A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jeff » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:53 pm

Dakota Nivens wrote:
...There is no benefit, as well as no negative either.. IF done right. Fed seperately, large water bowl, wide basking area, deep substrate, many hides, ect. But there is little effort into getting them to breed...


I guess this is the point you are missing. The definitely IS a potential negative! Your skinks can be seriously injured or killed by each other if kept together. That is why it is recommended to keep them separately. It has NOTHING to do with breeding. It just eliminates the possibility of them killing each other. Some skinks co-habitate fine. Others don't. The problem is, you really have no way of knowing whether they are ok together or not until you come home to find one or more dead or maimed.

I am not saying don't keep them together, only saying that you need to acknowledge the risk before you do. No matter how you set them up, there will still be a risk to the skinks. It is also fairly common for a pair or group of skinks to do fine for months or years before one or more of them ends up being killed by another. Again, not saying it can not be done, I just want to make sure you are aware of the risks.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:57 pm

It all depends on the skink like Richard said. Like what Valley said, I'm doing one pair at a time for a couple weeks at a time.. to see.. well if they are compatible. I never said that I wasnt going to be a long process, it is!

I have not seen someone housing Meraukes together and having one kill if they are put into an unestablished territory. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I would love to see the thread and get into contact with that person.

I understand newbs should avoid it, but not everyone should avoid.. if there is a true reason for it and done correctly.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Fatal_S » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:20 pm

There's actually a lot of risks to co-habiting. There's the obvious they hurt/kill each other. And then there's many other risks/cons, for example:
1) You can't easily tell who's eating what/who's pooping well/etc.
2) Illness spreads very quickly in group housing.
3) Stress from competition over resources can really mess with our reptiles.
4) All your eggs are in one basket - if that pit floods/burns/gets raided, you lose everything.

There are also some benefits of course. Often it's much easier to get them to reproduce, it's less maintenance, usually takes less space, and is less expensive.

IMO, unless the species is naturally communal (monkey tails for example) there is absolutely no benefit to the animals in keeping them together. The keepers life is made easier while the animals are forced to assume the extra risks.

That said group-housing can be used to observe what naturally works, especially in difficult-to-breed species. That's how I personally look at Jos' original post. He made observations about his groups and how that worked for breeding. Same with Richard making observations about his animals waking at different times, waking slowly, the effects of direct competition, etc. There are invaluable observations, and I sincerely hope they will help us to understand more about our animals so that it becomes easier to breed animals kept individually.

I do personally (again, IMO) believe that, for most people, group-housing is the lazy-persons way to get offspring. This obviously doesn't apply to everyone, as there are a few people who use group housing almost as a way to study the animals. Generally though, I don't (IMO) give much respect to people who have to house-together to achieve any success. True breeders, to me, know the animals so well they can manage everything to get breeding success from individual animals on a regular basis. Or to sum up, producing a random litter does not a breeder make.

And again, to be extremely clear, all IMO. My personal opinion, not an actual rule.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:39 pm

Dakota Nivens wrote:It all depends on the skink like Richard said. Like what Valley said, I'm doing one pair at a time for a couple weeks at a time.. to see.. well if they are compatible. I never said that I wasnt going to be a long process, it is!

I have not seen someone housing Meraukes together and having one kill if they are put into an unestablished territory. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I would love to see the thread and get into contact with that person.

I understand newbs should avoid it, but not everyone should avoid.. if there is a true reason for it and done correctly.


people generally dont jump on the forum to report there skink got killed by another,or if they do they dont allways accept that the skink has died due to it house mate/mates

some skinks can do poorly just from the stress of more dominant ones being housed with them,including dieing from it,so its not just an aggression thing u need to look out for

a case if i may of group housing being inferior to housing alone is often less dominant animals never breed,even females,where as if housed seperatly your more likely to get them to as the stress that stops there interest is removed

just pr housing if u get cycling right can lead to males over hassling females,bluey breeding is rough at the best of times,and even with plenty of hides and cage size ect,theres still risk,if u look on you tube theres plenty of footage of wild ones fighting,they have heaps more room than any captive yet still try to hurt on another

theres lots of things to take into consideration its not just the fighting element

mel even monkey tails just snap and kill cage mates,its similar with colony occuring species like cunninghams to,sometimes even the loss of an animal from a group can cause them to turn
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:56 pm

Ive found in the past even without fighting, Easterns go down hill over time, simply because they stress out. When stressed they are more susceptible to disease such as RIs. Clearly being in Aus I've not kept Meraukes but clearly their behaviour is more aligned with scincoides than species such as blotchies or rogusa which can tolerate each other better.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:14 pm

Personally I look at blueys as temperate species that radiated out to tropical climes rather than evolutionary perspective a "tropical" genera. There is fossil evidence to support these assertions dating back 16 million years of so, which is postulated to be about the time that they differentiated from common ancestry to Egernia, such as T.pusilla (Shae) etc. Pineal glands are absent or poorly developed in obligate equatorial species of animals, but well developed in Tiliqua which in my humble opinion means for blueys day length and temperature cycling are far more likely to be triggers for breeding than other animals that may a reliance on other environmental characteristics. Doing some simple Googling there are lots of articles describing evolutionary development of species Tropical vs. Temperate and observations about Pineal Glands or absence in obligatorily equitorial species. I'm not suprised about Jos's sucess with a forumulaic approach to temperature management.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Lea » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:51 am

There are a lot of people who have made very valid points, for and against housing together. It's always good to have a proper discussion. Many people have been excellent with helpful insight and responses.

However, this is an old thread and it has deviated far from the originally topic, so I will lock it.

To the OP, please start another thread if you wish to continue your original discussion. I feel the merits of what you were trying to communicate has been lost amongst the banter.

If anyone wishes to discuss further cohabitation, feel free to start a thread in the General Discussion Forum, as the advanced area is not really appropriate for what has so far been discussed.
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