I found myself with a dragon and s/he is lazy ...

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I found myself with a dragon and s/he is lazy ...

Postby pickl3s » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:05 pm

So picture me, the general manager, talking to a newly hired employee about their intrests and goals. And BAM the individual likes reptiles and furry friends too!

I have two (three inch) prehistoric map turtles in a 120 gallon aquarium, they are a new addition to a preexisting tank that once held a 10 inch red eared slider. I also have a 30 year old box turtle, she is a free range turtle who prowels the bottom 700ft^2 of my home. My mammels are limited to an 8 year old cat, and a 7 year old human child (she is my favorite).

... back to my story ... GM talking to new hire: and BAM he has a dragon and a dog!! So naturally, I ask ALLL kinds of questions: boy or girl, age, diet, husbandry, temperment, any silly lizardy quirks, ect. He isn’t to excited about the dragon, almost every question get’s deflected and turns into his dog. Including one anicdote where his dog is dumb and head butted (and shattered)the dragon’s already too small 20 gallon tank. So my employee moved him into a 10 gallon tank. He had no concern towards the tiny accomidations, just how funny it was for the dog to smash :angry5:

So I offer him more hours so that he can afford a new tank, I offered in a tactful way, but offered noetheless. Long story short he turns me down for the hours increase, and a few days after asking about the dragon he asks me if I know anyone who wants to buy a bearded dragon. I ask him what he is selling it for, and he tells me “free to the right home” ...

So here I am back on a Saturday in September, with someone who is on my payroll, in my home, giving me a bearded dragon for free. Then this kid disappears. He never shows up for work again, won’t answer any of my questions about past care for this dragon, like what it had been eating every day since always, and why it wasn’t eating for me (found out about about 7 days into tormenting this dragon that it was brumation btw). Brumation that lasted for almost 5 months.

Before he(maybe she, we are not picky about pronouns for the dragon) wakes up in late January, I have a fully bioactive 36x18x17 set up. There is 4-6inches of substrate that Leonard digs in and burrows himself into the substrate and I follow behind from time to time and level out the ground. Most of his digging is done with his back legs. This backwards burrowing has carved out two hides; one is covered by a log in the cool side and an faux-stone archway has turned cave on the hot side(this one is my favorite, its 83F under the burried archway, and 91F outside where Leonard pokes her little nose out).

Leonards basking spot is balanced by a large corner water dish that I’ve overturned. This creates an undisturbed spot for my isopods and springtails (and a few superworms from time to time that slip from the feeding dish). The humidity under the dish (2/5 of the tank) is visiable on the base of the glass on the tank. There are several real stones placed on top of this dish, they seem to retain heat longer than most anything else does, it did take me a few months to get the varying stones to a stable heat and swap them out for different sized stones that retained heat more or less. I’ve currently got the hot side of the tank to drop to 86F at night, and 113F during the day. I have had a reading of 123F one day when I forgot to spray the tank.

The coolest point in my tank rests at about 71F at night and 79F during the heat of the day. Leonard spends most of the time in the center of the tank staring at her half finished salad (hoping a bug will be tempted by the remains) where the tank is between 86-91F. There is gradient temperatures and lighting throughout the tank.

Leonard has a 50watt ceramic heat bulb (always on) and a 100w zoo-med repti basking spot lamp(timer turns on at 7:00 and off at 21:30). Both are in individual clamp domes on the hot end of the terrarium. UVB was just reciently upgraded to an 18 inch T8 Reptisun 10 , this light runs short ways on my tank in the exact center. It’s magic rays are not blocked by any cover on the tank nor the fixture, there is a gradient of light that follows a gradient in temperatures (75 to 115 daytime, 70 to 85 nighttime).

Leonard starts the day with a spray down of the tank and a (usually) calci dusted salad. The salad contains a varied mix of cilantro, parsley, curley kale, chard, collard greens, arugula, shaved carrot, sometimes red leaf lettuce. Leonard will not eat fruits, she will try a new fruit quickly any time one is offered, she has never gone in for a second taste. If there are bugs offered before (or with) her salad she will not eat her greens. Because of this I leave her with the salad before I take the kid to school each day and offer her bugs in the evening when we are all home. For a few weeks she ate 20 superworms or 8 large dubias (or a mixture of 10 and 4) each day. She has this little squishy chin and now usually eats 6-10 supers a day. Other days she turns down bugs altogether, or maybe just picks at two or three. I’ve noticed on low bug count days she will finish her salad.

She also only likes to eat in her tank she will refuse anything other than hornworms outside her tank. She was previously tong fed, but we have worked very hard to get her to eat out of a bowl. I have to stir her salad with tongs before she will look at it, and I have to pinch the tongs open and closed a couple of times above the dish most days. The real win is me being able to drop bugs into a bowl with the tongs now and watch her for 15 minutes while she either gorges or starves herself.

She drinks the spray water I mist her tank with sometimes, but often she will go almost a week of being offended by my raindrops. Once a week I pour a glass or two of water over the basking area to clean of dust, poop, and help keep the substrate at the proper humidity levels in the area correct for the clean up crew. Leonard is more often interested in my slow stream of water on cleaning days(should I get a waterfall? Will that raise humidity too much).

She poops every day, on gorgey days you can tell what type of bug she ate, other days everything is fully digested. The white ‘pee’ part is always a crisp white color, and is often the same size as the poo part.

Bath time is boring, Leonard will just sit there. No emotion, no beard, no darkening, just tail up and often eyes closed. Twice she drank some of the bath water, but she isn’t interested in doing much of anything in the bath. I use a suction cuped, digital thermometer to keep a constant eye on the water temps.

Leonard is likely a year old this month. I can’t remember if my employee said he got the dragon in March or May, so I’ve happily settled on April for Leonard’s birthday. She has had a full body worth of shed since she woke up, except for the tail, back right foot, and beard (I’m sure that will be Leonard’s least favorite shed yet). She is a little over 16 inches from nose to tail tip. I don’t have means of weighing her, but I’d say she’s just a bit overweight.

I feel like I’ve done everything right, but she is just lazy. Lazy in the tub, lazy in her tank, lazy free range on my bed, she’s lazy basking in the sun outside, lazy to move towards food, lazy to move away from loud. She is calm and polite if I put a harness on her. She tollerates my kitties love very well, even the occational lick from my cat with no personal space.

Do I maybe just have the worlds most entitled dragon who doesn’t feel the need to walk or hunt? Are my conditions the cause of her lazy? Is she so brave that nothing will cause her to run off? And is no food so delicious to cause her to run towards it?
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Re: I found myself with a dragon and s/he is lazy ...

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:21 am

I'm glad she found her way to you. It sounds like she didn't have a great first year but she's in good care now. Her lack of activity may be due to being in such a small enclosure at first with little opportunity for exploring. She may just have a naturally docile personality. Either way, with good care and some more time interacting with her, she may start to be more active in time.
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