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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 7:51 pm 
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Find out for yourself. I have never done it. I am not a veterinarian but have worked with and for some very brilliant Doctors , whom I respect very much. I also respect Veterinary Medicine very much . And herpetoculture that generates toward wellness and quality of life , not bound by the confines of convienience but by progressive method and respect of captive animals that deserve our best efforts.

I will continue to enjoy this forum, and share what I want to share. Some things may seem different. You will continue , I have the feeling, to snippet, twist , refabricate, and ignore the body of whatever I may share , but it all comes out in the wash.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 8:02 pm 
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I did fine out for myself. I went to ARAV.org and looked into membership requirements. All I found was this:

"Active members in the Association shall be those veterinarians interested in the field of reptile and amphibian medicine and surgery"

So, you kept telling us to call an ARAV vet to ask them about how a diet of pinkies would affect a Leopard Gecko, but according to the ARAV site, there is nothing that makes them more qualified than any other vet. If only an interest in it is qualification enough, then I am more qualified than other vets. I searched through the archives of their journal too, and I couldn't find any papers they published with regards to leopard geckos and rodent diets. I searched briefly through JSTOR as well, but couldn't find anything. Without a formal study, and peer reviewed paper, it would seem all we have to go on is our own experiences, and the anecdotes of people we talk to on forums. We have to choose who we agree with, and who we don't, but you seem to just expect that we all listen to you know matter what, even though you aren't providing any more evidence for your side of the argument, than Kent was by saying he raised geckos on a pure pinky diet.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 9:22 pm 
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Kent: That's a cool article.

Did you catch the part where it mentions another study had indentical growth rates with both prey items given ad libidum? Seems that the movements of crickets causes leos to eat more. I wonder how roaches(Blatta lateralis-red runners) would stack up...some keepers using them have reported favorably on growthrates. www.geckosetc.com breeder apparently feeds his an almost entirely mealworm based diet.

psyon: Any luck on anything regarding lizards being fed vertebrate prey that normally don't eat them in quantity? A lot of other lizards are maintained on essentially all vertebrate diets-or better yet just bits of vertebrate. I'm going to ignore gilas and beadeds since they feed on nestling vertebrates naturally.

tegus-breeders reccomend a mix of supplemented meat(usually ground turkey is reccomended) and rodents. At least one breeder cut out all vegetable matter entirely...despite the fact that this species is quite the omnivore in the wild

blue tongue skinks-have been kept for years on nothing more than canned dog food(with some calcium/multivitamin supp. thrown in since most dog food has a slightly lower Ca:P ratio than thought optimal for reptiles).


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:37 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Because one cant tell precursors of disease from looking at outward appearance. Zoo animals have blood panels done regularly and so do many privately owned pets. I tell clients who feed live crickets to have a fecal smear at least every 18 months.

But look, if someone here who fed a total pinky diet to a leo had some bloodwork done, with results showing nothing outstanding - it will be misused to encourage a controversial, and potentially harmful practice to so many others, and if serum levels do present abnormally - people will just say it doesnt matter anyway, because the animal eats and looks regular on the outside.

But its not about that. As a keeper I have historically innovated certain practices out of necessity that worked with good success for me. unconventional materials, devising specific slurries, etc , but I would never Advise others to do the same - even if explained to them to the Letter, because there are too many variables and it wouldnt be responsible . Its damage control. We bring some things to the table to share with others , and some things are not shared, because it would be haphazard to do so . Its not about telling others what to do , but knowing when and what to not tell others what to do. I just think its ethical to at least try observe this , especially in a format like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:38 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Have the bloodwork done . You will find the data you seek.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:39 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Why doesnt someone just call an ARAV vet and ask his opinion of an all pinky diet with obligate insectivores?

I was told by one of my favorite vets to stay away from forums. Now I know why. The other vet who last year graduated from davis confirmed the pinky diet as causal in the two only I described. (which I got from him as sub a) Other leos (mostly albino morphs) have been brought to my attention in various stages - from the swollen darkened stage to the crashing stage and were seen by vets. Heavy pinky and fuzzy diet were in history.But my 2 that I spoke of and kents are the only ones I know of offered 100%.

If you look at the biology of organ function, and learn about the way Different Fats work you will see that to exempt leopard geckos from basic health methodologies is not logical


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:39 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
No - extra calories are stored as adipose mostly in the tail. Its the heavy mammalian tissue and milk sterols that are foriegn and poorly metabolized by the relatively primitive organ systems of lower vertebrate obligate insectivores.

