Are Yellow Ackies Right For You?

Are Yellow Ackies Right For You?

Hi, I’m Jason from The Burrow Pets You may be asking yourself, “Self, are yellow ackies right for me?” This video will go over some of the pros and
cons of keeping yellow ackies so that you can better answer that question. This is not a comprehensive care guide which
is something that we’ll be releasing shortly. And I’m not an expert on yellow ackies. I’m a long-time reptile keeper who has kept
and bred yellow ackies for a couple of years. What I’m going to share with you may not be
completely accurate. I hope it is, but it might not be. Or, it might not be useful to every keeper. But it is my sincere hope that what I’m going
to share with you will help you answer that really important question. The easiest way for me to help answer that
question is to tell you how I came to keep yellow ackies. Now I’ve kept lizards ever since I was a kid
and I always wanted monitors. More intelligent, more inquisitive, and just
seemed to be a lot more fun. And what kid doesn’t want to hang around with
a Komodo Dragon? But even for me now keeping a large or even
a mid-sized monitor is a little unrealistic. I don’t have the space or the money to house
them and feed them the way that they deserve to be fed. So I started looking into small monitor species
with two criteria in mind. First, I wanted something that was going to
be interactive. I had heard that a lot of the small monitor
species are a little bit more defensive and flightier than I would prefer. Second, I wanted something that wasn’t going
to take up a whole room to house. Then I discovered Yellow Ackies Monitors and
they seemed to be the perfect fit. My yellows were not immediately interactive. But with a little work and patience they became
very comfortable with my presence. In fact, after just a week of having them
they were comfortable enough to start approaching me and inspecting my hands while I was working
in their enclosure. With more discipline, work, and patience they
become pretty interactive, at least for the most part. Sometimes they’ll even approach me for affection. I’ll pet them and they’ll arch their backs
up into my hand the way a cat would. When it comes to handling not all yellow ackies
are the same. This guy, my big male “Ocelot,” he’s totally
fine being handled. He likes to chill out, he likes affection,
and he’ll be generally pretty calm when I’ve got to work with him. Sometimes, even if they’re very comfortable
with you, they won’t necessarily like to be handled. They’ll like to be petted, they’ll take food
from you, they won’t be scared of you. But one of my females, for example, when I
hold her and put her back down she slinks off into her enclosure giving me the stink
eye the whole time. Males are generally a little bit more bold
than females, but females can still be pretty bold. They’re just a little bi less bold than these
already bold and beautiful little males. In terms of the space they require this is
either a pro or a con depending on your situation. In fact, the space requirements are probably
the biggest reason why more people don’t own yellow ackies. Even people like me who always wanted to keep
monitors. Because even though they’re pretty small they
still require a big space. They’re so intelligent, they’re so inquisitive,
and in general – unlike this guy who is a lump right now – they have a lot of energy. So they need something to patrol and explore. You don’t ever want to be that keeper who
has a really intelligent animal that just becomes lethargic because they don’t have
anything to do all day. The general minimum that’s recommended for
a single ackie, a single male in particular, would be four feet by two feet, by two feet. But, if you really want to make them happy
I recommend trying to give them as much space as you can. So if you can throw another foot onto any
of those dimensions then you’re really in good shape. They require hot, humid enclosures. For some people that’s a new skill that they
might have to acquire in reptile keeping. So in general it’s not just the large space
it’s also a kind of more advanced husbandry for those keepers who have maybe only been
keeping leopard geckos or ball pythons or bearded dragons. More arid species, in general, that are easier
to keep and to care for. But, if you’re ready for the new challenge
or if you’re used to keeping hot, humid enclosures and you can provide the space then at least
with the yellow ackies you can have a nice, cool, fun little monitor without having to
give him a whole closet, a walk-in closet, or a bedroom, or an eight foot by four foot
by four foot, or something that is really out of reach for the vast majority of reptile
keepers. I mentioned before that ackies are pretty
easy to work with. Both males and females, with a little bit
of discipline and patience, should tame down pretty nicely and be very sociable like this
guy here, Ocelot. But, if you’re expecting something like a
bearded dragon or a pet rock that’s just going to chill out with you for a couple of hours
while you watch a movie ackies might not be the right choice for you. Because in general when you take them out,
unlike Ocelot here right now who is just enjoying some affection, they’re very active and inquisitive. They’re very curious. I like to them of them, and I know some other
keepers think of them this way as well, like scaly ferrets. You might even think of them like toddlers in so far as, if there’s a chance,
even the slightest chance, for them to get into trouble they *will* get into trouble. And this can also lead to some bad consequences. They can knock things over, they can crush
themselves, they can get into spaces where maybe you can’t get them out of. They might even be able to escape your home. “Ptera, he’s dead…” In terms of ackies ongoing care you might
have read that yellow ackies are a good beginner monitor, and I would agree with that. They’re pretty hard to kill, they can tolerate
a lot of variation in the enclosure conditions as you’re learning how to dial things in. But, there’s a big difference between being
a beginner reptile and a beginner monitor. People that acquire ackies should probably
have some experience with reptiles, maybe in an intermediate level or an advanced level. Because, while they are hard to kill, they
thrive in an ideal hot, humid environment with a lot of space. And again, if you’ve been keeping more arid
