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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all ( spot the newbie)

I have a few questions that I cant quite find non contradicting answers to, I hope you chaps can help me out a bit. Sorry there is quite a lot!

I am thinking about getting a pair of Rankins / Lawsons dragons. Is this a sensible number to have or do they prefer to live in bigger groups? If I get a pair, what sex should they be? I currently have no interest in breeding them so would it be better to get two females or two males?

We are often away for weekends, would this be a problem with regards to feeding. If I put in extra food would it just get eaten straight away or would it just get picked at if & when hungry.

Do they really need to be fed 3 times a day? This would not be possible for me unless they get one feed in the early morning, one at early evening & one late evening.
What would the ill effects be if they were just to get fed twice or once a day?

Do the dragons come to like the owners who they grow to recognise or will they be quite happy with anyone who wants to pick them up.

Is feeding by hand possible or is that risking finger-tips! Are bites painful & or serious?

I have read about winter shut-down, does this generally happen every year & does it mean that the Viv will still require heat & light & the dragons to be fed.

When the dragons get older do they become less active or do they maintain the energy they have when they are younger.

Still awake? Sorry for asking so many Qs but id rather know in advance so there are no “surprises”.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh & will the dragons be easy to come by in Scotland?

Any recomended breeders in the Aberdeen, Dundee & Edinburgh area?
 

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Lourie said:
Hello all ( spot the newbie)

I have a few questions that I cant quite find non contradicting answers to, I hope you chaps can help me out a bit. Sorry there is quite a lot!

I am thinking about getting a pair of Rankins / Lawsons dragons. Is this a sensible number to have or do they prefer to live in bigger groups? If I get a pair, what sex should they be? I currently have no interest in breeding them so would it be better to get two females or two males?

Generally recommended is 2 females if you don't want to breed. I have 3 that get on together fine - though we're starting to suspect one is in fact a boy ...

We are often away for weekends, would this be a problem with regards to feeding. If I put in extra food would it just get eaten straight away or would it just get picked at if & when hungry.

Not sure about babies being left for a w/e, I was always there when they were little - but a weekend for adults should definitely be fine for them if you put in extra - I'd suggest locusts rather than crix though as crix will chew on the lizards.

Do they really need to be fed 3 times a day? This would not be possible for me unless they get one feed in the early morning, one at early evening & one late evening.
What would the ill effects be if they were just to get fed twice or once a day?

I only feed my (adults) once a day . They get veges every day and I give them livefood twice a week. When they were babies they had livefood more often of the appropriate size.

Do the dragons come to like the owners who they grow to recognise or will they be quite happy with anyone who wants to pick them up.

They're (usually) very tolerant of humans - even seem to enjoy their company and don't usually worry who handles them


Is feeding by hand possible or is that risking finger-tips! Are bites painful & or serious?

Feeding by hand is fine - but time-consuming. I got bit twice (SFE) by my smallest (suspected boy) one - it didn't hurt at all it was funny, and he just dangled there thinking my finger was a giant waxworm. Don't try it with a monitor ;)

I have read about winter shut-down, does this generally happen every year & does it mean that the Viv will still require heat & light & the dragons to be fed.

Mine are just over a year now and are, I think, semi-brumating. They're definitely sleeping and hiding away more and just coming out to bask from time to time and eating less. (This part is new to me) I am keeping the lights and heat on.

When the dragons get older do they become less active or do they maintain the energy they have when they are younger.

They seem to vary - sometimes they seem less active generally and bask a lot- except for feeding and the occasional "I'm a celebrity get me out of here!" scratching at the glass to be let out game; and sometimes they are scurrying everywhere

Still awake? Sorry for asking so many Qs but id rather know in advance so there are no “surprises”.

LOL - I only just got up. Asking questions is the best way ;) Best of luck with your new babies. I've only had mine for a year but had a BD before that - I'm sure some other rankins owners will have some tips too :)

thanks
 

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my opinion is if u dont know all this stuff before u get a rankin u should read up on them first buy a book. :( dont jump into something before u know all the facts!!! and dont solely get ur info from forums sometimes u will get the wrong info.!! buy the complete bearded dragon manual that covers every sub species of dragon. :)
 

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Agreed, read up on it as much as you can until you're confident that you know enough. I'm about to get my Beardie next week, just set up the viv. Will ask the occasional question about intircate details from time to time but I know the general rules now.