The tail slowly begins to get smaller - yet as the appetite starts to surge - unlike a pathogen caused illness. The organs under strain of metabolizing an evolutionarily unprecedented fatty acid.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:40 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
In the spirit of balancing edges and prudent rationale in feeding our animals - My last comment on this subject , as really all of my comments were, is aimed at those people gathering information for the animals they keep:

An arav veterinaran should be contacted for the definitive, professional advice, especially before embarking on something like 100% pinky diet for leopard geckos. It is feasable to me that such an idea could have appeal - for its convenience factor.

ARAV Veterinarians are worth locating, you will have the most current and focused herpetological medical knowledge available by seeking their care and advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 1st, 2012, 10:56 pm 
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I have raised, bred and rehabed at least 2000 leopard geckos. Im not counting those I have boarded and otherwise stewarded in care , who were property of others.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 12:07 am 

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well, how much longer is this thing going to go on? It seems to me that the best course or action would be do agree to disagree and move on. Kelly thinks she is right, and i don't think anything anyone can say will sway her. In short, This whole thing is an exercise in inertia. I'm sure someone with questions might find this thread and might read it. There is enough here to let them make up their own minds.

I think its great that you say you have rehabed that many animals, i really do. I also think its really cool that you care very much for not only your animals, but the animals of others. If you think that a diet of vertebrate prey for an animal that might be an obligate insectivore is harmful, i say more power to you. i dont agree with what you are saying, and the lack of information backing what you say may be lacking, but it doesnt really matter. I guess what im trying to say is, if whatever you are doing is working for you
thats great. You should keep doing it. What i do works for me. Im not going to elaborate on what i do since you probably wont agree with it, or maybe you will. Either way, i dont really care because it works for me.
This forum is a great place. The photography is phenomenal, and the people arent half bad. Its a real credit to the hobby. I hope that you enjoy your stay and make the most of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 6:12 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
I have raised, bred and rehabed at least 2000 leopard geckos. Im not counting those I have boarded and otherwise stewarded in care , who were property of others.


Kelly, I hope that you can actually answer these questions, even with estimates, rather than giving me some vague answer to dodge the questions...

1. How many of those 2000 leopard geckos were kept in a diet of rodents?

2. How many of those 2000 leopard geckos ever became ill and died?

3. Of the ones that died, how many of them had a necropsy performed?


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 8:08 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
You are An Idiot.


Kelly, did you realize that engaging in an ad hominem attack is tantamount to conceding your point? Here's a reference...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 8:46 am 
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Wow! I've been watching this thread with great intent, but have mostly kept out of it. I find it interesting that there is a push against the primary (sole?) use of Tenebrio larvae to feed Eublepharis. This guy has been doing just that for years with great evidence that it's perfectly fine: http://www.leopardgecko.com/. Not only that, but he's co-authored books on the subject of their care and breeding with a well-renowned ARAV vet.

I've seen several reverences to Eublepharis being "obligate insectivores". Kelly, would you please define what you mean by that? I think I have a pretty good grasp on the concept, but it differs from how you're using it. That may explain some of my confusion, here. Eublepharis certainly happen across nestling rodents from time to time. To think they pass up on such an easy, nutritious meal seems unrealistic... especially when you see the gusto with which they take pinky mice in captivity.

Taking this a step further, how long would it take for a captive population of a highly plastic species to adapt to the foods we offer? Check out this paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/12/4792.full.pdf. It's pretty cool. This link: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/still_just_a_lizard.php is a synopsis and down-to-earth explanation of it by PZ Myers. A mere ~30 generations to evolve a novel mechanism to allow herbivory?! Awesome!


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 11:53 am 
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Cole, that second link brings back memories! A professor I was working with at Long Beach state was involved with the research project with Podarcis. We had a trip planned to the Adriatic to study the results of the transplant (late 70's), but then that darn war thing got in the way. I had lost touch with both the professor and the experiment, so it's fascinating, to say the least, to see the results. THANK YOU for sharing that!


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 12:21 pm 
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Kent,

That's some cool stuff, man! Too bad you didn't get to go see the results, but I'm glad to at have helped you at least read about them! Pretty fascinating stuff from both an ecological and an evolutionary standpoint.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 12:48 pm 
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Cole Grover wrote:
Wow! I've been watching this thread with great intent, but have mostly kept out of it. I find it interesting that there is a push against the primary (sole?) use of Tenebrio larvae to feed Eublepharis. This guy has been doing just that for years with great evidence that it's perfectly fine: http://www.leopardgecko.com/.


