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 #2293975


Karma279
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 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

Hello all... I hope to gain some insightful knowledge here... .this is the first MHD specific forum I’ve found.

Let me begin with some background info on my abilities and knowledge. I am a member of other reptile forums and have been keeping snakes for around 8 years. I’ve kept everything from large boids to hatchling corns and have been trained to handle venomous species indigenous to the SE area of the US (I currently do not keep)... So I am familiar with reptiles and the importance of husbandry; but I have read many conflicting "care sheets" on the MHD.

I took my daughter (12 y/o, who works very well with snakes) to a local Repticon around a month ago when I went to PU a new BCC (ended up buying a BCI). She brought some money and wanted to get another lizard... She used to keep Leos a few years back, but we eventually traded them off for a king.
While at the show she found a large tank full of MHDs. The seller told me they were a hardy breed and easy to keep... so she bought one and invested in a mesh enclosure. (pictures below)
I have it set up in her room with a basking lamp, full spectrum UVB source, a large water bowl with an air stone, a live pythos, feeding bowl and am using coconut shred for substrate.
I try to keep 5-8 dusted crickets in the enclosure at all times and have offered it mealworms and redworms.
The problem is... I have never actually "seen" it take food. I waited a few days for it to acclimate to it’s new enclosure before I became concerned. Since then I have been "force-feeding" it pre-killed crickets, live mealworms and live redworms. I also use a dropped and hydrate it with Pedialyte with some calcium powder mixed it...
Now I know this is stressful to any reptile; but until I see it take food on it’s own... I must continue to do this... The problem is: Am I making this animal accustomed to only taking food this way?
I have spot-cleaned fecal matter from the enclosure so I know it is processing what I am feeding it. I also make sure to let it soak in luke-warm water every few days.
It just seems like every time I check on it... it is at the highest reach of the branch in the enclosure (probably closer to the heat source than it needs to be). I have placed it back in the enclosure in the substrate to find it later on the climb and visa versa....
It appears to be healthy, size wise, but of course I am feeding/hydrating it via the dewlap method.
I also have a dripper that keeps a constant small flow of water running down the climb... so I know it always has access to water.
What am I doing wrong? Is it WC and has parasites perhaps? Am I feeding it when it may normally feed on its own if I let it be?
The latter I’m not so sure of... because I often feed it in one of my plastic snake feeding tubs with a UTH underneath and have left redworms wiggling about and it looks down at them but will not readily feed.
Any help/advice would be great!

Nick

(the photo of the temp/hydro was "pre-mist"....)



















03/18/13  08:47pm

 #2293984


The Lone Glider
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  Message To: Karma279   In reference to Message Id: 2293975


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

You should take a step back and breath. Lol. Force feeding is not necessary at this time, the ONLY time I would say to force feed is if it has not eaten in a month then I’d start to worry a little, But to go and force feed after only a few days is too much for a little MHD.. You have to look at it from it’s point of view.. Its been taken from inside a house with probably only a few people ever around with all its brothers and sisters and then placed into a large tank with HUGE people EVERYWHERE only be a few weeks/months old be taken away from all of that and put in a smallish terrarium with new people watching and going around and reacquiring in and out taking it from its home putting it newer places spraying it and then to add to the mix NOW its being taken out forced to open its mouth and having food shoved down its mouth. Reptiles are very sensitive animals. They all adjust in their own way and in their own time. It may take a week or 2 for them to just START adjusting. Give it time. They don’t adjust like mammals do or amphibians do. You may also want to try different foods, but leave the food in the enclosure in the morning and all day and leave it alone till night time and take the food out and keep doing this. It should help. But take it slow.. for your MHD’s sake. and you might want to do a fecal exam. Its always good to have parasites checked off. but like I said take it slow. The number 1 thing I teach to EVERYONE and I probably say this 20 times a day" TAKE IT SLOW". I hope this helps and that your MHD will be okay. Looks very nice BTW..:)



03/19/13  02:32am

 #2294001


Karma279
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  Message To: The Lone Glider   In reference to Message Id: 2293984


