New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

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New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:17 am

Hey guys,

I'm worried I may have tried to handle my eastern blue tongue a little too early (after only a few days) and scared him or made him think Ill of me. He's 6wks old and has been hidden the whole time I've had him, and I found him underground

He didn't react too well to it so I let him back down (all within his enclosure close to the ground), but managed to show him where the water bowl is at least as I was also worried about that.

I have vowed now to leave him in peace and let this handling process occur naturally. Was also disappointed in myself for breaking his space.

He's been hiding in a spot I can't actually get to him in, (under a makeshift ramp attached to his backdrop, and hasn't eaten since etc. I'm just wondering if I messed up a little there and I guess seeking reassurance if I haven't ruined his trust / associated me with fear so early on.

I will keep presenting food and leaving him be in hopes he will actually surface on his own.

I have a basking spot that is 35-40 C, not sure of the temps in the rest of the cage yet.

Any tips or just keep doing what I am doing?


Thanks,

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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby mb606587 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:27 am

How long since you tried to handle him? This is pretty typical behavior of young skinks. Don't beat yourself up over it, you haven't ruined its personality by trying to handle it.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby splashy07 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:21 am

Let him settle in a while, I breed them and at six weeks most are still terrified.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:18 pm

Hey thanks,

I won't worry about it too much then, it was Sunday I tried to handle (it's Tuesday now here). He last ate Saturday night. Just put another bowl out (cat food with chopped sweet potato and cos lettuce).

I got him last Thursday. Just hoping he comes out and eats soon!

I'll post a photo of my enclosure and him, just incase there's any improvements you may suggest to the cage. Made the backdrop myself actually!

At least he's no longer completely head first under the ramp I mentioned, can barely see his snout (he's still well under though, I couldn't get to him if I tried). I thought of filling this area but also it's a good hide where he's literally safe so maybe not haha

Another quick question, so far he only seems to eat at night if he does, must be because it's quiet and no one's around. Assuming that is fine for now?

Thanks
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby Noodlebasket » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:42 pm

frankie wrote:Hey thanks,

I won't worry about it too much then, it was Sunday I tried to handle (it's Tuesday now here). He last ate Saturday night. Just put another bowl out (cat food with chopped sweet potato and cos lettuce).

I got him last Thursday. Just hoping he comes out and eats soon!

I'll post a photo of my enclosure and him, just incase there's any improvements you may suggest to the cage. Made the backdrop myself actually!

At least he's no longer completely head first under the ramp I mentioned, can barely see his snout (he's still well under though, I couldn't get to him if I tried). I thought of filling this area but also it's a good hide where he's literally safe so maybe not haha

Another quick question, so far he only seems to eat at night if he does, must be because it's quiet and no one's around. Assuming that is fine for now?

Thanks


In my opinion if they are eating, on their own time, and there aren't any warning signs then you are doing great! I understand being extra worried as you are new to the animal, but you got this! If you really want to make sure you could always leave a camera on the food bowl to reassure yourself?
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:18 am

Well today he came out from his hiding spot, I was walking into the living room and I spotted him at the food bowl about to take a bite, unfortunately he spotted me at the same time where we did a standoff then he ran back to the hide.

That was good, hasn't come out again for round 2 yet! I put up a blocker on part of the cage as he's more aware of me and my house mate walking around than I thought.

Very interesting and very timid, I'll definitely be reading up on other posts here in times to come for taming etc
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby splashy07 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:26 am

If he is eating at night make sure there is not a significant temperature drop. Better to take food out when lights will be out and have him get used to eating during the day. Cooler night temperatures and digestion do not mix.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:02 am

Thanks, good to know

At the moment the temperatures at night are quite high, but I had thought of removing the bowl and replacing it in the morning so I may start that
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:20 am

Should I cover his cage if he is shy / people in the room? Will that help or only make him confused why there's suddenly a cover and can't see out anymore?

If it's fine, then adding and removing this cover ok? Like when I know people will be at work I can take it off for the day etc

Just conscious if I want him to eat in the day, he also needs an opportunity to when he can't see some one around
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby splashy07 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:22 am

He will eventually get used to your household goings on. Leave it the way it is going to be forever.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:43 am

Awesome! Thanks for the help have made these adjustments straight away
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:16 am

Noodlebasket wrote:
frankie wrote:Hey thanks,

I won't worry about it too much then, it was Sunday I tried to handle (it's Tuesday now here). He last ate Saturday night. Just put another bowl out (cat food with chopped sweet potato and cos lettuce).

