• Hello guest! Are you a Tegu enthusiast? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Tegu enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your Tegu and enclosure and have a great time with other Tegu fans. Sign up today! If you have any questions, problems, or other concerns email [email protected]!

How to transition from crickets to ground turkey? / How to discourage jumping?

Aardbark

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
734
Hello.

My little guy is doing good so far. Shes been eating crickets the past 2 weeks, and its getting super expensive. She eats like a ravenous monster, eating about 20 crickets a day. I feel it may be wise to move on to something else, but she doesnt show any interest in other foods. I have tried ground turkey and mangoes, and she took a sniff and a little nibble, and then stopped. How do I get her to start eating something other then crickets? I would like for her to eat some ground turkey. Is there something else that baby tegus are known to like? Something that I can get at the grocery store?

Secondly, she jumps a lot. She is in a 40 gallon tank right now. Every morning she wakes up, goes to bask, and then starts hunting. She has seemed to realize what the boundaries of her cage are, and that the top is the way to get out. She attempts to get out by jumping, and she ends up smacking into the screen top. I will hear a loud thud every few minuets or so. Sometimes she even manages to cling to the screen top, and she climbs around upside down until she falls. How do I discourage her from jumping like this? I am worried she might end up hurting herself.

The funny thing is that I think this is her way of telling me she is hungry. Because after I feed her, and she has a fat little belly, she stops trying to jump out, mostly. She also knows that when I open the top, its dinner time, so she gets all excited. This is again until shes fed. After she eats and I open the top, she stays relaxed. This is when I mist her cage or clean up or change her water, or interact with her.

In short, I want her to stop jumping into the screen top. And I want to wean her off crickets and eat ground turkey, or at least some other food that I can buy at the grocery store.
 

Aardbark

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
734
Update: Didnt feed her for 2 days, and tried to give her more round turkey, but she would not eat it. Then I made some cricket meatballs, stuffing crickets halfway into a ball of ground turkey (which was gross), in the hopes she would eat the ball. But she just dug and plucked the crickets out, and ignored the meat.

Other then the cost, Im mostly worried about her only going after live pray. When she gets older and crickets arent enough, Im not going feed her live mice, they will be frozen thawed mice. I want to be able to feed her a varied diet of meats, fruits/veggies and frozen mice. But none of those things move, and she seems to totally ignore any non moving foods. Will she outgrow this?
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
There are so many differences from one Tegu to another. Some just give their owners a headache because they refuse to eat anything - so don't feel too bad. Have you tried frozen/thawed pinkies? Is she/he a baby? Not sure how to answer this yet - might need more info. To me, 20 crickets doesn't sound like much really.

As for the jumping - this is a trait that they will do for a couple years, when they are young. Your Tegu will completely outgrow a 40 gal tank in no time. Might be time to get a bigger enclosure that has a front opening.
 

Aardbark

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
734
She is about 1.5 months old. She is currently in a 40 gallon tank that does have front opening doors, that I just got last week. She still only goes after crickets, and eats about 20 large ones a day. She has gigantic poops every day.

She still jumps, and Im worried about her hurting herself. Either from hitting the screen top where her basking bulb is, or possibly getting a toe stuck and then torn off in the screen mesh. Or from landing awkwardly on her tail and breaking it. In the new 40 gallon tank, I had to raise up the basking rock closer to the lamp to get the proper temperatures, and she will jump off of it and fall like 12 inches. It worries me greatly.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
I can't imagine a 1.5 yr old in a 40 gal tank. Even a female. How long is she? Also most of us give our Tegus frozen/thawed mice as soon as they're able to eat them. At a yr and a half - she could def eat hoppers, or even small adults by now. Both of the "wild caught" Tegus I've had ate F/T rodents. They adjusted after being born in the wild and only eating live prey.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
Sorry - misread that. I think I'd try some irresistible raw salmon first, or some other fatty fish. That might get her to start enjoying food that doesn't move. I'm sure in the wild they munch on dead fish or any other dead "roadkill" they can get their teeth on. That said, it could just be a thing she'll grow into soon. She must be tiny.
 

Tiigu

Member
Messages
32
My tegu wouldn’t eat ground turkey at first, until I made living meatballs. I blended turkey, fish, fruits, and leafy greens, egg yoke, and dried crickets. Balled them up into tiny marble-sized portions, the poked chilled mealworms into the ball before offering. Once the mealworm warms up and wriggles to be free, it triggers the bite instinct of the tegu and the tegu gets a little taste of the meatball too. Once he/she realizes it’s food, gone goes the meatball. Meatballs are meals 5 days a week, crickets and grubs with fruit slices for Saturday, and a mouse on Sunday. She’s doubled in size in two months.
 

Aardbark

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
734
My tegu wouldn’t eat ground turkey at first, until I made living meatballs. I blended turkey, fish, fruits, and leafy greens, egg yoke, and dried crickets. Balled them up into tiny marble-sized portions, the poked chilled mealworms into the ball before offering. Once the mealworm warms up and wriggles to be free, it triggers the bite instinct of the tegu and the tegu gets a little taste of the meatball too. Once he/she realizes it’s food, gone goes the meatball. Meatballs are meals 5 days a week, crickets and grubs with fruit slices for Saturday, and a mouse on Sunday. She’s doubled in size in two months.
I about 3 weeks ago got a bundle of Reptilinks. She is to small to eat the links themselves, so I have to use the mix inside them and make little meatballs out of them. She ate them on the first day, and then never since. Its been almost 2 weeks now and she wont eat the meatball mix. If I offer her some salmon, she will devour it, but she ignores the mix. Currently she is extremely active every day, so not brumating, and I have only offered the mix, and she hasnt eaten in almost 2 weeks. Im pulling my hair out and stressed beyond belief, shes staring herself.

Help.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
19,786
Messages
176,966
Members
9,781
Latest member
Weird.0
Top