free range skink - food requirements?

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lalat
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free range skink - food requirements?

Postby lalat » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:59 pm

Hello and goodmorning from the land of bluetongues, dragons and spiders :)

Ive got a genuine question that applies for both my wild freerange house-visiting skink and a prospective captive bred skink ive got my eye on

see, ive had quite a trial by fire introduction to the world of lizards since I found a wild eastern bluetongue in my house (naga) that now after the drought broken, visits when she likes.. which currently seems to be..alot due to floods

ive got no cage, no enclosure, no heat pad but naga saw it fit to repurpose household items such as my warm network router as a heatpad, windowsils, lounge, computer cases, behind the oven and fridge and in another dimension unknown to all as a hiding spot and sleeping place

its forged my aversion over the entire idea of locking up a skink in an enclosure

naga enjoys grapes, banana, carrot. although totally ignores crickets, superworms

shes recently changed to eating dogfood more than not when previously she wouldnt, I assume this is due to a likely pregnancy,

ive read around this forum, the idea seem to be to feed a skink a single chunk of dogfood every few days, in my mind though it makes sense for a captive boxed in skink that happily has an enclosure as its world..but does it apply to one that has the run of the house?

im less concerned about naga, she can go outside and eat snails when she wants

but I hope to copy the free-range ideal with my own skink purchased to be a real pet not a houseguest

nagas taught me where to skink-proof places and that bluetongues can be an upscaled gecko when they want too, ill probably purchase a heat lamp to aim somewhere too

the issue of food vs activity though has me stumped. anyone with a free range house dwelling active bluetongue have any experience they can give?

additionally, can two bluetongues share an entire house without ripping eachothers bits off?

i cant see naga going anywhere soon

theyll both be common easterns if thats any help
thanks!

btw

I found naga just baking infront of a window inside too just now. shes ate half of a toy-dog sized dogfood square can between lastnight and this morning but she ate the same yesterday too

seems to be going through a fair bit of dogfood at an increased rate of knots
do skinks eat more during pregnancy?

thanks again for any reply
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:44 am

The skinks that live around my place love the left overs from my pet bts' and bearded dragons' salad , I mix in softened VetaFarm Lizard pellets & softened repcal juvenile bearded dragon pellets , I add hardboiled egg and occasionally boiled lean chicken mince.
They also score the freshly dead crickets ( before they get a chance to start going off ), frozen mealworms ( buy a 100g of mealworms , separate them from the bedding and deposit them in an airtight DRY bottle and into the freezer , I can then pour out a handful of frozen mealworms onto a piece of paper toweling on the coffee table as needed and I then deposit these mixed with the above a few spots about the yard .

I don't use cat or dog food but know a hungry wild skink will eat these if they find them as a opportunistic food source.

Inside the house , I give my resident wild skinks mealworms and disabled crickets , and when I have them superworms and silkworms. Got an issue with little house ants at the moment ( came into the house because of the hot weather and then because of the very wet weather , so I don't leave round tub lids laying about for the resident skinks ( the ants will find these ). I toss live insects to the skinks and geckos when they are seen ( one insect at a time ).

Got RidAnt baits all over the place ( under lounge , on kitchen benches , in bathroom ) to try to kill off the ants . I don't use insect sprays or surface sprays in the house as I can't guarantee my pet BTs or beardies wont find ingest a poisoned insect or lick a poison coated surface. I'd rather put up with a few roaches or flies or house spiders in the house.
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby lalat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:29 pm

Thankyou my friend that helps alot, naga herself seems to be happily self regulating, out of the full square of dogfood I put in her bowl yesterday shes only taken a bite as big as her head, although she can be terribly lazy, some things if they require too much effort to eat like a strawberry cut too thin she'll simply give up and move onto something better, its the first time ive given her a full square, its usually half and sliced into cubes

the ants are here too, big ones ive not seen for decades, I think thier called fruit ants I recall from my younger days. non aggressive and dont seem to cluster or trail more than a few at a time, likely come inside for the very same reasons as your ants have

im still quite curious if I can have a free range pet skink captive bred having some explore time, and naga if shes visiting not be aggressive, its something I guess ive got to test and every lizards different

btw, would you know how much shinglebacks go for in nsw etc? its one of lifes challenges to be googling a native lizard in australia only to get US based information :)

thanks again
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby alichamp » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:12 pm

I'm not sure I follow exactly what you mean by having a 'free range' pet from a breeder.

I love what you're doing with Naga where she is not at all contained and she can come and go and she pleases (she can get out of your house right?). She is a wild animal.

But if you decide to get a new pet from a breeder that has been born and raised in captivity you would not be able to treat it the same. You would need to have it in some sort of enclosure safe from predators and without the ability to escape. Because it's not a wild animal and you have a duty to it.

However the type of enclosure is up to you as long as it has temp gradient, protection and it's secure. Some people have outdoor enclosures (or pits) set up that are secure and have mesh covering to protect from predators with all they would need, including plenty of hides, basking rocks, shade and water (blueys will drown though so no ponds).

