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 #2063648


Dahawks02
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 Feeding

I just got 2 baby collareds, one male and one female. They are only about 4 inches long. I feed them 6 small crickets every morning before work and after I get home. The female is eating like a champ. However, I have not seen the male eat. I have had them for 3 days. Should I be worried about the male, or is he still adjusting? How long does it take to adjust? Thanks for you comments.



08/26/09  08:12am

 #2063915


Dahawks02
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2063648


 Feeding

ok forget that last post.... He wouldnt take the crickets again today, so I went out and bought mealworms. He ate about 10 or them before he was done. New question....are mealworms a good staple for collareds? I will keep offering crickets, and hopefully he decides to eat them. But until then I have to keep offering mealworms. And I will try to keep finding the fresthly molted ones as well.



08/26/09  07:56pm

 #2064007


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2063915


 Feeding

No, they aren’t a good staple, but they’re better than nothing. Collareds, ESPECIALLY babies, have high enough metabolisms that I’m not really comfortable suggesting the "tough love" approach. Just make sure the mealworms are dusted, because they’re higher in phosphorus than crickets, and keep trying other things.

They’re weird. Somedays they’re really fussy and only want a certain thing, and then they’ll either be snapping up everyhting in sight or insisting on a completely DIFFERENT speciific thing. My adults have eaten crickets, roaches, vegetables, grasshoppers, trout worms, chopped nightcrawlers, small hornworms, silkworms, butterworms, phoenix worms, waxworms, mealworms, beetles, pinkies, moths, and superworms. But it’s also quite common for them to refuse most of those items sometimes and go crazy for them at other times.

My babies were just hatched last month and have eaten Drosphilia hydei ("giant" flightless fruit flies, still too small to actually fill up on,) crickets, roaches, mealworms, butterworms, silkworms, vegetables, spiders, phoenix worms, and very very tiny hornworms. But like the adults, they can be fickle. The only items I can usually be pretty sure will get snapped right up are crickets, mealworms, and phoenix worms. But the thing is, they don’t seem to fixate the way, say, a ball python does. If one of them insists on mealworms for a few days, fine. After that it gets burned out and decides it would rather have crickets. When I first got the parents, the male went on a much longer superworm binge than I’d have preferred, but after a while he got tired of them and wanted crickets.

Ever live on peanut and jelly sandwiches for a week and then just get over it? Same thing, I guess.



08/26/09  11:19pm

 #2066657


Dahawks02
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2064007


 Feeding

just courious, what type (company) of supplements do you use? I have been using tetra’s reptocal and reptolife. Im just interested in seeing if you guys have used anything else and found it to be better



09/02/09  12:29pm

 #2067687


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2066657


 Feeding

I’ve been using the Reptocal, but that’s just because it’s what was on sale. I use it on mealworms for the hatchlings, supers for the adults, and waxworms for the girls who’ve just laid eggs. Other bugs I mostly just feed plain, but I make sure each baby gets at least one calcium-heavy bug per day, whether it be a dusted mealworm, dusted cricket, or silkworm/phoenix worm. I also, and this is debated by a lot of people, mix Zoo-Med Vita-Sand (finer grain than Calci-Sand) into their silica sand, so it’s 10-20 per cent calcium. If you do that, it’s extra important to make sure that they have very warm temperatures. The breeder I got mine from has no trouble with impactions, nor have I (with most reptiles that claim can be conjecture, since who really notices if their adult snake is a week or two late pooping?.. but collareds are almost as messy as birds, so it’s pretty obvious when everything is flowing through) but he taught me to run a hot spot of at least 135. That’s at least 20 degrees more than most people do. I’m not sure how safe I’d feel encouraging them to nibble substrate if they were only basking at 105. But, if you use sand, they’re gonna nibble it anyway, so I figure might as well just turn up the heat and roll with it. My females bred at under a year with no brumation and continued growing afterwards (that was bad planning on my part; the male was so young I didn’t think breeding was a danger yet, and got surprised when I housed them together) and my July hatchlings are up to 6 inches long and looking/moving great. So I don’t know idf it’s overkill or not, but I do know there’s no signs of MBD. If you use a really high-quality UVB light such as a Mega-Ray you’d be better off using something without a D3 supplement, but I tend to buy whatever MVB brand is on sale and keep on using it even after the UV output has deteriorated.



