Best food to feed baby bearded dragons
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.
18 Things Baby Bearded Dragons Like to Eat Most (Diet, Care & Feeding Tips)
Baby Bearded dragons are tiny spiky creatures that will crawl under your skin the moment you set your eyes on them. They are funny, energetic, friendly, and easy to take care of. Plus, these lovely creatures don’t need any extra care or living conditions, so the only thing you have to worry about is what do baby Bearded dragons eat and when.
Table of Contents
- Baby Bearded Dragons Habits and Biology
- Do Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dirt?
- What Do Baby Bearded Dragons Like to Eat Most
- Food Avoid to Feed Baby Bearded Dragons
- Tips to Feed Baby Bearded Dragons
Baby Bearded Dragons Habits and Biology
Baby Bearded dragons become independent as soon as their mom dragon lays eggs. From that moment, they stay alone, and no one takes care of them.
As the saying goes, nature is a mother to some while stepmother to others. However, these cute little creatures are surprisingly tough as they start their lives and can successfully take care of themselves.
Since their survivals depend only on themselves, these reptiles are shy and appreciate solitude. Nonetheless, they can be friendly, kind, and gentle pets, and your kid will be crazy about this ugly beauty.
Moreover, Bearded dragons are safe pets as they nearly never bit, only if being in life danger. Finally, they are low maintenance regarding cleaning, grooming, and walking. Once you learn their eating habits, there are no other problems and demands.
Mother Nature makes sure these babies have spikes all over their bodies to protect themselves from snakes, birds, and other predators. They can grow up to 2 feet (61 cm), but the tail is usually half or more than half of their length.
Babies are approximately 8 to 23 inches long (20 to 60 cm) and weigh 0. 7 to 14 ounces (20 – 400 g). You can see tiny ear holes on their heads and spikes around and under the head. Their spiky beard is a way of body language for many things to say, such as ‘I am the boss here!’ in mating season.
They love climbing, and having sharp claws on all four legs makes their lives easier while overcoming obstacles. They live in hot, dry places, and when they are hot, they hyperventilate by keeping their mouths wide open.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dirt?
Baby Bearded dragons in captivity will occasionally eat dirt. Their bodies crave a lot of calcium to keep their skeleton strong. To have a balanced intake of this mineral, they may dig and eat sand, so there is nothing to worry about. It is not typical behavior in nature since they usually get enough calcium from food in their habitats.
Unless you want them to eat dirt, you can prevent this by spraying food with calcium powder. Another crucial thing is vitamin D. You should provide enough light by using a UV lamp during winter when there is not enough sunlight. That way, you will imitate the natural desert environment where they originate from.
What Do Baby Bearded Dragons Like to Eat Most
First of all, there is a difference between feeding the baby Bearded dragon and an adult dragon. Practically, hatchlings are alone from the moment they come out from eggs, and they need to search and find their food from the very beginning.
Regarding food choice, it is the same for youngsters and adults, but the ratio is different. Bearded dragons belong to a group of omnivores, meaning they eat both animals and plants.
While they are young, they should eat food that contains 75% of animal proteins and 25% of plants. As time passes by, that ratio slowly changes into 25% animal proteins and 75% plants.
Regarding preferences, both baby Bearded dragons and adult dragons are gluttons and crazy about insects. Although being omnivores, some are hard to force to eat veggies as much as they should eat.
On the other hand, when it comes to insects, they will catch and swallow everything that comes in their proximity. They won’t care whether it is beneficial or harmful for them. Their favorite bugs are:
- Black soldier fly larvae
- Butter worms and earthworms
- Red worms and super worms
- Cockroaches and Dubia roaches
- Crickets and locusts
These insects are healthy food for your baby Bearded dragon, and it will enjoy eating them at any time. You need to feed your pet with the right amount of insects you can buy in the local pet shop.
It is not advisable to catch insects around your home or in urban areas. They are usually highly contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals, so it is better to avoid them to keep your baby healthy and prosperous.
