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RE: update- soaking

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Posted by: ckingii at Wed Jan 21 18:23:28 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by ckingii ]  

The temps in my cages are about 85 at the bottom and 95-100 at the top. They will thermoregulate by moving up and down. If they get too hot you will see them gaping to cool off. Gaping for hours on end, is too hot. Never gaping is too cold. You want to be between the two extremes. The vomiting is a sign of being too cold. Your animal is hungry enough to eat, but he isn't warm enough to digest the food, so he regurgitates it rather than having it rot in his gut. It's a survival mechanism. reptiles digestion, metabolism and immune system all depend on heat.If a reptile's body temp is 10 or so degrees to low, is will be stressed and suffer a slow decline.

As far as humidity goes, too much will cause respiratory problems while too little will cause loss of appetite and shedding problems. Since there is a big temperature gradient tin the cage, and RH depends on temp, it's a little hard to measure. I have my RH probe near the temp probe, and I try to put them at the approximate height where the animals hang out. Today is a dry day for the frillies, and I'm reading 92' and 22% RH in one of my larger cages. Yesterday was a wet day. Before misting, they were at 90' and 18%. After misting, they were at 84' and 100% RH. During the day, they warmed up and dried off to 93' and 65% by the time their lights went out. Even though I mist with warm water, the evaporation really cools off the cage.

Is your humidifier in the cage, or in your room?

I personally don't like screen cages. Frillies have a tendency to rub their noses on the cage sides, and screens are like a cheese grater. I've seen several frillies that have ripped up their noses that way. The other problem is that unless your room is hot and humid like the animal wants, you'll never be able to make the cage hot and humid enough for them. There is a lot of literature that says frillies need a lot of ventilation. Where I live (northern CA), I just haven't been able to get the heat and humidity without almost completely closing the cage up. Take a look at the photo. Air comes in through the vents below the glass doors and goes out through about 2 square inches of vents in the top of the lights. That's it.

I have four large cages, and four Exo-Terra cages set up exactly like the photo. If an animal isn't happy, eating like it should or just isn't thriving, they go in the Exo-terra setup. It's somewhat cramped, but a problem child will always perk up in there. Not so with the bigger cages since they herder to keep hot and humid.

When in doubt, add more heat and moisture.

Once your frillie perks up and starts climbing and jumping around, I'd really worry about having lights in the cage. you don't want to find him burned from hanging out on top of a light. Some reptiles don't have the ability to properly feel heat. That's why heat rocks are a problem. I don't know if a frillie will feel pain when it sits on a hot light enclosure, but why chance it?

I have 5 females and each one is different. On a scale of 1 (shy) to 5 (unafraid), I have a 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and I'll refer to them as such.

1 and 2 have their own Exo-Terra cage, and I have curtains over the front for part of the day, and all night. They will be active, running around and basking with their head up, but when they see a human, they freeze, slowly put their hear down or run into a hide spot. This behavior seems to begin once they are a year old. 1 is a frightened nervous basket case, and 2 is ok as long as you don't make any sudden moves or take her out of her cage. This is a main reason why males make better pets. To feed them, I put a hornworm on the cork above them, close and cover the cage and go away. No sudden moves to scare them and they will eat when I'm out of sight.

3,4 and 5 and a juvie male are all in a large cage. All are human socialized, and will eat from our hands. 3 is calm around humans, but spends all of her time in one small spot tucked behind a cork branch. That's the reason she earns a 3. She will eat from your hand, but won't go searching for food elsewhere in the cage. 4 is a little skittish around humans, but is the dominant female in the cage, is very active and will climb and jump a lot. She will eat from your hand, and search out food in the cage. 5 is just mellow, and will never frill. She is social around humans, will sit on your shoulder for up to 20 minutes, will eat from your hand and a bowl in the cage. Her personality is almost like a male.

Up to about a year, males and females look and act about the same. Yours doesn't appear old enough to have the shy female behavior if in fact he's a she. I'd guess that your frillie's problems are just related to husbandry.

Hope that answers some of your questions.



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