Essential Supplies

Supplies
Dietary Aids / Digital Gram Scales / Infra-Red Thermometers / Incubation Aids / Feeding Tubes

We keep on hand and offer to our customers what we consider the essential supplies for long term success with Uromastyx, Tortoises, and similar-care heat loving reptiles. We've put a shopping cart self-checkout feature on this page so you can order most of these items directly from the web page. Just click on the "Add to Cart" button below each item that you wish to add to your cart. For most items, the price is set to show up in the cart with the shipping already factored in. Note: the shipping charges quoted are for shipping within the United States only. If you are from overseas, please contact us first so we can get you an accurate shipping quote. If you order multiple items that can be shipped together, please ask us to manually re-compute the shipping charges here and we'll directly refund any difference (I can't get the cart to do it automatically  - sorry!).  Most items will be shipped by FedEx Smart Post, or if  relatively small or heavy, then U.S.P.S. Priority flat rate mail.  All shipping charges  are "at cost" (the cost of the shipping supplies where applicable, plus the actual fees charged to us by the carrier).  

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 Package Supply Kits

If you're just getting started with Uromastyx or are setting up new additions, we strongly recommend the following starter packages. These are designed to get you the basic components to help you get off to the best start at the least expense.  Each product contained within each kit is also sold separately and discussed in detail in it's own section farther down in the main body of this page.

  Diet Supplies

Dietary  Supply Kits

We offer three versions of the Dietary Kits. These are designed to help you maintain your Uromastyx, tortoises and similar needs lizards under optimal conditions. Each item in these packages is explained in detail farther down the page.

The Complete Dietary Kit contains one TG-1 Infra-Red Thermometer and one 3000 gram scale (with 1/10 of 1 gram sensitivity). These are key to helping you setup the proper cage temperature gradients and to track how your new arrival is doing over time. This kit also includes the basic dietary supplements needed to insure your Uromastyx or tortoise has all its basic nutritional needs met to allow it to grow at the optimal rate. These include 2 pounds of Mazuri tortoise pellets, one 16oz package of SuperVeggie Dust vitamin supplement, and one 16 oz. package of Repashy Calcium Plus Hy-D calcium/mineral supplement. This package is $95 plus shipping ($11 for FedEx Smart Post). 

If you already have a good digital gram scale or thermometer, then choose one of the two Basic Health-Dietary Kits instead. They contain all the items in the Primary kit minus either the the gram scale or thermometer.

Once you're up and running, you can restock your key dietary supplies (Repashy CalciumPlus, SuperVeggie Dust, and Mazuri Pellets) most efficiently by buying the Dietary Restocking Kit. This is designed so each item in it will last you for at least 3 months for one to two Uros, tortoises, or similar sized herbivorous reptiles. Shipping is $11 for FedEx Smart Post.

Complete Dietary Kit ( TG-1 Thermometer and 3000 gram Scale + Key dietary aids)  $95 plus shipping

Basic Dietary Kit-A (Dietary Supplements + TG-1 Infra-Red Thermometer)  $75 plus shipping

Basic Dietary Kit-B (Dietary Supplements + scale)  $75 plus shipping

Dietary Restocking Kit (SuperVeggie Dust, Calcium Hy-D Mineral Supplement, Mazuri pellets)  $52 plus shipping

   

Health Kit

Health Care Kit

Whenever working with animals it's best to be able to do your own basic health care when needed. This kit contains the basics you need to keep a healthy Uromastyx, tortoise or similar needs reptile on track, or to help get an ailing one back on course. Each item in this kit is discussed individually in detail in the main section below and can be ordered separately if you need to restock anything at a later date. In brief, this kits contains an excellent 3000 gram capacity scale (sensitive to 1/10 of 1 gram) to track weights and to help in determining the dosage needed if you need to give any antibiotics  etc.  This is a high enough capacity to track all the species we sell even as adults yet sensitive enough to measure out antibiotics or dewormers. The kit also contains "JumpStart" Appetite stimulant, an excellent calorie source for individuals off their feed or feeding poorly, as well as "Critical Care", the ideal tube feeding mixture that also re-inoculates the gut with the proper bacteria after an illness. Critical Care can also serve as a complete tube feeding diet for individuals unable or unwilling to eat on their own. This kit also contains a complete tube feeding / medicating syringe set to allow you to tube feed a non-feeding individual or to more safely and accurately dose individuals with needed medications. Since Metabolic calcium deficiency is one of the more common issues reported to us, we also include "Res-Q" calcium in this kit. It is an emergency calcium source  much more readily absorbed than typical dietary calcium supplements and is designed to quickly address the primary issue of low blood calcium. It is not intended for daily use in healthy individuals but solely for treating those with chronic low calcium issues during the treatment and recover phase. This is much safer than calcium injections and a good alternative to repeated shots from your Vet. (Note you should always consult with your local reptile Vet to properly diagnose any suspected calcium issues and determine their underlying cause). We also include Panacur/SafeGuard de-wormer in this kit as even captive bred reptiles generally need to be wormed twice yearly. Lastly we've included a pair of  small Specialty Animal Nail Trimmers as you will likely find that someone's nails will need periodic trimming sooner or later. There is no need to pay a Vet to do the simpler chores and you can take some satisfaction in being able to cover the routine things your pet might need.      