09/04/09  04:46pm

 #2067711


Dahawks02
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2067687


 Feeding

Nice. I just use power sun 160 watt. and i use reptilite calicum based sand made by blue iguana. i used to use just straight play sand, however, my last collared named khalil died from impaction. I took him to the vet and thats what they told me. So thats why I decided to switch over to the calcium based sands.

I got flunkers calcium with D3. I know mealies are higher, as you said, in phosphorus. So I made sure it was phosphorus free.




09/04/09  05:36pm

 #2068049


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2067711


 Feeding

They get calcium impactions, too, if they eat too much. Calcium dissolves and if it cools suddenly ( a few days of being lazy and not basking enough can do it) it can turn into a cement in their intestines, which is far harder to clear out than just plain sand. That’s why everyone nowadays seems to either avoid the calcium sands or dilute them. So either way, you’re dependant on heat, diet, and hydration to keep them running cleanly. Any time they’ve been eating a lot of chiton try to alternate with somethig squishier. That’s actually one thing freshly shed mealworms/superworms are good for. I’ll even break out earthworms (fed on clean rock, not on sand, because a TON of it will stick to them) if they’ve been going heavy on something like grasshoppers or roach nymphs.
Also, if your sand had Vitamin A and/or D3 in it (mine has D3) you need to worry about them eating too much of it, because overdoses are toxic. Pure Vitamin D3 is actually used as a rat poison.
About playsand, though: not all playsands are created equal. Even the same exact brand, if it came from a different packaging location, will vary. I’ve gotten lucky so far with very small, round, dust-free particles, but that could change any time. If I start seeing a difference in quality, I’ll switch to pool filter sand, which is more expensive but more dependable.
Going back to diet: another thing I’ve noticed is that they prefer their vegies to be room temperature. if you chop them and put them in the night before, even if they’re a little wilted in the morning, they’ll be eaten a lot more readily. Zuchini and dark lettuces like romaine or frisee seem to be favorites. I know, collard greens and things like that are better than lettuce, and I keep trying those occasionally to. But mine prefer lettuce. They’ve got to actually eat something for it to do tham any good!



09/05/09  02:13pm

 #2068931


Dahawks02
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2068049


 Feeding

I checked all over the bag and the website, blueiguanaproducts.com and it said nothing about having D3 in it. I have raised the basking temps up from 115 degrees to 126. If I need more let me know. I also give them a warm bath every Sunday for 30 minutes, and while they are taking them bath i clean out the cage completely. Everything except the substrate. That I do every month.
Earthworms, eh? Ill have to try and feed earthworms. I would have never guessed that they would take something like that. Do you cut the earthworm to a reasonable size? I will try the veggie idea of yours. I have offered and they did not eat any. Ill let you know if it works.



09/07/09  05:33pm

 #2069679


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2068931


 Feeding

Heat

I keep two hot-spots. At one end I try to keep it at 105 or just over. Occasioanally it climbs up to 120 on a hot afternoon, but I adjust the bulbs whenever I see that. I had temps regualated easily in the 75-gallon (I put two different-height closet bars above the screen, so in addition to changing light watttages I could also raise or lower the whole light easily) but Pancho jumps too often to have perches as close to the screen as was sometimes necessary. 6 inches or so of headspace was okay for the females, but he needs more. So now I’m relearning the whole game for a 50X28X28.

At the other end I shoot for 135-145, but of course every time the room temperature bounces around there’s a margin of error. I’ve seen them happily basking at temperatures in the nlow 150s, even when they had milder options, but never for even two minutes at 155. However, even if one spot on it is 155, others will still cooler. Both basking platforms have large tops, so many options between 135 and 108 are availableat any given time. I’ve also seen periods when the traditional 105-108 seems to be all they want, and even when the moderate-spot dropped down to 102 for a day or two and nobody seemed stressed by the short-term issue. I’ve also seen it happen and their activity/feeding declined badly! And, sometimes I’ve screwed up and let the hottest part drop down to more like 115, with both types of result, so... "need" is a shaky term as far as the high temps go.

