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Updated Food List

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
Whole prey –ALWAYS a healthier choice than ground meats/organ meats as ground and organparts lack a lot of valuable nutrition. See "Why Whole Prey?" file for more information.

*Always remember your insects are only as healthy as YOU make them. Feed andgutload them with a quality insect chow and fresh fruits/veggies. It isimportant not to feed dog, cat or fish food to your insects as that creates abuild up of uric acid and can cause dehydration and gout in your reptiles.

* Remember frozen/thawed or prekilled is safest for your reptile. Please do NOTfeed live.

  • Captive raised insects
  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Super worms
  • Wax worms
  • Silk worms
  • Horn worms
  • Nightcrawlers earthworms - NO red wigglers.
  • Snails – NOT wild caught.

    Check your ingredient labels, do not feed anything that has tripolyphosphate listed. Most commonly seen with seafoods.
  • Crayfish/crawdads
  • Shrimp/Prawns – shell on
  • Whole fish like silversides, smelt, trout, whitefish etc
  • Scallops
  • Mini crab or softshell crab
  • Quail chicks
  • Chicken chicks
  • Rabbit kits (pinkies)
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Hamster
Meat (Remember, always offer raw, cooking meats kills off nutrients/proteins making it unusable to the tegus bodies)

  • Very soft-boiled whole egg or raw egg yolk, no whites.– given in moderation. Include shell.
    Quail eggs are healthier than chicken eggs. Quail eggs can be given whole with shell.
· Chicken

· Lamb

· Turkey

· Venison

· Frog legs

  • Fowl
  • Beef in moderation as too much can cause liver and kidney damage.
  • Fresh fish filets – choose low in mercury fish, freshwater is better than saltwater
  • Organ meats: liver, hearts, gizzards – Go easy on liver as it contains high amounts of Vit D which can be overdosed.

Fruits Tropical fruits:

  • Mango,
  • Papaya
  • cantaloupe
  • honeydew
  • casaba
  • watermelon
  • Bananas- in moderation
  • Apples- in moderation
  • Cherries
  • Grapes- Thompson seedless; green and red Concord grapes higher in oxalates
  • Tomatoes- high in oxalates**
  • Berries: Strawberries- high in oxalates** and goitrogens* so in moderation
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • Figs -fresh or dried Dates
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches- high in goitrogens*
  • Pears- high in oxalates**
  • Pumpkin
Veggies

  • Acorn squash,
  • butternut squash
  • Kabocha squash
  • Parsnip
  • Alfalfa
  • Okra
  • Green beans
  • Green peas,
  • snap peas
  • Leeks
  • Prickly pear cactus
  • Dark leafy greens like:
  • Chicory greens (Escarole)
  • Collard greens Dandelion
  • greens Endive
  • Mustard greens Turnip greens
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Bell peppers
  • Rapini Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Radish Yucca root- cassava- tough, should be shredded
  • Asparagus Broccoli in moderation, high in oxalates**
  • Beets and Beet greens in moderation, high in oxalates**
  • Carrots and tops in moderation, high in oxalates**
  • Bok choy - in moderation, high in goitrogens*
  • Brussels sprouts- high in goitrogens*
  • Parsley- good source of calcium
  • Cabbage- in moderation, high in goitrogens*
  • Cauliflower- in moderation, high in goitrogens*
  • Coriander- in moderation, high in oxalates**
  • Rutabaga Sweet potato-
  • feed rarely Corn- feed rarely or never, low in Ca and high in Phosphorus Spinach- feed rarely or never, high in oxalates and goitrogens
  • Swiss chard- feed rarely or never, high in oxalates**
  • Lettuces -low in nutrition
  • Celery- low in nutrition
  • Cucumber- low in nutrition
 

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Derek

New Member
Messages
2
So I see the full food list and it's very helpful but what % of each food group should they be eating? I feel that's extremely important and I'm kind of confused why it's not mentioned.

