Reptile Keeping in a Community – Ep. 82

Reptile Keeping in a Community – Ep. 82


Hey folks! I have 20 rules for reptile keepers…
do they apply to you? Find out today in this episode.
Welcome to ReptileMountain.TV I’m TC Houston a former AZA zookeeper with over 30 years
of experience keeping reptiles and amphibians in captivity. This channel is dedicated to
evidence-based reptile care where opinion is not fact. If you are new please subscribe
and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss an upload. It’s important because I
won’t be responding to comments on old videos any longer due to the insane volume of questions,
messages, and emails I get already. So to stay current, be sure to subscribe!
I have 20 rules, more like ideals or guidelines actually, for being a successful and responsible
reptile keeper in the postmodern era of reptile super shows, social media groups, PetTubers,
and self professed experts galore. Before I get to them let me set the stage.
Keeping reptiles in captivity has occurred for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians
kept crocodiles in homage to the god Sobek nearly a 3000 years ago. More so, the oldest
contemporary record of reptile keeping indicates a tortoise was kept back in 1625 in London
and in 1797 the first “care guide” was published. Do you think they used 5.0 of 10.0
UVB bulbs. Since then there has been a tremendous amount of technological advances that have
propelled reptile keeping into the mainstream world with nearly 1 in 20 households in the
USA having at least one pet reptile according to a recent email sent out by US Association
of Reptile Keepers. With all this growth we, that is all of us
reptile keepers, really need to get a grip on how to interact and proceed. Afterall,
our animals depend on us, getting the cart before the horse to to speak could result
in horrific results for the creatures we all dearly love. I do not presume to have it all
figured out, or claim to be above the muck myself, I’m just trying to suggest a motion
toward a solution. My proposed ideals (rules) to live by are:
All life holds intrinsic value and should be respected regardless of abundance, rarity,
or market worth. Animal welfare is not optional nor flexible.
In captivity animals must be free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, distress, and must
be given the freedom to express normal behavior. Everyone started somewhere with less knowledge
than they have now. It is normal and appropriate to learn, grow, and develop skills over time.
Have patience with one another. Nearly all reptile keepers and breeders are
enthusiasts who hold a passion for the amazing animals they keep. Most want the best for
the animals in their care within their abilities, skill set, and understanding.
Nearly all reptile keepers and breeders are hobbyists and do their reptile work as a recreational
activity in their “free time” not as a means of making a living
All reptile keepers and breeders are human beings. Many have families and friends who
love and appreciate them and their time. Human dignity must never be overlooked.
Time is a fleeting resource for everyone. Many keepers and breeders chose to volunteer
their time and energy to help fellow enthusiasts as a gift not an obligation. Their time should
be respected and appreciated, not demanded. The internet holds a wealth of knowledge and
data that is passively available, and in most cases free. Exhausting available resources
before contacting other keepers is advisable. It is best to seek low level support first,
such as asking a question in a group or forum before asking an experienced keeper or breeder
directly. Many groups, forums, and communities have
established rules, guidelines, and/or codes of conduct. Read them before engaging them.
It’s wise to learn the rules before you play the game. Don’t agree… then don’t
play. When inquiring about availability and/or prices,
first ensure that they are not already listed in the particular ad or on the breeder/seller’s
website. Ensure that you actually have money, space,
intent to buy, and basic knowledge about the animal(s) prior to inquiring about availability/pricing.
An idea about animal care is just an idea, it is neither good nor bad on its own. Once
tested and or applied, the process and outcome will dictate what value the idea holds. Therefore,
ideas are ideas and facts are facts. Until an idea has been proven to be true it cannot
and should not be considered a fact when it comes to animal care.
Rely on measurable outcomes that are tangible rather than perceptions and projections when
determining animal care. Measurements should not be emotionally-based yet rather objective
and rational. Caring for reptiles is not as precise as chemistry.
Many species have a broad range of husbandry parameters that allow for thriving. Therefore
give liberty to fellow keepers within those parameters.
Captive reptiles cannot survive without the people who care for them. Therefore give appropriate
respect to keeping an open dialogue. A statement such as, “I don’t care about their feelings
I care about their animals,” is a statement of wasted energy and imminent failure.
Always seek sustainability. Captive breeding is the best course for conservation and sustainability
of wild populations when dealing with the wildlife trade.
All citizens of a community represent that community to outsiders. Every reptile keeper
is a representative of the whole community from outsiders’ perspectives. Honor this
responsibility wisely. Reptile Buyers and Reptile Sellers hold equal
responsibility in the exchange. Selling to an uninformed person is equally as unethical
as buying when uninformed. Give credit where credit is due and give criticism where criticism
is due. Accountability is everyone’s responsibility. A keeper or breeder’s success is everyone’s
success. Make a conscious effort to keep competition healthy and sportsmanship alive. If someone’s
success is upsetting then there is something wrong from within. Deal with personal issues
personally rather than projecting them upon others.
These 20 ideals are what I try to live by and I hope that maybe some of you out there
might agree. This is only a start. There is so much good and positive to be experienced
by keeping reptiles in captivity and sharing our passion with one another. So let’s get
a grip on this thing we call a community and thrive!
Thank you guys to much for watching! Please check out another one of my videos right down
there!!! Thank you patrons you are the best ever! I’m TC Houston and remember opinion
is not fact!

