Chuckie the chuckwalla

This is a fun animal to have. Some people think they don’t climb, but they sure do. They live in rocky places with a few small trees. They climb high on the rocks for a vantage point, looking for predators. They lay on the hot rocks in the sun to raise their body temperatures. They hide in crevices in the rocks and inflate their bellies to wedge themselves in, or to look bigger and more fierce if they are threatened by something. They aren’t fierce; the only method of self defense they have is to run and hide.

I’m learning how to give him more enrichment in his house. Sticks to climb, and rocks piled safely to be stable make his house look more like where he comes from. Not many people breed them here, so he is likely wild caught, and can remember what his true desert home looked like.

Unlike my little Geyri uromastyx, they don’t hate or fear change in their environment. They like and need a challenge for life enrichment. So having various rocks and sticks to change around once a week or so makes him go looking around on an adventure. I am working on a 2nd floor to his house, over top of almost half of his current house. He can climb higher to up there and have another space.

I suspect this one is about half monkey, from some of the positions he puts himself in.

He is not a fussy eater; various foods are safe for him every day and other foods must be given maybe only 2x a week, due to the chemical make up of the foods. He likes all his food, but picks out the best parts first, like shreds of squash or pieces of red pepper.

Sometimes he does funny things, like here he seems to be calling for a meeting. He is currently shedding, so I think he wanted a meeting to discuss that process, lol.

Like all desert lizards, they shed their old skin in patches, and it takes a while.

I’ll post another blog after we get the “penthouse” room done for him to explore.

37 responses to “Chuckie the chuckwalla

  1. It seems you’re friend is enjoying his environment. It’s very interesting to read about this little fellow. Thanks for posting the beautiful photographs! Keep in mind to grow some extra vegetables this spring… 😉

    • Herman he is a happy chuckwalla. My son can make the adjustment to the 2 enclosures, to give him access to his upstairs room on Saturday. Plans are underway to have a bigger lizard garden, because he is 4x the size of Geyri and eats at least 4x at much. I had my 2 raised garden beds filled up with very nice topsoil, so I can grow a lot of food for them in the summer. And he eats several safe weeds that grow in the yard, ones that fussy little Geyri doesn’t like. Happy pets are always the best. I hope you are well and maybe your spring has begun? You love spring and summer. 🙂

      • You are so right… if your pet is happy, you will also be happy.
        We’re glad and enjoying the first warm days. Unfortunately snow is coming our way tomorrow. That means staying inside and having an extra espresso…

    • No Geyri has been out and about for maybe 2 weeks now. I’m so happy that we are still friends. Last year after she came out of brumation, she was totally skittish and we had to start all over to build trust. Now when I put my hand in her viv, she walks right into my hand with or without a food treat, and walks on my hand and arm with no fear at all. She is so dear, her little face. She feels like a feather in my hand after handling this hunk of a chuckwalla, who weighs 4x as much as she does. Now I have to fix 2 nice salads every day, one small and one…..huge!

      • Awww. I’m glad to know that. Maybe she knows Mommy is here to stay, and maybe she is ready for all the lovin’s. She does have an angel face.

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