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 Green Iguana Diet

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Registration date : 2007-12-24

PostSubject: Green Iguana Diet   Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:08 am

I have heard and read so many contradicting diets for the green iguana that i feel i should add this here.
I have 4 iguanas here at the centre, all with a different history. The only one that has had a healthy correct diet remains the healthiest. If you don't feed your iguana the correct diet it could end up like this...

Catagory of good food types
Food

Greens
(40-45%)
Collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens (with flowers), escarole, water cress.

Other vegetables
(40-45%)
Green beans, orange-fleshed squashes (butternut, Kabocha), snap or snow peas, parsnip, asparagus, okra, alfalfa (mature, not sprouts), onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, sweet potato, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots.

Fruits
(10% or less)
Figs (raw or dried), blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, mango, melon (cantelope, honeydew, watermelon), papaya, banana, apple.

Grain-based foods
(less than 5%)
Cooked rice or pasta, whole wheat bread (makes for a great treat)

Supplemental protein
(less than 5%)
Alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) or recommended commercial diets (see below).

Other occasional foods
(less than 5%)
See below for lists of foods that should not be fed in excess, but can still be an excellent way to provide variety and fun. Mixing in other foods on occasion is recommended.





Oxalates and phytates. Many foods contain oxalates and phytates. It has been proven that they sometimes bind to calcium, inhibiting it from being properly used by the body. It's not a fact that this is true in iguanas, but better safe than sorry is always a good practice in iguana care. Below is a list of foods that contain oxalates or phytates and should only be fed occasionally.



Foods that contain oxalates or phytates to be fed only on occasion and in moderation.

Spinach, beets, beet greens, swiss chard, dock, sorrel, whole grains, celery stalk, kale, carrot tops.




Cruciferous foods and goitrogens. Many foods contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that has been shown to bind iodine. This may lead to hypothyroidism. The foods that usually contain goitrogens are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables. These foods can be fed on occasion along with a balanced diet that will compensate for the effects of the goitrogens, but only occasionally and not in excess. The following is a list of cruciferous vegetables that contain goitrogens.



Cruciferous vegetables and other foods that contain goitrogens to be fed only on occasion and in moderation.

Kale, brocolli, cabbage, bok-choi, turnips, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rutabaga, tofu.




Foods to avoid. There are many foods that should never be fed to an iguana. Below is a chart of various foods that should usually be avoided, although some of these foods can still be given occasionally. Many of the foods listed here contain animal protein. For more information on animal protein, make sure you read our Animal Protein Issues page. Note: Although we recommend that several of these foods should never be fed to your iguana, if your iguana happens to eat any of these foods by accident, you need not worry too much about the effects of it. We are simply saying "never" to stress the importance of how harmful these foods will be, if fed on a regular or semi-regular basis.



Foods to avoid
Information
Recommendations

Insects, worms, mice, pinky mice
Animal protein, not a natural food.
NEVER!

Dairy products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.)
Dairy products are intended for mammals, not reptiles.
NEVER!

Eggs
Animal protein, very high in phosphorus and fat.
NEVER!

Dog food, cat food, monkey biscuits, monkey chow and other pet food
Animal protein, intended for dogs, cats and monkeys. Sometimes high in fat content.
NEVER! We do not recommend these because of the animal protein they contain. Some still recommend that they are okay on occasion, but we do not agree.

Meat (beef, chicken, etc.)
Animal protein, not a natural food, intended for carnivores...not herbivores.
NEVER!

Rhubarb
Poisonous and should never be fed to iguanas.
NEVER!

Lettuce (iceberg, romaine, Boston, butter)
Lettuces are a common staple of many malnutrioned iguanas, most lettuces (especially head lettuce) are very low in nutritional value.
Occasionally is fine, but there are many better foods to provide instead. Romaine lettuce is the better of all the lettuces, but still lacks adequate amounts of nutritional value.

Wild plants and flowers
Possibility of being contaminated with herbicides and pesticides, could be a toxic plant
Occasionally, ONLY if there is absolutely no chance of being contaminated or toxic. Very risky and not at all recommended.

Acidic foods (citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, limes, kiwi fruit, lemons, pineapple; and tomatoes)
Some iguanas may not like eating acidic foods and it may be likely that the iguana can not properly break down the acid in the food, not a natural food choice.
Occasionally is fine, only if the iguana doesn't have any negative reactions to it. Some people offer these foods for more variety and color.

Tofu
Although high in plant protein, tofu is very high in fat. Also contains goitrogens.
Occasionally is fine, but in excess, can lead to serious health risks.

FOR FURTHER READING PLEASE GO HERE http://www.greenigsociety.org/feedingigs.htm
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