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Black Throat Monitor experience/housing.

Discussion in 'Monitor Lizard Discussion' started by boxers1997, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. boxers1997

    boxers1997 New Member

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    I'm hoping at least a few members on here would be able to help me out with some advice since I'm going to purchase a BT in the next 6 months, what is their temperament compared to other monitors, feeding, and housing. I currently have 1 year old b&w male tegu who's 33 inches as of yesterday, and I have been told they CAN calm down to just about the same as a gu's, but some can be a little "fiesty".
    I'm still prepared either way to have a tegu-like temperamental 6"+ monitor, or one who wants nothing to do with me, but I guess it just depends on how well he takes to me, etc.
    Mainly I wanted to know if an enclosure that's 8"x16"x7" (8ft wide, 16ft long, 7ft high) will be enough room to accommodate a full grown BT when he/she reaches adulthood.
    The enclosure that's just about finished is currently set for my gu, but I was curious to know if I were to divide it in half (length wise) so each side would be 8"x8"x7", if that would be an alright for an adult? I do plan on in the next year adding onto both or at least one side (Black throats side) so it'll have more room to move around comfortably. The "enclosure" is a trailer porch that has been cut down to 3ft off the ground and is completely covered on the top so the only thing I have to do is put up a door and wire and enclose in the entire thing.
    I live about an hour from Houston, Texas, and I was hoping for someone who lives in Houston or around this part of SE Texas could tell me their experience form housing a Tegu and/or Black Throat outdoors for the majority of the Summer since the temps here easily reach over 100 plus the humidity level typically ranges from 60-90% on a daily during the summer.
    But during the winter, it seems like an alright idea to me but I'd like some others opinions if I were to invest in a small storage shed, and during the winter months convert it into a barn type building for the Black Throat and keep ceramic heaters inside with it to keep it warm, since my mother doesn't seem to take fondly to the idea of having a 6" monitor living indoors with us 24/7. Lol.
  2. boxers1997

    boxers1997 New Member

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    Also forgot to ask, what is a good regiment diet I would be able to keep it on? My tegu currently eats every other day-every two days of a mixture of raw turkey, chicken breast/gizzards, small amount of blackberry & apples (for some reason Connor LOVES apples *weirdo*), and occasionally boneless salmon, tilapia, or catfish fillets dusted with a multivitamin. I figured the fruit part probably wouldn't be as necessary as my gu's diet is. Lol
  3. SnakeCharmr728

    SnakeCharmr728 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Your going to want to have 3ft of dirt in that enclosure and have both a sunny area and shaded area. The sunny area would need to have large rock for basking so you can achieve a high basking temp. on hot summer days - that wont be a problem. Winter will be the most difficult part and you'd most likely have to completely seal the enclosure making it indoor. They wont survive outdoors during winters. and for a BT your going to want whole prey only, meaning lots of rodents, chicks, quail, whole fish, crawdads, insects, no ground turkey or any organ meats. even your tegu would benefit from a whole prey diet. lastly, you have to make 150% sure that there is ZERO way that they can not break out and get into eachothers cage or else your tegu make become breakfast.
  4. boxers1997

    boxers1997 New Member

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    Thank you for your advice. I had planned on already turning the shed into an "indoors enclosure" for the BT with the heaters and infrared bulbs. I don't have the room in my bedroom for my tegu AND bt so I'll have to figure out the next best thing, which would be the shed. And the divider separating them is going to be overlapped with wire more so than the rest of the cage and I'm going to check every nook and cranny multiple times to begin with since my gu is quite the escape artist. And where do you suggest is the least expensive place to get pre-killed whole food items? I know this guy will end up eating me out of my damn house if I don't keep up with him. Lol.
  5. SnakeCharmr728

    SnakeCharmr728 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    In order to make something suitable for him, you should expect to spend several thousand dollars. and a feeding bill for an adult bt is going to be roughly $100+ monthly. you can order frozen rodents and chickens from online rodent dealers like rodentpro or laynelabs
  6. Deac77

    Deac77 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    If you in Texas you can order from big cheese and rat deli as well. Honestly Kayla I think your number on food cost is low lol! Kirby already eats 100-150 a week.


