March 4, 2019
by Dave of Dave's Skinks

    Honestly it’s dates and close friends that ask me the most what my daily routine looks like with these guys.  I keep my ZooMed 80W Mercury Vapor Sun Dome lights and ZooMed Large Heat Pads on timers so that portion of care is automated for me.   First put on gloves.  I go to each tank, spot clean their poops and take out old food that needs to be removed.  I also check the humidity levels.  In the event their humidity dips below 40%, I go to work.  The dry, cool, and dark half, I use ZooMed Reptibark.  The other side is bright, hot, and humid. I use a mixture of ZooMed Forest Floor cypress mulch/wood chips.  I’ll dump on several cups of water to the hot side and till the soil.  I have to do this every 2-5 days to keep humidity levels up.  On the cool side, I till that substrate once a week jus to keep everything fresh.  What I do for humidity may not work in your area.  My recommendation is to accurately gauge the humidity inside of your enclosure.  What works for me is specific to the climate in Chicago, IL, the particular substrates I use, as well as my selection for heating elements and the hours they are on.

    After that (or before sometimes) I check their water bowls.  If it’s low or dirty, their bowl gets cleaned and fresh, filtered water put back in.  If they defecate in their water bowl, it goes into the dishwasher. Everyone gets fresh water every 2-7 days.

    For food, I put some Rep-Cal Calcium with Vitamin D3 power and dry dog food, in a food processor.  This turns the consistency to a fine power.  I don’t want to take any chances something getting lodged in their intestinal track.  That food bowl gets replaced once a week regardless, unless they wolf it down, in which case I refill it sooner.  When I prepare a wet meal. I don’t buy any veggies I wouldn’t eat myself.  Remembering variety is best, I scope out what I have excess of in my fridge and make sure they get plenty of options.  Once everything is finely chopped and Rep-Cal Calcium with Vitamin D3 power is added, I mix in a half-can to a full-can of wet dog food.  Then I dish it out on paper plates.  The wet food process takes approximately 45 minutes in total to gather, clean, (cook), cut, mix, distribute and clean up.  This food stays in their tank for 48 hours and gets replaced 4 days after that – more frequent for babies – usually it doesn’t last that long though.

    Every 6 months I grab a couple buddies and we spend the entire day changing out the substrate and disinfecting each cage.

    Overall, aside from the full cleaning days, I put in 6-9 hours a week to keep all 10 adults happy + babies.  1-2 days a week does it just so work out that there is no work to be done.

    All of this leaves me with more free time to play with them. Everyone gets taken out at least once a week – but really any time they grab my attention by scratching on the glass.  One at a time, they have relatively free range in my home.