Should I put back Soil?

Marc10edora

Avid Member
For the last 2 weeks I had a potting plant with fertilizer free super soil in the cage in case my 5 month old female veiled started to lay eggs. After a week of it being in there, I began to notice that she was spending alot of time eating the soil. There was no impaction taking place because I cleaned up alot of poop that week. Today I took out the potting plant because she kept pooping in it and I was afraid she would ingest some nasty bacteria. When I came back to check on her, she was shooting her tongue out on the plastic cage bottom. She must have been looking for soil still. Should I put the pot back in the cage?
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
You said... "When I came back to check on her, she was shooting her tongue out on the plastic cage bottom. She must have been looking for soil still."
She wouldn't shoot at something that is imaginary. If the soil is gone, she wouldn't still be shooting at it out of habit. There must be something else that she is going for. Are there any funny colourations on the floor, or dirt (like dark specks/spots that may look like an insect to her), or is there anything shiny that might be attracting her attention and that she is trying to shoot at (like screw-heads, nails, etc.)?

You said... "Should I put the pot back in the cage?"
At some point you will have to put the soil back, because she will want to start digging. Keep a close eye on her. When she starts spending a lot of time pacing the floor, it'll probably be a sign that she's looking to dig, and will be time to put the soil back in.
If you're worried that you won't know when she needs the soil, just make sure that the soil in the pot can't cause inpaction (I think vermiculite was suggested for that, but I'm not sure), and simply leave the pot in there for her.

Eating soil could be a sign that she is trying to find some sort of nutrient that is lacking in her diet, so make sure your supplementation schedule is up to scratch, and that her diet is varied. If that's all ok, it could just be something that she is prone to do, and no amount of supplementation/feeding can help - just make sure the soil you have in there is safe for her.

Also, make sure that if you have live plants in there, that the soil in the pots is covered by a fine mesh, so that she can't start swallowing up that soil too.
 
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