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Another Diet Question

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Dragoness, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Not years Jen, we can`t wait that long!! (I could start a collection)....... ;)
     
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Send me money, and I won't have to wait that long ;)

    No, with the job situation like it is (unstable at best) I'm not taking on anything new until things settle out a little. But I can still plan in the meantime. I have lots of time to start getting the ideas ready, so all will be in order once things even out.
     
  3. billw

    billw Member

    You might be surprised how many places you could say something like that, and no one would bat an eyelash, they might even congratulate you for having a gorgeous Sav. "So cute!"

    I'm dumbfounded. A proper diet, AND responsibility? Are you a reverse troll?
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    It`s so nice to know there ARE responsible people out there, planning everything first, and not just "jumping in" with an impulse buy!
    O.k Jen, I`ll start a collection, and hopefully I won`t need to buy boxes of chocolate, and other essentials, which would mean me spending it all on myself. (Keep your fingers crossed for me).....
     
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Actually, I am a full-blooded Troll. In Michigan, (Was born and raised and will be returning there) there are two types of people - Trolls and Yoopers. Trolls live under the bridge (Lower Peninsula) Yoopers live above the bridge (Upper Peninsula). I was born in Midland, so I'm a Troll.

    No, I just love me herps like most people love their children. One of the phrases my co-workers used on me was "she has a very misguided maternal instinct."
     
  6. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    You have'nt yet heard from Monitor Police yet huh?


    Monitors need a steady diet of live or fresh killed invertebrates to make up their main dietary intake!

    They can have live or dead rodents as a food source, But they are not the easiest thing more a monitor to digest!

    Insects along with some fish are a good staple diet.
     
  7. billw

    billw Member

    I can't tell if this post is directed at me, maybe you didn't understand I was talking about other people?

    Also, Savannah Monitors do not eat rodents, live or dead.
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Savannah monitors undoubtably DO take rodents, (if only very rarely) in the wild, they are, like the other members of this family, opportunists, athough they should only form a very small part of their diet in captivity. Unfortunately, as we know, with so many people feeding the cheapest/easiest to get hold of foods (rodents), to captive varanids, many of them DO end up as unhealthy, overweight animals in a very short space of time.
     
  9. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    One thing i'll say i always wondered was my savs diet damageing his health & unfortunately i got to find out, i don't think it was the cause of his illness as the blood results would of show the problem. But his liver had blotches which suggested from what i gather to much protein rich food & incorrect basking temps & heat etc, his temps have always been over 75f cool end & basking spot has always been over 120f & more as he got older.

    Humidity has never been under 50% so maybe there's something in this insects only & feed mice sparingly, i'm afraid i fell into the trap as in get as much growth as you can in the 1st year, hindsight maybe trying to achieve this with a insect eating lizard ( in the wild) by using mice & chicks is maybe barking mad.
     
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Most people simply don't know any better than to feed mice/chicks, etc (I'm speaking of the common joe here, who just bought a Sav cause it was "cool"). And many people, even if they theoretically "know better" have no inkling of the long (or short) term consequences their decisions will have on their animal's health. Too many places say "Do this" or "Don't do that" without explaining the logic. To me, understanding the "why" of it is just as important as the "because" part.

    For the most part, Monitor chemistry is not as well studied as we would like (for that matter, they are still learning about the human body) so there is a long way to go before someone formulates the perfect healthy diet for monitors. We still can't even decide on what humans should be eating to be at their best!

    The problem is there are so many right answers, and so many wrong ones, and quite a bit of overlap in between. The best each of us can do is use the knowledge that is current and accessible, and make your decisions based on that.

    You learned from your mistake, I'm sure you won't repeat it ;)

    I read an old quote once: The difference between the wise man and the fool is not that the wise man doesn't make mistakes, it's that he doesn't repeat them.
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I have to respect you for being honest enough to admit you were going for the fast growth rates, it was always a bad idea, though I know there are a few quite well known monitor "experts" who think fast growth equals healthy animal; it means no such thing, "powerfeeding" is a recipe for obesity/ill health/early death. Very carefully regulated ammounts, and frequency and types of foods are the ONLY answer to long-lived, healthy varanids in captivity. (All species). I`m pretty sure you won`t make that mistake again, unfortunately, it cost the animal it`s life..... Good luck with the rest of them!
     
  12. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    Both the savs were mainly fed insects in their diet i had to put more mice into my males diet because he was losing weight & needed fattening up.
    The female rarely has mice nowadays & i'm now in the process of raising some roaches as feeders, even my blackthroat has insects in his diet daily, hopefully we'll convert a few more people along the way!
     
  13. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    There are people out there in the world who make their money off of selling rodents and they will all tell you that feeding rodents is best! It's not!

    There are those who claim that it is really hard to feed an invertebrate diet to a large monitor! It's not!

    Getting as much growth as possible is not something to aim for!
    Having a healthy monitor, no matter what the size, is!

