1. Hello guest! Are you a Tegu enthusiast? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Tegu enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your Tegu and enclosure and have a great time with other Tegu fans. Sign up today! If you have any questions, problems, or other concerns email josh@tegutalk.com!
    Dismiss Notice

How do you tame your tegu when he burrows daily?

Discussion in 'Black and White Tegu Discussion' started by Jesse Sykes, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Jesse Sykes

    Jesse Sykes New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    hey guys, new to the forum and I have found some links to this already but nothing has answered my question directly!

    I have had my tegu for about 6 months now, he is roughly 9 months old. He started off eating everything in sight and was active and out daily. I’m sure he is brumating now because he is burrowed almost every day, and only comes up every third or so day. He doesn’t have an appetite at all. He will eat maybe once a week if that.

    I’m trying to train him to be comfortable around me and figure out his eating patterns as well but how can I go about this while he Burrows all the time? Do I need to wait until he is done with brumation? I never take him out of his burrow especially since I haven’t had him for very long.

    Any tips or links to a post with this answer would be helpful! Thank you so much!
  2. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    223
    Trophy Points:
    43
    If he really is brumating eventually he’ll stop coming out at all and then just let him sleep, till he’s done might be a few months before you really see him again. Seems a bit early for It but no idea where you are so your local climate might be effecting it.
  3. Jesse Sykes

    Jesse Sykes New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I appreciate the quick response, I’ve definitely kept the temps up and humidity around 60-80 for him.

    I’m in Utah, so it’s hot right now about 95-100 outside daily, which is why I’m questing his brumation but I’m still letting him be. I’ll have to wait and see if he starts coming out often so I can begin training/taming him!
  4. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Seams Early for brumation.....

    Put something in his home that smells of you.... sit with his home open talking to him reaching in to spread your scent more and if theres no aggresssion give him a little nudge to see if you can get him moving.......lol

    At that age he should be coming out and exploring using energy which will increase his appetite.
    Jesse Sykes likes this.
  5. Teguixin.22

    Teguixin.22 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Tegus only brumate when the temperature drops. Young tegus spend much of their time burrowing, that's perfectly normal.
    Walter1 and Jesse Sykes like this.
  6. Jesse Sykes

    Jesse Sykes New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    He’s been out all day today. Gave him a bath, let him explore for hours and still hasn’t burrowed. Just no interest in food still and it’s been about a week. Bought a pinky no luck, tried eggs, ground turkey, ground beef with all zero luck.
  7. Jesse Sykes

    Jesse Sykes New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    That’s what I figured, I’m just worried about taming him, but I’m making slow progress as of today!
  8. Teguixin.22

    Teguixin.22 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    That's good to hear
  9. Linda NIckelson

    Linda NIckelson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    That is not true. The website tegusfromaroundtheworld.weebly.com has great info, care guides and even enclosure examples for your new gu's.
    Here is an excerpt:

    Tegus hibernate up to seven months in the wild. They will also do this in captivity if given the chance. However, tegus do not need to hibernate. If they do not hibernate, they may still slow down on feeding, and activity during the normal hibernating season. Note the Argentine species, and the Blue tegus are the only ones to do this that I know of. The Colombians are not known to hibernate.

    I will also say that it is not about temperatures. Tegus do not start hibernating because of weather conditions. It is more based on lighting and their internal clock. My tegus start hibernating long before the weather even starts to turn cool. Is still summer weather here in August when mine start going underground.

    If a baby tegu misses the first year of hibernation, they can reach three feet in one year. If the baby hibernates he will be the same size at the time as when he started hibernate. Babies that hibernate will reach about half as much or less in size as those that do not hibernate. In my opinion a baby that does not hibernate could have stretched reproductive organs, thus not being able to reproduce. This is not based on fact, but more on a theory. I cannot base this on facts because mine all have and do hibernate each year.

    Colombian tegus are not bred in the United States to any great extent that I know of. They are often times imported. They also do not require hibernation. I would tend to believe they would be more like the Ameivas and whip tails then the Argentine Reds, Argentine Black and Whites, or the Blue tegus.

    There are a lot of people asking for some information on hibernating tegus. So, I will try to cover all of this here. I have found that tegus just about do everything themselves. When the time comes for them to start hibernating they will stop eating. They will go a few weeks before they go into full hibernation. Around two to three weeks of coming out less and basking very little.

    If kept outside they will refuse to eat at all during this period. They will start spending less and less time above ground. The same thing happens inside as well. Tegus will start refusing food and spend less time out of their hides. When they start this process I stop feeding them all together. This is also the time I start reducing the lighting times. I keep my lights on my tegus for 12 hours a day in spring and summer, the lights are on 12 hours and off 12 hours. When the tegus start to slow down on feeding and start spending more time in their hides. I reduce the lighting to 10 hours a day, I also stop feeding them all together. I do this for about a week to two weeks. Then I start turning them on for 8 hours for a week. At this point most tegus are usually in their hides for the duration of hibernation. I usually leave the lights on for 6 hours after this point for a week or so. If the tegus do not come out at all, then the lights are turned off for the rest of the winter. If you do see your tegu come out in winter, as this does sometimes happen. Then you can turn the lights on, however these periods usually do not last long. Some might come out for a hour or two and then go right back to hibernating. Most often times they will not come out at all. When and if this happens it is fine to turn the lights back on. But turn them off when they return to their hide. Also, do not feed them. They will not require any food if this happens. I do keep fresh water in the enclosures for about the first six weeks. However I have not seen them drink water either during this time.
    Ginny Mastandrea likes this.
  10. Jesse Sykes

    Jesse Sykes New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    Incredible information, thank you first off taking the time to sending me such a great response.

    This information has helped a ton as I believe my little guy is going under for the season and showing many signs of hibernation coming. I’m going to start adjusting the lighting schedule as posted and see his reaction!

    Thank you very much!
  11. Linda NIckelson

    Linda NIckelson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    you are very welcome for the info. Please save that website and check it out when you have time. It has incredible information. It provides a list
    of foods for them, enclosure instructions with photos etc. I love the website.
  12. Teguixin.22

    Teguixin.22 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Lol, did you really just say that young tegus don't spend a lot of time in burrows? I really wish people could conceptualize what is said before blandly stating "thats not true" and plugging a website, copy pasting an article. I said nothing about "hibernation" which is in fact different from brumation. Anyway, i'm not sure what you're saying is "not true" in my post, but that's simply incorrect on your part. Particularly, the article you copy pasted specifically states that when the temperature drops, tegus spend less time above ground, which is exactly what i said. Secondly, from michael balsai's bok on the captive maintenance of popular monitors and tegus, we have this quote
    "They are known to rest in burrows (as well as tree hollows and dense litter) of their own manufacture, and they may have several burrows excavated throughout their territories (Wilson and Knowles 1988; Hoser 1989; Cogger 1992).".
    Not only is this something i can corroborate on via observations on the diel habits of my juvenile gold tegu, Teiids, especially the larger species, are prolific diggers and burrowers known to inhabit their structures or the burrows made by sympatric animals. SO in short, don't just plug a website and call something "wrong" when its not. Thanks.
    EnjoysWine and Walter1 like this.