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

26 thoughts on “Reptile Keeping in a Community – Ep. 82

  1. One, love the vids and content and all of the care and passion you put into these vids and your reptile breeding. I’m also glad that you respond to your subscribers. Second, I had a question (for anyone who can answer it). What would you do if you had to take a BTS with you on the road. Basically, I’m forced to evacuate due to hurricanes and all, and I really don’t know what I would do to take my BTS with me.

  2. Is it possible/good idea to introduce isopods or springtails to a skink terrarium? I hesitate because my skink likes burrowing most of the time and maybe the isopods will “bug” it.

  3. What a great video I think everyone needs to keep all of these in mind! Also just ended up from the uvb vid to just keep on using the ones I do and do what I do like sun time and supplementing vet says all bones are great for my 3 :), also are you going to make a vid when your Easterns have their babies? I would love to see them 🙂

  4. Great video. Always good to work towards building a cohesive and supportive community. Respect is at the core. Thank you for bringing to light what should be obvious. Professional ethics should be a driving force in animal husbandry. Thank you.

  5. Great video as always, this made me smile. Had a argument a couple days ago in a crested gecko group over feeding my skink wellness dog food, wish I had this video to change their mind on how to treat other reptile keepers but oh well.

    Again love your videos.

  6. I want to say THANK YOU for your help and information you gave me. It did not answer my question, but did point me in the right direction. Thank you for your channel. I am looking forward to owning my first new Blue Tongued Skink. Also, I am looking forward to seeing more of your programs. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in getting a reptile.

  7. Great points as always! Every community has its issues, and it's important to be respectful to each other 🙂 Also, thank you for including some of your skinks and wiggly noodles in this video! The skinks make me miss Delta since she's in brumation lol

  8. Hey, I had a question regarding the temperaments of different skink subspecies. In particular, have you noticed any difference in temperament between Irian Jaya's and Northerns? Also, awesome vid!

  9. My friends halmahera blue tongue died in its water bowl where the waters not deep and easy to climb in and out so why and how did it died there?Info:My friend did not put UVB and UVA bulbs he puts it near a window and the substrate is simply just forest moss,1 hide and a food dish and a water dish that a baby blue tongue can fit in.It has lived for 3 months with my friend and now hes heartbroken and needed to know how it happened so there are no more casualties in the future.Sorry if Im bothering.

  10. I just came across your channel. This is one of the best videos I have seen. Great advice for new and experienced keepers.

  11. thanks for a really great video! i love the 20 points you discussed! all your videos are really helping me out because I'm thinking about getting a BTS in my future!

  12. There’s a breeder in my area who has been breeding for 2 years and the dad is CBB but the mom is wild caught but has lived in captivity for 5 years does this eliminate the potential for parasites in there offspring

  13. Your so smart but I legitimately get so confused at your calcium & supplements video do I actually have to call every dog & cat food company and find out how much of and exactly what or can I just get a good brand feed fedgies with it and sprinkle some calcium on it and give vitamins once a mounts. Would me skink get sick if I did that.

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