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RE: For VICtort, about diet, from below

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Posted by: VICtort at Thu Aug 9 20:40:46 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by VICtort ]  

I appreciate the patient explanation you provided. I am trying to learn all I can before jumping in, and I am not sure which point you think I missed... But it's mostly new to me and I am open to new ideas. I don't even know what I don't know at this point.

Here is what I have learned: Habitat is where it's at, and certain characteristics of the vivarium are essential, i.e. the deep substrate, shelters and variable temp basking areas with pretty high temps available over a fairly broad surface, and the Retes stack is one simple way to provide that. Multiple shelters allowing retreat for congeners is important, nesting sites, basking etc. When the time comes and I have it all set, I will seek out a group of hatchlings and introduce them, watching carefully for pairing and tolerance behavior, recognizing some may be rejected, and not work out. I will seek out the best and healthiest captive bred/hatched stock available to me, I know it is better and usually cheaper in the long run. I understand that many keepers fail to provide suitable habitat, and the monitors often decline or fail to reach their potential, since they are struggling to survive...and have less energy for feeding, breeding,and just being healthy and intelligent monitors.

Not sure what impression I gave you regarding stimulation of monitors/captives. What I had in mind is offering some variety, such as an occassional unusual ie. crayfish, or scarce food item, or making it a challenge to catch the prey, or providing new and curious items to inspect, just a few and simple things to add something to the daily existence within the territory. I even do it with my Indigos, making them go into pipes or outside and the like to find the prey, and sometimes offering something unusual in captivity. I understand monitors are pretty oportunistic predators, and like tortoises and ourselves, will consume things with gusto that may not necessarily be in their best interest long term. I understand that whole bodied prey, especally rodents are hard to beat, monitors of many species will thrive on them as evidenced by your success breeding and establishing them. I can not argue with success, and I have no doubt there is validity and credibility in what you say. It is my M.O. to seek out the best and most skilled folks in almost anything I take an interest in, as they have a lot to offer and can save me from so many mistakes with a word of guidance. I am open to it. I also know that one must winnow the chaff from the grain, and free advice has varying value at times, I assure you I do not believe all I hear and read. I also know that sometimes there are multiple ways to achieve an end. When the time comes, depending on the species I choose, I will definatley seek out your opinion and that of the breeder who produced them, and I will do as you advise, perhaps fine tuning it over time to provide for the individual quirks of a particular specimen and my situation. I try hard to provide ongoing support to anyone who wants it when they buy an animal from me, and I expect the same, it is part of the reason I am willing to pay for the best, not always the cheapest.

Like your self and our down under friends, I plan to journey to Australia, stay quite a few months (it won't be cheap) and see monitors in the wild. I will do this before I acquire them as I know it is hard to find anyone who would care for them adequately long term. I will state I did not intend to mislead or persuade anyone on what is best for monitor care, I lack experience, but I have plenty with crayfish trappin'! I am grateful to you and many other skilled keepers on the various forums from whom I have learned a lot. I will be hanging out with ya'll. BTW, I liked your analogy to a raccoon, and I will keep that loosely in mind when designing and fabricating and watching behavior. Clearly monitors are not your average lizard...they are quite demanding...and they do really well, usually best, on a rodent based diet!



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