Health Care Kit  $98 + 11 FedEx Smart Post shipping

 

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Incubation Supply Kit

Many people hoping to breed Uromastyx or Tortoises fail because they are not prepared prior to the breeding season. Uromastyx will dump eggs if not happy with the nest box conditions and tortoises will simply retain their eggs or dump them in the water dish. These eggs are very unforgiving and if not setup correctly as soon as they are laid, your odds of hatching them are slim. You really need to be setup in advance. The goal of this kit is to give you the basics (except the incubator) to give you as good a chance as possible of hatching your viable eggs. One of the key ingredients is the hatching media. For this we recommend "HatchRite" combined with medical grade activated charcoal and placed in moderately sized "tupperware"-type containers. We also include 5 pounds of "Excavator Soil" to aid you in setting up nesting conditions attractive to gravid females.  Instructions on how to prepare and use each of these products is included with the kit. We offer the package  for $30 + shipping ($13 shipped by USPS Priority Mail) 

Incubation Kit   $30 +  shipping

 

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Basic Dietary Supplies

 

SuperVeggie Dust

This is the key supplementation we use. The primary goal in vitamin supplementation is to complement the nutritional content of your normal diet to insure you're meeting all your animals nutritional needs. In our many discussions with pet keepers, we've noticed the tendency for many to feed a diet higher in plants from the mustard family (collards, kale. mustard greens, Pok Choy) than we recommend. We also noted a general trend towards under-applying the original Uromastyx Dust vitamin supplementation while over-applying other calcium supplementations. This poses several concerns.  First is the risk of  excessive iodine binding from mustard family greens.  Second is the risk of general vitamin binding issues from over-reliance / improper use of separate daily calcium supplementation coupled with the under use of the vitamin supplementation.

We periodically consult with the manufacturer of Uromastyx Dust (Allen Repashy) to compare notes to verify it is meeting the needs of Uromastyx and tortoises. Thus in the fall of 2009 during a brain-storming session with Allen, we asked him to tweak Uromastyx Dust to resolve these issues. The result is that Uromastyx Dust (renamed "SuperVeggie Dust" to be more inclusive) now comes in a more concentrated form to better reflect how the average person applies it. It also has proportionally higher levels of a natural source of iodine (kelp). The calcium content was also tweaked to allow Veggie Dust to serve as a primary calcium source in a balanced ratio with the  added vitamins so that we could alternate it with Miner-All or Repashy Calcium supplements and still meet all our calcium needs even in breeding individuals. Lastly, we have really been disappointed in the current UVB bulbs as reliable sources of inducing vitamin D3 synthesis in Uromastyx (see the discussion in the UVB section below). To that end Veggie Dust now has two forms of vitamin D3 in it - the typical oil-soluble form, and a better assimilated emulsified form that doesn't require that there be any oil in the gut for it to be absorbed. The dose is high enough to meet their D3 needs yet low enough to be safely used on a daily basis. We now employ this new formulation as our daily supplementation. Per usual, we'll track how our breeders and hatchlings due over the course of the next few years but we expect this to be a good overall improvement in our husbandry.  Currently we are dusting the food with SuperVeggie Dust on odd numbered days and with Repashy Calcium Plus HyD calcium mineral supplement on even numbered days. 

We offer Veggie Dust in a 1 pound economy size to make it a better value per oz. It is $21 plus $6 shipping. It should last a single Uromastyx about 4 to 6 months).  We ship these Priority mail or FedEx Home Delivery  for quick delivery. 

SuperVeggie Dust (16 oz foil pouch) $21 +  shipping

 

 

 
Repashy Calcium-Plus
HyD calcium/mineral Supplement

As indicated in the above discussion of SuperVeggie Dust, we now use SuperVeggie Dust to supply about half of our normal calcium needs.  Repashy Calcium Plus HyD is our current preferred secondary calcium supplement as it serves to also boost the levels of certain key minerals beyond just calcium such as zinc and magnesium. It also contains many of the nutrients found in SuperVeggie dust but from different food sources.  We've always believed variety in diets is the best way to go, so we alternate our supplementation between SuperVeggie Dust and Calcium Plus Hy-D. The HyD is formulated for use with reptiles that have high UV needs (such as diurnal desert species) but are being reared indoors under normal lights. As we've stated before, if you have to rear your reptiles indoors, we feel using normal light bulbs and offering vitamin D3 in a calcium supplement in the diet is a much more effective and safer way to meet their D3 needs rather than using the currently available mercury vapor UVB bulbs. Assuming you're using SuperVeggie Dust as your daily supplementation, we recommend adding Repashy HyD to the greens on alternate days, roughly 3 times per week, replacing the SuperVeggie Dust on those days.

