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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:31 am 
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EGG
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Hi guys.

Ok to try and cut a long story short(ish) here's our problem... We got young Zak at 6 weeks old at the start of January, initially everything was fine and she settled in instantly, was eating medium crickets and locusts with relish, hunting them too when I let them lose, her poop was regular and fine, she was growing and shedding, and in fact she was a cocky wee terror full of confidence lol. I had also started handling/taming and that was beginning to show results too. Then at the very end of February she just stopped eating totally :(

Nothing had been changed or altered in the viv, the feeders were from the same supplier, temps etc were all the same and had always been spot on, NOTHING was any different in even the slightest way. But she did start trying to hide, stay out of the UVB, seemed tired and poorly, dark, etc, and ZERO interest in any kind of food.

Multiple trips to our nearest reptile vet found absolutely nothing physically wrong, nothing, and she checked everything possible (the owner of our own local reptile shop is an ex breeder passionate about reptiles and Zak was from 1 of his own clutches, he recommended and uses this vet). In fact all she could find was an apparently healthy wee Dragon with head and tail held high on the surgery table and seemingly 'on the ball'.

We reached the point where she was being syringe fed baby food, just to get at least something into her and sustain her weight, we then tried Dubai roaches, little 5mm smalls, and it turns out she'll happily run around after them and eat them all day if you let her. Also we've slightly altered her viv now so that she pretty much can't avoid UVB light no matter where she goes. She's now on larger roaches and she will, with reluctance, take the odd small locust (and remember she was on mediums before) but only from the hand, she won't pursue one, chase or hunt it, the way she'll go after a roach, I managed to get quite a few locusts into her the other day but only because I sweetened them with dabs baby food 1st, otherwise she'll turn her nose up at them more often than not. And no she still won't look at a cricket or any kind of worm, not even waxes or the calci worms that she used to take occasionally.

Now before people start asking I appreciate that you might want to help but I can assure you all temps, etc are perfect, we had done and continue to do extensive reading and research, we know about roach addiction lol, we know about hand feeding addictions, the syringe feeding was stopped as soon as she took a bit of live food, she's starting showing a little growth and weight gain (she's 9 3/4 inches and hovering at 46/47 grams at the moment), she gets baths, feeders are well gut loaded and cared for, she's tame and very easily handled (in fact she's hugely confident now about getting out and having a charge about the room or over you lol), she still hasn't shed since before all the problems started but it looks like a tail shed is imminent, she has bags of energy and now that the Easter weekend was gorgeous here she's even been out and got some REAL UVB in the roasting sunshine we had, in fact in every respect you'd be looking at a perfectly healthy wee beardie if you hadn't seen the problems from late Feb and all through March into April and didn't know any better. She may be a little undersized for pushing 5 months old but I suppose that's to be expected. With all our research and advice we've had we are 101% confident that there are NO environmental or husbandry issues of any kind.

Everything that can possibly be done has been done. We'd be happy to keep her on as many roaches as she'll eat a day but it's not the most practical answer, if nothing else there's the cost and then there's the problem of getting them at the right size for her just now, smalls are too small (about 5mm), we'd need thousands, and mediums are WAY too big for her yet (at about 20 - 25mm), we need them at about 10 - 15mm. They are too costly even compared to locusts and although we know them benefits of the high meat to shell ratio and very high protein levels it's still getting silly at the moment trying to keep up a regular supply at a nice size. We could consider starting a colony but there's the initial outlay when things are tight right now and the possible months of establishment before it was providing a regular supply of suitable sizes so that won't solve our 'right now' problem.

Right now she is to all intents and purposes a perfectly healthy little Dragon, if she was somehow ill that has certainly passed now but please, please, please does anyone have any advice on how the hell we can get her to show and interest in anything, ANYTHING, other than a roach??? And how do we kick start the old hunting mode again??? She'll run for a roach, and she even goes to her veggies herself too, but will completely blank anything else apart from a couple of small locusts now and then, and even then she looks like she can't really be bothered with it.

I wouldn't even mind the hand feeding if she'd only just actually eat a sodding big cricket or locust in the 1st place. What are we to do???

