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Discussion Starter · #466 ·
Is that Carlini olive oil? You have an Aldi store nearby?
I had to look at the bottle because I didn’t know. Yes, it is Carlini. No, we don’t have a Aldi store around here. We got this olive oil either in the western foods section of the big grocery store in the city (a couple hours away), or in a care package sent by the goodewyfe’s sister in the US.

Also on the shelf is a jar of hot sauce the goodewyfe made from a recent crop of habenero peppers, some ground black pepper from a friend’s trees, and some rice vinegar we brought home from our last trip to Japan.
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Discussion Starter · #468 ·
We rescued this young monitor lizard from one of our dogs this morning. I’ve got it in a 5 gallon bucket for now. I’m hoping to convince it to take up residence in and around the barn.

It seems unhurt, and has eaten a tadpole I dropped in with it. I’ve got to figure out how to build a suitable enclosure now to protect it from the chickens.

After a while, I may need to protect the chickens from the monitor.

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Discussion Starter · #471 ·
I love my chickens....

I'm not sure but aren't monitors aggressive? Can't they grow pretty big? Just curious.... wasn't sure if there were different kinds than the one I know about.

Love your pics and stories about your place!
Yes. Yes. And Yes.

I never intended to be caretaker for a reptile. But here we are.

The Komodo dragon is the most well known of the monitors. They are limited to their own island. Large enough to eat goats, and slow people. Fortunately, there are none that size here.

If I can keep it alive, the one I have should grow large enough to eat chickens. Not sure how long that will take. Maybe a couple years. I’m not worried about that. We have an abundance of poultry. And if they are similar to other reptiles, they won’t eat a large meal often.

What I have learned since yesterday, is that they are opportunistic carnivores. I can feed it bits of meat, fish, egg, insects, etc, etc.

One herpetologist told me, that if I take my time, it will eventually follow me around like a puppy. He suggested putting one of my old sweaty shirts in the enclosure to get it accustomed to my scent. Similar to comforting a fretful puppy.
 

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An unusual pet I must say but you do have a way with animals and I can see a well mannered lizzard following your outings along with the dogs.
You could take him on your rides! He could sit on Pinatuba's butt! I'm sure she'd love that LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #474 ·
Late yesterday, I set up a larger temporary enclosure for the monitor. The bottom half of a blue plastic barrel. I put a broken section of hollow building block in the center, so it has a little “cave” to hide in. I put some water in the bottom, and tilted the barrel so the water pools on one side. I dropped some tadpoles into the water hoping the lizard would eat.

The lizard was lively when I transferred it out of the little bucket. It immediately went into the puddle of water. After a while, it went to the dry part. This morning, it was inside the little hiding place. I saw no evidence that it had eaten any tadpoles. I dropped a few live ones in this morning. Hopefully the wiggling will entice the lizard to eat.
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Discussion Starter · #475 ·
I checked on the monitor lizard again this morning when I fed the horses. It was still hiding in the “cave”, with no sign that it had eaten.
It has been in the feed room for a couple days now. The room is cool, with no sunlight.

I moved the enclosure outside knowing reptiles need sunlight. I tipped the hollow block to check if the thing was still alive. It plopped out, belly up and didn’t move. It was alive, the tongue flicked out a bit, and it lifted it’s head some. It was barely breathing.

I figured it was dying. Then my high school biology lessons started coming back. It is a cold blooded animal, and it had gone torpid. After several minutes in the weak morning sun, it suddenly started breathing and scrambled into the puddle of water. I’ve been told that they like to submerge themselves.

More remembered biology lessons reminded me that it will not eat unless it has sufficient body temperature for digestion.

So I’m out here in the barnyard, babysitting a sunbathing lizard. I will probably move it into the room I call my office. It has a west facing window and some curtains. Hopefully I can keep the thing warm enough to have an appetite without baking it.

We have feelers out for a large aquarium or terrarium for a better enclosure.
 

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LOL. It’s still small enough that I have to protect it from the chickens.
Now that we’ve moved to a larger property, my husband and mom really want chickens. When I was young, it was my job to collect the eggs. We had a big mean rooster named Rojo who made it HIS job to terrorize me every single time. He would attack me and peck me, and I would end up crying every time. I said then when I grew up,
I would never ever have chickens, and so far I’ve held to it!


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Discussion Starter · #480 ·
This morning I cleaned out the tub the lizard is in. It was inside the “cave”, so I just picked up the block and set it in a big feed tub. I peeked in to see the lizard was alert. So it seems the sunbathing yesterday did some good.

I put it back in the original tub with a clean bottom and fresh water in the puddle. I dropped a few new tadpoles into the puddle.

It rained all afternoon, so no opportunity for another sun bath. But when I checked on it later, one of the tadpoles was missing. Hopefully the lizard is eating now.
 
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