We offer it for $21.00 for a 16oz foil pouch for better economy per oz.  Shipping is $6 for USPS Express shipping if shipped alone and will show up as included in the product price on the cart. For the average Urophile, this should last you about 4-6 months per animal.  Note shipping runs much cheaper per item if you combine it with either an order of SuperVeggie Dust (see below) or order it as part of the Dietary Restocking kit.

Repashy Calcium Plus HyD  $21 +  $6 USPS Priority shipping

Repashy SuperVeggie Dust (16 oz) + HyD Calcium  (16oz)     $42 +  $6 USPS Priority shipping

 

Mazuri Tortoise Diet 

We have been examining various diets for many years, trying to come up with the best way to insure our specimens have the healthiest growth rates. We also want one that is easy for our customers to duplicate so that their pet is as easy to properly care for as possible. Fresh greens of the best varieties are an obvious choice but in and of themselves they don't always give us good growth rates. Thus we've spent a fair amount of effort trialing various commercial diets for their impact on growth rates, overall condition and their acceptability to Uromastyx. While we like the small pelleted diets (Rep-Cal / T-Rex / Zoo Med Juvenile Iguana pellets) as side supplements left in a small shallow dish, our specimens simply don't eat enough of it. Mazuri is the major supplier of commercial diets to Zoos and we decided to examine their herbivore (tortoise) diet.  Nutritionally and roughage wise it is great. We initially offered it by soaking it until just soft and adding it to the food dish. This was very well accepted by some species (Egyptian, Algerian, and Banded Uromastyx as well as all chuckwallas in particular) but is less enjoyed by many other Uromastyx species.  We then changed to grinding the dry pellet into a course powder in our blender and sprinkling it on the dampened leafy greens every other day. To test the effects of this diet, we took 100 newly hatched Mali Uromastyx in the fall of 2006 and reared 1/3 on our base diet (Earth Bound Brand Spring Mix leafy greens dusted daily with Miner-ALL brand calcium/mineral supplement), 1/3 on the same base diet but with ground Mazuri tortoise pellets added daily, and 1/3 on the base diet plus ground Mazuri and 10% warmed mixed frozen veggies added (peas, green beans, carrots, etc).  No health problems developed in any of the specimens but the groups getting the Mazuri with their greens grew at a rate 1/3 faster than the greens-only group. Their growth rate was on track to produce breeding size specimens within 3 years.  As this is what appears to happen in the wild, this is our target growth rate.  The added Mazuri powder also led to firmer stools (and cleaner cages) verses the greens only group.

This is the diet we are currently using with all our specimens so we wish to make sure our customers have access to it as well. The Spring mix is available at all Costco stores and many larger grocery stores year round. Be sure to buy the brands sold in plastic tubs, NOT in the loose plastic bags. The quality is MUCH better on average.  Mazuri tortoise diet is harder for some to come by and tends to be expensive through the few Pet shops that carry it (around $12 per pound). We therefore offer the pellets here in twice the pet-shop amounts (2 pounds verses 1) for about half the price ($12 plus shipping). This is closer to the per-pound bulk commercial price w/out your having to  buy 25 pounds. This way we hope all our customers can use this diet without having to buy huge amounts or having to pay a premium for more reasonable amounts. One 2# bag should last a single adult Uromastyx several months when fed at a rate equivalent to one  ground pellet every other day dusted on the greens.  This is really a very cost effective portion of the diet, even after figuring in shipping costs. We use USPS Flat Rate shipping on these and offer it in 2 pound bags for  $22  including shipping.  Again, it works out cheaper if you buy it included  in the Dietary Restocking Kit at the top of this page.

Mazuri Pellets (2# bag)   $22 shipped

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Jump Start

Jump-Start Feeding Supplement

Reptiles can lose weight for many reasons, including egg formation and subsequent laying, conflicts with cage mates, environmental stressors or illness. This can progress from simply being gradually pickier eaters to going completely off feed. Once you address any potential environmental or disease issues, the next most important task is to get their metabolism back on track and return them to feeding on a regular schedule.  Jump-Start is a molasses-like paste that readily dissolves in warm water and as the name suggests, helps jump-start the recovery process. It accomplishes this in several ways. First and foremost it is a high calorie supplement that they can quickly and easily digest for badly needed energy without having to expend many internal resources. The second effect is that this stimulates their digestive system into action which helps get them physiologically and psychologically back into normal food-seeking behavior, increasing the odds that they will begin to consume a normal diet and in normal proportions.  When we have animals off feed or in need of more calories to offset egg laying or recovery from an illness or injury, we tube feed them once daily with 1 cc of Jump-Start dissolved in 1 to 5 cc's of Pedialyte depending on the size of the animal until we feel they are back on track. This is usually mixed in with Critical Care so that the animals can get energy out of the Jump-Start quickly that can then be used to aid in digesting the more complete (but much slower to digest) Critical Care. This is especially important in animals that are already very thin or otherwise seem to be having trouble digesting their food. For newly acquired animals that are reluctant to feed, we tend to use just the Jump-Start and Pedialite to stimulate their feeding response but leave their stomachs relatively empty to that they will be motivated to seek more food. For species like Uromastyx benti that stress from being moved, this is a good way to get them past the psychological hurdle of not wanting to seek food (sulking) when moved to a new home. We use USPS Priority Flat Rate shipping on these for quick delivery. Price includes shipping.