I got him last Thursday. Just hoping he comes out and eats soon!

I'll post a photo of my enclosure and him, just incase there's any improvements you may suggest to the cage. Made the backdrop myself actually!

At least he's no longer completely head first under the ramp I mentioned, can barely see his snout (he's still well under though, I couldn't get to him if I tried). I thought of filling this area but also it's a good hide where he's literally safe so maybe not haha

Another quick question, so far he only seems to eat at night if he does, must be because it's quiet and no one's around. Assuming that is fine for now?

Thanks


In my opinion if they are eating, on their own time, and there aren't any warning signs then you are doing great! I understand being extra worried as you are new to the animal, but you got this! If you really want to make sure you could always leave a camera on the food bowl to reassure yourself?


I'm actually going to do that yeah.. there's a cheap setup you can do with a raspberry pi zero, and a camera attachment which does short clips on motion sensing etc and all up is about $40 (AUD). Not sure if anyone else is after something cheap that works.. he's soooo sneaky. Since I spotted him at the food bowl that time he hasn't tried again. But all good now I know it can take awhile
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:45 pm

I've started removing food at night, and placing in the morning with as much variety as I can

I think I heard some rustling around the cage yesterday afternoon indicating he may have been wandering around a bit. Don't have a camera yet but almost every time I check on him he is under the ramp I mentioned. It's very closed space in there and he looks to just be lying on glass.

For instance I just opened his cage and had a look at his food which seems untouched though I'm not sure how small of amounts of food they may take. That means he still hasn't eaten since Saturday night. Also he's under the ramp

Between opening his cage and deciding to add some grubs to it because I've had success with those I had another peak under the ramp and he has changed his position to be curled up facing his back to me. Is that a sign of fear or distress because he heard me opening the cage? I'm getting kind of worried because almost whenever I check he's under there and hasn't touched food. I'm okay to be patient but I'm wondering if there's any negative signs here

Attached a photo of said ramp

Thanks
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:25 am

If you're leaving cat or dog food in the tank all day then it might start smelling rancid to them and they dont want to eat it. It's recommended to remove all wet canned cat or dog after 4 hours (even for cats and dogs) because that's when it starts to grow bacteria and smell bad. It's also not as moist around that time. If they're eating more at night, you can try putting the food in the enclosure 4 hours before you head to bed and take it out before going to sleep.

I know ZooMed Blue Tongue Skink Food Crumbles seem to be a good dry alternative for these guys and seems well balanced for them. What you could try doing is leaving the food crumbles in the enclosure all day and then feed the wet food 4 hours before you head to bed. Then you can change out the dry food daily. This way your skink always has an opportunity to eat without eating bad food since they seem to be timid about it for the moment. I might also try putting in and replacing the food at the same times every day so they start to know when you'll be coming by and can better prepare themselves for that if they wish.

I'm not sure if having the food/water dish so close to them is a good thing or not though. If they're hungry, they'll definitely smell the food once it's in their enclosure. Mine always smells his even if it's on the other side of the tank. You could try moving it a little farther away from the spot they're in. I'm not sure if it makes them feel trapped or secure at this point, so giving them some room to come out without climbing over it might be a good idea.

Also, if you're seeing daily urates in the tank (which is their urine) then I wouldn't worry too much about the food right now. I've read that when they're stressed they tend to not eat. However, since they're so young and should be eating daily, I would give it a week or a week and a half before calling their vet if they're not eating at all. Their vet can either give you recommendations on what to do or they might want you to schedule for an appointment. You can always ask them how to bring your skink for an appointment in the least stressful way. Make sure it's an exotic veterinarian office though and if they've dealt with blue tongues before is a plus. This site offers recommended blue tongue skink veterinarian offices (Veterinarian Guide). I'm not sure if the list is exclusive to the USA or not...I haven't checked that. But they do have an office listed for just about every state in the US.

