Best food for a baby bearded dragon
How To Care For Baby Bearded Dragons
The essential guide to these pets.
Even the most squeamish of animal lovers would find it hard to say that a baby Bearded Dragon is anything but sweet. But with these cheeky little pets come some responsibilities, as they do require optimal care and attention to grow into an impressive dragon!
Licensed to thrill
Before you can embark on becoming a responsible Bearded Dragon parent, you must apply for a license to own a reptile with your state government. Don’t despair though – record-keeping is probably the hardest part of reptile ownership.
Hatchling and juvenile Bearded Dragons should be fed primarily small feeder insects, like crickets, two or three times a day. You don’t need a large amount of crickets as they could over-run the tank and are known to bite. Other than being tasty, insects alone don’t contain all the nutritional requirements that a growing Bearded Dragon needs: a calcium supplement is necessary. You can check out our supplement range at Petbarn instore or online. (linkto: https://www.petbarn.com.au/reptile) You should also start feeding greens as early as possible, not just for nutrition, but also hydration. It’s important that vegetables are cut up into bite-size pieces. Quality pellets should also be offered at an early stage.
Hydration is key
One of the biggest problems that new Bearded Dragon parents face is dehydration. Water bowls should be shallow to prevent drowning and should be changed daily. Any water bowls that have been defecated in should be changed immediately. Expert tip: If your dragon isn’t drinking water, then it’s a good idea to mist them. Hatchling and juveniles should be misted until you’re confident that they’re drinking water independently.
Three’s a crowd
Bearded Dragons aren’t very social. Although they tend to be good-natured companions and enjoy human company, the same cannot be said for other Bearded Dragons. As they get older, they become territorial and are likely to pick on smaller tank mates. For this reason, you wouldn’t keep more than three of the same size baby Bearded Dragons together – and avoid putting small dragons with large ones. Hungry hatchlings have been known to bite the tips of tails and toes of tank mates. When you see a stack of dragons, the most dominant one is usually on top – closest to the sun.
Watch them wave!
Bearded dragons display some pretty awesome behaviour. They don’t vocalise to each other – instead, they use their bodies to communicate. Arm waving is a typical, and usually submissive, behaviour. When a larger Bearded Dragon (or human) approaches a smaller one, it may wave in submission. Sometimes a wave is all they do, other times they may head bob. This is generally an aggressive sign: “I’m bigger than you!” The faster the head bob, the more aggressive the Bearded Dragon is getting. Their “beard” turns black the more aggressive they get and they will also puff it up. This means business!
Find out more about how to set up a Bearded Dragon Tank.
8 Tips For Feeding and Caring For Baby Bearded Dragons
Baby Bearded Dragons are a great way for first time reptile keepers to have a pet dragon.
Do not let the name ‘dragon’ scare you!
These lizards are tame, docile and easy to care for.
Babies are born a tiny three inches long and only grow 16 to 24 inches in length.
A Baby Bearded Dragon can be purchased for just $100. But before bringing a baby Beardie home, you will need to know how to care for him.
Here are eight tips you need to know before getting a Baby Bearded Dragon…
Table of Contents
- 1. What To Know Before Buying A Baby Bearded Dragon
- Baby Bearded Dragon Price
- 2. Best Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat
- 3. Baby Bearded Dragon Setup Tips
- 4. Baby Bearded Dragon Diet
- What Does A Baby Bearded Dragons Eat?
- How Many Crickets To Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon?
- 5. Track Their Growth Rate
- 6. Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
- 7. How To Tame A Baby Bearded Dragon
- 8. Know What To Expect
1. What To Know Before Buying A Baby Bearded Dragon
It is both good and bad that Bearded Dragons are a popular pet lizard.
To find a Baby Bearded Dragon for sale is very easy. This also means it is easy to find a species that is illegal or unhealthy.
Importing wild Baby Beardies from their native range is illegal. Do not purchase a bearded dragon labeled as wild-caught.
Purchase a captive-bred lizard from a reputable private breeder.
You will want to purchase a lizard that looks happy and healthy:
Signs They Are Healthy
- Their eyes and skin are bright.
- Standing up with all four legs.
- Good posture and active in their enclosure.
- Reactive to your touch.
- Swollen hind legs or rubbery jaw.
- They should be active and not lethargic.
- Runny or watery stool.
Make sure you do the research to find a reputable breeder.
Baby Bearded Dragon Price
Baby Bearded dragons can be purchased for $45 to $100.
