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Melissa   Kaplan   Diet,   A   Quick   Recipe

How to make iguana salad First, you capture an iguana...!

Basic Recipe 1/2 cup shredded raw green beans

1/2 cup shredded raw orange-fleshed squash (such as acorn, banana, kabocha, spaghetti, and pumpkin) - you can occasionally alternate with carrots

1/2-3/4 cup alfalfa pellets (rabbit food pellets) or crumbled alfalfa hay or alfalfa leaf tea or alfalfa powder (from health food stores, online vitamin sellers, etc.)

1 med or 2 small raw shredded parsnips (in areas where these are seasonally hard to find, you can substitute with asparagus or cooked or canned lima, navy or kidney beans that have been well rinsed and minced or mashed. If you use beans, add extra calcium to offset their high phosphorus)

1/4 cup mashed/minced fruit (strawberries, raspberries, mangos, papaya, figs, cantaloupe, cactus pear)

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Makes about 3.5-4 cups.

Add in a multivitamin supplement (any multivitamin supplement for birds or reptiles is fine - best, actually, is a crushed Centrum tablet) and a calcium supplement. You do not need to get a calcium supplement that has phosphorous or D3 in it, as the iguana is already getting considerably phosphorous from the plants and multivitamin, and their D3 is best metabolized in their bodies by regular exposure to direct sunlight or special UVB-producing fluorescents.

If you will be freezing any of the food, mix in some Brewer's yeast to replace the thiamin (B1) that will be lost when the green vegetables are thawed.

Serve the salad in the morning. Once the iguana is freely eating the salad, greens (collards, mustards, dandelion, escarole, occasionally some kale and chard) can be served on the side. If the iguana will only eat the greens, stop feeding them greens and only put down salad, fresh every day. When they start feeding on the salad and are generally clean-platers, you can then start offering greens in the afternoon. Once they assimilate that, you can serve the two together. The salad is actually more nutritious than the greens, not the least of which because they can fit more of the salad into their guts, and it is more efficiently digested, than the greens. In no event should greens exceed 40-45% of the total diet.

Iguanas have evolved as late morning/early afternoon feeders; if you feed them when convenient for YOU rather than when they need to eat, you end up with an iguana who is not eating as much as it should and who is not digesting as effectively as it could. Iguanas can only extract out 40% of the nutrients in the food they eat, making it imperative that we not only feed them only healthy nutrition-loaded foods, but that we feed them at the proper times, as well.

Further Diet Links

MK ICFS Diet portion part A
Food Selections
MK ICFS Diet portion part B
Food Prep
Further issues relating to feeding

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