Pet Keen advocates for adopting before shopping. We understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder, though, so we encourage it to be done the right way. We have not personally investigated all of the breeders below, rather, we have gathered their details for you to get in touch and ask all the right questions before you decide.
Most pet shops sell reptiles and amphibians, but it can be difficult to find things that are more exotic or unusual. Blue tongue skinks aren’t a rarity, but they can be difficult to come by. It’s important to ensure whatever breeder you purchase from is practicing ethical breeding practices and raising healthy skinks. To help make the process of finding a breeder of blue tongue skinks, we’ve put together this list of breeders and tips for this year.
Blue Tongue Skink Breeders in the USA
There are multiple great places in the USA to acquire a blue tongue skink. To avoid shipping stress as much as possible, it’s ideal to purchase an animal that is located nearby to you. However, this isn’t always possible, which is where breeders that can ship come into play.
Regardless of where you get your blue tongue skink, you want to choose a breeder or seller that will provide you with a healthy animal that is backed by a health guarantee and that offers additional resources to you to ensure you are properly caring for the animal. A good breeder wants to know their animals are going to good homes that are prepared to meet their specific needs, and most of them will be happy to answer questions or help you find resources in your area, like veterinary care.
Blue Tongue Skink Breeders Near Me
Reptile Mountain, LLC
The owner of Reptile Mountain has a background as an AZA zookeeper and focuses heavily on conservation and animal welfare. This business is based out of Colorado and uses small-batch breeding practices to ensure the health of his animals. He is geared toward the optimal care of these reptiles through evidence-based, welfare-oriented, and progressive breeding and husbandry practices.
Blue Tongue Skink Breeders That Ship
This Massachusetts-based breeder of blue tongue skinks carefully selects all of their breeding pairs to ensure the maximum health of the offspring and to better the breeding pool of the blue tongue skink. They ship their skinks through Ship Your Reptiles, and they offer a live arrival guarantee for skinks that are shipped under listed time and temperature-based specifics.
Blue Tongue Skink Rescue
This Pennsylvania rescue and sanctuary takes in exotics of all kinds, from chinchillas to alligators. They do rescue blue tongue skinks and, when possible, place them for adoption. This USDA-licensed facility keeps unadoptable animals under their permanent care in the sanctuary side of the business.
How Much Does a Blue Tongue Skink Cost?
These reptiles come in multiple varieties, so the variety and the breeder will determine the cost. You should expect to spend no less than $200–$250 on a juvenile blue tongue skink. However, special color morphs and varieties can exceed $1,000 for a healthy juvenile. For example, a holdback blue tongue skink can easily cost you $500–$1,000 or more, while a Northern blue tongue skink is typically going to run anywhere from $200–$600 based on the color morph and lineage. These prices don’t include what you will spend to ship your skink to you. Shipping costs are usually going to exceed $50 for overnight services or special shipping services that ensure the proper handling of your animal.
Things to Ask a Blue Tongue Skink Breeder
1. How many years have you been keeping and breeding blue tongue skinks?
While there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question, it is important to get a feel for how much experience the breeder you’re talking to has. Blue tongue skinks have complex care needs, so it’s important to purchase them only from breeders who truly understand the complex needs of these animals and are breeding them for the enjoyment of conserving and bettering the species.
2. Where did you acquire your breeding skinks?
Your breeder should be breeding high-quality, proven skinks, preferably with known lineage, although this isn’t always necessary if the animal is healthy. If the breeder bought their skinks from a pet shop, they may be more interested in the potential for making money from breeding. Alternatively, if the breeder acquired their skinks from other trustworthy breeders who share a common goal of conservation and health, then the animals are more likely to be healthy and high quality.
3. Do you only acquire and sell captive-bred skinks?
Many skinks have shrinking wild populations due to climate change, invasive species, and human interference. There is already a rich breeding pool of a variety of skinks, so there is no real need to capture wild Skinks for breeding or pet-keeping purposes. It may even be illegal in some areas to export, import, or acquire wild-caught skinks.
4. What kind of health guarantee do you offer?
Health guarantees provide the knowledge that you will be able to reach out to your breeder if you receive a sickly animal. It also offers the security of knowing that your breeder is interested in the well-being of the animals and is not attempting to rip you off.
5. Are you comfortable with clients reaching out to you with questions or concerns about the skinks they purchase?
Like with health guarantees, a breeder who is willing to answer your questions and serve as a resource to you post purchase shows their willingness to support the health and wellbeing of their animals.
6. Do you offer waitlists?
Since many breeders have limited litters every year, a waitlist may offer you the opportunity to claim a skink from a great breeder before the litters have hatched. Not all breeders offer this option, though.
7. How much is your deposit?
A deposit is typically required to secure your spot on a waitlist. Even with breeders who don’t offer wait lists, a deposit will guarantee that you’ll receive the animal you picked if there is a shipping delay.
8. What is the average price of the skinks you sell?
Knowing what to expect cost-wise is the best way to budget and plan for the arrival of your new blue tongue skink.
The 3 Things to Know Before Buying a Blue Tongue Skink
1. Proper Skink Husbandry
Blue tongue skinks have specific care needs and shouldn’t be taken on lightly, so make sure you are well-versed in excellent skink husbandry before you start shopping for a skink. You’ll need to ensure that you have a safe and appropriate enclosure set up and well-established before your new skink comes home.
2. Expected Expenses
Budgeting for the expected up-front and annual expenses of owning a skink will ensure you are prepared to meet all of your skink’s needs. Many skinks and other exotics end up in rescues and sanctuaries, as well as sick or dying due to unprepared owners. Understanding the monetary investment will help you prepare.
3. Where Your Exotics Vet Is Located
This is a lot easier said than done. Many people underestimate how difficult it can be to find a veterinarian who takes exotics, and it can be even more difficult to find one who is well-versed in the care of skinks. Find an exotics vet near you before you purchase a skink to ensure you are prepared to meet the medical needs of your pet.
There are not a ton of blue tongue skink breeders in the US, and finding a breeder who cares for the wellbeing of their own animals and the skink species as a whole can be difficult. The breeders reviewed here are well-respected among skink enthusiasts, and some of them even sell their skinks to zoos. Researching prior to purchasing a blue tongue skink will not only help you be prepared to meet the needs of the animal but also will ensure you receive a healthy animal that is covered under a health guarantee.
Featured Image Credit: Martin Valigursky, Shutterstock