Jump-Start (4.2 oz tube)   $19 shipped  (temporarily out-of-stock)

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 Panacur

Panacur / SafeGuard 
De-Worming paste

A common reason for loss of weight in reptiles that are otherwise eating well is an overabundance of intestinal parasites. These are most commonly various types of round worms/nematodes/ pin worms. It is irrelevant if your reptile is captive born or wild caught - both pick up parasite eggs on their food (yes the greens you buy in the store carry parasite eggs -sorry!).  We worm all our stock twice a year (spring and fall) and again if we see weight loss in otherwise actively eating individuals with firm stools. The formulation of Panacur used for horses works very well for lizards and has a wide margin of safety. For the species we work with (listed throughout this website), the dose of this formulation is 1/10 of 1 CC for every 100 grams body weight of your reptile. If you wish to do your own worming (which is very simple) then be sure to get a digital gram scale to weigh your animal. Once you know it's weight, you can either dab the correct amount of Panacur on their food and hand feed it to them or mix it with 1 to 2 cc's of Pedialyte and tube feed them with it (this is our preferred method as it's quicker and you know for sure they got the whole dose). We offer both gram scales and tubing needles separately on this page or as part of our Heath Care  Kit at the top of the page. We use USPS Priority Flat Rate shipping on these for quick delivery.

Panacur (4.2 oz tube)   $12 plus shipping

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Basic Habitat Supplies

 

 IR Temperature Guns
Infra-Red Thermometers

Failure to set up and maintain the correct habitat temperatures is one of the most common errors made by Uromastyx keepers and reptile enthusiasts in general.  Proper husbandry requires setting up a temperature gradient in the cage.  This means you need to know the temperature of various sections of the cage, not just the spot where you happen to stick on the typical pet shop thermometer.  Infra-Red thermometers, while slightly more expensive than the cheap, inaccurate pet shop fare, give an instantaneous, accurate reading of ANY part of the habitat, including the actual animal.  More importantly they are measuring the surface temperature, not air temperature.  This is the temperature your animals are actually being directly exposed to. Just point and click and the temperature is immediately displayed in the digital readout. There is no need to leave the thermometer in the cage to be damaged or obstruct your view.  Nor do you need to  buy multiply thermometers for readings throughout the cage or for multiple cages.  Once you have one of these, you'll never know how you did without it!  They really are the next best thing since sliced bread.

We offer both the standard TG-1 and the laser sighted PE-2 Professional Infra-Red Thermometers for ease of use and best accuracy. This is the type used by engineers for precision engine testing (we've actually had the local Police authorities borrow ours for finding hot water pipes hidden in concrete flooring scheduled for partial demolition).  The standard model measures at 1:1, meaning you will be measuring a 1" square area when you hold the thermometer 1" away from the spot you wish to measure, or a 6" square area if held 6" away. The PE-2 model emits a visible red laser beam at the exact spot where the temperature readings are being  taken so you know exactly what spot is being measured. It has a tighter  6 to 1  measuring ratio (i.e. it measures a spot 1" in size  when measured from 6" away). Both have an easy button switch for toggling between C and F readings, a backlight digital display, hold, auto-off, and a temperature range that greatly exceeds anything you'll ever need to measure (-27 F to 428 F ).  These are the best units for taking multiple readings quickly and accurately over multiple sites and cages. It is truly indispensable for breeders or those with larger collections and will pay for itself almost immediately in saved costs over buying multiple digital cable thermometers.  We offer the TG-1 for $25 plus shipping, and the PE-2 for only $40 plus shipping ($6).

TG-1  Infra-Red Thermometer   $25 + shipping



PE-2 Laser Sighted Infra Red Thermometer
  $40 + shipping

 

 

Ceramic heat emitter

   Ceramic Heat Emitters vs Undertank Heating Pads

 

We've found that many on our customers have trouble keeping the sleeping area of their habitats warm enough at night.  Uromastyx do best if you keep the night temps above 70F, 75F being ideal.  In the past we've offered under tank heating pads to solve this problem,  However after following up on our customers, we feel too many are having trouble regulating their temperature without having to buy an additional rheostat to prevent overheating. We've thus decided it's safer and more practical to go with overhead Ceramic Heat Emitters for extra heat needs. For most setups, the Zoo-Med 100W emitters will best serve your needs.  Place this so it shines down onto the sleeping quarters, adjusting the angle to produce the desired temperature.  We offer these Emitters for $19 each plus shipping ($7).