Species that are not tan brown (e.g. color morphs) are more expensive and cost $100 to $750.
The initial setup cost of their enclosure will be $200 to $1,100. This includes purchasing a 20-gallon juvenile terrarium, lights, substrate, hides and food.
There are starter kits available for Bearded Dragons that cost around $200. But, they do not always include the proper supplies.
2. Best Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat
A baby bearded dragon first needs a 20-gallon tank. As they grow their tank size should too.
Fully-grown adults require a 120-gallon tank.
Because they grow so quickly some owners purchase an adult cage to start with. That way they do not have to buy multiple enclosures:
|Age||Minimum Tank Size|
|3 – 6 months||50-gallon|
|7 – 9 months||75-gallon|
Baby Bearded Dragon Lighting
Bearded dragons should get 12 hours of light daily – babies too.
To achieve this Beardies need both UVA and UVB lights in their habitat:
- A UVB light tube (not coil) should on for 12 hours a day from 7AM to 7PM. The easiest way to do this is to buy a light timer.
- A 50-75 watt UVA bulb should be used inside of a dome light fixture. This light can sit on top of the screen lid or can also hang inside the terrarium.
It is important to get a UVB light that is tube shaped and not coiled. Your UVA bulbs should be dome shaped so that your dragon can properly bask.
Baby Bearded Dragon Heat and Basking Temperature
Their cage will need a temperature gradient. This allows your dragon to move in and out of the basking spot.
Your baby bearded dragon’s basking area should be between 95 to 105℉ degrees. The designated basking area will be the hottest area in the tank. It should be on the left or right side of the tank.
If your UVA bulb is setup properly the cold side of the cage should be around 75℉ degrees.
It is important to buy two high quality thermometers for either side of the tank. You need to make sure your baby lizard has the correct heat levels.
If temperatures are too low during the night (below 65℉) you can add a ceramic heat emitter.
Baby Bearded Dragon Humidity
Your dragon’s enclosure should be between 30% to 40% humidity. If the enclosure is too humid your lizard can become sick. If it is too dry they will dehydrate.
Make sure to invest in a high-quality hygrometer to measure water vapor levels.
The best way to achieve proper humidity is to include a water dish in their tank and allow the water to evaporate.
A water dish must be shallow enough for baby bearded dragons to enter and exit by themselves. The water should not be filled more than their chin-level. For babies this might be just one cm.
Baby Bearded Dragon Substrate
Substrate can be a confusing topic for new owners.
One mistake many bearded dragon owners make is using reptile sand in their enclosure. Despite Bearded Dragons living in sand in the wild your dragon should not be kept on sand.
Commercial reptile sand is different from sand in their natural habitat.
If your lizard is kept on sand – it will get in their eyes, their water and food. If a baby consumes too much sand its intestines will be blocked causing impaction.
The best substrate for a bearded dragon is reptile carpet.
If you cannot find reptile carpet there are a few options you can choose from:
- Paper towels.
- Non-adhesive shelf liner.
3. Baby Bearded Dragon Setup Tips
- Secure 20-gallon terrarium with screen lid.
- UVB light tube (not coil) turned on for 12 hours a day.
- 50-75 watt UVA bulb inside of a dome light fixture.
- Basking area should be between 95 to 105℉ degrees
- 30 to 40% humidity.
- Reptile carpet – not sand or wood shavings.
4. Baby Bearded Dragon Diet
Baby and juvenile Bearded Dragons eat mostly insects in the wild.
As they age their diet changes to mostly vegetarian.
This means your baby bearded dragon will have a different diet compared to an adult:
- Babies should be fed a ratio of protein to greens of 75/25.
- Adults should be fed a ratio of protein to greens of 25/75.
What Does A Baby Bearded Dragons Eat?
They should eat small Dubia roaches or 2-3 times a day. They are better than mealworms, as it is hard for babies to digest mealworms.
Babies should be fed a balance of crickets and plants to maintain their health. A ratio of 75% protein to 25% greens is nutritionally best.
Some vegetables you can feed include:
- Collard Greens
- Mustard GreensBeet Tops
- Other Leafy Greens
- Beet Tops
- Leafy Greens
Low nutrient foods such as lettuce, spinach or celery should be avoided.
If you want to give them a treat you can offer small fruits such as blueberries or peach slices.
How Many Crickets To Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon?
Babies should eat 20 to 40 small crickets each day.
Special care must be taken to ensure hatchlings get the right food for their size. The crickets you feed should not be larger than the distance between your dragon’s eyes.