    Also feeding of a monitor should be, in my opinion, daily until 3 foot, then every other day. They are not like other reptiles their metabolism is high due to the basking temp and humidity.

    I agree a 100% whole prey diet is best, no ground meat or organs
  7. Skeetzy

    Skeetzy Member

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    Deac, $100-150 a week? What are you feeding him? Prime rib? I just got 10 pounds of meat from hare-today and it was only $60 shipped. Is he eating that much in a sitting?
  8. boxers1997

    boxers1997 New Member

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    Good lord this boys going to eat every penny out of my pocket. Thank you guys for the help and advice. I've already spent nearly $1200 on the tegu/BT enclosure and trust me, that isn't nearly half of what it's going to total out to be.
  9. Deac77

    Deac77 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Whole preys is expensive with shipping, she will easily eat 3-5 small rats in a sitting (or jumbo mice) and since I feed a very huge variety I have to order in bulk from different places
  10. boxers1997

    boxers1997 New Member

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    Also, does anyone know a reputable place I can order from offline that has hatchlings or jv's?
  11. SnakeCharmr728

    SnakeCharmr728 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Best bet is looking on fauna classifieds but your only going to find them available for the next couple months as they are only open for export a few months out of the year and only a certain amount too. All will be fresh imports.
  12. Dana C

    Dana C Member

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    I have to say that having a substrate of three feet isn't necessary. They don't all burrow. Many BT' are kept very successfully in less. My substrate, a combination of clean dirt and peat, (to hold moisture) was 12"- 20". The size of your enclosure is great. As for diet, mine thrived on a mixture of whole prey and prepared food comprised of ground meats, organs, egg shells, whole fish and a supplement. The mixture, done right can surpass that of whole prey in terms of healthy content. I always fed a mixture at each feeding. They can eat quite a bit but at about two to three years of age, they slow down a bit and don't have quite the appetite they have when very young. Feeding whole rodents in my opinion is not a good idea if that is to be their total diet. They are opportunistic feeders, much like Tegu's and will consume carrion or just about anything else they can catch or subdue. Small mammals are not plentiful in the wild in Kenya. Ground nesting birds and their eggs are more common.
    While all BT's have individual personality's, they respond well to daily handling and one on one time. Mine would come to the door of the enclosure even when not being fed and hung his head over the lip and seemed to enjoy being stroked. He also liked a helping hand with sheds.
    Keeping nails trimmed is important and a bit of a chore as they get larger. Kinabo was most patient about it when he was in his bath.
    I kept a basking area made out of elevated concrete pavers at 150 f with the gradient going down to the high 70's. If you look at the average day time temperature of Kenya you will see that it is not the oven many would assume it to be.
    As for acquisition of a Black Throat, I wasn't aware that the export ban had been lifted from Kenya. I just saw some on the King Snake site at $250 for babies.
  13. Danya

    Danya New Member

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    I have a male black throat monitor and a male b&w argentine tegu and they hang out together all the time with no issues whatsoever. I have had my bt for several years and he is super calm and doesn't mind being handled (I handle him every day). He goes potty outside and will walk back to the house when he's done. My bt lives inside but I take him outside every day to bask as long as the weather is good which, where I live, it is nice most of the time. I agree that feeding can become costly but in my case it is because I have to get his whole prey items shipped in from Hare-Today so I easily spend $200+ per shipment but this food also feeds my other carnivorous lizards. He has an xl vision cage but spends lots of his time supervised outside and is allowed to free-roam in the house. Having a black throat monitor is definitely a commitment and they do get big but not unmanageable. My Rex is 30+lbs and I believe 6ft. long including his tail. I'll attach a pic here of Rex and Andre hanging out together and a link to see a video of me and Rex so you can see his size.

    Video with Rex!

    Attached Files:

  14. TehGoo

    TehGoo Member

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    Awesome monitors Dayna !
  15. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    That's a great picture.