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How Often Do Fire Skinks Eat?

Discussion in 'Skinks' started by NebulaCoalescere, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. NebulaCoalescere

    NebulaCoalescere New Member

    i have had a fire skink for about 4-5 days, hes been eating. I've been leaving some mealworms for him in a dish, and find them gone, but today i have noticed he hasn't come above ground much, could this mean he isn't hungry, how much is too much, how often do they eat? so i can get a better range on when to dig him out to check in on him, i rather not do so and stress him out in the long run. and i understand enough to know that whens hes underground, hes off limits.
  2. Helios

    Helios Elite Member

    Hi NebulaCoalescere!

    First off, congrats on your skink! Fire Skinks are quite fun, and display a lot of personality and activity when kept in the most ideal way. Fire Skinks are opportunistic feeders. That generally means they will eat almost any time food is available. That said, there are periods of time they are not as interested in food. This can occur simply due to being well fed, prior to shedding, in the event of breeding/egg laying, and if there is a health issue. As far as shedding, if that's what's going on you may see his color start to dull considerably. The sign of a health issue is going to be a total loss of appetite. What you're describing sounds very normal.
    In short, Fire Skinks will generally eat based upon whatever feeding schedule you establish. If you feed every other day, feed less. If you feed once every two or three days, feed more. I would suggest offering food at least once every three days. I vary the frequency of feedings and the range is 3-6 crickets. In feeding crickets, if you let them roam free, your skink shouldn't have any trouble tracking them down.
    As far as food goes, Crickets or Dubia roaches are probably the ideal staple prey. Mealworms are good, but function better as a supplement. Same with waxworms or similar prey sources. Fire Skinks benefit from variety, so mix things up on a regular basis.

    As far as burrowing, I wouldn't think of him as off-limits, but you are certainly wise to let him adjust during an acclimation period. What type of substrate are you using? One last note: If you take the time to create lots of hides on the surface using logs, artificial plants, driftwood, etc. You will likely find he spends more time on the surface. In my experience, Fire Skinks are not as skittish as their supposed reputation. Most often, keepers who report skinks staying burrowed have not created the most ideal surface environment to promote activity.
  3. zjherps

    zjherps Member

    I feed my 18 mth old female twice a week. I also remove her from the enclosure and feed in a separate container. That way I can monitor what she eats and the tank stays cleaner.
  4. NebulaCoalescere

    NebulaCoalescere New Member

    thank you very much for your reply, I didn't even notice that i got a couple :p. I am currently using the eco-earth coconut fiber mixed with mulch. Though I've read some people disapprove of the coconut fiber and choose to use carefresh bedding. which i personally find odd. I have kept adding more and more vines, fake plants along with real plants and plan to add even more . and i notice i do see him more than prior, even if he pokes his head out of his favorite spot under his water dish momentarily. and i notice that he seems to almost ask for food, every two days or so. so there's definitely been an improvement on how much i see him. i am still trying to avoid tampering with him too much so he feels confident in his environment because hes still pretty skittish if he sees me looking at him for too long. hes looks really colorful at the moment. i buy insects from my local pet store, ranging from crickets, super worms, and meal worms they sadly don't carry roaches, is there any place online that you have experience with that has them? i don't really get bugs from petco as I've heard horror stories about reptiles getting parasites from them.

    i am really happy with this little guy, and seeing him more and more, is definitely a rewarding experience.
  5. Helios

    Helios Elite Member

    Glad to hear things have been going well! They really are a fun personable species when they're kept in a way that suits their need for security. Sounds like he's acclimated pretty well! I don't remember if I mentioned this earlier or not, but you may also notice his activity coinciding with the weather. I find mine have been less active if it's overcast or cool out, even though their enclosure is a controlled temp/lit with artificial light.
    I have never purchased Dubia Roaches online, but LLLreptile does ship them and they are a reputable company.
  6. infantry492

    infantry492 Active Member

    Is it a good idea to let the crickets wander around the cage? I have eco earth in mine and im kinda worried about him getting impaction from it so i made a makeshift bowl out of the plastic container that Petco sells their crickets in. Could I just let them go free without worrying about impaction or should I just keep them in the bowl?
  7. Helios

    Helios Elite Member

    Hi again Tristan! If the eco earth is moist odds are the risk of impaction is minimal. If you have any sort if barrier like moss on the surface even better. You should be fine letting your crickets wander. Substrates like bark are a greater risk. I would say do what you feel most comfortable with!
  8. infantry492

    infantry492 Active Member

    Alright, and Thanks again. I think im going to look for some sheet moss to add to the ground cover to help keep the soil moist through out the day. Also what sorts of plants do you recommend using? I currently have two small spider plants in there and I feel as though they go well with him since there from Africa just like he is.
  9. Helios

    Helios Elite Member

    I use fake plants since these guys can be like bulldozers. The spider plants are nice! If you want to add more native plants, (and you may already know this), Fire Skinks come from Togo, Angola, Guinea, Uganda, etc. Whatever you add, my main suggestion would be to create some height. My skinks have climbed some of the fake plants and like I said, will also go up branches. Since you have such a nicely sized enclosure anything you do that creates some levels throughout will enhance it for your skink. You might also consider backing the enclosure. My picture isn't very good, but you'll see fairly well what I did. I have one of mine in a twenty at the moment.


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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014

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