Figment's First Week

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Figment's First Week

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:54 pm

I've officially been a beardie owner / slave for a week now... Figment came out of one of those "big box" pet stores that I know we're not supposed to buy from, but there was just something about him that overrode my logic and caution. He was in the "premium dragon" tank with another more brightly colored beardie, but the other dragon was considerably smaller and like I said, there was just something about Figment right from the start. He was a lovely terracotta color, despite being in shed on his tail, and was remarkably mellow when I asked to hold him. After giving him a thorough once-over from snout to vent, I knew he was coming home with me.

This is Figment the night I brought him home and placed him on his basking log.
Image

Apparently he was so happy that he finally had a proper basking spot that he wanted to break into song! (Yes, I know he's gaping because he'd reached his optimum basking temperature and might have been overheating... I kept an eye on him and made sure he was able to navigate down to a cooler branch.) Honestly, I'm surprised that any herps in pet stores are healthy when they don't get to bask... but I digress, and know that we could fill several threads with reasons why pet stores are awful places to get beardies. I'll get my next dragon from a reputable breeder, I promise. :)

So we settled in for our first week together, Figment and I. Not holding or handling him for a week was hard! I had to content myself with watching him as he got into his routine. He tested out all the potential basking areas, from the hammock under the UV tube to all the multi-temperature branches. Feeding him is the best. I love the way he launches himself after crickets, and while he isn't crazy about his salads, I'm still offering them to him daily. Sometimes he takes a mouthful, sometimes he takes a few, but he's clearly more of an insectivore dragon at this point in his life. The pet store guy said he was about three months old... I'm not sure whether to trust his judgement or not, but it's all I've got to go on at this point. Because I haven't been handling him much yet, I can only guesstimate that his length is about 8-9 inches long.

The highlight of my week was when Figment let me hand-feed him carrot slices. He took each piece daintily, then scarfed it down. Carrots are now on the list as treats... no more than once a week, though. We tried yellow squash today, and while he didn't take it from my hand, he did eat some from his dish a bit later. I've also determined that he likes dandelion greens better than collards, and that he isn't as keen on Phoenix Worms as I'd hoped he would be (though why I want my dragon hooked on an expensive feeder is beyond my comprehension).

I also tried my hand at photographing him in his hab... you'd think it would be easier, given that he's right under the basking light, but the shadows don't really let his colors show through.

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I really want to get a good shot of his back, so I can see what color folks think he is... but I get a feeling he's going to be shedding soon, since he's shed his tail skin and head skin this week, so I'll wait until after that. I did try to give him a bath, more to help him hydrate than anything else, but he absolutely hated it. I keep thinking that I'll try him with a misting bottle, but I really don't want to get the hab all wet. Doing some reading on this as we speak... I bought The Bearded Dragon Handbook, the new edition, and found it much more readable than the first edition was. I'm also reading as many care sheets as I can, in addition to being a pest on this forum.

My resident critters have been very curious about Figment. The dog, a Pom-Spitz mix, keeps coming in and whining as she looks up at his hab, raising up on her hind legs to try to get a better look, and Figment just looks down as beardies do, deigning to give this interloper the grace of his momentary attention. The cat Skimble and I have had words regarding why the top of the dragon habitat is NOT for cats to lie on, the end result being that I keep the door to the room closed a good amount of time. You can't really convince a cat of anything once he's set his mind to it, and Skimble - though being more interested in the skittering crickets than in Figment himself - still maintains that anything that warm must have been made for cats.

And that brings us to the end of the first week. This week, since his stools are still runny, I'm going to try him on small rather than medium crickets and see if that helps things any. We'll also start handling time, a little bit at a time, to get him accustomed to it in small doses. And I'll try misting him, since I'm getting a little worried that he may be dehydrated.

I managed to get a much better picture of Figment's head just now, one that shows some of his coloration, so I'll close with that. I'm just so thrilled and grateful for this forum, since it's prevented me from going into full panic mode over a myriad of small things this week... you folks are great, and Figment thinks so, too!

Image

~Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:47 pm

Make sure your not leaving crickets in the tank over nite -- they bite--- and can cause infection - I would feed as many as he can eat in 10-15 minutes then take them out---- you might want to try some dubia roaches as well --- they are healthier than crickets easier to keep they dont stink and they dont chirp-- are you dusting the crickets w/ calcium D3 5 x per week and vitamins 2 x per week ? You can order them on line and keep them in a 10 gallon aquarium and feed them dubia food and carrots- plus they last a long time as opposed to crickets --- it sounds like your enjoying your little guy -- love the name --- I am trying to figure out the runny stools - what are his basking temps ? they should be around 105-110---
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:29 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Make sure your not leaving crickets in the tank over nite -- they bite--- and can cause infection - I would feed as many as he can eat in 10-15 minutes then take them out---- you might want to try some dubia roaches as well --- they are healthier than crickets easier to keep they dont stink and they dont chirp-- are you dusting the crickets w/ calcium D3 5 x per week and vitamins 2 x per week ? You can order them on line and keep them in a 10 gallon aquarium and feed them dubia food and carrots- plus they last a long time as opposed to crickets --- it sounds like your enjoying your little guy -- love the name --- I am trying to figure out the runny stools - what are his basking temps ? they should be around 105-110---


Thanks!

I'm a bit of a freak about getting the tank cricket-free before bed. I don't want anything happening to my Figment! He's been eating between 10-15 mediums before losing interest. :)

Yes, the crickets get dusted 5x weekly with calcium and D3; vitamins 2x weekly (though he got them 4x this week before I realized it was only supposed to be 2x). I'll think about the dubias; roaches give me the willies, though. If I don't have to actually touch them, I can probably manage it. I can do just about anything other than roaches and spiders...