100W Ceramic Heat Emitters  $19 +  shipping

 

 

 UV Bulbs vs Standard Bulbs

Two types of UV light rays are utilized by reptiles. In theory UVA moderates the circadian rhythm and innate behavioral drives in reptiles (helps set their biological clocks through the changing season and stimulates feeding/breeding responses).  Reptiles in the wild use UVB rays to convert pre-vitamin D in their skin into active vitamin D3 which is then used in regulating the absorption and metabolic deposition of calcium. Unfortunately UV from incoming sunlight will not penetrate normal window or aquarium glass nor even window screen in biologically significant amounts. Thus many reptile keepers seek to supply these rays artificially. The problem is normal incandescent light bulbs don't produce UV rays and most specialty bulbs claiming to produce them produce far too little to be biologically useful.

In practice however, activated vitamin D3 can simply be added to the diet, thus avoiding the need for exposure to UVB rays. We have successfully reared innumerable reptiles over multiple generations using only dietary vitamin D3. We use  both SuperVeggie Dust and Calcium Plus supplements to fulfill that need.  Still, supplying at least some UVB / UVA exposure has always seemed to be a good idea where practical and safe. Unfortunately most of the bulbs we've tested are either short-lived or produce far too little UVB to be biologically useful. The only safe useful exception we have found is the Zoo-Med Power Sun bulb. It is short lived for us however and hard to justify. Other newer variants (ex. Zoo-Med T-5 UV bulbs) look promising but  are yet to be fully trialed by us. Newer halogen versions of UV bulbs are also coming on the market but as of now are absurdly expensive and again unverified as to long term safety and  benefit.  

 Longlife Clear
Infra-red Basking Bulbs

 We preferentially use 125 to 175 Watt clear Infra-Red bulbs for our primary heating. If you choose to use a UVB bulb in your tanks, you really only need or want one per tank. More than that is a waste of money and limits your reptiles ability to avoid UV when wanted.  Any additional heat-emitting lighting should really be a white-light emitting infra-red bulb. We use to use the standard hardware store Infra-Reds but the common brands seem to have given up their quality control in the rush to being the cheapest. The filament lifespan would probably be ok, except the glass bulbs routinely come loose and separate from the metal base within a few months of use - shorting out the bulb. Trying to remove the now detached base is frustrating and potentially hazardous. We solved the problem by locating these heavy duty bulbs which boost that they will NEVER detach under normal use. They are made from a much higher quality glass and have a welded nipple on the base to lock the base to the glass bulb. You can immediately feel and see the difference in quality. Even with the improvements, the price is still competitive at $10 each.  The size however still requires us to ship them in a USPS Flat rate box or larger FedEx box, so shipping would be $10 a bulb. This seems too impractical to justify.  However They now come in a 2 bulb box, cutting the shipping cost per bulb appreciably. With that in mind, we are offering them in sets of two with shipping at $10.  The link below is for two (2) bulbs including shipping for $32 shipped.

 Two (2) Long Life "Never Loose" 125 W Clear Infra-Red Heat Bulbs  $32 including shipping

 

 

   Low Profile & Adjustable Fixtures

 Equally important to the care and breeding of Uromastyx is a bright cage lit with light in as natural a light spectrum as possible. We feel this has a bigger impact on our breeding efforts than simply adding artificial UV exposure. We prefer cool white high wattage compact fluorescent bulbs as they provide the best bang for the buck (most lumens for the watts used) with a near-sunlight light spectrum. Likewise, many of the prefabricated cages tend to have fixtures only on one side of the tank, making for an overly cool or overly dark far end.  We fix this with super compact ceramic fixtures and adjustable dual sockets.   For those who wish to build their own cages or add internal lighting to either Vision, Showcase, or Animal Plastics brand cages, these  are the best way to go.  The ceramic fixtures are very easy to self-wire and install and take up minimal space. The ceramic sockets are completely adjustable so you can aim the light or heat anywhere needed in the cage and will screw into any normal sized fixture including the low profile ones offered here.  The Low profile fixtures are $9 each plus $6 shipping, The Ceramic Adjustable Sockets are $25  each plus $6 shipping, or order both together and save the extra shipping costs. 

Compact Ceramic Fixtures  $9 + shipping

Adjustable Ceramic Dual Socket  $25 + shipping (temporarily out-of-stock)

Compact Ceramic Fixture  + Adjustable Socket  $34 + shipping (temporarily out-of-stock)

 

 

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Basic Health Monitoring Supplies

 

 Digital Gram Scales

Tracking your animals' weight is extremely unreliable by "eye".  Many reptiles vary their food intake seasonally and many people become concerned their companion is ill and must be losing weight when these events occur.  Additionally, many new arrivals or stressed individuals may not eat in front of the new caretakers, so the owners become convinced that the individual isn't eating. Sometimes the animal is actually fine and other times weight loss is actually occurring  but via a gradual, long decline easy to miss when you see them every day.  A digital gram scale is the BEST way to know for sure how your pets or breeders are doing. For breeders, tracking weight over time is essential to good management.  If you wish to give your own medications or worming, you HAVE to know exactly what your animals weigh - guessing is NOT an option.

