Big Bertha Update

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Ok, so I will admit, this girl is NOTHING like my poor sick old Lizzy. We have a new normal!
Lizzy sat around and you had to beg him to eat, never really tried to escape from the play yard, didn't move too fast. He was like your 90 year old arthritic Grandpa, slow moving, never a problem.
Bert is the exact opposite! She is like a 10 year old boy, ready to try or do anything.

We all suspected, with a name like Big Bertha, that she probably had an appetite. This girl will eat just about any and everything! If she sees you come in the room, she runs to
greet you (really, I know she is hoping for a handout). If you have a plastic yogurt cup in your hands, so much the better - she knows that the Dubia come out of that yogurt cup! If she sees the cup, she recognizes it and gives it her attention. All you have to do is rattle that cup and she comes running as fast as her little legs will carry her.

She figured out in no time flat how to escape from the play yard I had built for Lizzy. For being as big and heavy as she is, you might think she would not be athletic, but you'd be wrong. She can move really fast, and she is an excellent climber.She will also jump with no warning. On a couple of the sides of the play yard, I'd stood 1x10 boards on end and pushed them up against the wall. She figured out that we have base molding that holds the boards about 3/4 in away from the wall, and squeezed herself out of that by just pushing against the boards. I'd come from work and find the boards pushed around and wondered what happened until I watched her do it one day. She also had no trouble boosting herself over the wall, either. One day I came home and she was nowhere to be found. I was really starting to panic, and looking everywhere. After a while, I decided to take a break and walked into my living room on the exact opposite side of the house, and there she was! We leave the door onto our front balcony open with just the storm door latched and she was in front of the storm door, basking in a very bright sunbeam. After several escapes that always ended up with her in the living room, (she really seemed drawn to it and all the wonderful bright sun that comes in (southern exposure)), I decided a better play yard, in the living room might make the Queen happy; I built a much better one there. It is made of 1x12 boards, with white laminate coating, which I think will be much harder for her to grip and climb. Home Depot sells rubber mat that I put down as flooring. So now she owns my living room - sunniest room in the house. Gary made her a perch to climb and wrapped it in some old blue jean material so it would be easy for her to grip (as if she needs help with gripping!), and we put it under her lights.
She can get out of the sun if she wants by either going into the hide that she likes to bask on, or she can sit in the shadows of the walls of the play yard.

The Queen herself:

She turns a bright golden yellow when she's happy and that tail is always pointing straight up.


New and improved play yard with the most important feature - the glass door that lets the sun in!

Another view of the play yard

She is not as afraid of us as she was at first and I just got a new Dragon Tamer leash for her today. All in all, I think she's doing well.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
Hi Rachel! :wave: I think she likes it. It seemed like everytime she escaped, she was headed for the living room. I thought that if she enjoyed it that much, it certainly should be hers. Depending on if she brumates, she may just live in her viv this winter since it will be easier to keep warm for her (smaller) and also, if she's asleep, no real use in keeping her in the brightest room in the house. If she doesn't, she can stay in her pen and I'll use a larger bulb to heat it. The living room gets bright light in the winter, but is draftier, so I will be watching that carefully.

We discovered a new game tonight. It's called Catch the Blueberry. If I roll a small-medium blueberry around her pen, she will greedily chase it down, 'catch', and eat it. She is so funny!


Juvie Member
Original Poster
Tonight I walked into Bert's room and saw this:


I think she was catching the last few rays before the sun went down.


How's that for a sexy leg?

She climbs on that perch, but I hadn't seen her go all the way to the top yet. It's too bad that Gary is at work tonight, because he made it for her the day after she moved to the living room. He really had no idea of how to make a lizard perch, but just nailed some scraps of wood together and covered them with some old jeans so she could grip them. If only he could see her now!

I'm starting to get a little concerned. She looks pretty plump in this picture, right? Almost like a child's football on chubby little legs. She has a healthy appetite, and eats well, but I am hoping this weight is just weight, and not eggs.


She has quite the Buddah belly going there, and I rub her belly trying to feel eggs, but never do. Somebody please tell me this is weight gain due to eating well!


Juvie Member
What a pretty girl you have there and what a character as well. :) I love that play area you have for her. She definitely seems like she's the queen. As for the weight, the chubbiness she has reminds me of my male dragon Grendel. Hopefully someone can come along and help you figure that out better than I can. Hopefully it will be just weight and not eggs.


Gray-bearded Member
I love big Bertha!! She's so adorable, and quite active for a big girl! My Sunny who's 10 months old looks the same way, it's not that we over fed her, she just exploded in the weight department. I got kinda worried as well thinking she had to have eggs, nope she's just a big and beautiful girl! I had her checked for eggs twice and she's definitely not egg bound or anything. It would definitely put your mind at ease to have her checked. Sometimes you can't always feel infertile eggs in chubby beardies, at least that's what I was told. Infertile eggs are not as defined and hard as fertile eggs, so with a big belly they could be harder to detect. When I heard that I knew I needed to have her checked for peace of mind. Like Bertha, Sunny wasn't exhibiting any of the usual gravid signs either, her appetite was the same and absolutely no digging.. Hopefully this helps you a bit.



Juvie Member
Original Poster
Thanks Kaleen! I didn't know you could have them checked like that. That is good
To know. I *think* in Bert's case, it is just weight. She loves to eat and is always looking
For a goodie to eat.


Hatchling Member
She's always been a chub and a crazy good eater, I wouldn't be too worried about eggs. 8) :mrgreen:


Juvie Member
Original Poster
Thanks Rachel! She loves to play catch the blueberry. I roll them at
Her and she catches them and gobbles them up!
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