and upwards. The determinants such as sex, age, and appearance work in favor of the breeders. Females are costlier.
These snakes deliver consistent value and are a hugely rewarding species. Good luck already!