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Thoughts on whole vertebrae food items for Tiliqua

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:43 pm
by Red Ink AUS
Hi Guys,

This is some thing that I have recently been doing over the past year... I use to supplement my stumpies protein intake with cooked chicken meat but now use rodents (one every three weeks). I mainly use weaner mice as I also keep snakes so their always around.

Any thought or input on this practice?

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:53 pm
by Jeff
I can't cite any studies or facts for you, but in my opinion one every 3 weeks or so won't hurt anything. The only time I feed mine any rodents is if I would like them to put on a little more condition before I cool them, and the time is getting short. That usually means 2-3 of my females that I want to breed end up getting a pinky rat once a week for 2-3 weeks before I stop feeding them.

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:03 pm
by Fatal_S
I like feeding F/T rats when I can afford to; about 2x a year. I try to feed older rats (biggest the skink will take) because I feel those are healthier (babies are just little sacs of fat to me).

I believe there are tons of great nutrients in whole foods. If I could afford to I'd probably feed F/T rats/mice once every month or so.

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:53 am
by Coomassie
Fatal_S wrote:I like feeding F/T rats when I can afford to; about 2x a year. I try to feed older rats (biggest the skink will take) because I feel those are healthier (babies are just little sacs of fat to me).

I believe there are tons of great nutrients in whole foods. If I could afford to I'd probably feed F/T rats/mice once every month or so.


I've also heard that babies have less calcium because their bones aren't fully formed yet.

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:32 pm
by Bird_Brain
Agree with Fatal and Coomassie. I have tossed around the idea of feeding more whole prey items into my skinks diet. I have actually looked at getting a meat grinder and grinding up adult mice/rats. Only issue is finding a grinder capable of handling the bones for a reasonable price. Im cheap!

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:48 pm
by Spindown
RK, that is so gross! good idea, but gross :)

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:20 pm
by Bird_Brain
It wouldnt have to be all mice/rats, I would consider using baby chicks, bone-in meats from the meat market, etc.

But yes, it would be rather gross and I would not want to clean out the grinder afterwards!

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:34 pm
by Fatal_S
There is a place that sells sausage-links for snakes. Basically it's whole-foods all ground up into sausages for people who can't stomach feeding mice/rats. Probably quite expensive though.

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:41 pm
by Katrina
I love the idea of feeding whole foods. Seems like mice / rats would be fatty, but there are so many benefits from feeding whole items. Likely why breeders see success with cheaper dog foods - they get the organs, bones, etc as well as the human grade cut of meat.

I would think that a diet of well fed / gutloaded roaches, silks, hornworks, dew worms, snails etc. would be ideal. I have no real facts to base this off though, but I'd love to try it. Dog food is convenient and easier than my roaches, which won't breed fast enough though.

Very interesting topic.

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:06 pm
by Jeff
I am actually thinking about getting a grinder to make food for another pet of mine. I haven't shopped around yet, but I have heard that you can get a decent one that will grind whole chicken and beef for around $100. I have seen an awesome commercial quality one for about $500.

If I get one I will definitely experiment making skink food.

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:46 am
by Scotts1au
Remind me not to make an enemy of you Jeff. :-7

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:54 am
by Red Ink AUS
I have been giving mine 20-30g rodents (mice or rats)... She takes them dowm within 45 secs whole...

So for the people considering them, why the grinders? Should I do the same?

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:52 pm
by Bird_Brain
I want the grinders to I can offer larger rats/mice that have matured (more calcium, less fat, etc) that the skinks would obviously not be able to swallow on their own. But with a grinder, I could also go purchase the cuts of meat that most people dont want from the butcher and use them as well (again easier than cutting up by hand).

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:32 pm
by Scotts1au
Just make your own bone meal from grinding up bones and sprinkle it onto other food.

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:40 pm
by Jeff
I agree with both Brad and Scott (not the part about me being someone to be worried about with a grinder, but the bone meal part). More mature rodents would be even better even though a bts would never eat one in the wild. I wouldn't get a grinder just for that, but if I get one for other reasons, I would definitely take advantage of the opportunity to make some good "skink cuisine".

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:35 pm
by Katrina
Scotts1au wrote:Remind me not to make an enemy of you Jeff. :-7


:lol:

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:33 am
by mark_w
I agree with the idea of feeding whole prey food too. I use rat pups fairly often. Or I use rat weaners or medium/large mice which I cut in half. These go down a treat!

Grinderman (Jeff), you can not put whole rodents in a grinder - even I am squeamish at that thought!

Mark.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:53 am
by hurricanejen
I've never fed my skinks cat or dog food; when I want to give them protein I feed them whole prey items like I fed my monitors.

I don't do rodents often; when fed correctly there's no need to. They are higher in nutrient content than processed protein foods (cat/dog food, ground turkey, etc) and thus you don't need to feed as much or add supplement to get the same benefits. Adult mice make great feeders; they've got bones, guts, all kinds of great internal organs and a whole body full of trace vitamins and minerals.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:34 pm
by xxmonitorlizardxx
hurricanejen wrote:I've never fed my skinks cat or dog food; when I want to give them protein I feed them whole prey items like I fed my monitors.

I don't do rodents often; when fed correctly there's no need to. They are higher in nutrient content than processed protein foods (cat/dog food, ground turkey, etc) and thus you don't need to feed as much or add supplement to get the same benefits. Adult mice make great feeders; they've got bones, guts, all kinds of great internal organs and a whole body full of trace vitamins and minerals.
I was thinking about feeding like monitors too. You have monitor? What kind can you post pics? And what type of whole prey do you use if not rodents? Quail chick?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:47 pm
by Linnea
the part about not feeding rodents often at all since there is no need to and not giving meat of some other sort.

not all vitamins are storable in the bodyfat, but are water soluble instead. this means we need them every day or once every other day( commonly vitamins and amino acids found in veggies, but this definitely wont cover all of them).
i know skinks can go for much longer without food, unlike humans, but id find it strange if they wouldnt need something meaty at least once a week or every other week.

or am i completely off track? :(

so feeding rodents, in general, gives a lot of nutrients but if fed too often it will give you a fat skink, and fed too seldom it would be a skink that may or may not have some vitamin they lack?

anyone feed whole chicks? some good monitor breeders here give their lizards birds quite often.