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

Thank you for the info! I really hope to get this MHD established healthy and happy in its new enviornment...
I may not have been specific enough about the force-feeding; it was probably around 5 days or so before I even opened the enclosure after letting it acclimate... It is in my daughter’s room where the door stays shut as well. My first concern was hydration after then so I gave it a little pedialyte mixed with calcium. It was another couple days before I force-fed meal worms and then mixed up the food offered and I’ve only fed it every 3ish days. We’ve had it over a month... I have no idea how old it is and I’m sure it’s WC (though IDK). But I still understand what you’re saying about overwhelming the animal... Like I said, I’ve kept snakes for over 8 years but there is a big difference there when it comes to feeding and hydration.
With the mention of only being concerned if it had been a month... are you saying that is OK and healthy for this animal to go a month without taking food or seeing it actively take water to hydrate? A snake... I wouldn’t think twice... But I would have thought that would been unhealthy for a dragon... But hence why I am here. To learn.
I can tell you all day long about snakes... How to deal with picky eaters, how to convert them to f/t, lizard/amphibian eaters to take rodents etc; but the only lizards we’ve kept over a month or two have been leos... and they happily took pinheads and mealworms. But I would have been very concerned if they didn’t eat/hydrate for a length of time.



03/19/13  09:44am

 #2294007


The Lone Glider
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  Message To: Karma279   In reference to Message Id: 2294001


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

I do a lot with snakes aswell. I do snkaes, birds lizards, geckos and amphibians. Lol. and I am saying it isn’t unusual. I have had a few that have gone that long. As long as you provide what they need they will eat when they are ready.



03/19/13  11:31am

 #2294038


Karma279
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  Message To: The Lone Glider   In reference to Message Id: 2294007


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

Thanks for the info so far Lone Glider... I feel a little better hearing from someone who keeps these beautiful reptiles. Again, the only lizards I’ve dealt with for over a month have been Leos (I’ve traded, housed temporarily, nursed etc others in the past... a few monitors, beardies, waters... but never longer than a month) so I am not as familiar with keeping; I just know they they need to feed quite a bit more frequently and food needs to be offered/removed etc and things "maintained" a little more than snakes.
Are you the only person these days that frequents this forum with advice?

Nick



03/19/13  07:48pm

 #2294049


Karma279
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  Message To: Karma279   In reference to Message Id: 2294038


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

So it’s been 3 days since I’ve had it out/fed/hydrated it...
I was spot-cleaning and adjusting the dripper; it was still chilling in the same spot in the substrate... when I finished, I dropped the remainder of my pinhead crickets (4 or 5) in the enclosure and while I was double-checking the tube and locks I saw movement. I manuevered it and knocked some crickets off the mesh and sure enough... Bam! It took one. I knocked another in it’s view and bam! another one. So I guess all is well there and I’ve found what it prefers to eat. I’ll continue to monitor it and watch hydration and maybe I’ll work on meals and redworms in a few days!
Thanks again for the info!



03/19/13  09:22pm

 #2294051


The Lone Glider
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  Message To: Karma279   In reference to Message Id: 2294049


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

Awesome! Good luck with the critter! and your welcome.:)



03/19/13  11:13pm

 #2294284


Saine718
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  Message To: Karma279   In reference to Message Id: 2293975


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

Let me first say MHD are awsome lizards. Unfortunatley most sellers give the misconception the MHD are easy to tend to and they are not. Im actually breeding carpas and crucigeras so im speaking from experience. First thing you want to do is make sure your Dragon has plenty of areas where it can hide inside its enclosure until it feels comfortable enough to be out in the open. As for feeding the MHD in its enclosure, its a bad idea because it can bring stress to the reptile. I usually take one out at a time and put it ina small cage and throw red wigglers inside. This builds a bond with you and your dragon taking him/her out to feed him and the MHD begins to show itsself more and more instead of hiding. Another thing is do not keep extra crickets inside the tank. If they decide to bite the dragon, this can cause infection. always keep the tank critter free. MHD Dragons need about 73% humidity and when shedding i bring mine up to around 80%. i keep the temp between 73 to 77 degrees. MHD are more likely to eat worms then they will crickets. Red wrigglers or earthworms are the best for them. Full of protien and water so if your MHD doesnt drink after eating one of these guys thats fine, dont be alarmed because there is water inside the earthworm. My MHD’s hardly ever drink water. They get their fill from the worms. also Remove the basking lamp. MHD do not bask, this can acutally cause damage to them. all you need is your UVB Light. If you need anymore advice ill be more than happy to help. Email me at j.. Goodluck!



03/25/13  04:52am

 #2294287


Saine718
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  Message To: Saine718   In reference to Message Id: 2294284


 New MHD - Feeding Concerns

j.cintron1117 @gmail.com



03/25/13  05:09am


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