What Do Baby Skinks Eat? Blue Tongue Skink Diet

What Do Baby Skinks Eat

A very important part of raising a baby blue tongue lizard, also known as skink, is providing them with a well-balanced diet. In terms of what to baby skinks eat, their diet should be 70% protein, 20% vegetables and 10% fruit. Baby skinks need more protein than adults.

When getting a baby skink such as Blue tongue skink, it can get quite confusing what to feed them and unfortunately there isn’t much information online. We’ve put together this guide to help you establish a well-balanced diet for your baby skink.

In this article, we will be looking at the following topics:

  • What do baby skinks eat in the wild
  • What do baby skinks eat as pets
  • How to feed a baby skinks
  • How often to feed them
  • Foods to avoid
  • Brand recommendations

What Do Baby Skinks Eat In The Wild

Before looking at what do baby skinks eat, first you need to get familiar with their diet in the wild.

Blue tongue skinks are considered babies in the first 12 months of their life. These reptiles are omnivorous with a varied diet of animal protein, vegetables and greens; and the occasional fruit.

What Do Baby Skinks Eat As Pets

What do baby skinks eat

Knowing what do baby skinks eat in the wild is as important as knowing what to feed them when kept as a pet. In captivity, baby blue tongue lizard diet slightly varies from that of an adult.

In terms of what do baby skinks eat when kept as pets, there are two options – homemade diet or cat food/dog food. Even when fed cat food, you can still include finely chopped vegetables, greens and insects. What’s important to remember is that baby blue skink diet should be made of 70% protein and 20% vegetables and 10% fruit.

In the first 8 to 12 weeks you shouldn’t feed your baby skinks any mice or other rodents. Another thing to watch out for is if you’re housing multiple baby blue tongue skinks. During feeding times, the babies can confuse their siblings’ feet and nails for insects.

This can result in injury and should be avoided.

Cat Food/Dog Food

Knowing what do baby skinks eat during the first months of their life is essential for their development. Too much soft food is not beneficial for them as it doesn’t exercise the jaw muscles.

That’s why one of the preferred options is crushed up dry kitten food. This will get their jaws working. This is important because a diet that of too much sloppy and soft foods can lead to gum disease.

As kitten/cat food is higher in protein than dog food, it should only be offered to young skinks as they need more protein than adults.

This is important to know because too much protein in your skink’s diet can result in gout.

In terms of which cat brands are the best, always stick to high quality brands that use real ingredients. The cat food should never contain by-products of meat and bones. Easy way to tell if the cat food is of good quality is if the first few ingredients are whole meats and not ingredients such as “beat pulp”, “broth”, etc.

Homemade Diet

Another option for what to feed a baby blue tongue lizard is homemade diet. If you decide to go down this route, you must ensure it consist of 70% protein and 20% vegetables and 10% fruit.

This is where knowing what a baby skink eats in the wild is very important. With a homemade diet, we are trying to get as close as possible to what they eat in their natural habitat.

Protein

In terms of what protein to feed baby blue tongue lizards, the list includes:

  • Appropriately sized live insects, such as crickets, ‘calciworms’, ‘waxmoth larvae’, fruit beetle grubs, dubia cockroaches, silkworms and locusts. These can be fed every day. It’s important to remove any uneaten crickets or locusts as they can bite the baby skink
  • Snails – great source of protein
  • Waxworms are high in fat. Therefore, they should only be offered as an occasional treat

Baby Blue tongue skinks need more protein than adults. The excess protein will ensure they grow up to their full size potential.

Whereas, not enough protein can result in their bones not forming properly and developing diseases such as Metabolic Bone Disease, also known as MBD.

Vegetables, Greens And Fruits

The list of what do baby skinks eat in terms of vegetables and greens include: dandelion, milk thistle, watercress, green beans, carrots, alfafa sprouts.

On the other hand, some good choice for fruits include banana, apple, pawpaw, pear, etc.

Always, remove any uneaten food and replace with fresh one.

How To Feed A Baby Skink?

Knowing what do baby skinks eat is as important as knowing how to feed them safely. The best way to feed your baby Blue tongue skink is until they are full and then immediately remove any leftovers.

Alongside the baby skink’s diet, you should also include supplements such as Vitamin D3 and dusting insects with calcium powder. If the skink has UVB light, you should include less calcium dusting when feeding insects.

The best time to feed you skink is 1-2 hours after they have woken up, this allows them to warm up and will help them to digest the food they eat as their digestion is quite slow. You can put all their food in a large bowl to let them eat it unless it is live bugs which you can hand feed, place in a feeder dish or let them catch in a separate feeder tank. Just make sure to remove any old food after a few hours to prevent it from rotting and smelling. 

