Reptiles/skink diet

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Question
I have always wanted a blue tongued skink as a pet, but I keep reading that you should feed them a pinky every once in a while. I am a little squeamish about pinkies, and was wondering if there's anything else I could substitute this with?  I want my skink to be healthy, and live a long life so if I did have to feed him pinkies how often would I have to do that? Thanks for your time.
-Julia

Answer
Hi Julia,

In addition to their temperament one of the nice things about keeping a BTS is the fact that they are omnivorous. There is a very broad selection of food choices that can keep your future BT healthy without ever having to feed pinkie mice. There is nothing in pinkies from a nutrition standpoint that cannot be found in other sources. They are, in fact, a bit fatty and because they do not have full bone development they are not the best source of calcium either.

As a protein source you can offer any of the standard feeder insects and earthworms. Cooked egg, chicken or lean beef can also be offered as well as a good quality canned cat food.

If you feel you still want to offer the occasional pinkie then I would suggest using a frozen(thawed) one which you may be less squeamish about. Frozen rodents are routinely sold for feeding snakes.

This is the diet chart from one of the best sites for blue tongue care. It can help you plan the diet for your BTS.

http://bluetongueskinks.net/foodchart.html

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Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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