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RE: Just got "rescue" gold tegu

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Posted by: laurarfl at Thu Mar 11 15:30:49 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by laurarfl ]  

>>Thanks guys, that did help. I'll quit the cold cuts and stick to bugs. I dont want them gnawing at his healing wounds though, so maybe a pinky instead. My kitten has been eating Evo canned food (it's 95% of whatever meat is in there, chicken, turkey, venison, etc) and I've been popping that in in small quantities once in a while too.
>>He does love his hide, he goes under it and burys himself for much of the time. Never knew they liked to dig.
>>As for hand feeding, I've read that it can actually cause aggression and to feed them in a separate container. Any tricks to hand feeding that will prevent him associating fingers with food in a bad way?
>>Good idea on the t-shirt too, that works well with the sugar gliders, not a bad idea with Icarus (that's the tegu's name) too!

Some cat food is high in phosphorous, look for ingredients such as dicalcium phosphate. I don't feed cat food often, but if I do, I like Blue Buffalo Spa Selects. It also has whole meats, but has added fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, phytonutrients, and no added phosphorous. Pinkies are good, but add calcium since they are also high in phosphorous. You can add bugs in a dish or refrigerate them so you can keep an eye out for any escapees .

Colombians love, love, love to dig and hide. Heck, so do my Argentines.

I prefer not to hand feed. If I need to do something like that, I use a fork. I have a couple that go bonkers for forks now, so you can see that association in working action. I can hand feed my adults a rodent or a chunk of fruit, but it's not a habit. The smaller guys are faster and eat like there's no tomorrow.

I like to feed in a separate place. I don't use an enclosure, I use the back porch or the kitchen floor and a paper plate. But they definitely have a separate feeding routine outside of the enclosure. This reduces eating substrate, reduces the feeding response in the cage, allows me to see who's eating what, makes clean up easy, and makes coming out of the enclosure a positive experience. If you want to do the same thing with yours, you can use a solid colored rubbermaid container with a lid and just leave him in there to eat. The trick is having to catch him.

When I first got my Colombian, years ago, we didn't know much about tegus...she was our first. She was about 6-9 months old and not very tame. We kept her in my daughter's room first and then moved her to the living room so she always saw people. We used a glove to pick her up in the beginning and picked her up calmly, slowly, and carefully, despite the tail whipping and huffing. We held her for a few minutes every day. When it became clear that she wasn't going to run off, we let her crawl in the bathroom or kitchen and began feeding her on the kitchen floor on a newspaper. (before then we fed her crickets and pinkies in the cage). This was all within a couple of weeks or so.

It seemed that once she was eating outside of the cage, taming became easier. She would eat, poop on the paper, then hang out in my daughter's blanket while my daughter read a book or watched TV. So the tegu was out for at least 30 a day.

We also used the T-shirt trick and we also talked to her all the time when she was out. She was quite tame when out of the cage, but would tail whip in her cage.

Now she's about 5 years old I guess. You can reach into her cage to pet her even though she huffs at you. She spends a lot of the day buried and will still tail whip if you mess with her tail or back legs. She comes out to eat and poop on the paper and then walks around or climbs up to your shoulder. She's not the same as my Argentine's, but she's cool, as is her friend, Chester, another Colombian. They just seem to be on edge more than the Argentines.


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