Tank Temperature

Knowing what do baby skinks eat is an important part of their care. However, if you don’t get the living conditions right, your baby skink might not want to eat in the first place.

If the tank temperature is too cold, not only will your baby blue tongue lizard not have appetite, but they will also struggle to digest their food.

To learn about what is the perfect temperature for your baby skink’s tank, read this guide on tank set up Blue Tongue Skink Tank Setup – Step By Step Guide

Baby Skinks Diet – Feeding Schedule And Portions

In terms what food portions to feed a baby Blue tongue lizard, the food should be no bigger than the size of their head. Furthermore, each serving should be as big as 1-2 tablespoons of food.

Feeding Schedule

A baby Blue tongue lizard up to 3 months of age, should be fed 2 to 3 times per day, 6 days per week with 1 day of no food.

As they get older, they will need to eat less. When they are 3 to 8 months of age, the baby Blue tongue lizards should be fed 3 times per week.

As adults, when they are 8+ months of age, you should feed them 1 to 2 times per week.

Every second or third day, mix their food with supplement powder. To learn more on what supplements you should give to your Blue tongue skink, click here for the full guide Blue Tongue Skink Supplements – Supplements For Healthy Skink

It’s important to observe your baby blue tongue lizard’s feeding habits. If they are not eating, you should wait a week and see if it’s just because they were full. A good saying is – hungry skink is not a picky eater. However, a full sink is very picky.

Baby Skink Foods Reccomendations

The following are kitten kibble brands that are perfect for the first 3 months of your skink’s life:

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food Turkey & Duck

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food

The following wet food can be fed to your baby skink in rotation:

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food, Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver

Halo Gluten Free Natural Wet Cat Food, Indoor Turkey & Quail Recipe– Great for baby skinks that are picky eaters

Nature’s Logic Feline Turkey Feast

Wellness Turkey Formula 25%

Repashy’s Bluey Buffet

Treats

Great treats to choose from are:

  • Woodroaches
  • Banana and other fruits
  • Repashy grub

Foods To Avoid Feeding To A Baby Skink

Now that you know what do baby skinks eat, it’s time to learn what foods to avoid such as:

  • Human baby food – Although, your skink will love this, it’s very unhealthy for them due to the high contents of sugar and salt. The one time that is ok to feed tiny amounts of human baby food is when your skink is refusing to eat and only when it’s mixed with healthy foods
  • Spinach – too much spinach can prevent calcium absorption
  • Kale – too much kale can affect hormone balance and production
  • Goitrogenic foods – In excess, goitrogens will bind to the iodine in your skink’s system, removing it. A lack of iodine over time can cause thyroid issues
  • Oxalic foods – Too much oxalates, such as phosphorus, will bind to calcium and remove it from the skink’s body

Dangerous and toxic insects:

  • Fireflies (lightning bugs)
  • Ladybugs
  • Spiders 
  • Monarch butterflies and caterpillars
  • Ants – not all but the some bites can result in a severe allergic reaction
  • Centipede 

Final Thoughts

What do baby skinks eat

Blue tongue skinks are omnivorous by nature. In the wild, they eat a varied diet of dead animals, live bugs, fruits, vegetables, berries and other foods that they come across.

There are two options for your baby skink diet – commercial cat food and then dog food or homemade diet.

If you want to go down cat food route, you must ensure that you’re only picking high quality brands that don’t contain any by products, fillers and preservatives. The first few ingredients should always be whole meats.

Whereas, if you decide to feed your baby Blue tongue lizard a homemade diet, you must ensure that is made up of 70% protein, 20% vegetables and 10% fruit. In addition, the foods should always have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1.

What you feed a baby Blue tongue lizard is essential to their health. After all, you want your skink to be thriving and not just surviving on a poor diet. And don’t forget the supplements!

Related Topics Q&A

Why Is My Skink Not Eating?

If your Blue tongue lizard is not eating, it can be as simple as them being too full. The first thing you should do is check the temperature in their tank. If it’s too cold, your skink wouldn’t want to eat and also the food won’t digest well.

Furthremore, you should give them a week to see if their appetite comes back.

However, if your Blue tongue lizard is either losing weight, have no weight reserves or as young as 2-3 months, that’s when you need to start looking into other more serious reasons.

What Blue Tongue Skink Supplements Does My Skink Need?

Supplements are important part of keeping your Blue tongue skink healthy. You skink will need Calcium powder, Vitamin D3 and Multivitamin added to their diet to ensure they don’t develop illnesses such as Metabolic Bone disease.

To learn about why Blue tongue skinks need supplements, feeding schedules and what are the best brands, read the full guide here Blue Tongue Skink Supplements – Supplements For Healthy Skink


References

https://www.nessexotic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Blue-Tongue_Skink_Care.pdf

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