species or more beginner species these are new skills you’re going to have to pick up
if you want to keep ackies successfully. It’s in my best interest as a breeder to just
say, “Oh yeah, anyone can take on an ackie. It’s super easy just do your research and
you’ll be fine.” I’ll sell more ackies that way. But I’m primarily interested, as a lover of
ackies, in making sure that they’re well taken care of. And sometimes it is better for some keepers
to start with other species and work their way up to things that have more advanced requirements. If you don’t have experience with these types
of things it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t get an ackie, but it is something
you should be prepared for. Now, feeding your yellow ackies is pretty
straight forward. They’re insectivores, so this is one of the
pros. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on
a lot of different types of food. And most of the insect feeders are the cheap
insect feeders that you’ll find for any reptile. Crickets, superworms, dubia roaches should
be your staples. Waxworms as occasional treats. They’ll only very rarely eat hornworms, in
fact, Ocelot here has a habit of regurgitating his hornworms so I don’t really offer them
anymore. They’ll occasionally take silkworms, occasionally
take butterworms, and occasionally take black soldier fly larva (phoenix worms, calciworms,
etcetera). But I’ve noticed as they grow they kind of
go through this interesting phase where they start kind of only liking fast-moving prey
like crickets. Then they’ll kind of try anything. And as they’ve gotten older they really won’t
eat it if it’s a really soft-bodied prey item with the exception being waxworms. You can supplement the diet with meat. You need to be careful about what kinds of
meats you want to offer. A lot of keepers might offer ground turkey. I don’t like to offer ground turkey because
it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. It might have hormones added. Egg can be offered cooked or raw. I mix some calcium and multivitamin in when
I do that. But really, one to three day old chopped pinkies,
or whole pinkies even, are probably the best supplemental meat item to offer your ackies. And those are pretty cheap, you can order
them frozen in-bulk and again feeding is one of the pros for these guys – as far as monitors
go at least. Now this video could go on and on listing
every single pro and I do want to make this fairly brief and more of a primer. As I said at the beginning of the video I’ll
be releasing a more comprehensive care guide shortly. But I should probably also cover breeding
and cohabitation really briefly simply because a lot of ackies are bought as groups, and
in fact I keep my ackies in groups as well. In terms of cohabitation, ackies can cohabitate
but I wouldn’t recommend cohabitating ackies of the same sex unless they’re maybe two females
and a male. But I wouldn’t cohabitate two mature or sub-adult
males. They do have a tendency to fight, they can
be territorial. So cohabitation, while generally safe, especially
with yellow ackies maybe requires a little bit more management, a little bit more attention,
a little bit more space in the enclosure, a little bit more care into enclosure design
to make sure that ackies can separate in times of tension. And it certainly requires that they are really
well fed. The problem here is that ackies are notoriously
hard to sex when they’re young. So if you decide to buy a group, which again
as a breeder I’m not necessarily opposed to, you should be prepared in the event that you
have a mix of sex of your ackies that will require separation. And it’s also the case that some ackies just
might not get along, right? You get a few ackies in the mix that are exceptional
in terms of the way they compare to other ackies and they might not be good specimens
for cohabitation at any rate. So again, if you buy a group you’re either
going to put yourself in a situation where, possibly, if your ackies just don’t get along
famously and peacefully and fine, you’re either going to have to build another permanent enclosure
for your yellows or you’re going to have to get rid of some of the yellows that you’ve
grown attached to. Now breeding ackies is definitely an option
out there for those keepers that are interested in learning that skill or just having the
experience of doing something kind of new and exciting in husbandry. But I wouldn’t recommend trying to breed ackies
if you want to make a quick buck. A lot goes into getting your females ready
to cycle. Nesting is a notoriously difficult process
for female ackies, they can get very picky about where they lay and how they lay. From the time they lay to the time you’re
selling healthy hatchlings a lot can go wrong. Breeding is very stressful and taxing on the
females. I’m fortunate enough to do work where I can
spend a lot of time at home and I can work from home, and it gives me the freedom to
put a lot of attention into my females and keep them healthy as they breed. So breeding or cohabitation for a lot of different
reasons might not be right for everybody. And again, as much as I’d like to sell a lot
of ackies and see a lot of ackies being bred out there and see the demand for ackies go
up and up and up, for the best interest of the reptiles I’d encourage you to just be
really honest about whether a single ackie or about whether the challenge of cohabitation
and breeding is something that you’re up for. So that about wraps up the video. I hope that it’s been helpful in determining
whether or not yellow ackies are a good choice for you. My goal is just to be as honest as I can. While I’d love to tell you that yellow ackies
are the most rewarding species you’ll ever work with, certainly that’s the case for me. And you know – it’s true that they are extremely
rewarding, what I really want to do is give keepers a clear understanding of what they’re
getting into even if this is only a brief primer because even more than I’d like to
sell a bunch of ackies and have everyone in the world owning an ackie it’s more important
for me to know that yellow ackies are ending up in the right hands for keepers that are
going to take care of them the way they really deserve. Thanks a lot for watching and please subscribe
to the channel, like us on facebook at and on Instagram at burrowpets