Unfortunately, most pet owners balk at the high cost of accurate gram scales. But if you wish us to help you with dosing for worming or to determine how your Uro is progressing (a common request), we really need you to supply us with it's true weight. So we've found a couple of  highly compact, highly accurate (+,- 0.1 gram) digital scales that will meet anyone's budget constraints.  The smallest scale handles up to 1000 grams which will accommodate all but the absolute largest adult Uromastyx species while recording measurements down to 1/10 of 1 gram for precise tracking of even the smallest hatchlings. It can also measure in ounces, has a bright backlight for easy reading, plus auto-shutoff with a low batter indicator.  It also has an automatic calibration feature if you ever need to re-calibrate it for any reason.  It comes with a clear cover which locks the scale to prevent you from accidentally damaging the scale by placing something absurdly heavy on it by mistake - (you simply flip it off to release the scale and being taking readings).  It's really a top notch scale - nothing else comes close for the money.  This one is only $20 plus shipping!

[[Note this scale is very compact but still can accommodate the typical Uromastyx, Greek/Russian Tortoise, most commonly kept pet lizards as well as Rat/King/Milk snakes and juvenile pythons/boas.  For active reptiles, simply get a Tupperware-like container from any grocery store, place it on the scale, and hit the "tare" button. This subtracts the container's weight from the reading.  Then add your lizard and get it's weight displayed accurate to 1/10 of 1 gram.  Our only complaint is that with the Tupperware container placed directly on the scales platform, it tends to hide the numbers. We solve this by placing a small container like an empty mini-cat food can between the scale platform and the Tupperware container.  This raises the Tupperware high enough to make it easy to read the scale - the photos above were taken that way.

For those with larger reptiles, we also offer a 3,000 gram scale, also with 1/10 of 1 gram accuracy.  This one will accommodate any of the Uromastyx, tortoise and lizards species we work with - even the largest full adults.  It comes with all the features mentioned above along with a larger weighing platform and holding tray. We offer this one for only $30 plus shipping ($6 for USPS Priority Mail).  We use this one we use in-house for all our animal weighing needs and the smaller scale when we need to weigh exceptionally small amounts of anti-biotics.

 1000gram-Compact  Scale (for weighing hatchlings to most adults or antibiotics)  $20 + shipping

3000gram-Compact  Scale (for weighing hatchlings to largest adults & antibiotics)  $30 + shipping

 

 

 

Critical Care Tube-Feeding Supplement

You need to be careful when tube feeding to make sure you don't give the wrong gut organisms a competitive advantage.  Medications such as Baytril and Flagyl and antibiotics in general tend to wipe out much of the normal gut fauna.  This leaves a wide open field for potentially deleterious species to move in and take over. To a large degree, the normally present population of beneficial organisms are responsible for keeping the populations of deleterious species in check through competition for space.  But radical changes in diet as well as illness or use of medications can tip this balance in favor of the wrong species. To correct the problem, oral doses of beneficial bacteria often help  "reset" the playing field.  Yogurt is a common food used for this purpose in humans. The problem is that it's a dairy product and not a safe choice for reptiles.  Better products with bacteria better adapted for birds and reptiles have since been developed, (ex. "Nutri-Bac") and a few are generally available through larger pet shops.  We strongly advocate using something like them when tube feeding. This helps prevent the large dose of "bacteria friendly" semi-liquid food from initiating an explosion of growth among the wrong bacteria.  But even if you follow this precaution, the commonly used foods for  tube feeding (strained baby foods) can be a problem to a weaker individuals' system. We've found that a product called "Critical Care" formulated for tube feeding herbivores (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.) solves these concerns in the more common tube-feeding situations. It's base ingredients are much more herbivore-friendly (ex. timothy grass) and is a much safer way to nutritionally aid seriously debilitated individuals or to jump start animals in a decline. It also contains beneficial gut fauna so it covers both health issues associated with tube feeding.

We offer it in the "Fine-Grind" formulation which is much easier to pass through  the typical feeding tube.  It comes in a 100 gram size, which is the most practical for the average pet owner.  For animals still eating on their own, it is also an excellent supplement sprinkled onto the greens. If your animal is to the point where it needs tube feeding, we first ask that you go to your local Vet to learn first hand how to properly tube feed your Uro. We do NOT recommend that the novice try tube feeding without first contacting your local Veterinarian and being shown specifically how to safely tube feed and we will not sell any Critical Care for that purpose until you can demonstrate to us you know what you're doing.  However it is completely safe for those using it as an additive or spoon feeding their convalescent pets or breeders.  You must call us first before ordering so we can walk you through its proper use.  We offer the pet size for $16 plus $6 USPS Priority Mail shipping. We've included a photo of a bottle of a generic brand of "Pedialyte" in this section as that's what we prefer to use when mixing up all our tube-feeding formulas and medications. It's available as various store brands throughout North America and is a much better choice than tap water or bottled water.  It contains electrolytes plus easily absorbed dextrose.  It also is safe to use for enemas in  severely dehydrated individuals or one's with gut impactions.

