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Whispering Willow Treasures - Amanda and the Menagerie!

Iguana Diet Info: it's not lettuce!!
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Iguana Diet Information

This is a list of acceptable, highly nutritious foods that you should feed your green iguanas. It contains four groups which all have a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1.
This is extremely important for good nutritional values for our green friends. You want to rotate foods within each group so you aren't keeping your iguana on only a few types for their life. Variety is the key to a healthy iguana!
**Special Note: this is a collaboration of what I've learned from the great David Krughoff and other illustrious names in the iguana world, as well as my own mixture from what I've done over the past 15 years (David definitely helped me to fix a few things and I've since stuck with what I've got down here). ;)
Feel free to email me anytime for more details on keeping, maintaining and living with Iguanas: tenor_goddess2002@yahoo.com

Greens

Collard Greens
Mustard Greens
Dandelion Greens
Kohlrabi
Chinese Cabbage
Kale
Beet Greens
Celery Leaves
Ficus Leaves
Turnip Greens

Vegetables

Green Beans
Orange Squash (butternut)
Yellow Squash
Yellow Wax Beans
Bell Peppers
Okra (raw, not fried)
Zucchini Squash
Celery (sliced thin)

Flowers (Note: Do NOT use flowers from your local grocery store! They must be organically grown with NO pesticides and NO added chemicals for color).

Hibiscus
Nasturtiums
Rose Petals
Dandelion (blossums)


Fruits (should only consists of 10% of an ig's diet)

Blueberries
Strawberries (don't feed to hatchling igs due to seeds)
Blackberries
Canteloupe
Plums
Figs
Pears
Bananas and Peaches should ONLY be treats given occasionally!

A note on vegetable preparation: You can chop, slice or grate your vegetables for your iguana. Go with what your iguana likes best (yes they do have preferences on this!). :)
How much food should you offer your iguana? Give him/her as much food as they can eat while still leaving some on their plate. This will ensure your iguana eats until they are full (iguanas never overeat foods that are in their natural diet).
Be sure to toss out any uneaten food after 3-4 hours (this will prevent your beloved iggy from getting sick by eating spoiled food).

A note on supplementing diets with calcium and multivitamin dustings:
I do use calcium and multivitamin dusting. Email for further discussion on this.
Essentially, you want to do a LIGHT sprinkling of calcium with every feeding (more is never better....you should barely be able to see the powder go on the food) and the same sprinkling of multivitamins once a week for adult igs, twice a week for juvies. This has been proven safe via David Krughoff due to numerous rounds of blood tests and x-rays when measuring bone density and such for his own iguanas. You can also find more details on this on his site (look in my helpful links section). Too much of a good thing CAN be as detrimental as not enough most certainly.

What about lettuce? Well, plain and simple...no lettuce of any kind is nutritious to iguanas. I've watched too many iguanas come in with advanced cases of metabolic bone disease, malnutrition and stunted growth from having diets comprised mostly of lettuce. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, "I had an iguana once and Id didn't think it was hard to care for that thing at all. He loved bananas and he ate tons of lettuce"...well, that iguana didn't live very long either. This is but one reason why most iguanas don't live to see their first birthday. :( Lettuce, bad. Good varied diet full of nutrition, good! Please note: If you have recently acquired an iguana through rescue, a family member/friend or aome other place and they have fed the ig on lettuce, do NOT go cold turkey. Wean the animal off the lettuce (you may find they ONLY want this due to only having it so wean bits of it into their new diet gradually just as you would when converting to a new diet for your dog, cat or any other animal).

Never feed the following foods to your iguana: chocolate, avocado, soda, or any other “human food” item that is not in their natural diet. True, your iguana won't die from an accidental ingestion of pizza, ice cream or potato chip, but, please bare in mind that these foods are NOT meant to be digested by them and are NOT healthy by any means for them. These are folivores, which, by nature only eat leaves, flowers, and fruits so please do not make it a “cute habit” to feed your iguana people food. It may seem like a fun treat for your pet, but giving them these types of food long term could definitely kill them.
Bottom line, don't panic if you turn your head and your ig takes a chunk out of your sandwich or pizza, just don't let him have it as much as possible.

Protein and Iguanas: Animal Protein found in meats, dog/cat food (doesn't matter if it's canned or dry) should never be a part of an iguana's diet period. Some people feed their iguanas such items in effort to make them into a massive adult but this only results in an animal who appears big but only lives a VERY short life, often resulting in kidney failure, fatty liver disease and obesity to name a few problems.
Again, an accidental ingestion of such items is not going to kill them, but it should be avoided.

What should you do if winter comes along or for any other reason, you cannot get the listed greens and such for your iguana?: RepCal has come out with a diet that is in a pellet form that is very colorful (color appeal to our igs) and palatable (tasty tasty) as well as completely fortified with vitamins, minerals. If you do choose to feed them the RepCal formula, it should be fed WITH their usual diet of fresh foods, and no vitamin or calcium supplements are needed at that time. Be sure to add enough water to this diet that the pellets swell but are not saturated to the point of being sopping wet or soup-like. Always supply fresh water to your iguana on a daily basis, regardless of which way you go about feeding them. Plus, RepCal diet is one of two fully formulated and amazing diets for iguanas. So even if you can get the veggies and want to add them with this diet, you can't go wrong! I myself use this diet especially with sick or malnurished rescue iguanas, as well as offering it along with veggies, greens, leaves and fruits for my iguana. She loves it! Please note that when I use it for rehabbing, it is NOT used solely. Fresh foods should ALWAYS be a majority of the diet for our green friends.
The other diet I referred to is called Walkabout Farm Iguana Growth Mix. It was created by a veterinarian specifically for green iguanas. As with the RepCal diet, no additional supplimentation is needed with this diet. And just as with RepCal, you should feed this diet WITH fresh foods for maximum nutritional benefit. You can visit their website located in my links section.
Is RepCal more cost efficient than all those greens, flowers, fruits and vegetables?: Not really. When you wager that a 2.5 lb tub of RepCal will average from retailers at around $20, then go grocery shop, picking out a few items from each category I listed, it averages out right at about the same. You also have to add in the factor that if you are feeding repcal, you still have to provide a fresh diet of the flowers, fruits, veggies and greens listed above. So, the primary reason for choosing one diet over the other is more based on what you can and can't get your hands on in order to ensure your iguana's diet is as balanced and nutritious as possible.
I really think it's great to grow your own vegetables, fruits and flowers, as it not only means your iguanas get organically grown food, but it is virtually free for the owner! You can easily do this outside or, have your own hydroponic plant system in your house. It is quite easy and doesn't take up a tremendous amount of space. Feel free to write me on how to do this. I am learning this from a very experience and wonderful friend who's been doing this for many years.

Always feel free to email me with cares, concerns or any questions on iguanas.