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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:34 am

I just checked that you live in Australia, and I checked the vet guide list, there's a list of options for you if you choose to go with someone on the provided list. Good luck!! Giving your skink their space and not poking around too often seems like your best option right now and it sounds like you're already doing that. You're at a good start for restarting the trust process. Just give it time and I'm sure it will work out for you and your skink.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:20 pm

( tldr: For taming, allowing them to become comfortable with everything one step at a time will take a while, even over the coarse of a month or so, but as long as you're letting your skink get comfortable on their own time before proceeding to the next step it will make things easier on the both of you and it can start even in your current situation )


Another thing you can try for bonding practices that worked with me and my blue tongue is allowing them to become comfortable with everything one step at a time. It might take a while, even over the coarse of a month or so (going on a month for me), but as long as you're letting your skink get comfortable on their own time before proceeding to the next step it will make things easier on the both of you and it can start even in your current situation.


The steps I took that worked for me:

I let my skink get used to his enclosure first before getting used to me. The only time I popped in was to change out the water or check once a day for waste droppings to remove and I pretty much ignored him other than glances to make sure he was doing okay. Once he was comfortable in his enclosure enough to be out of his hides most of the time and basking under his heat lamp or just generally walking around and exploring, I waited a day or two once he was comfortable in his new home before proceeding to my next step.

The next step I did was introducing snacks. Skinks typically love snails, quail eggs, and fruit. My boy really loves the snails, and so far he's also seemed to really like bananas and apples, but dont give them bananas more than twice a month. They're high in sugars. I used plastic insect tweezers to give my skink snacks since I got him when he was already 2 years old. They're small ones that are maybe four inches long, but I think that might've helped my skink get used to how I smell at the same time. It's possible for him to accidentally bite my fingers if I hand fed him and they can have some force behind the bite, especially as adults like mine. I never stuck the snacks in front of his face and always waited for him to come to the snacks instead, even now that he's comfortable with them I wait for him to come to the snacks. He immediately smells them and was timid at first, but he eventually became so comfortable with it I can just put the tweezers somewhere in his line of sight and he'll come right up for snacks. When they come to you for snacks comfortably you can continue this step for a while longer to solidify that trust aspect. I even hung out for a few minutes after to talk to mine and get him familiar with what I look and sound like, but if he ever went and hid after the snack I wouldn't hang out and I would leave him be for the rest of the day. I only feed him one or two dime sized snails every other day for snacks and about the same portion if I feed him fruit, but I only feed him fruit as a snack once a week.

Once I felt he trusted me enough with the snacks and whenever I reached my hands in the tank to do daily maintenance I started trying to pet him. Being slow with this is key since quick movements can easily spook them. If he ever recoiled from my hand, even before trying to touch him, I would stop moving for a moment to a while depending on how he reacted to show him I wasnt attacking him and would try to reach further toward him to pet him. If he recoiled more or huffed at me I would leave him alone and try again the next day. Once he started letting me touch and pet him, all within his enclosure when he wasnt hiding or sleeping and when he knew I was there, I would continue each day with pets. I started with short sessions of about 10 minutes or less each day at first, and when he got more comfortable with it, I would do 10 min sessions more than once a day. Once he was comfortable I moved to trying to handle, which is my current process.

Once they're comfortable with you touching them you can start trying to handle them. I did this while sitting in a chair I placed in front of his enclosure. Start by gently picking them up under their front legs, but dont pick them up all the way yet. If they huff or get uncomfortable you can either pause your movements to see if they calm down, or if they don't calm down, you put them back down and try again later. Once you're able to pick them up from their front you can completely pick them up by supporting them under their back legs with your other hand. They seem to be more comfortable when their feet are firmly and securely planted on something. When you can hold them up in their enclosure without them freaking out, slowly take them out of the enclosure. You can place them in your lap if they're not too squirmy, or just continue to support their body in both your hands. Let them look around and familiarize themself with their surroundings from where they are. If they seem squirmy lower your hands closer to your lap so they dont get the sense that they're too high off the ground. From here it's about letting them get that exploring sense, or they might simply be lap lizards. Mine seems to want to explore a lot, so I've let him climb around on me to get a feel of the room while being very careful to not let him fall. If they seem uncomfortable out of their enclosure put them back. From what I've read from other owners a lot of their skinks seem to like to explore outside their enclosures. Some have admitted though that their skinks are more comfortable inside their enclosures, which seems to be perfectly fine as long as it's big enough for them.