Randy Schultz

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12 thoughts on “Are Yellow Ackies Right For You?

  1. Tanner Baker says:

    Awesome video Jason! Probably the best informational video on ackies that I've seen yet. Keep up the great work!!!

  2. Dr Suezz productions says:

    For meat is ground whole prey with organs and bones like mice and turkey meant for carnivores ok or should I stick to pinkies

  3. Tom Wright says:

    Great video very useful thank you so much for your video

  4. King Spade says:

    Woah show us how you did that enclosure of yours!

  5. Charles Lee Ray says:

    I went from a water dragon to argus monitor with a 20-year gap and I am doing great! So as long as people really read, read and ask questions then, in my opinion, a monitor can be the first reptile. Maybe not a kid under 18 with no job or means to support one but a person with the means or a child with a supportive parent could jump into monitors. Impulse buyers beware!

  6. Will Brighton says:

    Is it okay to keep just one male on its own, I understand they are social, but if it had lots to do and I interacted with it enough, would it be okay on its own?

  7. Aileen Rap says:

    Do you know a Red Ackie breeder in Europe?

  8. Reptile Guy says:

    Good video but you DO NOT need a 4×2×2 for 1 ackie.

  9. Ryan Smith says:

    is exo terra brand coconut husk a safe substrate for these guys?

  10. Emilio Dijard says:

    Great video going over both pros and cons. I'm honestly not a breeder nor I intend to be, but I've been researching Ackies for some time to hopefully have a pet one in the coming years. I've cared for turtles and a blue tongued skink some years ago and although this would be my first lizard pet, I really want to make sure I'm capable of giving it great care. Hopefully by 2020 or 2021 iI'll have enough funds and research for it, and this was a great piece of information I will be saving. Thanks a lot!

  11. Phil Barrett says:

    NEVER say they're hard to kill! Idiots on YouTube will take that literally and stick them in a tub without researching their true requirements. BE RESPONSIBLE!

  12. John Hubbard says:

    I’d love to see cage set up video I like your set up

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