Iggy

Discussion in 'Iguanas' started by nathanjburt, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. nathanjburt

    nathanjburt Embryo

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    I have always liked iguanas but have always been told never to buy one. Don't they make good pets or are they hard to care for?
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. Whyte_Locust

    Whyte_Locust Embryo

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    It's the fact taht you basically need a whole room to devote to them. And they can be tempermental even if properly cared for.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Yeah, finding enough room for one or more 6ft destruction machines can be tough. Especially in the UK where you can pretty much ONLY house them indoors.

    There's probably not much chance we'd still be able to have ours if they had to live indoors full-time, we just don't have the room to build a big indoor enclosure for them with everything else we have.

    Ours live outside together in a 10'x5'x7' enclosure I built about 18 months or so ago. Right now though, Annie's camping out in the bathroom, and Skittles is in a temporary enclosure in the living room due to the cold we're getting at the moment.

    In their outdoor enclosure, they have a 500Watt halogen lamp, which is used for basking in the evening as the sun starts to get lower, and there's plenty for 'em to climb on (see the pic)

    Often they're very calm as adults when handled often from a young age, but they can turn into psychos very easily, and it can be difficult to calm that fire down. Annie (now 5ft long) is the biggest softy you ever met. Skittles (just over 4ft) is an absolute nutcase and hates everything.

    But, for the most part of the year, they're outside in their big enclosure, getting plenty of Florida sunshine, and get plenty of food & water. Their colours during the summer are amazing.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. nathanjburt

    nathanjburt Embryo

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    Wow, that is a nice enclosure you got there. We could house them outside but think a radiator might be needed!
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. natashaccollins

    natashaccollins Embryo

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    That is another creature to add to the list next year by the looks of things! We can turn what will be your old room into the enclosure sweets when we get the house.
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. reptile.breeder

    reptile.breeder Embryo

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    I THINK YOU SO FUNNY NATASHA

    [Edited on 21/2/2003 by Axe]
     
  12. natashaccollins

    natashaccollins Embryo

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    Ummmmm, thank you, I think :(
     
  13. cd

    cd Member

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    I HAD A BEAUTIFUL FEMALE IGUANA FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND I LOVED HER TO DEATH. BUT TO BE HONEST HERE, I WOULDN'T DO IT AGAIN. THEY ARE GORGIOUS WONDERFUL CREATURES, BUT THEY REQUIRE SO MUCH TO CARE FOR THEM. AND THEY ARE SO SUSCEPTABLE TO DESEASE. I LOST MY GIRL TO EGG-BINDING WHILE I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO COME UP WITH FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE SURGERY. I DID EVERYTHING THE VETS SAID, BUT SHE GOT SO FAR GONE SO FAST. I DON'T RECKOMEND IGUANAS TO ANYONE UNLESS THEY HAVE ALOT OF TIME, ALOT OF MONEY, AND ALOT OF SPACE. I'M SO GLAD I HAD HER, AND I DON'T REGRET MY TIME WITH HER. BUT I JUST FEEL VERY GUILTY THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE MEANS TO SAVE HER IN TIME. AND I DON'T THINK I WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
    I'M NOT PRETENDING TO HAVE MAJOR AMOUNTS OF EXPERIENCE ON THIS, BUT I HOPE MY INSIGHT ON THE SIX YEARS THAT I HAD MY IGAUNA WILL HELP YOU A LITTLE
    -CRISTINE
     
  14. mickeydee1984

    mickeydee1984 Embryo

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    Iguanas are popular because they are cheap....but people get them with out realizing how much work they really are......can t just dump in a tank and let them be like most people think. AND they do get big...mine is still small but he hates to be handled...he hit with his tale and jumps across the room everytime we take him out of his tank...no matter how often...hes only about 6 months old yet and hes a handful.
     
  15. Survivor_Steph

    Survivor_Steph Embryo

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    Hey, Mickeydee, it's been almost 8 months since you posted... how's your iguana doing, any easier to handle? My guy, Gil, is about 15 months old, and he's pretty calm. I've heard and around 2 they really calm down. Keep up with handling him/her; it will pay off in the long run.
     
  16. biochic

    biochic Embryo

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    I can tell you right now that that's not really true. My iguana if five years old and gets a little more aggressive everyday. She has gotten a little more used to handling, but when she's done with you...she's done. Only now she can really do some damage. Our young rescue, about 8 months, was calm and gentle for a while (while we battled his MBD) but now that he's well on the road to recovery, he's picking up pace and is quite the little fireball. I guess I just wouldn't use the term "calm" with many iguanas. Some might be fairly tame, but many can be little terrors. My sister recently got a baby and is thankfully really getting into caring for it...she'll do anything. But I was worried when I told her he may not stay as sweet as he is now. She's heard the horror stories and seen some of my cuts and scratches, but she didn't freak out...she's ready for the challenge. The best way I can think of to sum up iguana personality is...they are what they are and you have to accept them for it. You can't really change them or "tame" them if they decide to be wild and crazy. But they really do make wonderful pets...if you're ready to deal with all the care and housing and behavior issues that come with them. They may be cheap to buy but they are certainly not cheap to raise, if you do it right that is.
     
  17. CricketFood

    CricketFood Embryo

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    Iguanas should really only be considered for advanced keepers. Besides the size and behavior issues, herbavores require a specialized diet and meeting their nutritional needs can be pretty complex, time consuming, and expensive. There are several good diet recipes available now that have years of experience behind them that makes it a little easier for people just getting into herps. Melissa Kaplan http://anapsid.org has the best ref site and diet recommendations on the net. Even with resources such as this, it is a good idea to have blood panels done once a year and do wellness check-ups every 6 months just to keep tabs on their health.