What I mean is what % of their diet should be whole prey, what % should be fruits, veggies, insects, meat, etc.
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
I think younger tegus should be given a bit more meat in their diet than fruits and veggies (think like bearded dragon diets), for Gu's under the age of a year or year and a half I give more insects than rodents, quail, chicks, or guinea pigs or "WP" (66% insect/ 33% WP) while still giving the fruits for helping digestion (66% meat/ 33% fruit/veggie). I feel that the high amount of insects helps their growth rate at a young age. When your tegu reaches that age when his/her growth rate has declined and they seem to be reaching their ideal adult weight I start to alter the diet accordingly, for one, my 2 males are 4+ years old and are big enough to not seem to care about most insects as much as they used to so their meat portions are now closer to 66% WP/33% insect now, but now the biggest difference is that they eat much more fruit (papaya melon and grapes are their personal favorites). The ratio of fruit to meat is now about 75% fruit to 25% meat and they're a very healthy weight nowadays (big jowls, fat tail, belly only looks bloated when they're full)
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
I hope that helps as I don't believe there is a set amount that needs to be fed (12% melon 17% mango 22% rodent, etc.) but if you use the list of foods from this post and try to make their meals as varied as possible week by week I feel like you cant go wrong. Good luck and don't feel pressured to offer everything on the list. (I saw an old list that had whole grain noodles as a good food item for tegus!) I'd love to see where wild tegus are preparing whole grains into noodles haha. Also don't be surprised if your Gu turns his nose up at something that is a favorite of other tegus mine have been known to simply say no to their own favorites from time to time. I have this notion that they know what their body needs to eat that day (no melon and grapes today daddy I want a banana and some kiwi!)
 

Derek

New Member
Messages
2
I'm really curious to where the scientific evidence proving why meat, insects, whole prey guts and bones, etc. are so important for a tegus diet. Other than the fact it's what they eat in the wild.

I'm not trying to challenge this information I'm just curious where the proof is, cause I've been looking everywhere and I can't find anything.

I'm curious why tegus are unable to grow off of just fruits and vegetables for example, just like any other omnivore could.
 

Jennifer Lo

New Member
Messages
1
Just got my first tegu two weeks ago. A 2 year old blk and wht. I have many reptiles but never a large breed. It's a learning experience for the both of us. any helpful hints I am happy to take.
 

Dee-Dee Idrais

Active Member
Messages
202
Location
Merrimack Valley, MA
Out of curiosity, what opinion do you guys have on guinea pigs as food for tegus. Turns out a friend of a friend breeds them for labs. They are clean, he feeds them puppy chow only. Offers them to me in sizes from new-borns to adults. I have never herd anyone using them as feeders for tegu, but they are similar to rats and hamsters, so why not?
 

Chris23039

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
138
I don't see a problem with feeding them but how would you kill them?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dee-Dee Idrais

Active Member
Messages
202
Location
Merrimack Valley, MA
Hey Walter how is going? How are your babies? I was hoping you'd chime in on this :) I have watched you give people some awesome advice in this forum. I do feel lucky indeed. My best friend hooked me up with this guy, he is her neighbor. He's offering these guinea pigs for free any time he has surplus. I'm very happy and my tegus will hopefully be too [emoji16]


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Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
4,409
Hey Walter how is going? How are your babies? I was hoping you'd chime in on this :) I have watched you give people some awesome advice in this forum. I do feel lucky indeed. My best friend hooked me up with this guy, he is her neighbor. He's offering these guinea pigs for free any time he has surplus. I'm very happy and my tegus will hopefully be too [emoji16]


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Hi Dee-Dee! Mine are up and weathering crummy temps and rain for now.

Absolutely nice going on the Guinea Pigs. Add some mineral oul from time to time in case of possible constipation, always good to do, add calcium powder, and just make sure that the pigs are small. Seems that tegus prefer and digest better small bites. So, young, easy to swallow ones. Use larger ones if willing to render in pieces.
 

Dee-Dee Idrais

Active Member
Messages
202
Location
Merrimack Valley, MA
That's my plan exactly. I will only use it once in a while knowing they could be a bit fattening. I'm lucky my tegus are not picky. They have a rich diet including fruits and veggies. They are still in partial hibernation since it is only in the 50s here in the valley most of the days. We have an awful spring [emoji22]I will continue with rat pups, chicken, turkey and sea food. Just add the guinea pigs at time. I can't wait for the summer so Rockie and Dozer can come outside. So far they have been hanging mostly around the house when up.


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Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
4,409
That's my plan exactly. I will only use it once in a while knowing they could be a bit fattening. I'm lucky my tegus are not picky. They have a rich diet including fruits and veggies. They are still in partial hibernation since it is only in the 50s here in the valley most of the days. We have an awful spring [emoji22]I will continue with rat pups, chicken, turkey and sea food. Just add the guinea pigs at time. I can't wait for the summer so Rockie and Dozer can come outside. So far they have been hanging mostly around the house when up.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Oddly enough, our northern conditions are closer to a good deal of their natural system. Mine are active a solid six months, then they get sleepy.

The guinea pigs will make a fine addition to the diet.
 

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