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New Cuban Rock Iguana

Zilch

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5 Year Member
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132
So I attended the Reptile show in West Palm Beach, FL last weekend and while browsing around I came across a booth with a number of rock iguanas all varying in ages, sizes, and variety. I started up a conversation with the guy running the booth as I've been pretty interested in cyclura for a while and he ended up handing me one of his young cuban rock iguanas... well one thing lead to another and I fell in love with the little guy, next thing I knew I was going to an ATM and ended up with him in a pillowcase next to me in the car.

He was born in August of 2006, hasn't been handled much, but so far he seems to be taking to it pretty well... he also eats more than I could have ever imagined haha.

Enough of my babbling, on to the pictures!

This is him outdoors, I took him out in a mesh cage (under VERY heavy supervision since I'm sure he could make short work of it if he was so inclined) - which revealed some very nice colors!
ig1.jpg


I also read that iguanas tend to enjoy a soft place to rest their heads at night so I tucked a sock into a sock and placed it in his enclosure, lo and behold I discovered this in the morning.
ig2.jpg


Right now he's sitting on paper towels for substrate since I can't seem to get a straight answer on what he *should* be on. He's eating a salad consisting of butternut squash, green beans, figs, a little bit of carrot, a bit of cantelope pretty much liquified into the mix for flavor and moisture, collard greens, and of course vitamin/calc w/d3 supplementation. I'm looking into finding some mature alfalfa for some solid plant protein. I've also heard mixed things about providing them with any amount of animal protein, any more experience keepers have any opinions on the matter?
 

mschuld

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41
Congrats!

He's a good looking little guy. They're hard to resist when they're right in front of you like that. Sometimes I should just leave my ATM card at home!
 

Beasty

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584
I would say a definite no on the animal protein as it can kinda' wack 'em out and tends to make them mean. Kinda' like steroids. So, no 'roid rage for the lizard if you want to handle it. Also a mercury vapor bulb is a very wise investment for a cyclura keeper. You and your lizard will be glad for it. go to reptileuv.com for the BEST bulbs on the market direct from the manufacturer. (cheaper too) the have all sorts of reseach posted on all the different sources of UV for your animal. Study and decide yourself.
As far as substrate I use cypress mulch for just about everything but I have to special order it now that I moved to Utah. Many supplies for your animal can be found in numerous places other than the pet store. My favorite is the hardware store of your choice. Another is farm/feed supply stores.
That's a good lookin' little guy. I wish you luck with it.
anapsid.org is an awesome place to find info on cyclura. Melissa is knowledgeable on many herps and how to keep them.
 

MMRR - jif

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416
Congrats on your purchase of a beautiful animal. You will not regret the purchase. Keeping Cyclura is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had.

A resounding NO on the animal protein! It's not necessary and can be detrimental to their long term health. I'd add more leafy greens to his diet such as mustard, turnip, dandelion, chickory, arugula, and occasionally some kale or chard. Hard winter squashes are a good choice for vegetables, as well as parsnip and a bit of sweet potato. Drug stores normally carry an alfalfa tablet supplement for adults. These can be crushed and added to the salad for a good source of plant protein. I will also occasionally add some plain cooked brown rice to the diet.

Any kind of paper is the safest and easiest substrate. I have kept adults on cypress but prefer paper or plain old dirt. Unlike other iguanids Cyclura readily drink from a bowl of water so keep fresh water available at all times. Adequate basking and UVB is essential and I've seen my Cyclura bask at temps up to 115 degrees.

Enjoy your new baby!!
30216mimi.jpg
 

Zilch

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132
Thank you all for your compliments and advice, I'll be sure to let him know that I'm not the only one who thinks he's a looker!

Right now for lighting I've got him under a 45w halogen which is keeping his appetite up, but doesn't seem to be giving him the range of temp I'd like so I'll be going out to get him a better basking bulb today. He also has a brand new Exo-terra 10.0 fluorescent over his basking area as well.

Sounds like the no animal protein approach is the right one! I read the entirety of Melissa Kaplans iguana caresheet, the focus is on green igs, so I was pretty curious if the pure veggie protein thing carried over, I'm sure my tegu will be happy to not share his turkey :). I've seen all the pics you've posted of your animals Jif, if they get that beautiful on veggies alone thats enough for me to take your word for it and never look back!

I'll certainly get him a little more variety in his greens and look into those alfalfa tablets. I actually pulled a lot of the ingredients from the Kaplan article, unfortunately I couldn't locate any parsnip to throw into the mix and the other squashes mentioned weren't available at the local vegetable market... yet.

One last thing, I've read on the kingsnake forums that people have been supplementing and in some cases *replacing* their cyclura's diet with Mazuri tortoise food, has anyone experimented with this at all?

P.s. we cant all be as lucky as Dave and have little scaley monsters falling into our laps :) I wish... but I'd soon be overrun!
 

Zilch

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132
One last question, is it normal for them to, for lack of a better term, sneeze a number of times per day?