I believe once they become comfortable with the handling step then you've gained their trust and you can let them explore around the house or yard if it's adequately enclosed and skink proof (they can slip under a lot of things you dont expect them to slip under). I would personally always supervise them when they're out of their enclosures no matter how comfortable the two of you are together. They can get into a lot of stuff they're not supposed to and it's also important for you to know when they get too cold and they need to be put back into their enclosures. A space heater can help if the floor is too cold. If you go around for short trips in public I would introduce this slowly so they don't freak out. Inviting friends over and introducing them to the skink might be a good idea before full crowds of strangers.

If they seem to be retracting/recoiling from a step, even in the middle of it, dont worry because it's natural. Just go to a previous step and allow them to be comfortable again before moving forward with the step you were once on again.

It's certainly a process, and one that can take quite a while, but it's very important to allow your skink to go through the steps on their own time. I dont think your skink will dislike you forever, especially if you keep feeding them, but it's up to you to be able to familiarize yourself with their behaviors throughout this whole process so you can understand when they might be feeling overwhelmed or not ready to move forward. I've personally noticed that if my skink's eyes dilate, or if he holds his breath, or even breathes heavier than usual then that means he's currently uncomfortable or scared and it's usually the behaviors he exhibits just before he's about to huff, which is their "leave me alone" response. Hissing is a sign you should stop what you're doing and leave them alone because they're under great stress, but it's nothing to get scared over. To know if they're huffing or hissing, their mouths open when they hiss (mine hissed at the reptile store I bought him from but I've made sure to study his behaviors before I handled him so I never make him that uncomfortable, and so far he hasn't hissed once, but he's done plenty of huffing). When he gets huffy I usually leave him alone or proceed slowly and with caution to see if he'll calm down once he realizes it's me and I won't hurt him. If he doesnt calm down when I get closer I usually sit back in my chair and leave him be, but I'll continue to watch him. He usually calms down when I do that at the handling stage. Skinks are prey animals so earning their trust is harder to do than with predators like cats or dogs.

Although when you're cleaning the enclosure once a month, you're going to have to pick them up to take them out unless someone's come up with a clever way to do this with them in the enclosure (I highly doubt it). They're going to have to get used to some small bouts of tough love like that anyway, especially when you need to take them to the vet or give them medicine. They probably won't ever like it but for their health they're going to have to get used to it whether they want to or not. Just make sure you're supporting your skink's body properly when you bring them out to make it as little stressful for them as possible.

I know I gave you...a lot...a lot to read. Sorry x.x but this is what's worked for me not only with my blue tongue so far but with other smaller animals I've kept over my lifetime like hamsters. It's a long process but one that really works and is completely worth it in the long run. I hope this becomes some help to you! There are a lot of taming processes and methods out there, this is just one version that's worked really well for me.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:55 pm

That's awesomely helpful thanks so much. I don't mind a large wall of text at all, especially because it's so in depth..

Well.. I've taken away a few things from this.. one is that my skink hasn't eaten in 5 days now so I may either need to change the food (like you suggested the dry and then the wet at night, will definitely adopt this tomorrow). I do open the cage before and after work at around the same times and don't bother him too much besides that. I think a big part of why he doesn't come out is because at the moment, there's someone there more often than I would like. So no doubt he can see my house mate walking around and so he doesn't have a reliable routine to come out when it's safe.. This is frustrating/bad timing as my house mate should be working, will be next week so then I guess lizard will have more privacy then. But I've seen as well that's not a bad thing for him to get used to the traffic. I imagine it's contributing to him being a slow emerger. Even at night time, there's someone sitting around in the room some where gaming until pretty late in the night but I have at least managed to ensure that the room is dark enough.

Did you see my part about on Tuesday where I walked into the room and I spotted him at the food bowl? It's very bad timing because he hadn't actually taken a bite yet, it was probably his first attempt and the moment he came out to look at food, the big giant bird walked into the room as if it were a trap.. I just can't get over how he hasn't come back for round 2 since then. So very cautious

I have definitely broken my skink's trust initially, and he is no doubt hiding from me. I'm keen to rebuild it, but obviously he needs to serve his own needs first. The food bowl was a little closer than usual in the photo I sent (i wanted him to feel safer eating it so i placed it a little further under the ramp). Today it's back in it's normal spot next to the water bowl. Considering the traffic, and how the food is out in the open + the things you mentioned of close to the hiding spot, would I be better off placing it towards the cooled end of the tank, maybe underneath some of that green foliage for cover?