It is best to let your lizard eat as many crickets as they can in a 10 minute window. Normally they will eat a cricket every minute or so.
After 10 minutes remove any excess food from the cage. Do not leave any insects in your dragon’s enclosure as they can hurt your pet.
Here is an example feeding schedule for a baby or juvenile:
|Time||Insects||Greens* (all chopped**)|
|9 AM||10+ small crickets||2x collard greens, 1x bell pepper slice and 1x strawberry|
|12 PM||10 + dubia roaches||2x kale, 1 slice of squash and 1x blueberry|
|3 PM||10 + small crickets||2x dandelion greens, 1 slice of pumpkin and 1 slice of banana|
|6 PM||10+ dubia roaches||2x collard greens, 1 bell pepper slice and 1x grape|
* To promote healthy growth you should dust their food with calcium a few times each week.
** Make sure that all food is cut into small pieces to prevent choking and indigestion.
5. Track Their Growth Rate
Baby Bearded Dragons are born three to four inches in length.
Healthy hatchlings grow 1 to 3″ per month for their first two months.
It will take 18 to 24 months for your dragon to reach its full grown size.
Females are smaller than males and range from 12 to 20 inches in length. Males are 16 to 24 inches.
Beardies grow quickly when cared for properly.
You should be very observant of your baby lizard’s growth for the first 12 months:
|Age (months)||Size (inches)||Weight (grams)|
|1 month||3 to 4 inches||4 to 6 grams|
|2 months||5 to 9 inches||8 to 40 grams|
|3 months||8 to 11 inches||22 to 110 grams|
|4 months||9 to 12 inches||41 to 115 grams|
|5 months||11 to 16 inches||102 to 115 grams|
|6 months||11 to 18 inches||183 to 188 grams|
|7 months||13 to 18 inches||230 to 280 grams|
|8 months||14 to 20 inches||252 to 327 grams|
|9 to 10 months||16 to 22 inches||280 to 360 grams|
|11 to 12 months||16 to 24 inches||350 to 465 grams|
If your lizard is not growing or eating then there could be a health problem.
Metabolic Bone Disease is a common issue with pet lizards. This disease causes problems with bone health and growth and in some cases causes death. It is a bone disease caused by improper nutrition (often a calcium deficiency) or improper UVB lighting.
6. Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
The normal lifespan of a bearded dragon is 7 to 12 years.
Metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections and abnormal shedding (i.e. dysecdysis) are all common, but potentially fatal, health issues for beardies of any age.
Proper care is vital to ensure your lizard lives a long and happy life.
Use the care sheet below as a quick guide to make sure their cage is setup correctly and their diet is proper:
|Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet|
7. How To Tame A Baby Bearded Dragon
Before handling your baby dragon you should wait at least a week.
Babies are more skittish than adults.
Baby Bearded Dragons are also small and should be held with extreme care.
Once your lizard is eating regularly you can begin to tame him:
- To start with offer your hand and coax him gently.
- Without making any sudden movements hold him underneath his belly and support his weight.
- Do not grab him from above or by the tail.
If you care for your lizard and handle them properly you can expect them to be very relaxed and happy being held. Their docile nature is a large part of why they are a popular pet lizard. But, they need proper and gentle handling to get them used to your touch.
8. Know What To Expect
There are several things you should expect when adopting this species.
To start with you should be prepared to have him for around 7 – 12 years.
Doing your research before buying a baby bearded dragon is very important. So is purchasing from a private breeder.
It is always better to purchase an enclosure and get it setup first. Doing this will make the transfer of your Beardie much easier. You will also have temperature and humidity under control.
Unless you have your lights plugged into a timer (which is highly recommended) you will need to turn the lights on in the morning and off in the evening every day.
You will need to feed him three or four times each day at 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM and 6 PM.
Do not expect babies to be completely comfortable around you at first. They will need time to adjust to their new surroundings.
They may also not want to eat immediately after coming home. If their husbandry is correct they will be ready to eat after a day.
Caring for a Baby Bearded Dragon is simple for beginners.
To start with they will need a secure 20-gallon terrarium with a screen lid.
Two of the most important things to remember are their habitat and diet:
- Feed 20 to 40 crickets a day over three or four 10 minute periods.
- Keep their basking area 95 to 105℉ degrees and make sure humidity is 30 to 40% humidity.
If you do your research, and take care of your beardie, you should expect them to be very tame and live for 7 – 12 years.
Let us know how you cared for your Baby Bearded Dragon below.
