How to Retrain Beardie To Eat For Me?

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How to Retrain Beardie To Eat For Me?

Postby MissHiggles » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:40 am

Hello! So we've had Tad Cooper for about 3 months and he's about 4 months old. We've been through the RINGER with him, from an MBD diagnosis after a month of having him, mouth rot soon after, and about a month of syringe feeding, during which he lost 7 grams.

We've FINALLY gotten him back on bugs and off the syringe (and up 10 grams!) but I'm running into an issue. I'm the one who feeds him in the morning because his dad is at work. He will not eat for me. He closes his eyes, refuses to take bugs out of the tongs (he hates to hunt), and is just a brat. When his dad feeds him, though, he's a pig! Doesn't matter the time of day, if I try to feed him dinner and he won't eat - dad tries five minutes later and Coops will eat 15 bugs!

Do you guys think it's the "trauma" of me being the one to syringe feed him for over a month that makes him apprehensive to take bugs from me? I didn't have a problem feeding him at all before all his health problems started - I'm wondering if he associates me with a painful mouth so he's apprehensive to eat for me? Otherwise he's fine - I can handle him no problem, he'll fall asleep on my shoulder and watch tv, no aggression - but he's definitely missing out on food especially this morning when he absolutely wouldn't eat and neither of us will be home until it's almost lights out.

Do I just let him "starve" in the hopes that he'll be hungry for lunch or dinner? I'm really not interested in continuing to syringe feed him because I don't like what it does to his mouth and if he's not sick or not eating at all I don't see a reason to re-traumatize him.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Re: How to Retrain Beardie To Eat For Me?

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:32 pm

It might be an association issue if he's eating food from someone else. Try a new treat and only you offer it and see how that goes. Maybe a small hornworm or a silk worm or something wiggly like that which may grab his attention. That may help regain his trust a bit.
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Re: How to Retrain Beardie To Eat For Me?

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:56 pm


What I did to get my little hatchings to eat from my fingers (I don't use tongs) is I take a few crickets , take their big back hopper legs off , and gently but firmly force the thick end of the "cricket drumstick" (leg) between the lips, and the next bit takes timing , when the hatchling is chewing the drumstick I squish the head of the cricket and press the squished (gooy end) of the cricket against the lips …. most times the hatchling will eat the get the taste & smell of the food insect and it's taken .

If using BSFL , I simply snip the head off the worm , and it's much the same procedure above.

Bewarned , expect accidential finger tip nips until the hatchling gets the hang of being hand fed.

Another trick you could try involves a plastic coated playing card.
Fold it in half long ways , cut a hole big enough for the insect to go through, slip the folded card between the upper and lower lips and jaws , then while in the mouth open the folded card enough to slip an insect through the hole into the hatchlings mouth. Remove the card when the insect in the mouth let the hatchling eat it , then repeat.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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