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Handfeeding

Discussion in 'General Tegu Discussion' started by Galen Tom, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Galen Tom

    Galen Tom New Member

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    Hello all,

    I had my sub-adult tegu for a couple of weeks now. While tamed, I am still working on getting to know him/her and strengthening the bond.


    While I have an extensive list of what food types to feed a tegu (thanks to this forum); I am still learning his/her food preferences.


    However, one preference I notice is that my tegu prefers to be hand fed rather than food placed in a bowl. When food is placed in a bowl, the tegu eats significantly less than normal and is not receptive in trying different foods. I notice when I hand-feed my tegu, he/she is more acceptable to trying new foods regardless if he/she likes it or not.


    Is hand-feeding enabling a bad behavior? Currently, I do not believe this is enabling a bad behavior as I am forming a stronger bond and learning about food preferences.


    However, I would not want this to become a habit in hand-feeding is the only way the tegu will eat. More so, I would not want a situation in that the tegu would accept food only from me. Obviously, this will be an issue if I was to go on family vacation and had to entrust a friend to baby sit.


    Opinions or experiences?
  2. onnie0047

    onnie0047 Member

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    I would love to hand feed mine, except I like my fingers too much. There is a Red Tegu out there called MacGyver on YouTube, if you have not seen his videos take a look. They have. not been adding more files in a while but you will see them hand feed theirs all the time on the ones they do have.
  3. Galen Tom

    Galen Tom New Member

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    After a few weeks; I find Abigail (that is her name now) prefers hand feeding.

    She is very gentle not to get my fingers. It has definitely helped out bonding experience.

    If she is hungry she will eat on her own, but she does tend to kick substrate onto her food. Once that happens she is no longer interested, even if I wash it off first. What a Diva!
    onnie0047 likes this.
  4. Jorgo

    Jorgo New Member

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    My own guy Amigo also seems to prefer hand feeding and even willing to try new foods! So similar boat. However he has bitten me a total of 3 times. The first two was when feeding bugs - he goes NUTS for mealworms, I don't hand feed them those, only tongs. Larger fellas like hornorms I will.

    The third incident - hand feeding ground turkey. In this instance instead of excitement, it seemed to be curiosity. The bite wasn't hard, more like a soft squeeze before he was like 'oh wait....I know this hand. This ain't food' and let go right after and continued eating from my hand. That was...maybe a month ago and no further incidents.

    Guess all that is to say - I would be cautious about hand-feeding at minimal. If there a food they get very excited about, stick to a bowl or tongs. Otherwise, ensure your hand is associated with more than just food! Have it enter and leave the tank without food, lay it next to them or pet them before during and after feedings of you want to be cautious. Long way of saying just make sure your not only associating your hand with food.
    Walter1 likes this.