What Are Ackies Like To Keep?

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by alichamp, Feb 20, 2017.

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  1. alichamp

    alichamp Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'd really appreciate you sharing your experiences here keeping ackies. After much thought and research we are just about ready for our second reptile.

    Having kept our beautiful blotchy blue tongue for 2 years we have applied for a class b reptile licence to keep a stimmie and that has been the main focus of all our reading and planning. But my daughter (9yo who looks after the bluey and has been wanting a stimmie for 1 and half years) also really loves lizards and I'm not sure if she would prefer a second lizard.

    So I am thinking about a ridge tailed monitor. I know roughly of the husbandry and feeding needs (still deciding whether we want to keep a reptile that requires live food) but how much can you interact with your ackie? I realise they are very different to blueys, who are slow moving, tolerant of handling and generally much slower and calmer, but not sure exactly what to expect from an ackie.

    We would like to be able to handle any reptile we own - we don't handle a lot but in more "touchy" times it could be 1-3 times a week, with a definite settle in period and slow build for newies. When we do handle we would like it to be pleasant, by which I mean unlikely to be bitten if we do the right thing and the animal not to get freaked out.

    We would keep only one reptile per enclosure to avoid any complications of fighting etc.

    So, could an ackie be for us? (Also what is their life expectancy?)

    Thank heaps, Ali
     
  2. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Ackies are great lizards, but need a bit of work to get to a handling stage. If you are prepared for that, they are very entertaining to watch.
    An easier option for a lizard to handle would be a beardie. Far easier to tame, and will tolerate handling more/for longer.
    We've got both, and love them both.
     
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  3. alichamp

    alichamp Active Member

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    Thanks, I suspected as much. I wonder if we could get one that has already been conditioned to be a good handler, or would I have to get it used to us anyway?

    What work is needed to do this?
     
  4. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ali,

    Not trying to take the wind out of your sale or anything but personally I'd consider something else rather than a small monitor. I'm of the belief that Ackies are more suited to a keeper with a bit more experience than someone who has only kept a Blotchy for a couple of years. Maybe a Beaded as suggested.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
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  5. alichamp

    alichamp Active Member

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    No worries George, at the moment there is more a light breeze as I plot my course, haha. Thanks for giving it straight up, what I want to know is WHY ackies are better with more experienced keepers. What is it about their care that is demanding?
     
  6. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Probably not too much demanding in their care, more in the handling and taming side of things. Ackies can and will bite, unlike beardies, who only occasionally give the accidental bite. And like I said above, they need a lot more work in getting them to a "tame" stage than beardies. We only have the one now, but he's great fun to watch. Even now he is still a little skittish, but does come up to the door at feeding time, even eating chopped chicken necks out of the bowl while I hold it.
     
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  7. Stompsy

    Stompsy Subscriber Subscriber

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    My limited experience with Ackies was that they like to bite and they hold on and don't let go. And it hurts (apparently)...

    They aren't my cup of tea but as with any monitor, it's going to come down to the individual and how you approach it. That will negate the type of personality the monitor has.
     
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  8. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    If you have to hold it, I agree with others that a monitor of any sort may not be for you but I'd just like to say that they are amazing animals. It won't take very long at all for them to eat from tweezers or tongs though so there is at least some level of interaction. Admittedly I've never kept skinks but I think they're easier than dragons too. Not really sure what you mean by them requiring live food but they will happily live off frozen rodents and once they're on whole mice, there's no need for dusting their food or UV.
     
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  9. Macras

    Macras New Member

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    For what its worth, in my limited experience, I've kept striped tailed monitors (DEFINATLY HARD TO HANDLE) and recently, a couple of months ago got a young ackie.
    I wouldn't say either are particularly hard to keep, with proper research and planning. I would say the smaller faster and more agile striped tails are not for handling (not any of the 3 I have anyway) however the ackie is coming along and getting used to me quite well.

    Although im generally only home on weekends and he is otherwise fed by my wife, he now doesn't mind my hand being in the enclosure, is happy to run over my hand and be lifted up on the back of my hand, and after last weekend didn't mind being picked up a couple of times briefly. This is pretty limited, but for a monitor just over a year old, hes not doing too badly, and im quietly confident that hell be OK being held and let out in the future. Even now he comes towards my hands and doesn't seem to mind interacting, climbing over and around it rather than running away. I try and use his inquisitiveness to get him to interact in short bursts, as soon as he loses interest leave him alone for 10 minutes and try again. A lot of patience and don't rush or push things and all seems fine.

    So far my list of DONTS include
    Don't try and handle if he is in eating mode! (I think this includes all monitors)
    Don't use food as an incentive (refer to rule 1)
    Don't grab or chase him, always wait till he comes over to my hand, or at least the corner of the enclosure that im at.
    Do interact frequently with breaks, 5 minutes at a time is often as much as he seems to want, then he goes to bask/rest. But will come back for more soon enough.

    So, im not saying this IS for you, just trying to let you know what ive seen over the last couple of months. If that's not enough handling or you don't have that much patience go for something else.

    I will include a warning they can and do bite, will draw blood at times and the bites seem to sting for a while too, but this only ever happened when he was very hungry and in full on feed mode. They are not a pet that can be purchased and handled immediately, even if owned by someone else prior.
     
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  10. alichamp

    alichamp Active Member

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    Thanks everyone this has helped a lot. I think they will be really interesting animals to keep but they are probably not for us, at least not for now. Appreciate the advice!
     
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