New Baby Merauke, Please Help

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MaddyKay99
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New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby MaddyKay99 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:05 pm

I just got a 3 month old merauke BTS. I am not sure of the gender but i am just calling him a boy as i want to go with the name Loki. I got him three days ago and he was shipped to me in Washington from SunsetSnakes in Florida. At first when I got him out he was somewhat inquisitive, exploring the 40 gal breeder that I have for him and staying above the substrate. Then I had to take him to the ver the very first day that I had him. Its a good thing I did because he has parasites and needs oral antibiotics. But after I brought him back, he burrowed under the substrate almost immidietly. He has not voluntarily came out since. I dug him out one time to try to get him some wet cat food with banannas and blueberries but he wouldn't eat it. (I know that the fruit isn't healthy for him, i was just trying to get him to eat something) Every day I place food out but I never see him come out from under the substrate and the food is never eaten. I don't know what to do because since he is so young he should have eaten by now

I also had the issue of him running away and hissing at me while I tried to get him out of his cage but once i got him out the first day he was fine to sit in my hands. I know that is pretty normal for a recently shipped baby but it is still annoying

Lastly, he also had some dry flaky spots on his scales, i would compare it to how skin looks when is about to peel off of a sun burn but only in very small spots. Is he getting ready to shed? That is my theory but i would love for that to be confirmed. I know that their color dullens when they are about to shed but as I said, i just got him so i dont know if his color has changed or if this is his normal color.

Thank you so much, I am so greatful for any help I get. I feel like this is all normal and fine but I just need to make sure and hear it from more experienced keepers
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby mb606587 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:57 pm

Well the important thing was the vet visit. A 3 month old Merauke is an import as are most of the skinks that company sells. Let your skink acclimate for a week or two. Your skink's behavior is typical for being newly acquired. Try to avoid handling until he's eating. Keep offering food and eventually he'll eat on his own terms. It might take a few days.

And yes your skink is about to shed. Stress through the shipping process and/or a new environment can initiate that. Let him shed on his own. Ensure your humidity is appropriate at around 60% or higher to aid him. Take this time to ensure you have the right temperatures, humidity, and substrate for a Merauke. Post a picture if you can. Sometimes some of those reptile wholesalers don't accurately identify the species correctly.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Another thing : some lizards (especially when little) are very shy eaters, ie wont come out and eat with you watching. So your not seeing him eat is not an indication of his refusing food, if he's pooing he's been eating something.

A young skink will be more likely to take live insects than static "foods" , and you might just find if you deposit a nice hornworm or silkworm (no bigger than 1.5" long) where he can see it , he might just find the worm irresistible and come out to take it.

My bluetongues loved crickets and mealworms and silkworms when I first brought them home as 2 month olds , and I soon had them taking crickets and worms from my fingers.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby MaddyKay99 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:49 pm

He was pooping right after we got him but has now stopped. He will only eat banana and if I mix it with anything he will just pick out the large pieces of banana. I took him out yesterday and his hip bones are starting to show near the base of his tail. Any suggestions bedides live food to try with hin? I will definitely try the live food but i dont want to leave it in with him for very long and he wont eat if i am around. Also, we were told that he is 3 months but he is only about 5 inches long and everything that I have read is making me think that he is only a few weeks old, what do you guys think?
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby mb606587 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:21 pm

Post a picture of him. 5 inches is very small. A 3 month old skink would be larger than that. I'd stop putting bananas in his food. A hungry skink will not be picky. If he won't eat the cat food after a few days, then try some Dubia roaches or the horn worms as was recommended. You can also try egg. Raw or scrambled.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby Janella » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:13 pm

Definitely do as everyone suggested. Please post a picture of your skink so we can verify if it is indeed what you were told it is. Also what are your temps? Humidity? Substrate? Just want to make sure everything is correct. If the skink is to cold, they also won't want to eat. Another thing to try is place the feeding dish very close to were the skink is hiding. That way he doesn't have to come all the way out if he wants to try to eat. This little one needs to eat! Try all the above as suggested. Please please keep is posted on how things are going.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby Janella » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:27 pm

One more thing, try just straight cat food or dog food. Raw egg, hard boiled egg, or live food. Anything at this point. Get your baby eating. Blending the veggies or fruits in with a protein also helps.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:14 pm

mb606587 wrote:Post a picture of him. 5 inches is very small. A 3 month old skink would be larger than that. I'd stop putting bananas in his food. A hungry skink will not be picky. If he won't eat the cat food after a few days, then try some Dubia roaches or the horn worms as was recommended. You can also try egg. Raw or scrambled.


