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BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:01 pm
by bertief
Hi All,

We recently picked up a BTS for the kids as something other than a beardie or gecko and the fact that my son has been googling them for about a month.. Nothing against the others as I am sure the kids will try for more later..

He is approx 3 years old, about 18 inches and from what we can tell quite healthy.. Bright eye's, shedding and pooing without any issues but the only problem we have is with his diet and the fact he is very timid (staying in his hide) and hissing a lot.. He does calm down after about 10 minutes with me but I am worried about the kids handling him at the moment.

Mice - No problem.
Fruit (Grapes, Strawberries, Banana etc) - No problem.
Crickets - No problem.
Locust - No problem.
Veg - Will not touch any.
Cat food - ??? Licks and tastes.
Rocket and Cress mixed with cat food - Will not touch it.
cut up mixed veg with Cat food - Will not touch it.

The plan now is that we are going to try RAW and scambled egg also squash to see if that helps. We were thinking of breeding african snails but were going to try Can-o-Snail first and mix these with veg.
We are gut loading the crickets and locust with the veg for the skink to get vitamins in him but if any one has any ideas please feel free to mention them..
Also any ideas on how to make him more comfortable.

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:13 pm
by Linnea
mix up dog food and veggies in a food mixer. powder with calcium supplement if needed.

then serve.

dont give in. all skinks are picky eaters, and will pick out what they think is tastiest, like small children do. the trick is to never give in to them. your skink is adult and can easily go 3 weeks without food, withour loosing as much as a gramme of weight.

about the behaviour - it is perfectly normal for a BTS to hide. it is their primal instinct, and what they love to do. they will come out if they feel like it.
make sure the temps are good though.

give him a week to settle in, then start handling. some skinks require very little effort to make hand tame (=accepting your precence for a while), whereas others come from troubled backgrounds or are simply different. they are quite unique.

also note that the hissing is often referred to as huffing, it is merely to say "im here, i exist, im someone". basically, telling you to be wary of its existence and when something feels a bit scary. a bts with an open mouth, displaying its tounge, however is angry or scared for real

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:58 pm
by Fatal_S
It is extremely easy to cure a picky eater. Stop offering junk food. Offer only healthy meals every time. Don't give in. When they get hungry, they eat what they're given. Once they're eating healthy, start offering snacks and treats. You now have a happy BTS on a healthy diet.

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:34 pm
by bertief
Many thanks for this.. I think the fear factor was more that if he's not eating then he could suffer and miss out on what he needs, but if it's just being fussy and acting like a child thats fine.. I have 3 and have to put up with them so another 18" pain in the backside will just add to the pain..

On another note we have a holiday booked and will be away for a week (no more), I have a friend coming round to look after the house and the BTS.. As you have mentioned they can go for a while without food which will cheers him up but as for water is it still best to get him changing that every other day and spot cleaning..

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:36 pm
by Fatal_S
If you have a friend capable/willing to check the water and spot clean, awesome. If the lights/heat will be on (say on a timer) then you can offer food too if you'd like. If there won't be heat, stop feeding 1-2 weeks before you leave.

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:42 pm
by bertief
Ta.. I am assuming by that then they are not as hardy on the water front as they are with the food..:)

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:44 pm
by Fatal_S
They can in fact go weeks without water, but it's not really good for them. Healthiest option is to always have clean water available. If you didn't have a friend available, you could just clean it before leaving and when you get back. It wouldn't hurt; in my experience they won't drink water if they've dirtied it.

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:49 pm
by bertief
No thats great it was just to cover all options and answer the final list of questions.. I must also say thanks for the information on the care sheet and to whoever wrote it.. A lot of thought went into what retile to buy and that was a great source of help..

Re: BTS Fussy Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:50 pm
by Fatal_S
That would be Zach. He's pretty great :)