Mine eats mainly meal worms, and crickets when I have left overs after feeding tree frogs. As I said earlier in the topic, I think there may be a difference if you use refrigerated meal worms, versus having ones that are active and alive that are constantly eating and have their tummies full. My only reason for getting involved in this discussion is that I think too many people jump to conclusions and blame fatty liver disease for deaths that it isn't responsible for.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 1:11 pm 

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I really enjoyed that article Cole, thanks. Ive had a feeling that something like that could happen in captivity.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 3:07 pm 
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Cole, I'm just diggin' this! - here's a link to the original 1972 paper. Bob Clover was my professor.

http://www.lacerta.de/AS/Bibliografie/BIB_3122.pdf


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 3:44 pm 
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That is a pretty neat "experiment"!

I wonder how different phenotypically and genotypically leopard geckos are from the original wildtypes(aside from the obvious uncovering of recessive traits and perhaps a few that were results of spontaneous mutation). I've seen photos of some F0 and F1 animals and they are quite pretty. Lots of people today claim todays leopard geckos are not as hardy as those in the old days. I suppose because hobbyists keep temperatures and whatnot pretty stable they may lose some tolerance for, say, cold.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 4:21 pm 
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Awesome paper, Kent! After-dinner reading material, right there! Thanks for the link.

Horned, there's some pretty good evidence that similar things are happening. The examples of us selecting (intentionally or unintentionaly) for offspring of lizard-feeding snakes (like Lampropeltis alterna) that have a greater willingness to feed on the food items we have available (like Mus) are pretty convincing.

-Cole


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 10:21 pm 

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Kelly Mc wrote:
Its naive to try to mimic the wild . Its intelligent to try to understand an animals principalic realities.

Thats what zoo science is - in other disciplines of exotics husbandry.


Dear readers,
you are a hardy lot...I left for a few days and I am astounded this thread has not wound up on the board line. Regarding this whole science analysis, some of which is beyond me...I respectfully disagree with the quote above to mimic the wild. I may have misinterpreted the contest...My philosphy as a keeper is to do just that, in a simple way, offer choices. I try to feed a wide variety of prey, and temps and conditions within the practical confines of a vivarium. Some of you may recall Bert Langerwerf? He was real skilled at this, and very creative. He was also successful, developing herpetoculture techniques and making species widely available, even a food item, Zoophobias (sp?) worms, etc.

I am also convinced different strategies sometimes get similar results, and that insufficient data exists to draw some conclusions. Everyone here is so passionate and actually pretty patient, and I have found this thread edifying, stimulating and at times, humorous. Kelly, your reference to "surgically diplomatic" or word to that effect I found hilarious, but I admit I have a quirky sense of humor.

So, I have concluded I will feed a lot of variety, that way if any of you are partially wrong, i won't do too much damage...moderation in all things! I also think Kelly and others made good points, I have little experience with necropsies or veterinary medicine, I have mostly been blessed with healthy animals and little need of. But it seems to me, that your average Leopard gecko walking down the path in Asia would mostly eat invertebrates "bugs"
...and maybe an occasional nest of pinkys...a reasonable guide line for captive feeding?

Now I will check out the paper that has Kent's attention...


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 8:04 am 
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:thumb: (for everything you said Vic!)


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 2:51 pm 
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I have no idea what is going on here...but I once tried to change diets on my animals to see what would happen. I decided to feed meal worms to my snakes, and big mice to my turtles. The mice gave the turtles a meal that would last them a month, but the aquarium got really dirty...and it took me 5 hours to stuff enough meal worms down one kingsnake's gut to give it a decent meal.


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 2:52 pm 
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I had to slit each meal worm and fill the gut with calcium and vitamin C before feeding the kings...that took days of preparation.


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 2:53 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
I have no idea what is going on here...but I once tried to change diets on my animals to see what would happen. I decided to feed meal worms to my snakes, and big mice to my turtles. The mice gave the turtles a meal that would last them a month, but the aquarium got really dirty...and it took me 5 hours to stuff enough meal worms down one kingsnake's gut to give it a decent meal.

I had to slit each meal worm and fill the gut with calcium and vitamin C before feeding the kings...that took days of preparation.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :thumb:


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PostPosted: February 3rd, 2012, 2:54 pm 
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Strangely, the kings developed a craving for sliced potatoes and bran...


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2012, 6:55 pm 
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Thats way too much Variety. Think of all the time wasted on the animals. Im thinking of going All Slim Jims. Slim Jims for all species.

