Care of juveniles

Use a tray..
From day one onwards juveniles are kept separately in small glass containers (see for the conditions under ‘housing’).
I disturb them as little as possible and take care not to stress them unnecessarily; Stress might affect their willingness to eat.

The hiding place, high in the terrarium is like a tray and can be taken out for optical examination easely without disturbing the youngster to much.

It is important to keep the enclosure moist until the first shedding to prevent dehydration.

After the first shedding I start to offer neonates mouse pinkies on a weekly basis. Not all neonates accept pinkies immediately. Some accept the first feeding willingly while others from the same litter, kept under the same conditions refuse food for longer periods of time. This is not anything that worries me. Absorbing the remaining embryonic yolk gave them enough energy for the weeks to come.

Recordkeeper is a juvenile who refused to eat for 7 months without any signs of deterioration before he started eating. And from that day he accepted every prey offered.

Non eaters:
I don’t believe in force-feeding. It’s very stressful and will harm them more than it will benefit them. Some tips to get them going:

* Are these conditions correct: light, temperature, humidity and
   enough shelter.
* Offer food in subdued light and during high humidity in there
* Follow their behaviour and offer when they are active
* Offer 1-2 day old pre-killed mice. Warm them up to 40 degrees C.
* Add the smell of birds to the pre-killed mice.

Problem solved..
Two offspring Corallus hortulanus did not eat for the first five months. I offered them both a chick (one day old) from a couple diamond doves fallen out of their nest. They were accepted instantly.

Afterwards they accepted nest-mice without hesitation..

Feeling threatened..
Very young animals sometimes show the typical balling posture (better known from Python regius). I’ve seen this behaviour more than once in the first weeks after birth at moments when the juvenile feels threatened.

I saw this behaviour only once in a two year old animal. She was a poor eater until she started eating well a few months. Consequence of the poor eating was that the two year old animal had the size of a nine months old.

I often make pictures of juvenile. This is an easy way to monitor the colour change after several sheddings. This one suffered a lot of stress during the photo-session. He turned on his back and showed his belly. This behaviour is described by several species but I never heard of Corallus using this defence strategy..