Babysitting Mr Beardie

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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I am baby-sitting this guy for the week. Not too familiar with repltiles and I just want to make sure it looks healthy and show him off a bit. I don't know the exact age but I know it was bought about 2 years ago and has grown significantly in that time. So for other owners, does it look healthy and fed enough? He is a young teenagers pet so I'm just doing a check up on him. Also, does anyone recognize what morph he maybe considered? Here he is I think hes awfully interesting.





 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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What a cutie!! He looks a bit like my guy, Hugo.

I'm still new to Beardies... mine's a rescue kid... so I'm not well versed on morphs, but he looks well hydrated and "fat" :) It's hard to guage his size without a reference, and like I said... I'm new... but he looks small or short for a 2 year old. I'm pretty sure they should be around the 2' mark at that age, so if he's far from it, then he may not be getting enough to eat or his environment is off.

Do you know how much he feeds him? What he feeds him? For instance, I feed my little guy (10" including tail) as many crickets as he'll take from me in a 15 minute time frame, a couple times a day; and he always has a nice healthy salad available. (Not lettuce! but chicory, endive, escarole, dandelion, some collards and mustards, red bell pepper, hard squashes like butternut or acorns, carrots, etc.)

Hopefully someone with more knowledge will come along and add to this.


~Aminah
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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Hi there,

He looks very healthy and happy indeed - commendations to his owner and to you for doing such a good job! As far as his size goes, yes he does maybe look a little small for a 2 year old, but experience tells me this is more likely to be down to his genetics than anything else - if he was underfed or not being housed appropriately it would show in his appearance and behaviour. Seeing as how he has lovely bright eyes, is obviously alert and interested in his surroundings, has no stress-belly marks (a stressed or sick beardie will have extremely vivid black marks all over its undersides. Pale grey or beige markings are normal and nothing to worry about), no obvious deformities and a fat belly I would say he is very healthy.

The only thing I would suggest is to provide a dish or plate when feeing him veg & green leaves, as letting him eat off the floor of the viv means he could accidently ingest some of the sand as he eats, and this can cause a very dangerous condition called Impaction, where the digestive tract literally blocks up with sand. So wherever possible you should provide food away from the sand floor in order to prevent this. Personally, I always feed my beardies out of their tanks to avoid any possibility of them swallowing substrate.

One of the main issues with captive lizards is providing correct calcium and vitamin supplements in their diet so their skeletons develop correctly. This beardie appears to have excellent skeletal confirmation so I assume his food is being 'dusted' before feeding (usually white powder supplements)? As an adult he will only need his food dusting twice a week to maintain the correct calcium levels in his bloodstream.

As for morphs, some people may describe him as 'Sandfire', although this is actually the name of a particular bloodline originating from the Sandfire Dragon Ranch in the States rather than a morph. Personally I would describe him a a very attractive normal with very good colouration.

Hope this helps!

:}
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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84
Hi there,

He looks very healthy and happy indeed - commendations to his owner and to you for doing such a good job! As far as his size goes, yes he does maybe look a little small for a 2 year old, but experience tells me this is more likely to be down to his genetics than anything else - if he was underfed or not being housed appropriately it would show in his appearance and behaviour. Seeing as how he has lovely bright eyes, is obviously alert and interested in his surroundings, has no stress-belly marks (a stressed or sick beardie will have extremely vivid black marks all over its undersides. Pale grey or beige markings are normal and nothing to worry about), no obvious deformities and a fat belly I would say he is very healthy.

The only thing I would suggest is to provide a dish or plate when feeing him veg & green leaves, as letting him eat off the floor of the viv means he could accidently ingest some of the sand as he eats, and this can cause a very dangerous condition called Impaction, where the digestive tract literally blocks up with sand. So wherever possible you should provide food away from the sand floor in order to prevent this. Personally, I always feed my beardies out of their tanks to avoid any possibility of them swallowing substrate.

One of the main issues with captive lizards is providing correct calcium and vitamin supplements in their diet so their skeletons develop correctly. This beardie appears to have excellent skeletal confirmation so I assume his food is being 'dusted' before feeding (usually white powder supplements)? As an adult he will only need his food dusting twice a week to maintain the correct calcium levels in his bloodstream.

As for morphs, some people may describe him as 'Sandfire', although this is actually the name of a particular bloodline originating from the Sandfire Dragon Ranch in the States rather than a morph. Personally I would describe him a a very attractive normal with very good colouration.