If it catches on , it will take Years before any "Studies" on bioaccumulation are accessable. Yeah, why waste time tinkering around with foods. Slim Jims! So easy and only One Food to think about. More time for people to count their friends on facebook and $ buy electronic devices.


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2012, 11:21 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Thats way too much Variety. Think of all the time wasted on the animals. Im thinking of going All Slim Jims. Slim Jims for all species.


Remember T-Rex Snake Steak Sausages?

And now there's this:

Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Zoological Formulas Reptile Diet


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2012, 7:09 am 

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Did the T-Rex Snake thingies ever take off? I just stuck with rodents and birds...they've worked for decades for most snakes so if it ain't broke...


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2012, 4:15 pm 

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We sort of addressed the reptile sausages back last week...in this thread. Kelly said words to the effect it was not a well made product. I looked briefly at the contents of this newer van patten product, and it is similar in someways to an average dog food. I would have expected higher protein %. Ca/Ph ratio looks OK. Does anyone really know what is the best diet for a snake?

What begs to be answered, did this company do clinical trials on a variety of snakes to evaluate its applicability to a captive snakes diet over time? What were the comparisons, controls used? I would be surprised if a one formula recipe can meet the needs of the wide variety of snakes people keep in captivity. Confining it to known rodent feeders, are the needs of a corn snake the same as cobra the same as a cribo the same as a gaboon viper etc.? I suspect not...and is there adequate fiber within, etc. It may well be fine for some snakes...but hard to say since I have nothing to compare it to and I can't think of any snake that eats beef heart in the wild. Interesting photo, it looks like a king (Ophiophagous) feeding on the sausages...

Someone I read about on another forum was making his own snake sausages, and using the whole animal, and adding feathers etc., it seemed less refined and in my mind, a better idea than these various commercially made ones. It woud be great if a vet or someone involved in the clinical trials would comment. Paul, the add says they are for feeding snakes by people who can't or won't deal with the normal whole prey items...they are trying to make the snakes into botique items for people's pleasure I guess...I think that is what Kelly remarked on earlier in a general way?

I won't be switching unless someone shows compelling data that they are a superior product to the diverse variety of whole items I commonly offer my breeding groups. They would be a plus as far as convenient I would agree.



Vic


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2012, 4:44 pm 

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I would KILL if someone made a cheap but healthy alternative for snakes like flying snakes and vine snakes though. Lizards are expensive (several bucks a pop) and maintaining a large enough colony ot keep even a pair of those fed would be a lot of work (let alone rearing babies).


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 10:00 am 
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If they proved cheaper, just as healthy, and easier to store alongside of other food items in the freezer without freaking people out(though now you would need to be truly worried about people eating your snake food by mistake)-they'd be good.

Paul: Problem is a lot of those seem to be highly visual animals-so something that they will take reliably would be a problem. It wouldn't be too hard IMO to make something nutritionally suitable (you could make something up using fish/chicken meal/byproduct base but with a lot less fat than dog food to mimic the nutritional profile of a reptile prey item). Their is even a powdered diet for pacman frogs out there somewhere.

I think someone needs to find and domesticate a good feeder reptile. People occasionally raise mourning geckos for their lizard feeders-cresteds or leopards would be a lot of work but might also work. I think a small skink would be the easiest to raise in large numbers. Raising rodents sounds like just as much work to me. It seems that the main problem is that reptiles grow slower.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 11:59 am 

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I'm actually starting a mourning gecko colony soon for the same reason. I don't know anyone that reliably breed small skinks with large clutches. I guess maybe if you bred beardies they might work? Don't they have huge clutches?


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 1:06 pm 
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Aren't five lined and ground skinks pretty prolific? They could probably be kept in small colonies fed on pillbugs, worms etc.

With a bit of work they could probably be trained onto wet dog/catfood.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 2:09 pm 

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Actually this is something i've been trying to do for some time. I want to try my hand at breeding viper boas, but the whole "babies needing to feed on small skinks" thing is a bit of a problem. Though i could go out and capture a bunch of wild western skinks for them, there are several reasons not to do this in my mind (parasites and disease are the main ones). I have been trying to get a group together of western skinks to get a breeding colony together. Unfortunately i suck at finding skinks. They are either really uncommon in my area, or im not very good at finding them. Right now i have a male female pair that are breeding. I havent tried to get them onto dogfood as pillbugs are easy to get and keep in their enclosure with them, though i might try in the future. Pink tongued skinks seem like they might be a viable option. They have huge litters ( i think the world record for a pink tongue litter is 67)and are livebearers that readily eat cat food and cgd. The only thing about pink tongues is they are ridiculously expensive if you are going to be using them as feeders, and honestly you would probably be better off selling the babies (i think they go for are 1-2 hundred dollars a pop).