Critical Care (Fine grain Pet Size 100 grams) $16 +  shipping

Repashy RescueCal


One of the most common health issues we hear about in Uromastyx and other desert species of reptiles is metabolic bone disease (MBD). While MBD is a lump name for several health issues, the most common one is insufficient blood levels of calcium.  This tends to show up as muscle tremors, especially in the toes in the early stages. In extreme cases the animals has what appears to be brief seizures where all its muscles seem to lock up. In chronic cases, you get rubber-like jaws or weakness to paralysis in the hind legs.  Low blood calcium in gravid females can lead to poorly formed eggs or worse, egg retention and egg binding.  Low blood calcium can be due to many factors including too little calcium in the diet to begin with or poor assimilation of the calcium that is in the food. If detected early many of these symptoms can corrected or at least mitigated with an oral dose of an easily absorbed calcium supplement. Rescue Cal+ is your best bet under these circumstances. We offer these for $12 each in 3oz bottles. Shipping is $5.

Rescue Cal   $12  + shipping

 

 

Tubing Kit

Tube-Feeding Kit
We use these for administering many of our medications and for tube feeding ill or convalescing specimens. Many novices try to "force-feed" Uromastyx or other reptiles by forcing food into the mouth. There are several significant problems with this approach.  First, it really stresses the animal and most quickly learn to clamp their mouths shut. For many species, the jaw muscles are normally stronger than their jaw bones so forcing  the mouth open can  result in a broken jaw.  Secondly, it's almost impossible to gage how much medication they actually managed to swallow verses spit out.  In the case of  food, it's impossible to get measurable amounts down them by simply cramming it into their mouths on the rare occasions you get it open long enough to get any in at all. And lastly, the opening to their lungs (a completely separate tube from the "throat") is right at the front of the mouth - the exact place you're cramming this food or liquid.  Good tubing needles solve most the above problems very nicely. You only have to get the mouth open one time.  Then you can slide the needle right down the throat to safely and reliably deliver the food or medication directly into the stomach, easily bypassing the opening to the lungs. This minimizes handling time, stress, and any chances of  getting food into the lungs or lost as major dribbles from the mouth.  This is best shown to you by a Vet before you attempt it yourself, but we can also walk you though the process over the phone if  that's your only option.  Most Vets don't carry the needles. They tend to use soft catheters which are much more problematic for the novice to use, but the technique is overall the same. 

We've tried various types of medicating / feeding tubes over the years. The best overall are the stainless steel "Ball-tipped" (safety) mediating syringes. They have tended to be too spendy to offer to our customers but we finally found a supplier at a reasonable price. These come as part of a set of  3 with differing diameters to allow you to tube feed juveniles to adults. The ball tips prevents injury to the throat and the stainless steel construction gives them a better useful life span. This kit even comes with a cleaning needle in the event a tube becomes blocked with too large a food particle. They also come with 4 sizes of Specula's (open centered mouth pieces) to hold your reptiles mouth open while allowing an opening to easily pass the tube through (usally not needed w/ Stainless steel med needles but nice to have just incase or for use with rubber catheters. And it all comes in a nice zippered case.  We offer these for $35 a set. Shipping is $6 for USPS Priority mail. 

Stainless Steel Ball-tip Medicating Tube Feed Kit  $35 +  shipping .

 

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Incubation Supplies

 

Excavator Nestbox Soil

Before you can start incubation, you have to get your females to lay their eggs in an appropriate spot. Most dry-land species such as Uromastyx, tortoises, and to a lesser degree the ground iguanas, prefer to lay in what is know as caliche soil.  This is a very dense sandy clay to decomposed granite based soil that sets up exceptionally hard.  While you don't want that "hard pack" soil when digging up your eggs, you still want your reptiles to sense that they are digging in their preferred media.  "Excavator" soil, if properly diluted, is similar enough to attract most dry-land reptiles to your nest box to lay their eggs while still allowing you safely dig up those eggs for incubation elsewhere. We recommend mixing it 1 to 2 or 1 to 3 by volume with locally purchased washed playground sand and then adding 50% or so of peat moss by volume to that mix. The amount we sell (5 pound sacks) produces enough nest box soil to take care of one Rubbermaid 10 gallon nest box or several smaller nest boxes.  Shipping is by USPS Priority ($12). It's more cost effective to order this with the Incubation kit, or if you order multiples, the extra shipping costs can be waved as long as the total weight is below 45 pounds.