Inside you could have free range areas in your house for exploring but in a safe and contained way, a bit like the doggy runs or play pens idea. I guess that option depends on how much space you want to devote to your new animal's home!

The two lizards should not be able to interact.

Re shinglebacks not sure as it depends a great deal on availability. Just make sure you buy one that's really captive born and not pinched from the wild. I'd guess a ballpark range of $200-300. These are generally more expensive because of breeding habits (typically only one to three offspring) compared to Easterns.
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:44 pm

lalat wrote:Thankyou my friend that helps alot, naga herself seems to be happily self regulating, out of the full square of dogfood I put in her bowl yesterday shes only taken a bite as big as her head, although she can be terribly lazy, some things if they require too much effort to eat like a strawberry cut too thin she'll simply give up and move onto something better, its the first time ive given her a full square, its usually half and sliced into cubes

the ants are here too, big ones ive not seen for decades, I think thier called fruit ants I recall from my younger days. non aggressive and dont seem to cluster or trail more than a few at a time, likely come inside for the very same reasons as your ants have

im still quite curious if I can have a free range pet skink captive bred having some explore time, and naga if shes visiting not be aggressive, its something I guess ive got to test and every lizards different

btw, would you know how much shinglebacks go for in nsw etc? its one of lifes challenges to be googling a native lizard in australia only to get US based information :)

thanks again


My two old adult eastern bluetongues are captive bred and like floor time , I usually have a BT and bearded dragon out at the same time , and let them do their own thing on the lounge + living area + kitchen floors for about 1 hour per day each .
The rooms I want to keep them out of have doors , and I keep them out of the hallway ( with varying degrees of success by putting a long box as wide as door and about 10" tall across the entry , there's a door there but I don't close it of there's a lizard on the floor unless that end of the house is unoccupied.

I don't take my pet skinks or dragons outside , too dangerous ( roaming dogs, roaming cats and there are kookaburras and eagles about).
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby lalat » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:51 am

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onoticed something new today, nagas still here from the other day, spending alot of pocket time where shes perfected the head-out body in manuver

its a muggy hot thick day, I keep yawning but so does she

shes made herself like a pancake on the modem, this never gets too hot even when fully covered so ive got no concerns about injury, shes yawned a few times today on the "heat pad" ala router too

is it normal for a muggy hot day? shes even some capsium and snowpea
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lalat
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby lalat » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:18 am

she ate half a can of turkey with green beans "my dog" square today after getting off the router so I figure shes all fine, its rare she eats so much meat but the turkey with vegetables may be her preferred flavour

and ate 2 apple pieces while on the router. shes also climbed to her high sleeping spot in my bike helmet on a chair, itself requiring amazing feats of climbing with a heavy sausage body being propelled by toothpicks :)

I gather shes ok then

she did jackknife though..but this was after apple

https://youtu.be/gZPapohg17Q
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:08 am

Keep hard pieces of food to no bigger than a pea , easier for her to swollow and pass out the other end if for some reason she can't digest them properly.

I tend to avoid bits of apple for my pet bluetongues and dragons , no nutrition value in apple , only good as source of water.
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby lalat » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:47 pm

thanks mate ill remember that, I keep things in naga-sized pieces due to her awful habit shes got, if food is too small for her to get an impressive satisfying death grip on, she'll try maybe 2 times then give up, ill try pea sized for the capsicum though, the apple reason is likewise same as yourself, hydration. ive never seen her drink any water from the waterbowl, shes crawled over it and through it though, if shes hanging around for more than 2 days ill put some apple by the window or the night time basking spot, ala telstra nbn router :)

she tends to flatten out like a pancake while warming up ive noticed recently, but when shes not warming herself up shes back to her cylindrical self, certainly isnt lethargic in anyway but the amount of house dwelling she does, I think its altered her sleep cycle a bit, as I only get home at night like lastnight she chose the router and eating, eventually heading off to bed under the lounge around 12 and was likewise sleeping curled up in a bike helmet she likes this morning until I got up

she ate another 2 tablespoons of dogfood this morning before settling down by the window for sunlight, no interest in going outside in the actual sun though

looks like im stuck with her, her territory is well mapped out now, sleeping spots familiar, friendliness off the scale, likes to sit on my sholder or in my pocket if shes not busy doing her own thing

no bearded dragon until she moves on maybe
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Re: free range skink - food requirements?

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:28 am

Been my experience with wild skinks who take residence inside that they modify their behaviours and adapt to the humans' schedules, even active well past dark when inside . Yes seen warming on the old ADSL modem's ac adapter , on the top of the lounge's headrest or on the lounge especially if the aircon is operating in heat mode , visiting the kitchen when food has been pepared.

I've found bearded dragons and bluetongues work well as simultaneous pets.

Just be sure there is not a big difference in size between the two else one will likely end up as meal for the larger of the two.

That said, my BTs and bearded dragons always seem dominated and intimidated by resident water skinks or my pet water skinks ( who are bold as brass and not the least bit phased by the dragons or much bigger bluetongues.

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