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 2:33 pm 

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I don't know where you are but I can't remember seeing a pink tongue for sale in the states (I'm sure there have been, but I ain't seen them).

The real problem is with small snakes like those candoia--you have to find a lizard that has *really small* babies.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 2:56 pm 

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yeah, for a while i was trying to get a breeding group of yucca night lizards ( i knew someone in yucca valley that didn't like them in his garage, so i would catch them up.) but they only have 1-2 babies and are slow breeders to my knowledge. Pink tongues are occasionally for sale, that's how i got my three. They are just really uncommon, which in my opinion is a real shame (they are great lizards to keep, and are easy to breed). Their babies are pretty small, though not so small that a baby viper boa could eat (but then thats what baby house geckos are for). I'm in southern California


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 3:44 pm 
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pinktongues would work if they were more common and not so expensive(I'm looking into getting a group if yours ever have babiess). Also-it seems they take at least 2 years to mature so that is not going to do it.

However, small skinks like ground skinks or Eastern five lineds may be appropriate...esp. if the adults at least could be gotten onto nonliving food.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 6:19 pm 

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yeah ive had mine for about a year. They can take a while to grow to maturity, but if you had a large enough group of mature adults you might be able to swing it.

Totally off subject though, they can eat a wide variety of foods and dont require a snail only diet. Hopefully if mine have babies, ill probably try and keep most of them. It would be nice to have a really big group of mature breeding pink tongues, but as they say "dont count your skinks before their born!"

One genus of skinks that i have seen eating dog food is the rainbow skink (i think tis a mabuya genus skink). They are small and tropical, and also unfortunately rarely available in the states :(


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 6:50 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
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Location: Amarillo, Texas
Quote:
Totally off subject though, they can eat a wide variety of foods and dont require a snail only diet. Hopefully if mine have babies, ill probably try and keep most of them. It would be nice to have a really big group of mature breeding pink tongues, but as they say "dont count your skinks before their born!"

Aw don't be a hoarder, share the wealth :P You could probably nearly sell out just on this board.


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 Post subject: Re: Are pinkies really fatty? Nutritional analysis of...
PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 7:01 pm 
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There are alot of researched specialized artificial zoo diets for various animals - I cant help but see potential in well founded reptile diets . The acceptability factor is the kicker , and if it fills the gaps in reptiles that are primary ecto eaters , its an exciting idea. The research by bigger companies would be better funded and at the very least define more exacting nutritional data. Its very intriguing


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 7:30 pm 
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The one troubling issue with a cultured feeder lizard is how variable husbandry and health status of feeder reptiles raised with numbers in mind would be - because of ease of transmission. The 30 day guidline in solid freeze would really be a necessity. And if suddenly they became unavailable , then there would be alot of dedicated lizard eaters up a creek. I was half joking with a friend once about futuristic herpetoculture - and biotic protoplasmic perfect food items grown for herps ala petri dish. Scelop, Hyla, Ranid, Ophidian :D


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 7:58 pm 
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I have actually talked to a handful of Lampropeltis breeders that work with some of the more finicky, lizard-perferring species (alterna, zonata, pyromelana, North American triangulum) and a few have bred either Uta or Sceloporus for the sole purpose of feeding finicky baby snakes. Having worked with a few finicky lizard-eating Lampropeltis, I should say that lizard babies tend to be small, and a "meal" of them tends to be small too. That is, you will probably need ALOT of baby lizards. I am currently working with a neonate Lampropeltis that perfers lizards, and might I say, after a "large" baby lizard, the snake is ready to go and without a meal buldge in as little as 2 days!

And creating a breeding stock of lizards can pose the problems of both internal and external parasites. Can you imagine if you added a few WC sceloporus to your breeding stock....mites galore haha! And the maintaince...live food, cleaning, lighting...ugh....there IS a reason why I only work with snakes haha :D

On the topic of dog food eating skinks. I know people feed some species dog food. I know this has been a staple in herpeteculture for many years. But, I don't know. It just rubs me the wrong way...now if there was a dog kibble made of insects and fruits....


