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Posted by IGUANA JOE on April 26, 2003 at 15:16:11:
In Reply to: need help with cage! posted by subverted on April 26, 2003 at 03:21:27:
Jake made some very good points,
this is not an animal u just throw in a cage and watch.
I do though disagree with a couple of things:
Start big first. It's stupid to spend money for a small enclosure that will last you only a year or so, and then spend more money making/buying a bigger one.
So go with BIG first.
7'x4'x4' doesn't sound right to me Jake, sorry man. 6'Hx6'Lx4'D are the generally accepted measurements...MINIMUN! 7x7x5 would be the best, but also the harder to achieve. (mine was 8x8x8, and it took almost a whole room!).
The cage 's gotta be long, and tall, and deep enough for the animal to turn around.
As for chicken wire....nah....if it's bare metal it can get quiet hot. I prefer those plastic/rubber coated ones. And don't get it with the holes too wide, or the lil iguana will easily squeeze through. If the holes are too small, the claws can get caught and tear off. Hey, who said this was easy? LOL
One problem with such a setup is keeping it humid and warm enough. U can make one of the 4 walls with wire/mesh, 2 glass, and the "back wall" plywood, formica, whatever u can use... This makes it easier to screw in and assemble stuff inside.
If you decide that an iguana is too big, go with an asian or australian water dragon. They get about half the size of iguanas. (well...males do get almost or about 4 feet).
Secondly, newspapers are not the greatest substrate to use, because of the fumes the ink emits, which can be unhealthy for the animal. If u put ur nose right on the paper, u can smell "it". How would u like to live in a cage with that smell to breathe? Go with "el-cheapo" paper towels or butcher papers.
If "good-looks" is what u're after, cut into sqares some fake grass, with a few spares put aside. When soiled, remove the square(s) and replace with clean one(s). Meanwhile, clean and disinfect the soiled ones...and so on and so on.
Remember that cleanliness is a must for the health of ur iguana, and yourself! The cleaner the animal and enclosure, the less risks of encountering bacteria. So clean up everyday, using baby wipes. Some people then disinfect the whole enclosure once a week, every 2 weeks, or even once a month.
Getting a baby iguana is an advantage because it will enable you to start taming it when small, and therefore less "menacing". Do let it settle and get used to the feeding/watering routines first for a couple of weeks. Then be more present in the room so it gets used to ur presence. After another week or two "inteact" with it by offering treats and petting it. Eventually, it will be more trusting and let u pick it up with more ease, although do not expect for you two to be buddies within only a month or two!
Grab a good book on these animals, either Hatfield's or Kaplan's. The Barlett one they sell in the stores today is about $5 or $10, but it's WAY outdated on diet and other things. Still, if you're tight on money, it provides a decent foundation of knowledge. If u like free stuff, view Kaplan's website.
*important* have the ig go to the vet for a check, with fresh fecal samlple(s) to see if it has any endoparasites. Most of them do, so don't be too alarmed. But u gotta do that.
Well, that's it! Feel free to ask any more Q's, and if u got the time, there's a chat tomorrow night so u can drop by and ask questions or whatever.