He's really making me anxious at the moment so I'm very happy to make any adjustments that might make him feel more comfy. When I did pick him up (all inside the cage and close to the ground), he was huffing at me (not hissing) and tried to run away a little bit. I know this was silly of me to pick him up anyway. At least I didn't eat him. haha. Will definitely not be doing this again until after the right process

well, here's hoping his lizard brain forgives me, I've prepared sorry banquets one after the other and he insists on punishing me.

OK, to clarify, and some questions, when I get some dry lizard food from my local store, that will be ok just on it's own? Then when I get home, replace that with some wet cat food mixed in with some veggies / salad, varying what vegies/salad each day and even what cat food.

2nd, since he hasn't been eating and is hating me atm, I still haven't succumbed and given him treats ( I've stuck to only the small amount of banana), I know he likes black soldier fly larvae because he ate 6 of them one night (the last time he ate on sat). However I have gone to a "staple" meal because I want him to get used to that not treats, are black solider fly larvae actually considered as treats or is that more of a staple diet? And maybe he just likes insects more but are they qualified as "treats"? Or am I ok to spice things up and place different kinds of insects in his bowl in the coming days instead?

Sorry some of this stuff is a little confusing still, especially with the meals..

Good news though! I managed to set up a small surveillance system overseeing his food bowl which will send me emails with pictures on motion and take short videos! This is so I can tell if he's coming out to look at food more than I think, or taking tiny amounts I don't notice (I have been weighing it before and after, and doing before and after photos. I haven't been able to conclusively say he's eaten anything yet from these things..).

Thanks Rixusaku
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:50 pm

I did see your post about Tuesday, but from what I can gather from your stories so far your skink is definitely still trying to eat but doesnt seem comfortable with the people around them just yet. You can try putting the food in or near a spot your skink can easily hide in other than below the ramp.

A zoo keeper and blue tongue skink breeder I like to watch on YouTube (ReptileMountain.TV) mentioned something about bringing home new and very young aged skinks that I think might help you guys out in this situation. He mentioned covering the enclosure either with paper towels or paper boards to block off their view of you and I think that might help you guys. This would have the potential to allow your skink to get comfortable in his enclosure and start eating a more proper diet. Here's the video for that. This guy has a lot of videos about blue tongues that I like watching and a lot of what he says seems to be the consensus from what I've read about other experienced skink owners' experiences. He also seems to be very knowledgeable about different blue tongue species.

Back to covering the enclosure, I think it could help during the week your house mate isn't working and is around a lot, and then you can uncover it once they start working again. It might help your skink get comfortable enough to eat at the very least. The skink won't see you but they'll still be able to hear you. Maybe covering their sight of you for the time being while your house mate is around during the day will be enough to coax them out of hiding. Then when you're both on your normal work schedules you keep the tank uncovered so they get used to you being around.

And I wouldn't worry too much what your skink thinks of you personally this very moment, they seem like timid lizards by nature. Yours is young and their opinions of you can easily change over time as long as you're respectful and mindful of their boundaries. I'm sure they'll come around and the two of you will get along great, you seem to really care about your skink already so I dont have any doubts. :D

As for the treats, I think anything can count as a treat if it's a small portion. I know my skink ate dubia roaches both as a snack and an occasional varied meal at the lizard shop he was staying at before I took him home with me. Insects seem to be their staple of protein food for sure, but they're still very omnivorous and opportunity eaters so they'll eat almost anything. As long as you make sure you're looking out for anything they're not supposed to be eating (like avocados, any type of onion, garlic, and many types of mushrooms are all toxic for them to name a few) you can feed them anything.

