Categories | Reptile Breeders | Skink Breeders
If you have a love of the exotic and want to keep something different as a pet, why not consider a skink? Here’s what you need to know.
Skinks are reptiles that belong to the lizard family; in fact, they are one of the largest groups of lizards. Appearance wise, skinks look just like lizards, just with shorter necks, and smaller legs. Skinks also have the ability to lose their tails if they are threatened and to grow the tail back. One of the most common skinks that are kept as pets is the blue tongue lizards. Skinks range in size from small to quite large, and they can live for many years so you need to be prepared for this when you purchase one. The good news is that skinks are quite amenable to handling and can be quite an interactive pet for a reptile.
Skinks need to be kept in an enclosure that is suitable for their size. It is better to go larger in size if you are in doubt as small enclosures can stress your skink. A timber enclosure with a glass front and an easily opened and closed top is ideal. Because skinks spend all of their time on the ground so their enclosure will need to be set up so that they can burrow and hide. You can do this by providing a suitable substrate such as reptile sand, gravel, fake grass or recycled paper kitty litter, and providing plenty of hiding spots such as rocks, hollow branches and the like.
Skinks are a reptile and, as such, they will need an enclosure that is climate controlled. You can do this by providing them with a basking light and rock. The light should be situated at one end of the tank and it should be controlled by a thermostat. As part of the climate control, you will also need to keep a close eye on the humidity levels inside the enclosure. You should be able to do this by spraying the inside with water daily.
Feeding and Caring for Skinks
Feeding your skink is not a difficult task as they are omnivores, eating both plant matter and meat. Live insects are the best source of protein for the skink but you can also feed some canned dog food if you wish. Fresh fruits and vegetables should also be given. The idea ratio of meat to plant matter is 60:40. You will, of course, need to provide fresh, clean water for your skink at all times. Not only will it be used for drinking, it will also be used for bathing, for keeping cool, and even to help them shed.
Another thing that you will need to do for your pet skink is to keep the enclosure very clean. Thoroughly clean the enclosure at least once a week, and remove soiling as you see it. Many skinks are very gentle and easy to handle but it is key that you know how to handle them properly. Make sure that you support all of the limbs. Don’t just hold it around the middle or from the front, as this will stress the skink and cause it to bite or to lose its tail. Always wash your hands before and after handling your skink.
A Quick Note about Skinks
Skinks are a protected species and as such, you will need a license or permit to keep them. You should speak to the National Parks and Wildlife Authority in your state or territory to find out exactly what regulations you need to abide by.
Printer Friendly Version