Excavator Nestbox Soil (5# bag) $6 + shipping

 

 

HatchRite Incubation Media

For the most part, Uromastyx are not overly difficult to breed. It's successfully hatching the eggs that's the tuff part. Their eggs are exceptionally sensitive to overly wet or overly dry incubation media. While many types of incubation media can work for Uromastyx eggs (perlite, vermiculite, even sand if you're really careful), it's something of an art to get them setup and maintained at the proper moisture levels. ;HatchRite was introduced to solve this problem. It is a tweaked form of perlite with moisture control-release particles similar to those found in some of the high-end potting soil mixes. This allows the manufacturer to pre-add a precise amount of moisture to the media before packaging it in a sealed, resealable container.  Thus you are spared the ordeal of trying to accurately do this yourself. This also helps to keep the moisture  safely spread throughout the media instead of concentrating at the bottom. We've trialed it for several years now and have found that it works great with most non-desert reptile species, and while not perfect, is much better than most peoples home-made attempts at producing properly moistened media for use with more moisture-sensitive desert reptile eggs.

For use with Uromastyx, Greek, and Russian tortoises, it works better if you give it one last tweak. We use medical grade, powdered activated charcoal (MGAC) to mix in just before placing the HatchRite in our incubator trays. Depending on what species you are trying to hatch and the conditions of the eggs (excellent condition to slight dehydrated or thin shelled), you add approx 1 teaspoons per quart container. This serves both to slightly lower the initial moisture levels when incubating desert species eggs and naturally inhibits fungal/bacterial growth in the media. If you've incubated a lot of eggs in the past, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how much better they do with medical grade activated charcoal in the incubation mix. The combination of HatchRite and MGAC definitely removes the hardest part of incubation from the equation, especially for those who are inexperienced in mixing up incubation media or simply hate the hassle (see further directions on how to setup the incubation media below under the Ziplock container photos below).

 We offer HatchRite in 2# re-sealable  bags for $12 plus shipping ($9). This is enough to set up 4 to 6 normal size incubation trays.

HatchRite (2# bag) $12 + shipping 

 

 

Activated Charcoal
 

We also carry medical grade powdered activated charcoal so pure, it's labeled for Veterinary use. It's ideal as an incubation media additive to naturally inhibit bacterial and fungal growth on eggs and is also suitable for use in poultices for drawing toxic byproducts out of ongoing skin infections/wounds/injuries. We offer it in 3oz ziplock bags (suitable for treating up to 4 bags of HatchRite or approx. 5 quarts of comparable incubation media) for $10 plus shipping ($5.50).  If you order both products together, you can save  $3 in reduced shipping cost.  If you have a larger number of clutches planned or wish some on hand for medical use, we also offer it in 1/2 lb  ziplocks for $25 plus shipping ($5.50).

Medical Grade Activated Charcoal (3oz ziplock bag) $10 + shipping 

HatchRite + Activated Charcoal (2# + 3 oz)  $24 + reduced overall shipping 

Bulk Medical Grade Activated Charcoal  (8oz ziplock) $25 + shipping  

 

Egg Containers

  We preferentially use Sterilite rectangular vented containers (Target stores normally carries these) for small clutches or clutches we wish to break up between multiple containers and occasionally use Rubbermaid  large "TakeAlong" rectangular containers for out largest clutches. Fill them 2/3'rds full of HatchRite + 1 to 2 teaspoons (depending on the size of the container) of Activated Charcoal. Place this in the incubator at 92F (or whatever the preferred incubation temperature is for the species you work with) at least two weeks or more in advance of when you expect your eggs to be laid. Don't put any holes in the lid. Every morning check the container and if you see any large condensation water droplets have formed on the inside of the lid.  If so, then wipe them off and re-seal the lid. Do this every day until you only see a fine misting of moisture under the lid in the mornings.  Now the container is ready for your eggs. Once the eggs are laid in your nest box, dig them up and rebury them on their sides in the HatchRite mix until almost completely covered. Pop the lid very briefly once or twice a week for air exchange and that's it.  Note don't use HatchRite as your nest box media, only use it in the incubation  boxes. Please see our Uromastyx care sheet for more information on breeding/incubation.

To place an order with us please e-mail  or call us  (360) 435- 2679  Pacific Standard Time to discuss your needs with us first so we can better help you make the best choices for your situation.   We accept Cashiers checks or Postal money orders, and are set up to accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, e-checks and Paypal (click on the "Add to Cart" button below each item to use the shopping cart feature on this page or click on the "Buy Now" button below the Paypal banner to total everything yourself  manually).

Note Paypal or Credit Card  payments allow us to ship immediately (we ship supplies Monday through Friday).   Please mail Postal money orders to:


Deer Fern Farms,
27610 Whitman Rd.,
Arlington, WA. 98223


 

Email: douglasdix@deerfernfarms.com        

Copyright 1992 - 2015 by  Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text.