    As for size, they pretty much need as much room as a human does. Large cages or the ability to free roam the house. They might start off small but in a few short years a male can exceed 6 feet and weigh close to 20 pounds. If a lizard this size intimidates you, don't even try it. One wrong move on your part could require many stitches and/or reconsructive surgery to put you back together. Bites requiring 50 stitches or more are not unheard of.

    Having said all of that, I've had mine for about 10 years. I lost the male earlier this year to cancer and still have the female. I've only been nailed twice in all that time but both times I should have got stitches (I hate doctors so unless I'm dying I'm not going). It's very hard to find people to herp-sit while you are on vacation when you're talking about lizards this size so that's something else you might want to consider. I love my ig to death but I wouldn't go back and do it again. It's like have a 2 year old kid in the house for the next 25 years =0)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. wecko

    wecko Embryo

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    I have and iggy that's 5-6 months old and when I first got him he was doing really well. He wasn't thrill about handling but he was coming around. At month one he escaped outside(he went under our crossbeam house). We thought he was gone forever, but one day I walked right up on em and snatched him up. Now he goes spastic whenever you put your hand in his cage. We continue to work with him everyday. We've gone from gaping to no gaping. He's gotten very comfortable with the ficus tree in his room it matches his color. Anyway it's going to be a lifetime of working with him I think. I feel sorry for him because he got his taste of real freedom and I had to take it away.
     
  19. biochic

    biochic Embryo

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    It's hard to work with iguana once they get aggressive. But you have to be firm, not harsh, but be the boss. Don't let them make you back down but don't get either of you injured at the same time. And repetition is always the best way to make friends with reptiles. feeding the same time, day, manner, handling the same way every time. Just keep trying, he may still come around!
     
  20. Dominick

    Dominick Embryo

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    Hi All-

    I have a 5yo male named Rex. We purchased him as an Iglet and have had him ever since. As an Iglet he tail-whipped a lot. At his first heat, he was downright vicious and was confined to an enclosure for nearly 8 months! After that, he's free-roamed every since and is truly a CALM Iguana. I take him to my kids school for "educational" days, soccer games, parades, fairs, everywhere. He hasn't tried to bite or tail-whip anyone in years. I agree that Iguanas are for advanced keepers, never a beginner. Most of it has to do with the taming, but there is a little "wild" in them and some Iguanas will never be tamed.

    Biochic- A 5yo Iguana who gets more aggressive everyday? Not sure I understand that. In my experience with my own and fostered rescues, the older they get the tamer they usually get. But, then again, as I mentioned, some may never tame.

    And you hit the nail on the head with the "be the boss" comment. THAT is truly essential to "taming" an Iguana.
     
  21. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Males usually remain nuts.. Females will often calm dwn though. Are you sure your guy is definitely a male Dominick? Our male, Skittles, is about 6 years old now, and he's an absolute whacko too, but our 5 year old female, Annie, is the biggest softy you ever met.

    Girls generally do tend to be pretty calm, but boys are often nuts - unless they've received LOTS and LOTS of handling from a very young age, every day.
     
  22. Dominick

    Dominick Embryo

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    Hi John-

    Yup, definitely male, unless I have the only female Ig with a hemipenis. LOL

    As I said, he had to be confined for 8 months during first heat, he was absolutely vicious and would try to attack anyone that walked by the cage. Knocked out a few teeth many times. then one day, like a cloud lifting, he calmed down and became a very docile and calm, giant male!

    I feel for anyone who has to go through first heat. It was horrible for us. During that time, my 6 yo son was the ONLY person who could handle Rex. for some reason, Rex had it in for everybody except him! Pretty funny screaming for your 6 yo to "come get the Ig before he bites me"! LOL

    And since then, he has never gone through another aggressive heat. Usually, you'd never know he was in season except for the "plugs" he leaves everywhere, and of course the "flashing".

    I agree, females seem to be calmer. But, at least I don't have to worry about egg-binding. LOL

    Here's a pic of Rex:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    That's great that you got to mellow out, and egg-binding can be a bit of the problem with the girls - like you said. Although, I've heard the biggest cause of egg-bindings in females is usually due to lack of exercie (too small an enclosure basically) and not being able to build up the muscles to deal with eggs.

    Does that sound like a reasonable theory? I'll be honest, I've not looked into it much, but I know you've got a fair bit of experience with iggies, so I'd value your opinion on this one :)
     
  24. Dominick

    Dominick Embryo

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    Hi John-

    There a debate going on between the Igsperts right now as to wether you should "promote" laying or try to discourage it by witholding a nesting box and likewise promote resorbtion. Would seem that the whole issue revolves around captivity issues for Iguanas.

    Captive Iguanas face many issues that wild Iguanas don't. Likewise the reverse is true. Some feel that captivity may add to egg-binding issues (which would support the theory).

    It is also believed that absorbtion is probably due to some sort of physical or emotional stress. Again, a captivity issue thing. This would probably rank near the top of the list for reasons an Ig resorbs eggs.

    I would think that a wild Iguana, who gets more than enough excercise might have less of a chance of binding compared to a captive one. Sounds very logical.

    And the debate goes on.

    Regards,
    Dominick
     

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