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

 

Bearded Dragon Husbandry

 

Bearded Dragon Husbandry

Husbandry refers to all the practices involved in keeping a pet Bearded dragon. It includes, but is not limited to Bearded dragon housing, Bearded dragon lighting, Bearded dragon temperature and Bearded dragon feeding.

Correct Bearded Dragon Husbandry

Although there is a lot said about the detailed keeping of Bearded dragons, some Bearded dragon husbandry aspects are more important than others. I will explain the most important points briefly, but the specific links should supply more detailed information on its specific topic.

The correct Bearded dragon husbandry with regards to housing includes a large enough enclosure for normal physical and physiological functioning. The recommended floor space for a single Bearded dragon is at least (900 x 350)cm / (35 x 14)". This should be increased by at least 25% per Bearded dragon added after that. Commonly used enclosures include large tanks / aquariums, large cabinets and large plastic cages.

The most important aspect about Bearded dragon lighting are that a reptile specific ultraviolet (UV) lamp should be supplied to stimulate calcium absorption. These lights will also supply visible light. It must also be said that artificial UV lighting should be mounted within 30 cm / 12 " form the main basking area and that it should be replaced every six months or so. Higher UV light intensities (5% or more) is more preferred. Even though there is ample artificial UV installed, it is still recommended that a Bearded dragons spends at least one hour per day outside in natural, unfiltered sunlight.

Temperature related Bearded dragon husbandry includes supplying the correct ambient or background temperature and most importantly, supplying a basking spot. The correct background temperature should be 24 - 34 C / 75 - 93 F. The basking spot should be around 40 C / 104 F with a natural temperature gradient towards the recommended background temperature.

Bearded dragon feeding should consist of a combination of both plant materials (or so called greens) and good quality insects like crickets, cockroaches, silkworms and Phoenix worms. The Bearded dragon feeding should also be supplemented with a good quality calcium supplement two to three times a week and the insects should always be gut loaded with an appropriate gut loading food.

Bearded Dragon Husbandry Problems

Some parts of Bearded dragon husbandry are severely neglected by certain owners. It has been said many times that Bearded dragons are very hardy animals to keep in captivity, but they need the correct Bearded dragon husbandry to thrive. Bearded dragon husbandry problems can lead to various diseases, of which the most important one is Bearded dragon MBD (metabolic bone disease).

 
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