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 8:18 pm 

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This is totally anecdotal but...... My girlfriend breeds blue tounge skinks (northerns). She feeds her animals nothing but dog food. Mind you they have never had a blood test or anything like that, they look for all intents and purposes like really healthy skinks. They arent overweight, lethargic or anything like that. The breeder she got hers from fed his skinks nothing but dog food as well (i believe the breeders name was Michael Luhrs). I have blue tongues as well, and i do feed mine dog food. i also feed mine hardboiled eggs, fruit and insects. Hers will not eat any fruit. they only like meaty things and moving small things. I think if you feed dog food to skinks you dont have to feed as often as if you fed a diet that was mainly plant and insect based as dog food is pretty calorically dense. I feed mine once a week, and burmate them in the winter. Mine are rescues but my gf's have been with her since they were babies. They are about 5 years old. I think if you are dealing with skinks that are omnivores you can pull it off (im not sure if western skinks are omnivorous). i feed my shingle back skink dog food too with no apparent ill effects (and he has been to the vet). I guess if you are ok with it its doable, its ultimately up to the animal.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 10:01 pm 
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Thing with holding onto babies is your bloodlines won't be as diverse compared to trading offspring with other breeders. Granted their prolly arent too many different bloodlines of pink tongues in the US-most I've seen look very similar.

Feeding dogfood to bluetongue skinks is pretty standard. I've got a few animals(Northerns will also be trying to breed this year) that are doing well on mostly dogfood supplemented with calcium...occasional vegetable bits thrown in. Most big breeders keep skinks on dogfood and seen only great results(usually the mix in frozen vegetables but at least one guy kept some for 15+ years on only dogfood with occasional calcium supplementation). OTOH, people who try to feed these animals on chicken, vegetables, fruits etc. w/o supplementing enough frequently run into problems with MBD. This is due to chicken and most other straight up meats having a bad Ca:P ratio. So for bluetongues a simple diet that for sure meets their needs seems better than a more complicated one that might not.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 10:20 pm 
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Joseph S. wrote:
OTOH, people who try to feed these animals on chicken, vegetables, fruits etc. w/o supplementing enough frequently run into problems with MBD. This is due to chicken and most other straight up meats having a bad Ca:P ratio. So for bluetongues a simple diet that for sure meets their needs seems better than a more complicated one that might not.


I DARE you to post that opinion on bluetongueskinks.net :lol:


I have a tanimbar, and he is offered mostly grain free cat food, supplemented with rodents, insects, and vegetables. Omnivores are easy to feed :thumb:


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2012, 1:13 am 

Joined: July 31st, 2010, 7:42 am
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if it aint broke, dont fix it! You can apply this to feeding dog food to blue tongues or pinkies to leopards


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2012, 1:29 am 
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I feed mine large thawed dubia, silkworms, big pinkies, hardboiled egg and produce.

I think too, we tend to think of years in less then realistic to indeterminate grower/lifespan terms. 10 years , even 15 isnt much of a curve for many species.

A lady came in who had been feeding her box turtle only String Cheese for over a decade. It was finally presenting with obvious dietary illness - its beak overgrown, nails chalky and spiraling and eyes bugging out like a freak but, took quite a while for it to finally become morbid - and though very sick - the turtle ate his string cheese like a champ.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2012, 1:32 am 
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What is good to apply is . . Logic!

Its like the tadpole thing - the lipids in tadpoles are healthy , easily metabolized nutrient for turtles and many ecto primary feeding snakes - Thats Why evolution made frogs capable of such progeny multitude - Because they comprise a primary food source.

Nestling mammals on the other hand - have nestling mammal Parents - that choose sites to conceal their brood , and defend them. They arent laying out in little bowls of fluff. An adult mouse of many species can easily kill a small reptile. There are some pretty badass rodents in pakistan that a leopard gecko would definately consider a predator.

More realistically then nestling rodents - I Speculate , would be grounded juvenile bats, making up some portion of wild macularius diet and nocturnal prowl. Many fall, and they are very small.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2012, 6:17 am 
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Its like the tadpole thing - the lipids in tadpoles are healthy , easily metabolized nutrient for turtles and many ecto primary feeding snakes - Thats Why evolution made frogs capable of such progeny multitude - Because they comprise a primary food source.


Wait... you want to apply logic, and then you follow it up with that statement? Really? If baby frogs were scarce they wouldn't be a primary food source, they are a primary food source BECAUSE they are abundant, not the other way around. The fact that they are easily metabolized by turtles and snakes may be because the turtles and snakes adapted to eat a readily available prey item.


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