Basking temp, according to my temp gun, is right at 105. I'm debating going to a higher wattage.

Thanks for the input!

-Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:34 pm

105 is good if you decide to go higher it's trial and error-- I didn't like roaches either but now I would not go back to crickets-- I use tweezers to catch them in the bag I dust w/ it's a Ziploc bag I just pick the egg crate up and shake them into bag give the bag s shake dusting bugs and use tweezers to feed hiccup
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby claudiusx » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:15 pm

I'm glad that things have been going so well! :)
He definitely seems happy.

-Brandon
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby MrSpectrum » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:22 am

ComicBookMama wrote:I've officially been a beardie owner / slave for a week now... Figment came out of one of those "big box" pet stores that I know we're not supposed to buy from, but there was just something about him that overrode my logic and caution. He was in the "premium dragon" tank with another more brightly colored beardie, but the other dragon was considerably smaller and like I said, there was just something about Figment right from the start.

I get it. A(nother) chain pet store opened here recently. We went to check it out because they have a DIY dog wash (and Ol' Furface was gettin' stinky) and some really good Grand Opening deals. Whilst Ol' Furface was getting his hose-down, I checked out the BD situation. This place calls them "Fancy" Dragons (instead of "Premium"). There was one whose markings almost took my breath away, but since my enclosure isn't done/ready, better judgment was able to prevail. :roll:

This is Figment the night I brought him home and placed him on his basking log.

Oh, a posed shot... :lol: Handsome fellow! :)

I'm not sure whether to trust [the pet store guy's] judgement or not.

IME, like any hired help, it depends on the knowledge/experience of the individual. :dontknow:

I keep thinking that I'll try him with a misting bottle, but I really don't want to get the hab all wet.

That one's easy... Take him out of the hab, mist him, then put him back in! :D

I bought The Bearded Dragon Handbook, the new edition, and found it much more readable than the first edition was.

Probably acquired an editor... (says a former editor :roll: )

My resident critters have been very curious about Figment. The dog, a Pom-Spitz mix, keeps coming in and whining as she looks up at his hab, raising up on her hind legs to try to get a better look

That could mean he wants to play with the new "toy". Considering what you said about Skimble, I know you'll be appropriately vigilant. :wink:

And that brings us to the end of the first week.

GREAT narrative, Chris! :lol: You're a gifted storyteller. :wink:
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby ComicBookMama » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:29 am

MrSpectrum wrote:I get it. A(nother) chain pet store opened here recently. We went to check it out because they have a DIY dog wash (and Ol' Furface was gettin' stinky) and some really good Grand Opening deals. Whilst Ol' Furface was getting his hose-down, I checked out the BD situation. This place calls them "Fancy" Dragons (instead of "Premium"). There was one whose markings almost took my breath away, but since my enclosure isn't done/ready, better judgment was able to prevail. :roll:


I'm glad I'm not the only one who is prey to temptation... hope your hab is finished soon!

I keep thinking that I'll try him with a misting bottle, but I really don't want to get the hab all wet.

MrSpectrum wrote:That one's easy... Take him out of the hab, mist him, then put him back in! :D


Yes, I was thinking that, too - just not sure if he's comfortable enough to drink outside of his safe place yet. When I had rats, I had one who would eat anything (and take his medicine beautifully) inside the cage, but he was just too nervous to accept treats outside his cage. Also, Figment is still a bit wiggly when I hold him, and I wouldn't want him to take a flying leap. I guess I could set him down in the tub - that would take care of falling and the wetness - but not sure how he'd deal with the cold surface on his tummy.

I bought The Bearded Dragon Handbook, the new edition, and found it much more readable than the first edition was.

MrSpectrum wrote:Probably acquired an editor... (says a former editor :roll: )


It was entirely rewritten by Terri Somella (sp?) of Fire and Ice Dragons. I've heard that some people have had issues with her as a breeder, but she's a darned good writer, at least.

My resident critters have been very curious about Figment. The dog, a Pom-Spitz mix, keeps coming in and whining as she looks up at his hab, raising up on her hind legs to try to get a better look

MrSpectrum wrote:That could mean he wants to play with the new "toy". Considering what you said about Skimble, I know you'll be appropriately vigilant. :wink:


You betcha! No dragon kabobs for my kitty. No dragon-shaped chew toys for the pooch, either! :)

And that brings us to the end of the first week.

MrSpectrum wrote:GREAT narrative, Chris! :lol: You're a gifted storyteller. :wink:


Thank you very much! Coming from a former editor, I greatly appreciate the comment, particularly as writing is what I'd rather be doing for a living than my current employment - but we can't have everything! Sigh...

~Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby MrSpectrum » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:50 pm

I think I mentioned in another thread that he should be able to get sufficient moisture from his diet. The tables I've seen on the nutritional value of various feeders include % moisture content. Most veggies will have moisture as well. If you're concerned that that's not enough, water can be sprinkled on either feeders or veggies, especially if hand-feeding. I think I'd do the sprinkling/dipping before dusting w/calcium, etc.; someone else may have a different method.

YMMV
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Re: Figment's First Week

Postby ComicBookMama » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:35 pm

MrSpectrum wrote:I think I mentioned in another thread that he should be able to get sufficient moisture from his diet. The tables I've seen on the nutritional value of various feeders include % moisture content. Most veggies will have moisture as well. If you're concerned that that's not enough, water can be sprinkled on either feeders or veggies, especially if hand-feeding. I think I'd do the sprinkling/dipping before dusting w/calcium, etc.; someone else may have a different method.

YMMV


Thanks for the input... will give that a go. :)
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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