Bearded dragons are easy to maintain as they eat a diversity of foods including vegetables, fruits, and a wide range of insect like crickets, mealworms, and king worms. They also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables including papaya, apples, melons, peaches, plums, sweet potato, leafy greens such as kale and parsley.
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Baby Bearded Dragons
Baby dragons require a more protein based diet and require live food mostly. This stage can be a bit expensive when it comes to their eating habits as the live foods you feed them need to be bought from a reputable shop. You could opt for breeding your own depending on what seems convenient.
What do baby bearded dragons eat?
Although baby bearded dragons can eat vegetables, fruits and meat but at this stage, they need to eat more meat than vegetables to build muscle, body mass and develop fat nerves. It is very common to feed a baby bearded dragon 5-6 times per day and it can consume 60-70 insects in a day.
If you feed your baby dragon 5 times a day, then make three feedings that are insects and two feedings that are half insects and half plants.
How many times a baby bearded dragon needs to eat?
Eating habit is different for different stages. Have a look at them:
|3 months||5-6 times|
|3-6 months||3-4 times|
|6 months-1 year||2 times|
Amount of crickets a baby bearded dragon may eat in a day
In terms of meat, cricket is the best food for baby bearded dragons. They can easily eat 50 crickets in a day which is very essential for their body growth.
Juvenile Bearded Dragons
At about 3 months of age bearded dragons can be considered juveniles. By this age they have gained some body mass and fat reserves and can therefore be fed less frequently. You can guess their age by the length of their tail to the tip of their snout.
What do juvenile bearded dragons eat?
Juvenile bearded dragons (5 months old-18 months old) should be fed approximately 50% insect prey and 50% plant based food.
How many times do juvenile bearded dragons eat?
They should be fed three times per day. They are developing fat reserves and body mass in this stage. The amount of insect feedings maybe dropped while the amount of plant based meals should be increased. The frequency of feeding may decrease over time. But try to offer the plant meals in the morning and insect meals in the evening to ensure a healthy diet.
Adult Bearded Dragons
At adulthood these dragons have a diet opposite than that of juveniles as they eat more greens. Try to put the plant based foods at the colder end of the tank where there is no light or heat that may cause them to dry and take away their nutritional value.
What do adult bearded dragons eat?
Adult bearded dragons eat fewer insects and animals around 25%-30%. They may eat insects only once a day. The rest of their food is vegetation.
How many times do adult bearded dragons eat?
Adult bearded dragons, or those older than 18 months, will have to be eating once a day every day. You should try your best to give your bearded dragon his favorite food once daily to maintain good health. They should be fed insects two to three times a week but cannot be fed too many insects as they might become obese.
This is due to the fact that dragons naturally get more exercise in the wild which means they can consume more meat but domesticated dragons do not get much activity inside the home. If you have to feed them once, do not try to feed them in big quantities.
Amount of crickets an adult bearded dragon may eat
These are the dragons that have reached full sexual maturity at 18 months of age. At that point their diet should consist of 20% protein and the rest should be fresh salad. A healthy adult dragon may eat up to 10 crickets per day.
Live crickets are a better option because your bearded dragon will love chasing them. When purchasing live food you should consider the nutritional value, its storage and cost. You can also dust the crickets with vitamin or calcium powders to add nutritional value.
Super worms an adult bearded dragon may eat:
Super worms are rich in proteins so you have to give them 7 to 10 super worms on daily basis.
How often should I feed my bearded dragon?
The exact ratio varies between babies to adult. If your bearded dragon is a baby, then you should try to feed them 5-6 times a day and their diet will largely comprise of meat, insects and animals at this stage require more protein and fats to grow. If your bearded dragon is an adult then they need 70-80% of their diet to be green. You have to feed them once a day.
Can you overfeed a bearded dragon?
Yes, bearded dragons may become over-weight due to a heavy diet. Obesity becomes a problem in adults when their diet consists of too many insects and is deficient in veggies. To avoid overfeeding, give the food according to their ages. If the bearded dragon is a baby give him more meat and fewer vegetables. If a bearded dragon is an adult, give him more veggies and less meat.
What should be done to overcome obesity in adult bearded dragons?
To overcome obesity in adult bearded dragons, we recommend you feed your adult bearded dragon on a 3-day cycle:
|1st day||Green diet|
|2nd day||Protein diet|
|3rd day||You may take a break from feeding|
The first day should include greens. Feed them as much veggies as possible to eat in 15 minutes as they have to eat once daily. The second day should be protein day. Try to give them as many insects as you can like dubia roaches, crickets, and mealworms, etc. Take a break from feeding your pet every third day. It will be fine.
The 3-day cycle benefits
- Prevents overeating and obesity
- Encourages a balanced diet
- Easy to remember
- It helps your pet eat extra greens which are a requirement at this age
Should a bearded dragon eat every day?
In the case of a baby bearded dragon, it is necessary to feed them daily as the body requires food 3-5 times a day. In the case of an adult, if you forget to give them food or maybe you are out of your town, they should be fine as they may easily live a day without eating.
What is the best diet to feed a bearded dragon?
In terms of meat, Dubia roaches are the best diet to give your little reptiles as they are easy to digest and are rich in proteins. They provide a high range of nutrients that help keep bearded dragons stay healthy and active. If you are worried about calcium given to your bearded dragon, then Phoenix worms are the best diet, but they are expensive. In terms of easily accessible and cost-effective food, crickets are a good option.
In terms of vegetables, kale, mustard greens, cucumbers, carrots, spaghetti squash, and turnip greens are best. In the case of fruits, apple, apricot, peaches, plum, and melons are considered as the most suitable foods for a bearded dragon. A chart that tells how often and what type of food a bearded dragon needs:
|Less than 2-3 months||70% insects 30% vegetation||40- 60 insects per day||4- 5 times feeding per day|
|3-8 months||70% insects 30% vegetation||40-60 insects per day||Three times feeding a day|
|8-15 months||50% insects 50% vegetation||30 -40 insects per day||One time feeding|
|15 months plus||30% insects 70% vegetation||50 insects total per week||One day salad, one day insect, one day nothing and repeat|
What type of food is not suitable to feed a bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons like to eat variety of foods but there are some foods that may affect the health of bearded dragons. Any food that is not an approved fruit and vegetable for little reptiles should not be given to bearded dragons.
Here is a list of foods that are not considered as a suitable diet.
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
- Red meat, sea meat, poultry etc
- Wild caught insects
- Lettuce (loose leaf and ice berg)
- Fire flies (lightning bugs)
- Boxedler bugs
To feed a baby bearded dragon is somehow a difficult task and it requires too much time and energy as they feed 4-5 times a day. As the feeding stage changes to juvenile, the feeding process becomes easier as they feed 3 times a day and at the adult stage the process becomes most convenient because you have to feed them only once a day.