    Just look at humans! Athletes have in the past, spent their youth trying to get bigger and stronger as fast as they can only to suffer in middle age with all kinds of ailments!
     
  14. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    Getting them from 6" to 3foot would be hard work but once there up there insect diet is easy, what you got to remember is this was not identified as the problem my sav had.
    He was thought to have some form of cancer because of his weight loss & still been fed a fair bit a day, 1 x half large mouse & loads of crickets daily & from what i'm told the blood test showed no sign of liver damage.
    I had to check for myself that the diet i'd been feeding was right ,so i had to have a look at the liver & that's when i so the damage. I could of kept quiet but there's many sav owners more than likely with this problem & they haven't got a clue about it, after all is this sav fat & overweight?
    PictureorVideo200.jpg
    The husbandry has change over the last few years but in my opinion not fast enough, there's still alot of people swear that mice with the temps won't hurt them, but after seeing his liver i'm not to sure about this anymore.
     

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  15. billw

    billw Member

    I don't mean to be combative, but if you read Bennett and Cisse's studies of these animals in the wild, especially paying attention to Bennett's observations in Ghana, this information is flat out incorrect.

    The Savannah Monitors were found to consume any vertebrates at all only once in a study of high numbers of Savs. Bennett found that all forms of prey were available to this monitor, yet it chose to seek out and hunt only invertebrates, mainly insects and mollusks.

    He concluded that the Savannah Monitor is a highly specialized feeder and not at all an opportunistic feeder like all other monitors, it and the frugivorous Butaan Monitor are the only two monitors who are that specialized.

    It's very important to understand, the Savannah Monitor flat out does not eat vertebrates. Knowing this could really help keepers in the future.
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi billw,
    I don`t think for one moment you`re being "combative"! In personal communications with myself, Daniel states that although he didn`t find vertebrate remains in any of the animals he studied, he thought it entirely possible they would take this prey if only extremely rarely.
    I agree with you that the main diet should be a variety of invertebrate animals, but the occasional rodent will not cause the problems that Mark`s animal suffered. I am also against the "experts" who claim that by raising the temps to around 150f it will stop these animals (Varanids) from gaining weight no matter how much they are fed, and that a regular diet of rodents will have no effect; that shows a complete lack of understanding of how they function, if they are "powefed" they WILL become obese, unhealthy animals in a very short space of time.
    One last small point: There are now three frugivorous Varanids! (Who knows what they`ll find tomorrow)
     
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The people that swear that a diet consisting mainly of mice etc will do no harm as long as the temps are raised up around 140 or 150f are mistaken. The high temps help digest food faster, but that does NOT mean you can "powerfeed" them without serious problems occuring, obesity being the most commonly seen ailment, they will NOT lose weight because the temps are higher.
    In spite of certain individuals refusing to admit their monitors ARE badly overweight, the photos and videos showed the truth, (even if you all refused to "notice").
    Carefully regulate the types of foods and the frequency and ammounts fed, and that, together with excercise, just the way you were doing, goes a long way to ensuring they remain in good health and condition.
    You have some good ideas, but don`t go for fast growth, go for healthy animal, even if the growth is much slower!
     

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  18. billw

    billw Member

    A possibility existing that an item of prey will be taken rarely is even far, far different than "its diet is occasionally composed of". In general, he is very vocal about the point that they are not opportunists, are highly specialized, and specifically not scavengers. This is very important because most new keepers hear "opportunists" and think "they eat carrion and any animal and therefore I can feed them gizzards and whatever else".

    Again, I think we should make the difference between "main" and "sole" diets. Saying its "main" diet should be invertebrates opens the door for a variety of "non-main" foods which could include whatever blank the keeper feels the need to fill in. I've even changed my tune more recently, as my knowledge changes and I learn more about the Savannah Monitor, the less I feel comfortable saying anything short of a diet of insects, mollusks, etc. is okay for this species.

    No, not at all. Mark has been fantastic and upfront about conversations regarding the deposits in the liver, but that would not have caused what the monitor had.

    We were discussing on another board that a notorious individual who claims Savs could pound rodents if they just have high basking temps coincidentally owns a lucrative rodent feeder business.

    True, that was not on my mind when I posted.
     
  19. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    After all the work i've put into the animal trying avoid fatty deposits i was truly shocked to find them in my animals liver, my animals won't eat if they don't have the correct basking spots / background temps, they just stop until you correct the temps ( winter into spring etc).

    They have everything advised in passed husbandry advice, all i can think is too many mice to quick.
     
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again billw, I have to tell you it`s a pleasure to "speak" with someone with some knowledge, and a deal of common sense, (and not a personal insult in sight)! It`s true when you say that I mention feeding "mainly" an invertebrate diet to V. exanthematicus, and that leaves it open for other prey types that are not acceptable in your own opinion, but according to Ravi Thakoordyal and Dan Bennett in their book "The Savannah Monitor lizard, the truth about Varanus exanthematicus", they eat amphibians on a regular basis (vertebrate prey), but I`m NOT suggesting these are fed to captives). Page 59,
     

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