Stuart.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Roaches are actually a great food source for beardies. A lot of people start a breeding colony so they can have a ready cheap supply of food. Livefood suppliers will sell you the stock you need to start the colony.

Not something I've wanted to do, but I recall there are a number of posts on this forum about starting and keeping a colony going.

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Trish

Bearded Dragon: Fiona
R.I.P Shrek and Stumpy - you are sadly missed.

For articles and useful information about how to care for Bearded Dragons visit the main site: http://www.mybeardeddragons.co.uk


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:35 am 
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Regretfully a roach colony is probably the only way to go. To establish one you only need a small number of roaches and a couple of plastic tubs to start so outlay is minimal. This post covers the breeding side of things very well viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8572 and it should only take 2~3 months to start getting some of the correct size. I do know your problems as we've five babies at the moment with practically no hunting instinct including one who will only eat baby roaches !! I actually use a 2ft fish tank with a home made lid which has an on/off thermostat and a 50 watt spotlight wired up for heating. It's a real pain when they get this fussy but I've yet to find a way of changing their tastes so it's just a matter of putting up with it until you're breeding stock is large enough.

Rick

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:22 am 
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Thanks guys. We are seriously considering starting a colony sooner or later as we know what great feeders they make and our 1 1/2 - 2 year old Rexie loves them as well, and in fact Irene rather likes them too lol (not to eat obviously haha).

That's all great and still might happen with consideration to long term cost savings however what do we do in the immediate short term? Fact is Zak is at a critical growth age/size and regardless of cost (we'd both spend our last penny feeding our babies and go hungry ourselves first) we simply can't get enough roaches of the right size for her, smalls are simply too small and medium sized way too big for her. We need a steady supply of 10 - 15mm roaches till she's big enough to start tackling mediums and nobody seems to be selling them at that size.

Stuart.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:37 am 
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Short of "assistance" feeding crix and locusts (holding him and popping them in his mouth) the only suggestion I have is to search through all the web sites available to you trying to find a supplier or maybe a small time roach breeder who will come to the party and supply you with a bulk lot of 10~15 mm roaches. Getting a few locusts dabbed with baby food should help not the best idea but with a good lively beardie all the bad stuff should get burnt up with exercise.

Rick

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:09 am 
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I've been really impressed with the service from Rick's Livefood (no relation to Rick on the forum! :lol: )

I see he has a sale on for all roaches and roach stuff - why not contact him and see if he can help you out? (A sale normally means he has excess stock!)

Here's the link to his page: http://www.rickslivefood.co.uk/Roaches/ ... ducts.html

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Trish

Bearded Dragon: Fiona
R.I.P Shrek and Stumpy - you are sadly missed.

For articles and useful information about how to care for Bearded Dragons visit the main site: http://www.mybeardeddragons.co.uk


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:26 am 
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EGG
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Yeah she certainly gets plenty of exercise lol, in fact it's a constant source of wonder where she gets the energy from. She'll dive all over her viv then start the glass dancing before a race around the living room and playing 'monkey' jumping on and off you and anything else she feels cocky enough to tackle, under proper supervision and 'catch' at the ready of course, you can always tell when she's going to go she's very easy to read :)

I have been in regular contact just recently with a private evilBay seller, really nice guy actually, who I got 100 8 - 12mm roaches from and another 100 from him are expected today but depending on his colony his supply might not be guaranteed to be regular. We've also just ordered another 150 mixed small/medium up to 20mm from another source, hopefully there'll be plenty up to about 15mm and any that are too big I'm sure Rexie will make short work of. Hopefully between the 2 we'll have enough roaches to keep her going for a wee while. I'm persevering with always offering her locusts as a 1st feed when she should be hungry and seeing how many I can encourage her to take till she totally blanks them, then roaches later as a 2nd main feed. It's a bit like the old "you can't have your pudding till you eat your meat" syndrome lol, locust 1st and if you eat them I'll lob in the tasty, well gut loaded roaches later :D

Between 2 twats of cats and 2 fussy beardies... Argh lol.

Stuart.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:09 am 
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Try 5 fussy babies, 4 adults and 2 cats that don't like each other! :lol:

Rick

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