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03 March 2008 @ 11:56 am
Help! =D  
Hey all.
I've been doing a lot of research on uros over the past couple of months, as I am planning to get one next month at a reptile expo.
So, my research has led me here.

My main question is about the demeanor of uros...
I have heard from everywhere that uros are very, very docile. Even moreso than bearded dragons...
I have been told that they love to be handled, petted, etc.
The last reptile expo I went to, a vendor there went so far as to tell me that they "have the demeanor of house cats" once they have acclimated.
Now, pretty well every post and comment that I read here, people say that their uros are skittish, don't like to be held, etc.
This has kind of been troubling me, as I would really like a uro, but I would really like to be able to hold/bond with him or her.
So, does it vary from uro to uro? Is it a sex thing? Species thing?
Any input would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Especially personal experiences. =)

Also, I've read that spring mix is really good to feed uros, as well as bok choy, endive, escarole, peas, and dandelion greens.
I'm just wondering where I could find dandelions, besides my backyard, haha. Do you buy them?
Sorry if this question seems ridiculous, but I don't think I want to or am supposed to give my uro dandelions from a yard due to pesticides, fertilizers, etc that may be on them.

Thanks.
 
 
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Stacey Loostaceyloobug on March 3rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
You can get dandelion greens at the grocery store. I grow my own in a pot on my porch (so I know there's no pesticides). My uros also love green beans/corn/peas. I get a frozen blend and they pick out the greenbeans first, then the peas. It's cute.

As far as demeanor, mine don't like to be held. My male will eat out of my hands though...but being held is not cool with him. The female really doesn't care one way or the other, she just wants to sleep.

I think the more you hold them, the more they get used to it. I, sadly, don't do it nearly often enough. I should make more of an effort. Mine are also only about 2 years old. I think they get more docile with age.
M.V. Victusmemoriamvictus on March 3rd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
The main source of the "uros are totally calm!" meme seems to be pet stores, in my experience, which are not generally known for the quality of their husbandry. Uros have pretty strict requirements for temperatures, space, and diet; if they're cold or suffering from malnutrition, of course they're going to be sluggish and 'mellow'. A happy, healthy uro is a pretty energetic creature; while they do spend plenty of time basking, they ought to be zipping around the enclosure for at least an hour or two a day for most of the year.

That being said, it of course varies between individuals, and how much time and effort you're willing to invest in socializing. It took me nearly two years to get my male mali used to being handled, and while he's pretty friendly and agreeable nowadays, he will never be a shoulder-sitter. You should be able to get to the point where you can handle the lizard easily, but if having a lizard that will hang out with you is of paramount importance, a uro is probably not the right pet for you.

Dandelion greens should be available from any upscale grocery store--think Whole Foods or The Fresh Market. You can easily grow them yourself in window boxes--Johnny Jump-Ups are a good alternative if you want to go that route; they should be available from home improvement stores, and are much prettier--but be careful. After quite a bit of weight loss on his part and hair-tearing on mine, I learned that my uro's issues were due to an infestation of spirochetes, which he presumably got from snail trails on some flowers that hadn't been washed adequately. He's fine now, but it was no fun to go through; wild produce exposes them to all sorts of nastiness even the best herp vets aren't used to screening for.
siliconmomsiliconmom on March 3rd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
My younger uro (4 years, female) very much enjoyed to sleep on my chest, under my shirt, or just chill on my shoulders but my male uro always wanted to make a break for it. He'd eat from my hands but that's as much closeness as he ever wanted.

My uros also really loved crickets but their vet said that they could only have them twice a week at most. We had an enclosure outside that they could run amock in and they always hunted crickets in there. They absolutely loved it. They did that for about 4 years with out any health problems.
zoogeekzoogeek on March 3rd, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Two of mine are tolerant of being held, although I've never gotten them to ride or sleep on me. One of them is a grouchy little thing, but she still puts on a nice show for my moms pre-school students. My littlest guy is still so small I have trouble keeping a hold of him. But once he gets bigger I'm going to work on handling him.

In my experience, pet store uros are kept at a much colder temp than they ought to be, which might explain some of the rumor. Even when they're warm, though, they're still really friendly lizards, all of mine are interactive and will look you right in the eye. One of them even got really unhappy when we moved his tank so he couldn't see into our family room anymore. He just wanted to be around people.

With food, people have made some good suggestions, but I would add that dried peas, lentils, and millet are great options for some protein in their diet. Mine all love it, and are fat little creatures as a result.

Good luck!
JEN-i-fər: Garfieldzasnoot on March 5th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
My lizard is so loving and friendly. He likes attention, being held, sleeping on people, being pet, getting fed by hand. He is such a sweetie.