I think it kind of depends on what’s going with their metabolism. Maybe they use hotter temps if they’re preparing for a growth spurt? Or to dy out their sinuses if they inhaled calcium dust and got irritated? Or to kill some microscopic itchy species of surface mite that we don’t even notice they have? Or maybe sometimes something close to the surface, such as a specific muscle group, needs more heat, but they’d overheat their insides if they used the cooler spot to slow-bake. Could be a way of warming the muscles while replenishing intestinal flora, which in some herps (iguanas, for example) do better at a lower temp than the host organism. I have no idea. These are all just completely wildass hypotheses on my part. All I really know is that if they have both options, there are times that they will emphatically prefer the hotter option, just as there are times when they will emphatically prefer a lower temp.

I also have a couple of feet of thick horizontal driftwood between both perches, so they can hang out in-between without giving up their altittude. There’s UVB above there, but the temp stays in the 90s or even upper 80s. Same temp as the cage floor, actually, since the perch is about a foot under the screen, so there’s more airflow there than on the floor.

Whenever they’ve been out of the cage for a couple minutes so that their skin’s had tiime to cool down a little and what’s radiating from them is just stored-up internal heat, all three adults have always laster-temped at 102, as long as they were tested at mid-day, when everybody’d had time to get into their thermoregulation balance. This in spite of the fact that, of the three, Lupe spends the most time on the moderate-heat perch, Pancho spends the most time on the hot-perch, and Chica spends the most time wandering around finding other stuff to do. Pancho is the youngest, so maybe high temps are better for growth? Lupe is the laziest, so maybe basking at low temps is just less work? Chica is the smartest, so maybe positioning themselves just right to use the lights and air currents properly for every individual part is an acquired skill? Again, still just guessing. I know what I see, but not why I see it.

For the babies, I have something a lot simpler. 29-gallon tank, big 18" X18" piece of slate leaning against the side diagonally, pretty much leaving the whole floor unobstructed except for the bottom end, which is out of the way running along the glass. They can run all over the slate and pick any temperature they want. Both ends of the tank are unobstructed, so light from above hits both sides of the floor. The cage is positioned where the shady area under the slate also gets indirectlight from the adult’s cage, so they don’t go into night-mode every time they wander under it. In fact, it’s light enough under there, while still being well shaded from the strong overhead light, that they’ll even catch food under there. (Cesar also has a hilarious trick where he’ll slide down the slate like an otter if it’ll get him to a cricket faster than running. He can also do it diagaonally, to follow after one that’s crawling along on the bottom edge, and can use his claws to break, reverse direction, etc. An adult might have enough mass to bonk themself on the glass, but Cesar makes that slope work! Nino just sticks with running around on it the old fashioned way.)

Worms

Worms are a little iffy, because they do carry more types of parasites than insects. Some tricks are: buy them from what seems like a clean source, put them innew substrate immediately, keep them in the refrigerator so they pass more than they ingest without metabolizing enough to lose weight, rinse them well in cool water to make them void a good percentage of their intestinal load, use them in moderation, and use them only if stool checks are medicine are acceptable things to expect sometime down the road. Me, I figure the advantages (variety, digestibility, etc.) outweigh the disadvantage of probably occasionally having to drop a little bit of liquid into a mouth that, let’s face it, really isn’t all that small a target. They will get COVERED in sand, though, if you don’t feed them on something clean. If the stuff you use is all calcium it might be safe if the grains are small enough. If they dilute it with silica, or even if the grains are as large as Calci-Sands, then it’s riskier. You can use a dish, a clean rock, whatever, but of course sometimes they like to run around with their big squishy new prize, so it’s more effective to feed them on something much biggger than "necessary." Trout worms can be used whole for adults or chopped for babies. Nightcrawlers have to be chopped up even for adults, so I don’t bother. My sheen skink, however, loves both kinds. (I would say at least a quarter of her diet is earthworms, and she keeps testing clean for parasites year after year, so... not saying you’ll have the same luck, just saying mine personally has been quite good.) I’ve tried chopping nightcrawlers as a sald additive, but generally they went to waste. Maybe on other days they’d have over great, but it just seemed like a wasteul mess so I quite bothering. Skinks and cane toads get nightcrawlers, adult collards get trout worms. The hatchlings are curious about them, but have not taken one, even when cut in half. I think it’s just the mood they were in on the days I tried, though. Like we were talking about with crickets versus mealworms, they have those moods.

