How old is my Merauke?

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Jay
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How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:39 pm

I think my Merauke is younger than I was told. Any ideas on how old he may be? He weighs 39g and 23 cm long. First photo was taken 2 weeks ago, others today.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby mb606587 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:38 pm

Very young. Possibly 1-2 months old
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Janella » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:03 pm

Awe look at that little baby. What a cutie. Yes agreed...young. 1-2 months. Please keep a close eye on your baby. Feed daily and be sure to follow the groups feeding chart. Don't forget to check for parasites too.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:29 pm

I thought he was quite young. I was told he was 6 months! he is definitely older than 1 month though because I have had him for 3 weeks already - that first photo was when I first got him. he eats so little but he seems healthy. he has been to the vet and been dewormed. Currently I am giving him herpaboost - he mostly refuses food other than some licks and a few little bites - hopefully his appetite will pick up. he burrows deep and sleeps all day, but when I bring him out he is very active
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby splashy07 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:53 am

Check your temps, babies that age are usually ravenous.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:39 am

temp is around 40 during the day on the warm side. he certainly isn't ravenous but he did eat today - first time I saw him willingly eat, he walked up to his food and took a few big mouthfuls
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby splashy07 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:38 am

That's a good sign, anyway.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Janella » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:44 pm

Glad he ate a little bit. Keep offering a variety and hopefully it will start to come around.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:35 am

it is a bit stressful - how challenging it is with feeding. I have offered him all sorts of options. he refuses cat food and live food but will eat some small amounts of raw egg and mango and baby food and chicken gizzard - I know he isnt getting a balanced diet but just trying to get anything in him at this point. I am also giving him Herpaboost - which is a very slow process as he is not an eager eater. last week his weight went from 24g to 39g which really surprised me because all I thought he ate that week was a few licks of raw egg.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:25 pm

it does look like he is barely eating anything but he is gaining weight and pooing. but when I take his food dish out it looks the same as it did when I put it in. How much should a little guy like this gain in a week? I worry about him every day - it seems like he is not eating but he looks well. also he does not bask, he buries himself deep in the substrate, i have been taking him outside to walk around in the sun - how much sun time does he need in a day if he hides the whole time he is in his cage and does not go under his UVB light?
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby mb606587 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:51 pm

How are you measuring your temperatures? Try raising the basking area closer to the heat source. A piece of plywood attached to blocks for example. This will ensure the cool side temperature isn't compromised. I keep my Meraukes basking areas at a minimum of 46 degrees Celsius. If you are handling frequently, start limiting this and keep him in his enclosure until he is eating regularly. The moving to new environments may be stimulating its stress response, especially at such a young age.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:18 pm

To measure the temp I have 2 digital ones in there - one on each side and I also have a needle one (exoterra) on the warm side. Perhaps these are not great quality. He has a flat rock under the UVB bulb and the temp is around 40. if I raise it so he is closer to the bulb, how close is safe? We do take him out briefly once or twice a day. I have been feeding him with a syringe Herpaboost, just dropping it on his lips/tongue and he slowly eats that and then we put him back, sometimes I do that on the terrace so he can walk around in the sun a bit. I just got a new UVB bulb yesterday from Australia - Exoterra - and this morning found him basking under that. I wondered if my first UVB bulb was a problem - it didn't even have a brand.
I have not had his temp past 40 because it seemed so hot and stuffy in his cage already. We live in Indonesia and it does not get that hot here so if he is a local skink I figured it was a bit hot for him to be above 40. but makes sense if I raise his basking spot closer to the bulb so he can bask under higher temp but it not change his whole cage.
He does not seem stressed, he does not resist being taken out, doesn't snap or bite or hiss - sometimes a bit of a huff when I dig him out when he is buried down deep in his substrate. thank you for the input, I will try raising his basking platform and also not take him out of his cage.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby splashy07 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:39 am

Digging him up would be stressful for a youngster, I would just leave him be until he gets older and is eating regularly. No need to take him out daily at this age.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:30 pm

since I put the new bulb in I often find him basking. I haven't taken him out for a few days but did today to give him some herpaboost because he is not eating. he was quite upset about that and actually was running away from me and snapping. never had that behaviour before so I guess he has been enjoying being left alone these last few days and does not want to be bothered - but if he isn't eating I should be giving him this herpaboost? I do have to take him out to do that. Hopefully, he settles soon and eats normal, I worry so much about him.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby mb606587 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:26 pm

Well, it's a good sign that your skink is now basking more frequently. I would leave him be, continue offering different food daily, and as long as he looks healthy, I'd only be handling very briefly once or maybe twice a week for the herpaboost. Try offering something sweet, like pureed mango baby food. Wipe it on the lips and usually they'll lick it off and then may seek more.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:16 am

Thank you for all the advice. He is doing really well, he basks a lot now and has been eating more and more - although up until today he would only eat egg and fruit. Today he attacked the dog food and ate a lot! Was so encouraging to see him eating. I know he is quite young and I should be giving him cat food, not dog food but I can not find cat food that does not have fish in it. Is it ok to give him fish cat food, or better to just give him dog food? He has not been at all interested in live food. I have also been cooking gizzards for him. I am worried he isn't getting enough protein.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby mb606587 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:31 pm

He'll be just fine eating the dog food. Plenty of people raise skinks on dog food alone. I'd stick with what's working for the time being. Don't worry about the protein difference either. Dog food has enough of it. More than what most babies get in the wild.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby alichamp » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:42 pm

Why do you think you should be feeding him cat food instead of dog food? We tend to pick dog food over cat food as a good staple food for BTS for a few reasons, just one being that cat food has taurine in it and we don't know whether that's good or bad for blueys. Dog food is a good choice.

Check out the threads in the FAQs section where you'll find info on what to feed, grain vs grain free dog food, and a diet chart (among other things).
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby mb606587 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:18 pm

Many people, some prominent, do feed cat food to baby skinks and then switch to dog food as adults. The theory is that cat food is better suited for a growing baby, as the diet is primarily more carniverous than the more omniverous diets of adults. I don't necessarily put much stock into either method being superior to the other. I've raised yearling skinks on dog food, as have many others.
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Re: How old is my Merauke?

Postby Jay » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:10 am

yes that was my reason - because he is so young I had read that it is best to use cat food. But sounds like from your input it does not really matter. So I feel better about just giving him dog food. thank you

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