Hope this helps!

:}
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Hi Guys, thanks for the kind replies. Yeah I don't know his exact age, I thought they got him 2 years ago but maybe I'm wrong, maybe a year, year and a half? I don't see this side of the family much so idk, lol. About the food, I wanted to ask about that. I know lettuce is no good for them because it has no real nutrition, but the thing is, he will only eat romain lettuce (according to my aunt). She said shes tried peppers, collard greens, and a couple other things but he onlylikes the romain. He gets crickets a couple times per week, and I grabbed the Calcium. Last nigh I gave him some of that romain that they gave me, but I mixed in some chopped carrots that I Had. I figure if his owner is on vacation, why not treat him like hes on vacation for the week, so I'm being very accomadating. :)

Ps, all the food around the cage is because he shakes his head like a wet dog when he is eating, and my little cousin is too lazy to scoop out all the old dried up food. The tank is messed but definently isn't dirty, but it's not how I like things, so I spent an hour sifting all the sand last night so it's nice and clean. :) Thanks for your help guys!! :)
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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I'm so glad he's on vacation with you!! :D

You can try to introduce him to other greens mixed with his Romaine :rolleyes: and then gradually decrease the amount of lettuce each day... see how he reacts to that. My fella really likes dandelions and chicory, belgian endive (the little red and white torpedo looking thing), and grated carrot or butternut.

Now that Avic Addict pointed out the possibilities and details, he does look like a happy normal Beardie kid. I had no idea about genetics having such an effect. I'm relieved myself, cuz Hugo is well fed and cared for, but he seems a little "short" to me and I was worried. He came from a near death situation in a pet store near me and they just gave him to me when I brought it to their attention. :mad:

So, commence spoiling your family's Beardie until they return, and maybe educate them gently about the Romaine. :embarrassed:

Here's some sites that I use often:

www.beardeddragon.org
http://www.beautifuldragons.503xtreme.com/home.html
http://www.kakadudragons.com/caresheet/caresheet.php

Very good info on all three of 'em.


Enjoy the vacation little fella!! :)


~Aminah
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Thanks for the links. I will try that mixing and weening off trick, he did eat some of the carrots last night. Wow I had the biggest scare, no one told me they sleep like a person would. I walked out to find him all stretched out like he was drunk last night, I gave him a pet and nudged him and he perked up, but wow was I shocked at first. I had him up a couple hours past bed time because I was sifting out most of his cage, I am almost certain I could notice him getting sleepy, his eyes were getting droopy and a couple times when I stepped away he shut them, how cute. I've seen him eat 2 crickets so far, and but not any greens, he has however tossed it about the cage. lol Thanks for all th help.
 

GailC

Arachnoprince
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He does look pretty good. As far as the green throwing goes, try cutting it into bit sized pieces and using a shallow bowl to feed in.

I wonder about temps and UVB, what kinds of bulbs does he have? 1 or 2? from the pictures it looks like there is only one bulb and unless its a MVB then hes not getting any UVB.

Does he have any accessories like a basking rock or branch? If you happen to have a decent thermometer with probe you should get a temp check right on his basking spot.
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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He does look pretty good. As far as the green throwing goes, try cutting it into bit sized pieces and using a shallow bowl to feed in.

I wonder about temps and UVB, what kinds of bulbs does he have? 1 or 2? from the pictures it looks like there is only one bulb and unless its a MVB then hes not getting any UVB.

Does he have any accessories like a basking rock or branch? If you happen to have a decent thermometer with probe you should get a temp check right on his basking spot.
Thank you for the kind response. I have notcied those few details. It does have a day and night bulb. I am unaware of the spectrums but I will see if they are written on the bulbs. He has nothing to perch on, which I am surprised because thats a few dollar fix, but I guess it could be overlooked. I planned on getting him something to perch on though. I took a temp/humidity reader from a scorpion enclosure and tossed it in. It was something like 86, decent, but it isn't quite summer yet, so possibly they don't have a perch in there to hibernate it. (Read that on one of those caresheets.) ?? Maybe? My aunt was a vet before she had kids so I'm sure they take care of it for the mostp art*, but like I said, the keeper is a young man and sometimes little things are overlooked. :)
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Vouyer Shot From Last Night

(The sprawling out is normal right? LOL Looked comfy to me.