The Bearded Dragon Manual was one of the books I read and in my opinion the best of what I'd read. Very helpful.
But I also suggest that you maybe look on various websites, read some books, ask some questions in pet shops and see if you can find some people that own then to talk to. You'll find as I did that the answers will vary somewhat so it's best to ask around. One persons opinion might differ slightly....or widely from someone elses so it's best to ask/or read more than once.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bearded-Dra...ef=sr_1_3/203-7837902-2883922?ie=UTF8&s=books

Good luck! :)
 

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Atleast he asked inteligent questions and is only "thinking about getting a pair of rankins dragons"
Razaiel answered well so nothin really to add except you prolly will wana be there to cater to thier every needs for the first month or so.
 

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all the best with your rankins
great lizards...keep them on something like bark rather than sand and lower temperatures than bearded dragons though
 

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weeminx said:
my opinion is if u dont know all this stuff before u get a rankin u should read up on them first buy a book. :( dont jump into something before u know all the facts!!! and dont solely get ur info from forums sometimes u will get the wrong info.!! buy the complete bearded dragon manual that covers every sub species of dragon. :)
Come on give him a break at least hes asking, you kinda contradict yourself, he isn't jumping in without knowing the facts hence asking the questions. If you don't want to help him don't comment at all. I admire the fact hes asking help from experienced keepers and not just doing whats on care sheets.
 

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I've often found I get more info on forums than I can in books. The only books I own are a couple of BD books when we first ever got a beardie and Daniel Bennett's excellent Varanus Exanthematicus book on monitor lizards.

The trick to forum browsing is to go to species specific ones, read all over the posts (including archived ones) - you soon get a feel for the members who know what's what, and if anyone posts total crap they soon get told off by the other members ;) Look at every caresheet on the species possible - there's bound to be some differences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hmm yes exactly

I'm here asking questions about a few things I was unsure about. I have been reading up for the last few months & the above Questions are where i could not find any clarity.

If i didnt read up before buying, it would be for sure my 1st post on here would be along the lines of "I bought a few dragons & they are not well how do i fix them"

Anyhoo. I wont be getting them (if at-all) untill around feb/march as i have just bought a new house & now have a bit room to play with. so i stil have lots of time to read up & get everything ready.

I'm not really into books to find information as they are usually just one persons view on a varied matter. I have kept malawi cichlids for about 8 years & i keep them in a very different way to that which some books will tell you, tho perfectly to others views.


Why would I keep them on bark rather than sand? I would have thought they originate from sandy areas.


:lol:
 

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I have heard very veru few positive points about bark as a substrate for insectivorous lizards and so have never used it. It is easily swallowed (from what I've heard) and can therefore cause impaction.

I don't keep rankins myself, but worked in a rep shop for a year where they were kept on calcisand and never had any problems. I have kept leopard geckos on this substrate too, but now use playsand as it's far far far cheaper!!!

Anyway, good luck with them and well done for confirming things on a forum, I agree with you about books!

Emma xXx
 

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http://www.hognose.co.uk/9.html
i find this caresheet written by a very knowledgeable guy one of the best caresheets on the speices on the www.
i found my rankins loved large bark chips which i bought from garden centre instead of them wood chips in most petshops(not keen on them at all) and calci sand i have heard stories of fatalities by that but i would not discourage anyone from using it if they have had no problems with it but now for safety and ease of cleaning i now use newspaper :)
sneaking in another rankin pic lol
 

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Yes - I use newspaper too - with paper towels on top - for aesthetic reasons plus the dragons like to sit just under the top sheets. After stories of impaction and death I finished with sand, although it was playsand, after hearing reports and seeing pics of geckos which had died of impaction - they photographed the inside of the animal and it was full of sand :( Sand looks really good, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I put in a dish full of soil for them to dig in.
 

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I often wonder how they get along in the wild with all that dirt and sand around... I like to keep my animals as naturally as possible and have mine on tortise sand (not its real name but I am too lazy to get up and see what its really called for the minute) that is supposedly digestible. I have seen them spit it out if they get some when they eat a cricket so I am not really sure of the total risk... like wise with my map terrapins, I keep them in a tank with a substrate of stones (small to medium size) and they do fine... so does anyone know what they do in the wild...??? Do they just eat the sand/dirt or do they spit it out as I have seen ours do...?? Cheers
 

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Well I keep my monitor naturally - his substrate is a mix of soil, some sand and mulch and I throw in handfuls of leaves too. I always watch him eat when he grabs locusts and such, and if he gets a leaf he never eats it, he fiddles around with locust and leaf half hanging out his mouth and the leaf gets discarded. Same if he gets some soil with his insects, it tends to fall out again. But then, that's a monitor, and if they can digest bones, tails teeth etc - I guess the odd mouthful of soil is nothing to them.

I must admit I've often been tempted to put my dragons on soil but haven't so far ... except in their digging box.
 
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