Hard boiled egg , chopped up has aways been a fav for my two easterns, and yes they love banana too …. I regularly hard boil an egg for my BTs , when ever we have eggs , they have them too,
So maybe once or twice a week, one egg cut in half will make my two happy .

But banana is only good as a treat .

Another option is Repashi GrubPie , it's a good substitute staple food for skinks (and dragons).

If he's on'y 5 inches long , he's not much bigger than a newborn , so don't expect him to a huge eater , and I would be offering snall meals to him two or three times per day, if he disappears everything each meal, increase the meal size a bit each day until you find the portion size he likes , and just offer a bit more each meal than that.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:23 pm

Janella wrote:Definitely do as everyone suggested. Please post a picture of your skink so we can verify if it is indeed what you were told it is. Also what are your temps? Humidity? Substrate? Just want to make sure everything is correct. If the skink is to cold, they also won't want to eat. Another thing to try is place the feeding dish very close to were the skink is hiding. That way he doesn't have to come all the way out if he wants to try to eat. This little one needs to eat! Try all the above as suggested. Please please keep is posted on how things are going.


I've done that with wild skinks , gecko, dragons and frogs that come into my yard.... I'd observe where they go to and the really shy ones wouldn't come out in the open initially (too scared of me) so I'd deposit some appetizing BT or beardie or pet water skink left overs or some killed insects on a spare takeaway tub lid right close as I can to where I thought the herp was hiding and step back and sit very quietly. 9 time out of 10 , I'd see the herp taking morsels of food and they soon learn to trust me and be willing to come out to take food from me .

It's just a matter of time and patience and you'll soon have a skink who has learnt it can trust you and you are not a danger to it.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby MaddyKay99 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:09 pm

He is now eating some cat food, still spending most of his time in a rock cave on the hot side of the enclosure. I currently dont have a good picture of him that shows his size compared to anything but as I said, he is about 5 inches long. I would love some guesses on age and subspecies because I am not sure if he truly is a merauke at this point. I will attatch a picture of him. His humidity is around 70-80% with a basking spot of around 103 degrees and the cool end of his enclosure being in the high 70s. I make sure to mist down the enclosure a lot because I have only ever seen him drink drops of water coming off of his fake plant. He is on a substrate of cyprus mulch with spagnum moss near his water dish on the cool side to retain more humidity. Hopefully all is good with his enclosure. He has some retained shed on his toes that he wont let me work at yet so I am going to give him a good soak soon to see if that will help.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby mb606587 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:46 pm

My gut is telling me that's a Classic Indonesian (Tiliqua Gigas gigas), not a Merauke. Care is virtually identical and what you're providing is spot on. Very young, quite possibly younger than the 3 months you've been told. Great sign that he's eating. Hiding is very normal for them so not concerning in the least. Give him some more time to acclimate and begin briefly handling in another week or so as long as he continues eating.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby splashy07 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:00 pm

Important to get that stuck shed off those little toes...let him stand in warm water for a bit, that should loosen it. And yes, he is way younger than three months. Probably born to an imported female and sold soon after. Maybe it's the picture quality but looks classic indo to me too, or possibly Halmahera or cross thereof.
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Re: New Baby Merauke, Please Help

Postby mb606587 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:45 pm

Yeah unfortunately I wouldn't trust a thing that company tells you. I just saw a listing for a "flawless 3 month old 6" Merauke" they posted today. It was a baby Irian Jaya. Companies like that deal with fresh imports. Most don't know much about the skinks they are selling, only how to sell them.

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