 

GailC

Arachnoprince
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85* is way too cool for a basking spot but I'm guessing that thermometer isn't accurate enough.
I'd suggest getting him a basking platform, you can use a flat rock, brick, heavy stick from outside, just some thing to place under the heat light. Put the thermometer right under the light on the platform, you need a temp of 100*-105* at the hottest point. A dragon will brumate (hibernate) regardless if there is a hide or not, they will just crawl in a corner and sleep. Not all dragons brumate.

A light at night isn't necessary unless it gets to 60* or cooler, dragons actually sleep better if there is a temp drop. For the UVB he will need a repti glo 8.0, its a long fluorescent tube, he will need to be able to get within 6" of the bulb. The UVB is one of the more expensive aspects of keeping dragons as the bulb has to be replaced every 6 months.

Having low temps, no UVB and feeding the wrong greens is most likely why he is small for his age. I'd suggest you print the care sheet and greens list that were posted and give them to the owner, he has alot to change if he wants his dragon to live to old age.

Its perfectly normal for them to sleep like that LOL, they always look dead and get in the most uncomfortable positions:)

Here are some pics of my dragon and his cage so you can see how a basking platform can be set up.


sleeping


getting a bath.
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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I claened the tub the other day .. would it still be safe to put him in it? I mean I would obviously turn the water on as hot as it goes for a while to try to make sure any remaining chemical/some of the soap residue comes off.
 

Brettus

Arachnoknight
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Hey,

Congrats on the beardie-he looks to be in top health! They really are one of the best reptiles going round-the good thing about living in Australia is we can get them right from the source! What I wanted to know was do you know he is actually a he? I know beard size can vary widely, but my male has a more prominent, spikey beard-your dragons beard more resembles my females.
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Hey,

Congrats on the beardie-he looks to be in top health! They really are one of the best reptiles going round-the good thing about living in Australia is we can get them right from the source! What I wanted to know was do you know he is actually a he? I know beard size can vary widely, but my male has a more prominent, spikey beard-your dragons beard more resembles my females.
Below the anus is an area that contains 2 bumps, so I am almost certain he is a male. Females would have a small indentation there, loose skin that the males testes raises, but it falls on females. That is what I read at least. That and they call him a "he" lol.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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yep, 2 bumps is indicative of boy.. {D but some females have 1 bump in the center, as well as, others having none or the "indentation" you mentioned ;)
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Ps, the daylight is Exoterra sun glo... doesn't give a number. Forgot to check the nightime one and now it's too hot lol. I put a clay brick in, (can't have too many of those laying around). Directly below the light says 91, for night time bulb. I will check daytime tomorrow but I usually put the temp gauge in a corner, not under the light, so perhaps thats what I only was getting in the 80s before.
 

EAD063

Arachnoprince
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Hmm, tonight he seems to not want to bask under the night light. (My places temps fluctuate a ton, but it's usually aroudn 72, 73.) So it worried me, so I picked him up and put him near, but not under it. He seems to have eaten the mustard greens I got him ( and ignored the romain which apparently was "the only thing he would eat".):razz: He also had 2 crickets this morning, and 2 more later on. Is he just full and acting like a big loaf or..? Gosh 2nd scare me in two nights, I wish they would have told me all about it in the first place lol.
 

GailC

Arachnoprince
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He doesn't need the light at night, turn it off so he can sleep better.

Good to hear he is taking to a better diet, mustard is a favorite of my dragon to. Don't worry if he isn't eating alot, being moved could be causing relocation stress or he might not be hungry. Mine only eats every couple of days. Just keep a salad down for him in case he does get hungry.

You should probably try a bath too, use slightly warm water like you would with a baby and make it deep enough to come up to his shoulders.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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How about the thing with the tub Aneesa
The tub? Are you asking if it's safe to put him after you've cleaned it?

I put Hugo in his very own bath tub or the sink, and I use non toxic cleaners for my family, so I don't really know the answer. It would depend on what type of cleaners you use... Comet, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc. ...I don't use those things.

A rubbermaid to accommodate the bulk of his body and about half is tail would suffice. I say half the tail cuz Hugo always curls his or flips it up, no matter how much space he has. I put about 85F water just deep enough to reach his shoulders, not in his ears or mouth, and give him a folded towel or landing (flat rock, drift, inverted casserole dish) so he can keep his bum in the water and feel safe. He holds my hand sometimes, too. :)

Just remember NEVER leave him unattended in the water... NEVER! Just like you wouldn't leave a small child.
 
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