From my research I found that there are some staple fruits they like that you can give as an occasional treat if they like it which are apples, cantaloupe, mangos, papayas, and prickly pear fruit (properly prepared without the thorns/needles) but I know they also eat and can like fruits like blackberries and blueberries too. Theres a lot of different types of fruits you can give them, but citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, and rhubarb (is rhubarb a fruit?) are either toxic or very unhealthy for them. I think there's some debate on grapes so I'm not sure if they're toxic or just very unhealthy, I'd have to look that up again. It might have something to due with maybe grape seeds are toxic. I just have it jotted down as "Never Feed" on my feeding notes.

Their staple feeder insects seems to be dubia roaches, hornworms, silkworms, and black soldier fly larvae. If you want to stay away from giving feeder insects as treats you can always try snails. I would personally reccomend ZooMed Can O' Snails since they sell a reasonable amount of snails per can for snacks or staple diet since I'm pretty sure snails go bad in the fridge after about a week or two. However, my skink also liked Exotic Nutrition Canned Insects - Snails but since I couldn't reasonably feed him enough snails before they went bad I moved to the ZooMed brand that he seems to love just as much. The ZooMed snails are maybe three to four times bigger than the Exotic Nutrition brand and there's maybe 25-30 snails per can for ZooMed's. However, since your skink is small, I would cut one or two snails each in half or in quarters when you feed them the snails (edit: if you get the ZooMed. If you get Exotic Nutrition then I dont think you'll need to cut the snails for your skink).


Reference on feeder insects: https://reptilesupply.com/blogs/blue-to ... skinks-eat

(EDIT: IMPORTANT NOTE: I made a mistake mentioning tangerines were safe--they are not. I get tangerines and nectarines mixed up in name because they sound similar. Nectarines are safe but tangerines are not. Sorry about that mix up, I'll try and check myself in the future to avoid it happening again.)
Last edited by rixusaku on Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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rixusaku
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:21 pm

Oh, also, for the blue skink crumbles I mentioned earlier my skink has eaten his fine as they are and as how I mixed them up as a meal with greens, veggies, and a raw quail egg. I suggested them as they are since it would be a safe way to keep food in your enclosure all day and/or night long to make sure your skink is eating properly even if it's tiny nibbles throughout the day or night. Once they're comfortable eating food again normally then I'd suggest giving them a feeding each day (doesnt have to exclusively be the crumbles and I would even suggest continuing a variety diet again), and whatever they dont eat in a sitting you take away and dont leave it in the tank. Theres a chance they could get substrate mixed in with their food and they're not supposed to be swallowing the substrate. It's also why a lot of people reccomend taking substrate out of their water bowls when some is found in there.

If your skink doesnt eat a lot in a sitting once they're eating normally I wouldn't worry about it. As long as your skink isn't losing weight they'll be fine. If you're worried about the amount they eat you can always give them a small portion of a treat to make up some of the difference.

Although, thinking about it, it's also possible your skink might not be eating a lot is they might be about to start the shedding process. My skink just finished his shedding earlier this week and he barely ate his food during that. I fed him yesterday and he ended up eating a lot. I dont know if skinks shed around the same time to each other or if it's random per skink, but I do know they shed once a month (at least when they're adults, I dont know if it's the same for babies). It might be difficult for you to tell right now but their scales usually look dull, desaturated in color, and dry when they're about to shed and then their scales are very vibrant, shiny, and smooth after their shed. Skinks are very pretty after a shed.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:11 pm

Ok cool.. I'm going to the reptile store after work so I'll pickup some dry food and some snails if they have any. Maybe some other kind of insect

Haven't received any motion alerts from my camera today besides when the heat light turned on. No on is home so he hasn't come out still for 5 hrs to even look at the food.. I may cover up part of the front again tonight considering his behaviour and the weekend will have people around (someone suggested leaving it open as it will be moving forward so he just gets used to that). But to be honest if he's never actually coming out I might need to adopt more methods until he is at least eating a bit

I guess it's possible that he's shedding, but when I have seen him his colour is very vibrant still, doesn't look to be approaching shed (I used to have some blue tongues when I was a kid so I remember how that looks). Temperatures are all fine at the moment.. so there's no chance of him brumating or anything like that.

I guess it's just a cycle of, he's too scared to come out, which means he isn't getting warmed up by the lamp etc, which in turn means he's not active at all. How long would you give it until I should be genuinely concerned? 1wk, 2 wks? I think the store suggested coming up on 2 weeks I could take him in and they will have him for a few days, just hope it doesn't come to that!

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