Members especially youtube people are getting confused about the term free roaming.
All reptiles need a safe place where the heat, UVB and humidity are controlled and this is not possible in a big room or house. Free roaming does not mean that the reptile does not have a cage or own room, free roaming means that the reptile have a choice of being in his cage / room or going somewhere else in the house etc. when the urge is there and it is safe.
There are rules that you need to follow if you want to keep a free roaming reptile healthy and unharmed.
1. I do not recommend free roaming if the reptile does not have access to direct sunlight for the most part of the year.
2. You need controlled spots through out the area where the reptile are allowed to roam. This include hiding areas, basking ledges, proper heat, UVB, humidity, food and water.
3. The entire free roaming area must be kept at 85F / 29C because the reptile might decide not to use the designated areas. Too cold and your reptile will stop functioning and can become sick. Too hot and your reptile can die.
4. No small items are allowed anywhere in the area, this includes dish clothes, face clothes, paper towels, toys, the list are endless.
5. All furniture needs to be secured, no space under couches or behind furniture. The reptile must KNOW that he is not allowed to clime curtains.
6. Tv cabinets, bookshelves etc. needs to be secured to the wall and if the reptile does decide to clime up onto it (and an iguana will) then there must be nothing that can fall down, meaning your book shelve must have no books and no ornaments. Your tv cabinet must have no free standing speakers, small Hi-Fi, no space behind the tv etc.
7. No electrical wire must be visible or on the ground.
8. No other animals are allowed in the area, that includes parrots, dogs, cats etc. No cat or dog food in view.
9. The area must be immaculate clean 24/7, no dust, no hair, no insects - especially spiders.
10. You cannot use any pesticides or cleaning agents that are unsafe or not organic.
11. All plants in the area must be secured and safe if consumed. The plant soil needs to be organic and chemical free.
12. There must be no water fountains or open toilets, buckets of water etc.
13. No children are allowed in the area.
14. All doors and windows needs to be shut securily.
15. You must be able to determine where the reptile is before you open the door.
16. All mirrors needs to be covered up or better yet - removed.
17. The reptile must be tame and at least 2 years old.
You will agree with me that the above are impossible to achieve 100% and even if we did follow all the rules we still have elements beyond our control, for example the weather that determines the temperature inside the house.
From watching Forest's videos it is easy to think that he has 100% freedom, yes in a way he does have it but what you dont know is that I have very strict rules and that he is supervised most of the times.
The rules for free roaming in my house:
1. Forest has a controlled room where he spends his mornings and where he sleeps.
2. The bedroom door has an opening with flaps so he can come and go when he wants to but not where he wants to. The flaps are there so that the heat and humidity do not escape from the room.
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3. The tunnel leading to the outdoor cage has a wooden sliding door that are only opened on sunny days, which are +/- 315 days of the year.
4. Forest only have access to his tunnel, outdoor cage, the passage and 1 bathroom inside the house while we are at work. All bedroom doors and passage are closed so he cant enter.
5. When we get home we open the passage and find Forest sitting in front of his door waiting for us. He then comes out of his room, go poop in the bathroom, turn in the kitchen for a snack and then roams the lounge. During this time he is supervised 100%. Only after he climbed up his ladder and are on his ledge with a basking light do I leave him alone.
6. On weekends when I am home he can roam the entire garden and house (excluding the bedrooms) and I keep a close eye on him all the time.
7. During winter he does have access to my bedroom and bathroom. He spends his time under his UVB light on my bed watching tv. All mirrors are then covered and I have eco-friendly heaters heating the room. He is allowed to go out the sliding door on sunny days and this is supervised by my maid.
8. My house are kept spotless clean 24/7.
All iguanas wants freedom and become very unhappy if they are kept locked in a cage, give them freedom but remember that safety and health comes first.