Keeping and Feeding Bearded Dragons
- Keeping Bearded Dragons
- Feeding Bearded Dragons
The Bearded Dragon is a stunningly beautiful reptile that is great for keeping in a city apartment, good contact with people and can become a real pet.
In the wild, these lizards live in the deserts of Australia. Almost all agamas that can now be bought are bred in captivity. The average life span of bearded dragons in captivity is 10-15 years.
Keeping a bearded dragon
Before you bring your dragon home, prepare a place for it. Of course, like any reptile, dragons are cold-blooded animals, so they should be kept in a terrarium. For agamas, it is better to purchase a horizontal glass terrarium, the optimal size is 180 cm wide, 50 deep and 50 high. The terrarium must be closed with a lid so that the lizard does not escape.
Since bearded dragons are hermits, they need a humidity level of 30-40%. The temperature in the terrarium should be at the level of 26-29gr. C, temperature under the heating lamp 36-38gr. C. For this, you can use incandescent lamps or ceramic lamps, you need to hang them at a distance of 45 cm from the place of heating, so that the agama cannot get burned. To monitor the temperature, you need to attach a thermometer to the wall of the terrarium, and you can also use a thermostat.
An ultraviolet lamp must be lit along with the heating lamp throughout the day. Reptiles require UV A and B spectrum lamps. These lamps are available from terrarium and aquarium stores. Day mode: 14 hours - daylight hours, 10 hours - night time.
Sand and pebbles at least 10 mm in diameter are most often used as soil. Sand is poured in a layer of 10 cm, so that, if desired, the lizard can burrow into the ground. There are also ready-made terrarium mats that are sold in pet stores (not rubber mats).
The terrarium should be equipped with branches (no bark), rocks (from the pet store) and a shelter where the dragon can hide if desired. It is better not to put artificial and live plants in the terrarium, as the agama will eat them.
To improve life processes (prevention of diseases, help with molting), the agama can be bathed in a small bath, so that the head is always on top, with a water temperature of 29-32 gr. C. This procedure should be done 1-2 times a week.
General cleaning in the terrarium is enough to carry out once a month (wash the entire terrarium, equipment, change or clean the soil). Food and faeces should be removed as soon as they appear.
Bearded dragon feeding
In the terrarium, you can put a container with water to maintain the optimal level of humidity, a drinker, but not all lizards drink from it. You can spray the agama once a day, and she will lick the droplets from her body, or give moistened greens.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards. In nature, they eat everything from leaves and stems to small mice and chicks. Therefore, at home, it is quite easy for them to choose the right diet.
For plant food, leafy vegetables (Chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach), vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant), fruits (pitted apples, bananas, grapes in small quantities) are suitable for them. , juicy green food (dandelion, clover, wheat leaves, germinated oats).
Mealworm, zoophobus, crickets, cockroaches and newborn mice are suitable for animal food. All these "products" can be bought at the pet store. For feeding worms, you need a bowl with high edges so that they cannot crawl out and burrow into the ground. It is better to feed crickets and cockroaches in a separate small terrarium or a plastic jig, a basin is not suitable for this, as crickets can jump out. You can also feed insects with tweezers. You just need to do it carefully so that the agama does not bite on the tweezers themselves, otherwise it can break its face.
Ready-made food for lizards and vitamin-mineral complexes for reptiles can be added to these feeds as top dressing. In Russia, such drugs as Reptilife (Agrovetzashchita), Reptolife (Tetra), Wordley (Calcium and Multivitamin) are common.
Young bearded dragons (up to 5 months old) should be fed 3 times a day so that animal food makes up more than half, and vegetable food less. "Teenagers" can be fed once a day, adult agamas (after 18 months) should be fed every other day so that they have less than half of animal food, and more vegetable food.
Bearded dragon - description, care, feeding, maintenance and breeding at home
Bearded dragon is an obedient and easy-to-care pet. These lizards have been kept at home for over 30 years. The natural color is dominated by yellowish, gray or brown tones. The color may change depending on the temperature and condition of the animal. Now you can buy a variety of bred morphs, which makes this species attractive for both beginners and advanced amateurs.
The size of an adult can reach 40-60 cm. The body has a flattened ellipsoidal shape. On the body, mainly on the sides, there are scales in the form of prickly spikes. The head has a triangular shape and is framed by spines.
The lizard lives in arid deserts and semi-deserts of Australia. Leads an active daily life on the ground, sometimes climbing onto stones and branches of low trees. He uses burrows of other animals, piles of stones, crevices at the roots of trees and bushes as shelters.
