How Often Should a Tegu Eat
Are you interested in Tegus and how often they eat? Well then you are in the right place. In this article I will look at Tegus at different ages and explain how much and what they need to eat to help you.
How Often Should a Tegu Eat? Hatchlings should be fed daily. Under 3, ideally every other day. And adults should be fed every 2 to 3 days. The portions of food depends on the age and size of the Tegu. They are omnivores and have quite a varied diet.
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Now that you know how often they need to eat, let’s dig deeper and look at exactly what they eat, what to avoid and some supplementation that is required to keep them happy. Please read on to get this info.
What do Tegus actually eat?
In the wild Tegus are omnivores. Therefore, they have a wide variety of food that they consume. This includes insects, fruits and also vegetables.
In captivity Tegus will almost eat anything you put in front of them. This leaves them open to have a wide and varied diet. This variety is very important, to make sure that you keep them healthy as possible.
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How often and what should you feed other aged Tegus?
Hatchlings and juveniles
Primarily fed insects. If you do feed them insects, it is a good idea to have the insects pre-fed with nutritional food, so that this will pass on to your Tegu.
They should be fed daily and the insects they consume include crickets, roaches and mealworms. You can also consider giving them pinky mice but this should not be a daily habit. And if you do consider offering them this, this is something that you should only consider giving to them when they are a little bit older.
Other things that you can consider feeding them include fish and cooked eggs. In general it is a good idea to keep a 4 to 1 ratio in favour of protein.
Tegus under 3 years old
Should be fed every other day. You can consider feeding them mice, fish, cooked eggs and also mealworms. This is not the only and definitive list of food but this is a guide of what you can feed them.
Also do not forget to give them fruits because this is important to their diet as well. Their are other forms of insects that can be considered as well.
Ideally you want to feed them every 2 to 3 days. They have a similar diet to other size tegu such as mice and insects. You can also give them pieces of of cooked chicken as well as rats and rodents. Ideally you want to maintain a 2 to 1 ratio in favour of protein to fruits & vegetables. This is an ideal guide to keep them happy.
Foods that you should avoid or only in moderation
Ground Turkey is fine, as long as it’s in moderation. Just make sure that it is not given to them as a regular part of their diet.
In general you want to avoid offering them tomatoes, bananas, onions and avocados. Because there is a chance that these can cause health issues. To be safe I would avoid giving these to your lizard.
Overfeeding and obesity
Ideally you want to avoid overfeeding your tegu. Ultimately you do not want to have an obese tegu. So just avoid overfeeding your taking as much as possible. I know this is easy to say, but tough in practice, so for this reason, I have a suggestion.
The best way to deal with this is to start off slowly and offer your tegu small portions. Monitor how fast they consume the food. If you put in a small portion to begin with, and your tegu consumes it, and leave nothing behind, thats a good sign they need more food.
Bit by bit you can increase their portions. If, on the next occasion, they are still eating all of the food, then it’s a clear indication that they can still eat more. So gradually keep increasing the portions in this manor.
If you get to the point where your tegu is starting to leave food behind or taking a long time to consume the food, then there is a sign that you are starting to over feed them. So for that reason you will want to stop giving them that amount.
If this is the case, reduce it slightly, and continue to monitor their intake. It is likely to be the perfect amount time round. This needs some common sense, so you just need to monitor it and make sure that you don’t go over the top.
By the way, If you are not a fan of bugs or insects you can easily substitute these with other other food and still have a happy tegu. So it is not a concern or a necessity to remove insects from their diet.
In general you want to provide some small supplementation to keep your tegu happy and healthy. To do this you need to brush their food with a supplement, such as vitamin and calcium. This only needs to be done once or twice a week to keep them healthy and happy.
What is the best enclosure to feed your tegu?
In this section I’m going to explain some of the best enclosures that you can use for your tegu when you are feeding them. There is a choice of indoor and outdoor enclosures that can be considered. So, I will go into detail on both of these options.
These enclosures that I will explain are more of a home made option, due to the size of Tegus this is a good way forward.
Outdoor enclosures for feeding
You can use corrugated metal for this. the key thing though is to make sure that you dig it deep enough and provide a big enough perimeter to keep them happy and safe.
As a general guide you will need to put the galvanized, corrugated metal at least 2 feet deep into the ground, with at least three feet appearing above ground to keep them enclosed. Perimeter wise you want at least 4 ft by 8 ft to keep them happy.
Another thing that you can consider, is creating little burrows for your tegu. To do this you can use plastic tubing, that is typically used for drainage, and this will be a nice borrow for your tegu to play with.
When it comes to hide boxes for your tegu, in the outside enclosure you need to make sure that you have hay or grass inside. This will keep the humidity. Just make sure that your hide box has a door. This door will be used for inspecting your Tegus or looking out for eggs during breeding season.
Indoor enclosures for feeding
If you have a big enough house and you want to consider storing the tegu inside, you will need a similar sized enclosure. Perimeter for indoors should be 4-ft by 8-ft.
However if you plan to have your Tegu roaming freely around your house, surprisingly some people do this, then an enclosure of this size is not necessary. Just note that if you keep them inside, they can suffer from humidity issues.
So you need to regulate the humidity to keep them happy. For this reason ultraviolet light is a must for an indoor enclosure. You must also have a hide box that has got moist substrate to keep the humidity levels correct.
How big can a Tegu get? Tegus can grow to approx 4 feet in length. They are big lizards and quite muscular.
Are Tegus good pets for beginners? No, a Tegu as a pet is quite an advanced method. In fact it is very hard to cater for such a large lizard, so it is quite a specialised skill.