Here at OBX Lizard Land Paul and I have quite a big job to do. Lately a few of our guests have inquired on how we take care for all of the animals and manage our full time jobs on top of it all. Put simply, we don't get out much. Our evenings are almost always dedicated to the 70ish little beating hearts under this one roof. The easiest way we describe it to most who ask is, we don't watch TV. To break it down even further, between the two of us, we put in almost 90 hours of work with these animals in a week. Here is a (slightly crazy) break down of everything these guys get from us in a single weeks time.
The geckos (you know, the ones that look like the little Geico guy on tv) get hand sprayed every 4 days. Their environments are bioactive and are well suited to their lifestyle of eating, pooping, and being really darn cute. Along with their spray routine they also get a diet of gecko mix every 2 days. We have 8 of these little guys in total and more little ones on the way, so they've been getting a little extra attention lately to maximize the success of the babies.
Our monitor lizards (all 12 of them) each have their own special requirements. The Black Throat likes it a little on the dry side, the Mangrove pair doesn't like to be watched, they all have their own quirks. Caring for these guys is where most of our time goes and is the leading reason why we don't leave very often. Prana and Blue as well as the Mangroves are all hooked into an auto misting system which allows us to be away from them a little longer, but before all of that came into play they were both needing to be sprayed on a daily basis several times a day. We also take a lot of care to make sure each and every large water bowl and swimming pool has clean poo poo free water, because who would like to swim in their own waste. Surely not I. Along with all of those basic care requirements they also have specific carnivorous diets that we tend to on an every other day schedule. They get a mix of whole prey items like quail and mice as well as chicken gizzard, heart, and neck to keep them strong and heathy.
The big guys everyone loves so much, our Tegus Moby, Steven, Wally and Beans are quite the hand full. Because they are such large, smart beings they need constant attention. We work with them on trust and handling on a daily basis to make sure they are at their very best when our guests walk through the door. These guys have such a varied diet that we have to be on point with what they are getting to stay healthy. Tegus love meat, just like the monitors, but they also enjoy fruits, veggies, and the occasional helping of bugs (ew). Because they eat so much, they also poop... a lot. It's not a nice solid occurrence either, it's usually pretty brutal. Because of this, we both spend a solid amount of time making sure they don't smell to the high heavens while your kids are giving them a good pet down. These guys also need a nice humid environment, so a lot of time is spent misting and filling up their individual humidifiers to ensure they have nice, hydrated skin. We like to warn our guests that are interested in our amazing Tegus that they are hard work, not so much because of how much they cost (despite what people will tell you), but because they are so much work.
Next we have our other various lizards. While most of out population consists of monitors and tegus we also have our uromastyx, anoles, skinks, gilas, chameleon and dragons. In total I believe we have 11 non monitor/tegu lizards. We believe it is important to note that our desert species, the uromastyx and the chuckwalla do not require a physical water dish. They receive all of their hydration from the veggies that they consume on a daily basis. In addition to that they also live on a substrate that is safe to ingest (it is all millet birdseed) so they do not experience any impaction issues. These guys are cool because they are so low maintenance in comparison to other "beginner lizards" because they require nothing other than proper lighting, suitable substrate and good UVB. The skinks such as out plated lizard and norther blue tonuge skink make awesome pets for a more advanced owner also because they are fairly easy. The plated lizard eats a diet of mostly bugs and lives in an arid environment. The northern blue tonuge lives in a warm, low humidity environment and eats an incredibly varied diet, including veggies, meats, bugs, and fruit.
We also have a variety of snakes including boas, pythons, colubrids, and other rear fanged buddies. These each take food anywhere from once a week, to once a month. Depending on their weight, age, and appetite, these guys get a variety of food sizes. They can consume many whole prey items such as birds, mice, rats, and yes, even Peter Cotton Tail.
Hopefully you have some what of a good idea of what we do. If you have any questions, shoot us a line. We will answer it when in our down time (after all of the little ones are taken care of)!