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"Pet Bearded Dragon Care & Information (Pogona vitticeps)"

 

Bearded Dragon Feeding

 

Bearded Dragon Feeding

Being omnivorous, these animals accept a variety of Bearded dragon foods including plant materials (greens, esp. leafy greens), invertebrates and the occasional vertebrate.

Bearded Dragon Food

In captivity they can be offered a variety of insects, fruit, vegetables, flowers, flower leaves / herbs and nestling mice. To give a Bearded dragon a healthy balanced diet at least half of their daily food should consist of commercial insects like Bearded dragon crickets, Dubia roaches and other feeder cockroaches, silkworms, fly ants and Phoenix worms. Mealworms, mealworm beetles, waxworms, superworms and nestling mice can be fed occasionally as a snack, but should never make out the bulk of the diet.

Note: Bearded dragons eat between one to forty insects per day depending on their age and the size of the crickets. Make sure to have a reliable feeder insect supplier near by or breed your own.

Bearded Dragon Feeding Guide

  • Hatchling Bearded dragons will start to eat from two to four days after birth. Only very small insects should be offered until the dragon is used to hunting and eating.
     

  • When babies have difficulty in hunting, live prey can be placed in a refrigerator for a few minutes prior to feeding. This will slow the insects down and make them easier to hunt.
     

  • Dead insects can and should also be offered with the greens.
     

  • Try hand-feeding Bearded dragons as soon- or as young as possible to limit the amount of insect escapes.
     

  • The space between the eyes of baby and juvenile dragons is generally used the as maximum size of the food that can be offered.
     

  • Insects should always be gut loaded with appropriate mineral / vitamin supplements and should be dusted two to three times a week with a suitable powdered calcium supplement.
     

  • The size of insects can be gradually increased to maximum when the Beardie is about four to six months of age.

Bearded Dragon Feeding Schedule

Hatchling and juvenile Bearded dragons should be fed insects at least once or twice, but preferably up to four times a day.

Adult Bearded dragons can eat insects once a day or once every other day.

When feeding Bearded dragons more than twice a day, only feed the amount of insects which can be consumed within fifteen minutes per feeding. A satiated Bearded dragon will run away, close its eyes and go and have a nap on the basking rock. Free roaming insects can cause significant amounts of stress to any size dragon.

Keep the feeding schedule the same by feeding insects at the same time each and every day.

Bearded dragon greens should be available during the entire day, even if no insects are offered.

Tip: Use an electric timer to switch the lights on in the morning. This way you can still snooze while they are waking up. Start off your daily Bearded dragon feeding schedule about two hours later.

Bearded Dragon Feeding Chart

It was already mentioned that Bearded dragon food should consist of a combination of plant materials, vertebrates and invertebrates. Plant food should consist of a variety of green feed (Bearded dragon greens) incl. leafy greens like leaves and herbs and other plant materials like fruit, vegetables and flowers. The bulk of Bearded dragon food should include invertebrates like commercial Bearded dragon crickets, Dubia roaches and other feeder cockroaches, silkworms, fly ants and Phoenix worms. Other less desirable insects include mealworms, superworms, Trevo worms, and waxworms. The occasional nestling mice can also be offered.

Bearded Dragon Crickets

Bearded dragon crickets contain most of the main nutritional ingredients, namely carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. Their practicality, efficiency and ease of culturing put them in the number one spot when it comes to Bearded dragon food. Bearded dragon crickets should be gut loaded from at least 24 hours prior to feeding them to dragons.

Bearded Dragon Greens

The second half of a Bearded dragon's diet should consist of an assortment of torn or shredded Bearded dragon fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers and flower leaves. A shallow container with a mixture of the correct size greens should always be available in the cooler end of the vivarium.

Bearded dragon greens bowl

A dynamic mixture of Bearded dragon greens will not only prevent boredom and stimulate appetite, but will also increase the diversity of vitamins and minerals to the animal. One should try to change only one or two items at a time over about three days to ensure adequate gastrointestinal adaptation. At least three to five different ingredients should be mixed together at a time. Fresh greens will contain more nutrients compared to spoiled, cooked or baked ones. All ingredients should be washed / rinsed with potable running tap water to remove dirt and potential pesticides before feeding.

Bearded Dragon Greens List
 

Bearded Dragon Fruit
  • Apple 
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Orange-fleshed squash
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pear
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Bearded Dragon Vegetables

  • Baby marrows
  • Beetroot
  • Bell pepper
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Corn / maize
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Patty pans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Yams
  • Zucchini
   
Leaves / Herbs
  • Alfalfa / Lucerne
  • Basil
  • Carrot tops
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion
  • Escarole
  • Mustard greens
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Radish leaves
  • Rocket
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Rosemary
  • Swiss chard
Flowers
  • Alfalfa / Lucerne
  • Carnations
  • Dandelion
  • Hibiscus
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Rose pedals

 

Note: Onions, spinach and cabbage type vegetables should be avoided at all costs.

Bearded Dragon Water

Although Bearded dragons are desert reptiles and you probably might never see one drink, a shallow Bearded dragon water container with clean fresh water should always be available. Baby and juvenile dragons love to take an occasional plash in their water container and is probably to cool down or to get rid of loose skin and not because they drink a lot of water. Some literature refers to misting hatchling and young juvenile bearded dragons with water. Another source suggested to mist the water container once a day to stimulate Bearded dragon water drinking behavior in babies.

 
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