Can Rosy Boa Snakes Live Together In One Cage?

Having a rosy boa snake can be fun, but often my rosy boa looks lonely by himself in his cage. I’ve wondered how rosy boas behave together in place. Here’s what I found.

Can rosy boas live together in one cage? Rosy boas live well together provided they have sufficient room. For an average sized adult rosy boa, a 10 gallon reptile container should do nicely. As your number of boas grow, consider adding a rack system to capitalize on space.

But as always there are some perils to keeping rosy boas together in the same room. Here are some common pitfalls that you should be on the look out for.

Pitfalls of Housing Rosy Boas in the Same Enclosure

Rosy boas are commonly known for their docile behavior, but like any snake, they have their fair share of problems. Boas that live together need to have adequate space or they may end up competing for the resources in the cage. For example, if you have only one heating lamp, expect your boas to be constantly fighting for dominance of the spot.

Access to food and water can be just as critical. In fact, many experts suggest feeding your boas in separate enclosures. One boa may take meals from its compatriots if he’s feeling hungry enough, but this largely depends on the demeanor of any particular rosy boa. Many owners feed their snakes in the same container and encounter no problems.

Another hazard of cohabiting boas is that of breeding. Temperaments can quickly turn heated during mating season (which could happen any time of the year with captive boas). Male boas are not shy about fighting for dominance if they both desire the same mate. This fighting, while not often deadly, can be.

Watch out for the safety of your boas. But hot-headed males are not the only danger with regards to breeding.  If you currently house two snakes of the opposite gender in one enclosure, don’t be surprised if you find your boa family quickly multiplying.

If you don’t want to see Mr. and Mrs. Boa with any additional little-gifts-from-above, I advise you separate them quickly. If your plan is to expand the boa family, then you are in luck! Rosy boas are lauded for their ease of breeding. Just put them together and watch old Mr. Boa turn on the charm.

One last word of caution. If you have ever owned a rosy boa, you may have noticed his tendency to rub his face again the front of the enclosure. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not Nagini’s way of blowing mamma kisses. Rosy boas are notorious escape artists. Any enclosure needs to be absolutely escape proof.

These boas can be tricky and are likely to take advantage of any owner who slacks on this point. Rosy boas have adaptable bodies, capable of slinking through even the smallest of holes or tightest of cracks. Its crucial to invest in an escape-proof cage. If that’s out of the budget, consider buying an air locking screen clip. Finally, buy an enclosure that doesn’t have an abrasive top, like any sort of screen, as this may cause rostral abrasions.

Rosy boa (lichanura trivirgata) on white background.

Rosy boas and cannibalism 

Snakes of all sorts have been known to cannibalize one another. Remember how extremely sensitive a snakes sense of smell can be. If a snake smells a hint of rodent on the breath of one of his fellows, he may get hungry, and it only takes one bite for an accident to happen. Rosy boas are not known for their cannibalistic tendencies, but the odd story is heard every now and then.

In my personal experience, I have never known a rosy boa to cannibalize a friend, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it. To avoid this tragedy, provide your boas with adequate food and consider feeding them separately.

Diseases and cohabiting rosy boas

Just like humans, rosy boas are prone to disease, and this threat only multiplies as more snakes live together. If you are considering adding another boa to a cage, it is not a bad idea to have it checked for illness before throwing him in to meet his new enclosure mates. Remember that it can be difficult to identify any illness on a boa. It may take weeks, or even months before you notice something wrong with your scaly friend.

If you do notice a problem with one of your boas, try keeping him in a different tank while he heals. When dealing with disease, it is always better to err on the side of caution. By following the proper procedure when caring for your snake’s health you could save yourself thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills. Not to mention possibly saving the life of one of your boas.

Rosy boas and stress

The rosy boa may stress out if it shares its home with too many others with too little space. To avoid adding unnecessary stress on your boa, allow sufficient space for your boas to hide in. Remember that the rosy boa is a recluse snake, and enjoys time out of the gaze of onlookers. Large rocks, artificial trees, and standard hide boxes are good options to provide your boa with some much deserved alone time.

Rosy boas housed with other species of snake

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, rosy boas are prone to stress. Adding a snake of different species, even another boa, is likely to cause a lot of unneeded pain for your boa bud. Two different species of boa in the same container are at risk of cross-contamination which could lead to serious infection or a whole myriad of health problems.

Aggressive behavior is more common as well. And remember how we said the rosy boa isn’t likely to be a cannibal? Well, that’s another story when it comes to another species of snake. Be cautious with putting any two different species of snake together

Related Questions

Are rosy boas easy to handle? Rosy boas are some of the most fun-loving snakes out there. Although they enjoy hiding, they seem to have fun coming out and crawling around for a while. Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling your boa.

When do I have to be careful when handling? Be especially cautious if you were handling your boas food before trying to pick him up. Rosy Boas cannot see well, so its imperative that you do not block his eyes while handling, as he may bite. Rough handling, or even too aggressive a grip may provoke your boa as well. Be gentle, and have fun!

How much lighting does a rosy boa habitat need? It’s important that your boa be in a warm humid environment. Rosy boas enjoy hot temperatures. Unlike a lot of other snakes, rosy boas don’t need a UVB light or any other light source for that matter. Their eyesight is poor, and they prefer to heat themselves on a heated rock, so the light would be purely for the enjoyment of the owner.

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