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Why Whole Prey.

SnakeCharmr728

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5 Year Member
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725
Any kind of cut a human would eat, chicken breast, rib-eye steak, etc is just that, protein. Protein and fat, nothing less, nothing more (other than trace chemical elements and acids).

Organs, bones, marrow, hair, nails, intestines, etc is where the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other good chemical chains are.
All living things are complex chemical machines, water and the stuff listed above are the most important for any life forms development.
Protein is just a building block, carbs provide energy, water facilitates chemical reaction and fiber pushes things through the system.
Vitamins, minerals and nutrients is where the magic happens, especially in reptiles.

So, the idea is, your animal can only feasibly eat so much in a day.
That ground turkey or chicken breast is a big injection of protein and nothing else.
Which is totally fine, as long as its not fed enough to displace the ratio required by the animal to fill it's nutritional needs.
Like when a kid eats to much snack food before dinner and doesn't eat their vegetables.

When feeding whole prey, like rodents, chicks, quail, whole fish, rabbit kits, etc you have everything packed into one little package and equally balanced giving your tegu (or monitor!) the nutrition it needs to thrive. Remember with tegus being omnivores having a variety of healthy fruits in the diet is very important. Fruits help keep a healthy weight, good sheds and the fiber helps the digestive track follow.
 

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Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
Very good post. I agree 100% whole prey + fruit is the way to go. Mine have shown great improvements after making the switch, much more activity and less sluggish behavior, and best of all no more runny stools!!
 

Rebecca Stout

Active Member
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322
This is a great post. And I understand the point .. which is saying "why" whole prey would be good. I understand this is the best way to go .. I mean it's just common sense.

But on the other hand, I really don't understand why some people ONLY feed whole prey and their fruits, (and then put others down that don't). We only have x number of species of whole prey that we buy. It is really bad for any animal, us included, to limit a diet that much. You don't see a tegu in the wild only eating mice, chicks, and fish that are readily available. They eat everything they see virtually. So, for me, I'm a strong believer in variety. Why not both (a mad mixture of everything you can think of with meats, innards, etc AND whole prey)?
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
Well it's up to us to increase variety, and that starts (to me) with the insect portion of their diet. I feel like in the wild that vertebrates are not consumed as regularly as we feed them in captivity, so they probably rely more on invertebrates for the majority of their prey. Since my tegus are so large that the only insects they pay attention to are grasshoppers and very large hissing cockroaches, I feed more rodent/chicks but I limit their meat intake by giving more fruit, I feel that it is 1. Good for them obviously
And 2. Is great filler for their stomachs to help manage weight gain without having to underfeed them
 

spartan103

Member
Messages
65
Ilk try some of these techniques currently bonnie and Clyde eat handmade meatballs of raw turkey fruit and greens all mixed in one with calcium and vitamins mixed in and the occasional pinkie mice. The fuzzy mice are too large at the pet stores around here. I'm gunna try life roaches or hoppers if I can find them
 

Josh

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For roaches and other insects, I recommend DubiaRoaches.com or RedEarthworms.com - tell them we sent you!
 

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
Well it's up to us to increase variety, and that starts (to me) with the insect portion of their diet. I feel like in the wild that vertebrates are not consumed as regularly as we feed them in captivity, so they probably rely more on invertebrates for the majority of their prey. Since my tegus are so large that the only insects they pay attention to are grasshoppers and very large hissing cockroaches, I feed more rodent/chicks but I limit their meat intake by giving more fruit, I feel that it is 1. Good for them obviously
And 2. Is great filler for their stomachs to help manage weight gain without having to underfeed them
Ive never been a fan of feeding hisser roaches to anything other than large black throats and other monitors. The hissers have a hard helmet and I have seen those go undigested and passed even with correct high temps as well as their incredibly sharp legs, cutting the mouths of tegus and making them bleed. I use dubias and orangehead roaches but really like the OH's as they tend to be a bit meatier.
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
I only put hissers because I tried them a few times because a buddy gave me a dozen for free a few times, I haven't tried orange heads but mine lost interest in dubia for some reason, I have a pretty decent colony of grasshoppers I use for now. I wasn't aware of that about the helmets and cutting thier mouths as I haven't fed them enough to notice but I will buy some OH to try as feeders and if they like them I'll start a colony. Thanks for telling me I was a few weeks from buying some hissers off my buddy to start my own colony.
 

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
I only put hissers because I tried them a few times because a buddy gave me a dozen for free a few times, I haven't tried orange heads but mine lost interest in dubia for some reason, I have a pretty decent colony of grasshoppers I use for now. I wasn't aware of that about the helmets and cutting thier mouths as I haven't fed them enough to notice but I will buy some OH to try as feeders and if they like them I'll start a colony. Thanks for telling me I was a few weeks from buying some hissers off my buddy to start my own colony.
I was very happy with my purchase of OH's from AaronPauling (google aaron pauling roaches) IF you are in the US.
 

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
This is a great post. And I understand the point .. which is saying "why" whole prey would be good. I understand this is the best way to go .. I mean it's just common sense.

But on the other hand, I really don't understand why some people ONLY feed whole prey and their fruits, (and then put others down that don't). We only have x number of species of whole prey that we buy. It is really bad for any animal, us included, to limit a diet that much. You don't see a tegu in the wild only eating mice, chicks, and fish that are readily available. They eat everything they see virtually. So, for me, I'm a strong believer in variety. Why not both (a mad mixture of everything you can think of with meats, innards, etc AND whole prey)?

Thats why I said that any non-whole prey is still perfectly fine to feed but needs to be limited. I never said NO ground meats or organs. Im a firm believer in variety too. I know several keepers who dont offer ground turkey at all. I offer ground turkey, maybe 1-2x a year but offer organs, fish fillets, ground rabbit, duck, venison and goat more often.
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
Do you buy ground rabbit, duck, venison, and goat online? Is this the kind I've heard of that has organ bone and meat all ground in there or no?
 

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
You can buy it online, hare-today sells it but I just get mine from a friend who grinds it herself as she feeds her dogs raw diets. In any ground meats, even if the bones and organs are included in the grind be aware that you cannot compare that to feeding whole prey as the grinding process loses alot of important fluids that help gut flora and aid in digestion. Also when everything is thrown in the grinder and mixed together there is no way to determine what parts you are feeding in equal amounts... one day you may have a batch that is heavy on the muscle meat, while the next is a lot of fat, etc etc.
 

Jackie & Hellboy

Active Member
Messages
128
True, I may try some out of the cost isn't too much. My rodent pro orders last me like 6-7 months at least as it is and my boys like thier fruit a lot (they kind of have a routine, eat a meat item, bath, potty, then gorge on fruit) I've never seen a reptile so excited to see grapes and melon hahah
 

ophidia

Member
Messages
59
I'm just about to try grinding up some frozen/thawed chicks in my meat grinder to see if that works out. If it does, it'll be a nice change of pace from pinkies and dubias for my little girl. It could also be revolting and nightmare fuel-- we'll see what comes out the other end.
 

Walter1

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I'm just about to try grinding up some frozen/thawed chicks in my meat grinder to see if that works out. If it does, it'll be a nice change of pace from pinkies and dubias for my little girl. It could also be revolting and nightmare fuel-- we'll see what comes out the other end.
Wait! I'm envisioning liquid chicken. How about cutting the chicks into 5-6 pieces when semi thawed, place in a plastic bag in warm water to fully thaw, then feed???
 

ophidia

Member
Messages
59
Yeah, I had a moment of clarity and didn't do it. I'll feed them to my snakes instead at this point.
 

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