blue tongue skink

Reptile Diets: Blue Tongue Skink

When I first got my bluey I struggled to figure out a diet plan that was healthy and balanced for him but not too pricey and labor intensive for me. This is the staple diet I eventually came up with for him, so I thought I would do a quick write-up in case it’s useful to anyone else.

Supplies

Technically all you really need is a knife, cutting board, bowl, and something to mix with, but it makes the whole process much easier if you have a food processor.

Protein

A varied diet is always important, so I use both insect (black soldier fly larvae) and mammal (rabbit) protein sources.

Please note that the dog food needs to always be grain free (and free of other starchy fillers like potato), lacking in any preservatives that are toxic to reptiles, and made with lean meat (stay away from red meat). A good dog food should have protein and fat levels close to (or below) the values for healthy feeder insects.

Edit: It has come to my attention that, in addition to a recent recall, Evangers has a shady history in terms of using low-quality ingredients. Although I’ve found no recalls or complaints involving this product line I do not recommend using this brand. Quality products to use instead include Wild Calling Grain Free Rabbit Formula (which is 96% rabbit meat with protein-specific liver) and Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit Formula. I may also experiment with using raw whole carcass ground rabbit from a raw-feeding website.

Plant Matter

I always go with some variety of squash, healthy dark greens (usually collard or arugula), and some other vegetable (carrots today). The vegetables all go into the food processor to get broken down into a slurry. 

Then the vegetables get mixed in with the protein in a big bowl until you have a thick, homogeneous mixture. I used to add vitamins and calcium at this point, but now I mix them into the food right before serving since I worry that the freezing and microwaving may degrade the supplements.

Someday I should probably measure out the exact proportions of protein to vegetables, but I’ve always just eyeballed it. Skink keepers seem to disagree on the exact protein to plant matter ratio blueys are supposed to eat, so I usually aim for around 50/50.

Storage

The end result gets divided into meal-sized balls, packed into airtight deli cups, and stored in the freezer until it is ready to use. I try not to make more than a month’s worth at a time since Skimble starts to dislike the texture if it sits in the freezer for too long.

To serve I simply thaw, place in Skimble’s dish, and microwave for about 10 seconds to get it warm and yummy.

Making food this way has been a huge time and money saver. Skimble also eats healthier because he can’t pick out the stuff he likes. I do mix other food items into Skimble’s staple meal sometimes (fruits, live insects, eggs, etc) so he still gets variety in his diet.

Just a small side note that this diet would probably not be ideal for an animal that is prone to or fighting off a mouth infection because it is so soft and mushy.

A girl at my biology department graduation brought a lizard that she adopted from her lab and made it a little cap and gown. The announcers called the lizard’s name too when they called the girl up to get her diploma.This was pretty much the highlight of graduation.

By the way since people have been asking, it is in fact a blue tongue skink, and his name is Ajax.