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Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:39 pm
Hello all just wondering if anybody can quench my curiosity. Of course most of us feed our various lizards vitamin/mineral and calcium supplements but I’m wondering what these are substituting if anything because obviously reptiles wouldn’t receive supplements in the wild so where would these things naturally occur in their diet?
Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:20 pm
Being opportunistic omnivores they are getting what they need from a variety of sources. As far as I know there are no species specific vitamins/mineral supplements available for the majority of reptiles. So what we are essentially giving our reptiles a broad spectrum of them with these supplements to ensure they use what they need from them.
Sometimes additives we use is to compensate for how things are prepared. For example in the 90's it was recommended if you pre-prepared salads for your reptiles then froze them, to add brewers yeast to the salad. As the freezing process destroyed the thiamine (B1). Downside of that was that the brewers yeast affected the phosphorous/calcium ratio. I imagine these days with easy availability of B1 you would just add that to the salad.
Kind of vague I know.
...and don't mind me, I kept reptiles in the 80's & 90's and just getting back into it. Doing lots of research to get myself back up to speed.
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:40 am
Quite a lot has changed since then, as I am a 'vintage' keeper myself. I can recall a time that there was no such thing as 'captive bred' in reference to reptiles.
As far as the vitamin thing, you hit it right with the fact that they are omnivores, and at times will eat whole prey items that contain bone, and of course snails that contain many minerals. Some of us do not feed such things, therefore I would suggest supplements, especially during growth periods.
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:50 am
So glad you mentioned the whole prey items. That is extremely important when it comes to understanding nutrition, for some species of reptile.
I've noticed the changes, mostly for the better I think. It was harder getting info in those days as well. I think I still have printed copies of all of Melissa Kaplan's original work and a signed soft cover of James W. Hatfield III's Green Iguana The ultimate owner's manual.
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:20 am
Yes, I had that literature at one time myself. Have since given away as I have had to move quite a few times since then. Reptile keeping has advanced considerably, and the captive breeding programs are among the best thing that's happened. The information available today is also a plus so long as one can sort out true experience from know it alls spewing fiction. One must be careful on the internet. Everything I have learned is from my own experience or that of other breeders that have been my close friends for many years. Going forward a bad thing, many rules and regulations now being put into place by ignorant people in high places that simply do not like reptiles. I hope I do not live to see the day I'll need a permit to keep a green anole. Education is the key, but in all aspects of life there are those who refuse to learn and accept.
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:51 am
I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to literature, even if it out of date. There is definitely a good amount of misinformation out there and a big portion of the job when researching is sorting through it to find the truth. I have mixed feelings about captive breeding programs and almost wish it was broken down into two parts. A conservation part and a pet trade part. With both serving the needs of those wishing to keep reptiles as pets. Along with the conservation part, they could also incorporate a licensing system. Affordable and cheap, basically ensuring the knowledge, meticulous record keeping of the breeder etc. Especially if it was aimed at "wild types" and not morphs. Heck if they did that with the Australian species and the breeders down under as well. Plus allowing a small quota of those captive bred "wild types" to be exported. It would increase the gene pool outside of Australia and in the event of a natural disaster give a bigger pool of people/animals to draw upon for repopulating. Perhaps that would only work in an ideal world, not sure.
I definitely agree that education is the key to wider acceptance and understanding of reptiles. It also helps with reasonable formulation of laws. I think some headway has been made in that regards. Or at least that is the impression that I get. Heck when I was keeping reptiles in the early 80's/90s. Folks that knew thought I was some kind of freak.
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:55 pm
Thanks for the insight guys. Also great hearing about what it used to be like to keep reptiles much before my time
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:45 pm
It's an interesting subject and I'm sure the finer points of supplementation just like substrate can cause some lengthy debate.
I do apologize that the subject matter was somewhat hijacked....although it was fun discussing that as well.