Is it some sort of salt removal reflex or something like marine iguanas do?
 

argus333

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211
i feed mazuri tortoise chow 3 days a week and and dark leafy greens and squash other 3 days. man this will soon be cyclura talk.
IMG_1711.jpg
 

burke0000

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122
Zilch, I am getting a rhino igg tomorrow. The guy Im getting him from is rob ehrig who has been breeding cyclura for 30 years and has a specimen rhino thats over 50 yrs. I also asked him about the animal protein aspect of feeding. Like mmrr jif said he also agrees that there is no need for the animal protein or for tortoise chow. Like I said these are peoples opinions so no offense to any other cyclura keepers that think otherwise.
 

MMRR - jif

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416
P.s. we cant all be as lucky as Dave and have little scaley monsters falling into our laps I wish... but I'd soon be overrun!

Several of my Cyclura came to me free, including Azul, another male hybrid, and a pair of Caymanensis. :)

I have used mazuri, marian labs, and RepCal commercial foods and I always go back to the Repcal. I use it supplementally, not as a major part of the diet.

The sneezing is perfectly normal and is their method of purging salts. Makes for some pretty ugly glass after a time.
 

Zilch

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132
MMRR - jif said:
Several of my Cyclura came to me free, including Azul, another male hybrid, and a pair of Caymanensis. :)

I need to make friends like yours!

Thanks for answering the question about the sneezing, I had a feeling, since other species of Iguana that I've read about purge salt that way, but having some verification adds to my peace of mind!

We have a place nearby that carries the Mazuri tortoise stuff, not sure about Repcal, I'll have to check when I go over there the next time, I'd like to keep his diet a little more varied than just his standard daily salad, then again it might just be me over personifying my reptile :)

I managed to find some 500mg gel tablets of pure alfalfa, I've been breaking one over his food for the last couple days now. Should I add more? Less? Leave it alone?

Also, thank you everyone for sounding off on the animal protein issue, I'm satisfied and will never be giving him anything that doesn't grow out of the ground!

He looks as if he's going to be shedding soon, one chunk has already come off of him, which makes the rest of his skin look hazy, so soon I'll get to see what a shiney new layer of his skin looks like!
 

Zilch

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132
Another quick thing that I've noticed, he's full like a balloon nearly 24/7, is it normal for iguanas to gorge themselves like that? Is it possibly a result of being housed with other iguanas and being competitive or is this totally normal?
 

argus333

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mazuri tortoise chow is fine to feed it has vegatable protein in it. not animal protein and his high in fiber, hence why it is tortoise chow. i feal it adds to a varied diet and is great on those days when u run out of greens. some feed it only, i like to feed greens and chow.
 

Zilch

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5 Year Member
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132
argus333 said:
mazuri tortoise chow is fine to feed it has vegatable protein in it. not animal protein and his high in fiber, hence why it is tortoise chow. i feal it adds to a varied diet and is great on those days when u run out of greens. some feed it only, i like to feed greens and chow.

I actually picked up a bag today, he's a bit small (I think) to take out the bites without them being softened with water, but I threw a few pieces onto his normal salad today and he seemed to dig them. Tomorrow I'm going to try greens and bites and see how he fares.
 

Beasty

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584
Zilch said:
Another quick thing that I've noticed, he's full like a balloon nearly 24/7, is it normal for iguanas to gorge themselves like that? Is it possibly a result of being housed with other iguanas and being competitive or is this totally normal?

My lil boy blue eats like there is NO tomorrow! He stuffs himself to the point where he looks like he's going to blow! He's also been in my care almost a year and never had to compete much for food I've had him since about 3 weeks old TOPS. I would say it's normal for little ones. It's cute, they get fat, then have a growth spurt. Rinse, repeat.
 

mschuld

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41
Yeah
What Beasty said is spot on. Sometimes their appetite will drop off for a day or two, but it will come back (with a vengence). I feed mine greens (50%), Veggies (15%), Iguana food (30%), Fruit (5%). My girl has only eaten Exo-Terra Iguana Food. I've tried to feed her the flowery or fruity stuff but she won't touch it. On occasion I'll give her a mealworm or cricket, but getting in the habit of feeding them animal protein is not wise. They are the best lizards, the payback for the investment in time, patience, and love is returned in ways that few people can understand, or I can explain. You'll see.
 

Zilch

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5 Year Member
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132
He seems to be appreciating the Mazuri stuff, he gets a ton of greens, his salad mix, about half a capsule of alfalfa supplement, and a few water soaked (he's too small to eat them whole and they're too hard for him to chew up) Mazuri kibbles. He's eating like there's no tomorrow and he seems to love pooping on the floor of the shower. Makes it really easy to clean up so I tend to oblige him by dropping him off in there anytime I handle him haha.

Glad to hear the stuffing thing is normal, since he comes down to eat 5 times a day sometimes, quite the machine!

He still gets kind of agitated when I go to take him out of the cage (huffing and arching) but he's stopped gaping, so I guess thats a step in the right direction... He calms down a bit after he's out though and when he attempts to take off it seems more like he just wants to explore, its not a fear thing.
 

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