Vegetables

Mine are all more carnivore than omnivore, in the sense that even on days that they eat vegies, they still want insects, but the reverse is certainly not true. Nino has many days when he goes crazy on his vegetables (espcially if they’re not cold), and other days when he just isn’t interested. Cesar rarely does more than pick at them. (Yeah, I only have two hatchlings after a whole summer of two females laying multiple clutches of eggs. I killed a LOT of eggs working out nuances.) The adults usually just want bugs, with the females being much more likely to take vegies than Pancho. Craving trace elements during egg-laying season may have been a factor, but Pancho is also more picky about what bugs he likes then them, so..? I caught him eating salad one time, and it was probably only because both the girls were so he had to get in on the act. Chica is the second most omnivorous after Cesar. I have no idea if that’s because she’s the most willing to try new foods anyway, or if it’s because she’s the most prolific egg-layer. Or even if the former is only true BECAUSE of the latter!

If they’ll eat their vegs, good for them. But if they won’t, I say just cheat. It’s kind of debatable how much a grain-based gutload really does for them, after half the additives have been broken down by the cricket’s digestive acids. So I gutload with things like zuchini, yams, and if they’re on sale cheap, commercial vegetarian herp foods (tortoise, crested gecko, whatever). My roaches eat SO much that they get cheaper grain-based proteins (cricket food, fish food, etc), but their only water source fresh produce. Gel is a cheap easy way to water your bugs if you’re just feeding them to carnivore, but if you’re feeding thm to something that can actually digest what’s in them then it’s kind of a useless belly-filler. If you use vegetables instead then everybody’s still getting a certain amount of whatever anti-oxidants and whatnot that the supplements forgot, even if some lizards are ignoring the salad bowl. But I keep offering collareds actual fresh produce a few times a week anyway because at least half the time some gets eaten.

You can also seed the bowl by adding a few phoenix worms or dusted mealworms to the mix after it’s in the cage, and making sure they see what you dropped in there. Do it and walk away, though, because once they start giving you that helpless little muppet-face like they can’t hop twenty-four inches and dig for a worm, you’ll end up giving in and hand-feeding it to them.



09/09/09  02:59am

 #2070012


Dahawks02
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2069679


 Feeding

Your setup sounds awesome! When you say your basking spot is at 135, is that with a temp. gun? Or is it with a digital thermometer? If you havent already, could you post a picture of your setup? I would love to see it. My babies are in a 40 gallon breeder right now, but I will be moving them in a 50 gallon next spring.

I only have 1 basking light/area. But within that basking area, there are 3 spots to bask in. Its a piece of drift wood leaned up on their hide/cave. I cant have the light too close to the top screen as well. Both collareds jump from the basking perch, onto the screen, and walk upside down on the screen. They are nuts!

I dont plan putting the babies through burmation this winter. I wouldnt feel safe doing it while they are this young. I know they would do it if they were in the wild, and if they do it on their own so be it.



09/09/09  07:38pm

 #2070134


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2070012


 Feeding

Temp gun. Digitals might be okay for ambient grounds temps, but not for actual basking spots.

I just rearranged the cage a little bit today. I can get a shot of it when the lights are back on.

Mine haven’t brumated yet either, which was one reason I was so surprised when they started breeding. If they’re willing to bounce around and eat all winter, I’m fine with that.



09/09/09  11:36pm

 #2070217


Dahawks02
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2070134


 Feeding

Ya, I wonder why they would breed when they havent brumated? I thought brumating triggers sperm development.



09/10/09  07:43am

 #2075713


JackAsp
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  Message To: Dahawks02   In reference to Message Id: 2070217


 Feeding

Finally got around to loading some newer pics of their habitat onto the computer.






The way the lights and doorway are positioned I kep having a big shading problem with the bottom right corner, but there’s nothing really there anyway. The basking sites and jumping-space are what matter to them.



09/23/09  11:00pm


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