A 90 x 45 x 45 cm terrarium is suitable for an adult, while a smaller 60 x 45 x 30 cm terrarium can be used for young dragons. when the animal reaches 1 year.
Temperature is the most important parameter for keeping a bearded dragon at home. Only with the right temperature regime the animal will be able to fully digest food, develop and grow normally. The lizard's metabolism depends entirely on the correct temperature gradient, which is created by special lamps.
During the day the temperature should be 25-30 °C in the "cool zone" and 38-50 °C in the warm zone "under the sun".
For heating, a powerful directional heat and light lamp is installed, which is recommended for use in a luminaire with a bracket. You can raise and lower the lamp depending on what temperature is required in the terrarium.
Night temperatures can drop to 22°C.
Supplementary heating - eg heat cable, terrarium thermomat, ceramic heater, infrared lamps - may be required if the temperature falls below the recommended range.
Use Desert Sand or Stone Desert as a substrate. It is necessary to install strong snags, stones on which it is convenient for animals to climb, shelters and a small drinking bowl with water in the terrarium.
For lighting, the terrarium is equipped with several daylight lamps (Natural Light and Reptile Vision) and lamps with strong UV radiation (UVB150-200).
Daylight hours for the bearded dragon is 12-14 hours.
Terrarium humidity not supported. Caring for a bearded dragon consists of bathing. A lizard under the age of 3 months should be bathed once a week in a basin with water at 30 ° C, 2-3 cm deep. From 3-6 months, you can bathe once every 2 weeks. From 6-12 months, 1 time per month is enough.
Only use the terrarium with a proven ventilation system that promotes good air exchange and prevents the windows from fogging up.
Bearded dragons have a diet of insects, greens, vegetables and fruits. The diet of an animal up to a year old should consist of 70% insects and 30% plant foods. As the lizards get older, the ratio should change to about 70% plant foods and 30% insects.
Approximate feeding schedule
1-6 months - ~10 crickets every day.
6-12 months - every other day ~10 crickets or 1-3 locusts.
12 months and older - 2-3 times a week for ~10 crickets or 5-8 locusts.
The numbers of insects given are approximate and may not correspond to the needs of a particular animal. Focus on your pet's appetite. You can also use frozen insects or Repashy special food as food.
Before feeding insects, pollinate with calcium and vitamins. Plant foods can be offered every day. You can feed all kinds of salads, various vegetables and fruits.
Avoid any type of cabbage, tomatoes, citrus fruits and other acidic vegetables, fruits and berries.
In summer you can give dandelions, clover, knotweed, other weeds. Feed the animal in the morning and afternoon hours, but not at night. Animals under one year old should not be limited in feeding.
The Bearded Dragon should always have access to fresh drinking water.
Bearded dragons become sexually mature, ready for breeding by two years of age. This is an oviparous species. After mating, after 45-65 days, females lay eggs. To do this, they need to dig a hole with a depth of at least 40 cm. The number of eggs in a clutch is from 9up to 25 pieces. After 55-90 days, babies hatch from the eggs.
With proper maintenance and care in your home, the bearded dragon will live up to 12-14 years.
Bearded dragons are very territorial, so males should never be placed together. These lizards should be kept singly or in groups where there is a male and several females.
Like any other animal, the bearded dragon can get sick. Of course, if all the rules are followed, the risk of disease is minimized. If you suspect any disease, call our store and we will advise you.
Signs of illness:
- lack of appetite for a long time,
- problematic molt.
Bearded dragons get used to human contact very quickly. When the animal understands that there is no danger, it ceases to be afraid and will come out on its own. For the purpose of taming, it is necessary to feed the agama from your hands, take it out of the terrarium for some time and hold it in your hands, stroke it on the back. If she does not experience stress outside the terrarium, you can let her walk around the room, after closing the windows and locking other pets in separate rooms. The lizard should be outside the terrarium only under supervision.
On our site there are many photos of bearded dragons, as well as a video, after watching which you will get acquainted with the habits of a reptile.
Panteric only supplies healthy animals. Our consultants help with the choice of everything you need for terrarium equipment, answer all your questions, and give important tips on care and breeding. For the time of departure, you can leave your pet in our hotel, which will be monitored by experienced veterinarians.
The first reptile: which one to choose and how to care for it
Are reptiles ideal pets for the home? We will tell you how to create really comfortable conditions and extend their life.