Veggies are essential to feed to your baby Bearded dragon, even if they don’t want to. You should never forget that your pet can live even 15 years if you properly feed and care about it. Therefore, you shouldn’t give up no matter what vegetable type want to offer:
- Broccoli, cabbage, and kale
- Mustard greens
- Squash, zucchini, and pumpkins
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Dandelion greens and collard greens
- Carrots and beet tops
The vegetables are full of nutrients necessary for your baby Bearded dragon, particularly when it is raw and fresh. However, if they are too hard to chew, you should boil ingredients and serve them at room temperature.
That way, they will lose some vitamins, but it will be safe to chew and swallow. Another option is to chop chosen vegetables into small pieces before offering them to your hatchling.
As you can imagine, baby Bearded dragons like treats just like any other kids, but sweets and chocolate are not options in this case. However, they will adore and enjoy the delicious fruit, such as:
- Apples and peaches
- Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
Fruits have a lot of vitamins, minerals, and valuable nutrients necessary for hatchlings’ diet. However, they shouldn’t be part of every meal but a reward for your little pet.
You can add necessary vitamins and minerals to their diet if necessary. The best option is to find them as supplements in the local pet shop. You should use them as prescribed on the labels and ask a vet for advice.
Food Avoid to Feed Baby Bearded Dragons
Some food can be harmful and even toxic to baby Bearded dragons, while others don’t have enough nutrients. The list of insects, veggies, and fruit that you shouldn’t feed your tiny creatures with includes:
- Insects that glow, like fireflies
- Venomous insects, including wasps, spiders, bees, and scorpions
- Onion and garlic
- Celery and spinach
- Chicken and beef
Bearded dragons should eat as they eat in the wild. That means meat and fish are not good options for them. They will do no harm but are greasy and have high phosphor levels that can jeopardize your reptile’s health. Most baby Bearded dragons will hardly get used to eating them.
If you take your baby Bearded dragon outside for a walk or picnic, you should take good care of it since fireflies and illuminating insects and worms can be lethal to it. They contain toxins that can kill your pet even if consumed in a small dosage.
The same goes for avocado, garlic, eggplant, and onion, as they are toxic. Even if your baby grabs a small amount, these plants can be very harmful.
When it comes to citruses, like lemons and oranges, their acid will irritate a hatchling’s stomach. Bearded dragons are not prepared for the acidic content in their stomach by nature.
Tips to Feed Baby Bearded Dragons
Once you prepare food, the question is how to feed your baby Bearded dragon. As any other hatchlings, it grows and needs nutrients, especially proteins. Therefore, you need to feed your pet regularly and in specific amounts. The food should not be in big pieces and always clean its living space from leftovers to prevent rotting.
The baby dragons should get about ten or more small insects per meal. Let the reptile eat for 15 minutes and see how many it can consume at once. That will be your guideline for the next time. Remember that 25% of the meal needs to be vegetables.
You should feed your pet at least 3 to 4 times a day, ideally two times in the morning and two times in the afternoon. I will give you an example to help you get an idea of how to feed it, but you can change the kind of insects, veggies, and fruit as necessary according to your wishes.
- 9 AM – Give your baby at least ten small insects, one collard greens, one slice of bell pepper, and one strawberry.
- Noon – Approximately ten Dubia roaches, two kale, one slice of squash, and one blueberry will be enough for the second meal.
- 3 PM – Offer the baby dragon ten small crickets, two dandelion greens, a slice of a pumpkin, and a piece of banana.
- 6 PM – It is time for ten small insects, a slice of bell pepper, two collard greens, and one grape.
For a healthy and long Bearded dragon lifespan, you should feed your baby pet regularly and adequately. Remember that its appetite is big for insects, but you can help it have a healthy diet. This reptile also likes treats just like any other hatchlings, but be moderate with them.
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 individual 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.
For adults, a 90x45x45 cm terrarium is suitable, for young dragons you can use a smaller 60x45x30 cm terrarium. 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.
Several daylight lamps (Natural Light and Reptile Vision) and lamps with strong UV radiation (UVB150-200) are installed in the terrarium for lighting.
Daylight hours for the bearded dragon is 12-14 hours.
Terrarium humidity is 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.
Eliminate all types 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 the age of two. 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.
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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 26-29g. 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 (without 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 an 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).
Animal feed suitable for mealworm, zoophobus, crickets, cockroaches and newborn mice. 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.