As there are plenty of good care sheets on the web I will keep this basic with some of my experiences.
The "common" boa:
These animals all have their own character and will so there is no real standard on behaviour of these magnificent animals. my experience is that size and age influences the behaviour, as young, small animals tend to strike quite often as they are very easily startled and as they grow and get used to the scents and activities happening to and around them they get more and more comfortable to it, they grow from often love taps to some hissing to curious exploring the invading party. the larger the snake the less they seem to get spooked or agitated as they don't seem to see humans as a threat any more.
the animals have an incredible difference in growing as adults can vary from 100 to almost 300cm mostly varying on the bloodlines of their ancestors, feeding appears to have some influence on their growth as well.
As the boa is a medium sized terrestrial snake these animals prefer a wide floor over a high space, through individuals vary in preferences. I find the smaller and leaner snakes appreciate some form of veins or logs to climb onto. larger animals tend to try the same but prefer one or some extra levels to properly lay on. as for terrarium size most boa's can be kept just fine on a floor surface from 120*60 and a height from 40cm, this does however severely limit your options with decorating and I highly recommend taking at least 150cm wide for larger animals (over 160 cm length).
as I tried several types of setups I found they seem to enjoy crawling over and under different types of textured materials like wood and cork branches
as for bedding I have used;
- coco peat, which is fine as long as you keep it moist enough, it will get very dusty when dried out.
- Turf peat, a fine source too, which doesn't dry out as fast as cocopeat and gets less dusty, though I found quite a lot of plastic bits in these "filtered" bags.
- Aspen/Einstro, a fine bedding with lighter snakes, but I have found some splinters in my animals mouths and one probably even caused a mouth infection.
- Lignocel, I am very content with this bedding, although it sometimes get stuck on prey or in the mouth it never causes any problems due to it being so soft. although some animals can't be kept on it as they tend to always get mouths full of it stuck on their gums.
- paper, this is very clean and hygienic, but way too crude for boa stools, when wet it tears and the stool falls straight through. also animals don't like the smooth surface as they don't get any grip on it.
- honeycomb, my preferred material for juvenile, quarantine and animals that don't do well on lignocel. it works very hygienic, is easy to clean, absorbs a lot of fluid and has some extra grip for the animals due to the structure.
- Reptiblock, An coco chip substrate which comes into dried blocks. great in use and get's in the correct humidity quite easy. once it dries out it does contain quite a lot of dust though.
- herpeasy coco blocks, almost the same as reptiblock but with less dust in trials thus far.
Temperature, humidity and lighting:
I use thermostats for all my heating sources as I have experiences first hand that a malfunction can easily cause a fire if there is no protection on the power source. I set the heated spot to approximately 35 degrees Celsius, I heat my entire room to 20-25 degrees Celsius. I use some day-night stats who drop to 25 Degrees overnight but I don't notice any difference with the animals, they heat and cool as they like. juvenile and pregnant females tend to take a lot more heat then average.
I don't control humidity in any other way as the water bowl provided in each cage. all around my room it hits about 60% year round. during frosty periods the air humidity tends to drop and I empty my bowls in the substrate when cleaning them to keep humidity up as some animals get a harder time shedding decently.
the animals don't care a lot for light, some seem to hate clear lights as it exposes them. I installed small LED spots and tapes depending on which was easiest to install. they provide me with some better sight on the animals but they don't have any visual effects on the animals since they are usually inactive during daytime periods.
these snakes are real opportunistic hunters and very very easy feeders.
varying on size, age and intended to either breed or pet these animals start to feed as juveniles on hopper mice and some grow to such size that they can eat adult rabbits. I feed them on a regular base, I dislike power feeding as it tends to decrease their lifespan by more than 10 years. due to body fat clogging up in their arteries and often liver and kidney failure as they can't progress the amounts of nutrients fed.
I feed juveniles almost weekly and build this to once every four to six weeks for adult animals, if they don't need to breed.
I offer mostly fitting or smaller prey items to them, not much thicker than the snakes waist.
many of them will try and take larger prey items but to my experience this may cause them to regurgitate in a couple of days, and some animals will start refusing large food after that happens.
my diet of food items consists from all sizes of mice, rat, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, pigeon and quail.
I always offer thawed food as it is the easiest way of obtaining and the least risk, adult mice and rat tend to bite when not strangulated properly which can cause significant damage to the animal.
breeding boas is a unique experience since they give live birth, the sizes of nests can vary immensely from 5 up to 70 hatched from one litter! most average out between 5 to 20 at once.
for breeding you need a male of at least two years and a female from at least four years, many are ready to breed at the age of three but they haven't build up enough body mass and many aren't fully grown at that age which can cause life threatening complications.
breeding season usually occurs between October and January, the female will accept the male when she is ready. the animals tend to refuse food during this period. after some successful locks the female ovulates, which causes a large swelling on 2/3th of her body, this is hard to miss after a day or two the swelling will decrease and the male will show no more interest in the female. she then will start a shedding cycle, called the Post ovulated Shed (PoS) which indicates she has started her pregnancy cycle. The youngs boa's will be born in soft shells, whom they break out almost right away at +-105 days (15 weeks) after the PoS. they will shed in a week or so and start feeding a week later, the first attempts might be shaky and clumsy but they will soon get the hang of it and eat ferociously.