From figuring out what veggies and insects to feed them, to how often feed a bearded dragon at any age, to even understanding how to use vitamins and supplements lets all agree that getting started with a bearded dragon definitely requires doing some research!
Since super worms are so rich in protein, you wont need to overload your bearded dragon with them. As such, you should aim to be feeding your a dult bearded dragon around 7 to 10 super worms on an every other day basis.
On a personal note, I remember many moons ago having my first bearded dragon how lost I was! Having been new to reptiles at the time, I simply assumed my baby only needed to eat like twice a day Boy was I WRONG! Fortunately, it wasnt long until I noticed her growth stall that I realized my poor girl needed to E-A-T!
PRO TIP: Around 12 months of age, be prepared to start incorporating more veggies into your bearded dragons diet. Crickets, along with dusted calcium AND multi-vitamin supplements are essentially the ONLY staples in any baby bearded dragons diet.A little bit of a hotly debated topic, youll get a different answer depending on who you talk to For babies under 3 months, feed them as many crickets as theyll eat in 5-10 minute increments 5 times a day.
Just like with people, this answer will slightly vary depending on the current health of said bearded dragon. Ive actually already taken the liberty of writing a really comprehensive post discussing this very question, so you should definitely check it out to learn the surprising answer ! Typically, obesity in adults occurs when the diet is overly rich in yummy things (Read: insects) and deficient in veggies.
Now, ff your bearded dragon has to go a day or so without eating because youre out of town briefly, they should be fine. Dubias are very easyto digest , are protein-rich , and tend to be safer than crickets which can carry parasites. You could also feed them Phoenix worms which are so rich in calcium you wont even need to dust them every time!
Although Dubia Roaches and Phoenix Worms pack more protein and tend to be cleaner, theres NO denying just how easily accessible and cost effective crickets are. Because of this, you wont want to make mealworms your adult bearded dragons staple feeder either, but more of an occasional treat. In terms of the best vegetables youre going to want to offer dark leafy greens like collard, endive, dandelion, and the like.
Between 4 and 12 months of age, give them 10-15 Dubias twice daily , working your way down to one feeding by the time theyre one year old. For an adult bearded dragon that is 18 months and older give them 10-20 Dubias just one to three times a week , depending on their weight. A baby 4 months and under should eat between 30 and 60 crickets a day over the course of 3 10 minute feedings .
A baby between the ages of 4 months and a year should eat between 20 and 40 crickets over the course of 2 feedings. Luckily, what bearded dragons CANTeat, is a rather long an extensive list compared to that of what they can eat. Wild caught insects Spinach Lettuce (loose leaf and iceberg) Onion
To ensure youre not feeding them too much of these types of food, check out our Full Bearded Dragon Diet Guide .
How much should I feed my bearded dragon daily?
Bearded dragon owners should offer full-grown adult bearded dragons roughly 10 crickets per day, or 20 crickets every other day. The crickets should be offered in one feeding session per day that lasts between 10 and 15 minutes.
Is it bad to feed your bearded dragon everyday?
Adult Bearded Dragons require feeding once per day. Juvenile Bearded Dragons require feeding twice per day. Baby Bearded Dragons require feeding 3 to 5 times per day. Provide as many insects as your Bearded Dragon will eat for 10 to 15 minutes.
How many times a week should I feed my bearded dragon?
Bearded Dragons should be fed three times per day and given as many insects as they will consume in 10 to 15 mins. After the feeding time is done it is best to remove as many remaining insects as possible. A typical juvenile can eat 20 to 50 insects each day.
How long can bearded dragons go between meals?
How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Live Without Eating? The answer to this question greatly depends on the age and health of your pet. For instance, adult beardies with extra weight to lose can go up to 2 months or longer without food, although this is far from optimal!
How much should I feed my bearded dragon? Its a good question. It depends on their age and how active they are, as well as some other things we go into in this article
So, over the millennia they have evolved these changes in diet to enable them to be the fittest survivors. What this means is that baby and juvenile bearded dragons require food with a lot more protein content than adults.
Bearded dragon digestive systems rely on a fermentation process which sugar interferes with. Equally however, too many hard shelled insects can cause problems with impaction, particularly in babies and juveniles. Its important to get the balance right if you want your bearded dragon to live a long and happy life.
Theres a lot of information on the internet that suggests that for babies the ratio should be 80-90% live food. It simply means that baby bearded dragons should be fed mostly live food. When they reach 4 to 6 months old, start gradually reducing the amount of live food they are offered.
We have seen baby bearded dragons require significant veterinary care after being fed insects that were too big. Baby dragons arent overly clever and will try to eat anything that moves, even if it is too big. In the wild, a baby bearded dragon that eats something thats too big becomes paralysed and a meal for something.
Baby beardies especially dont see stationary things as food (which is why their vegetables arent likely to get eaten voluntarily). This is largely a matter of personal choice, although for babies wed generally recommend a separate feeding environment. Theyll soon grow to recognise that your hand isnt a threat but instead means a tasty treat.
< !--End Ezoic - Above P28 - incontent_12-- >But do be aware, some dragons can become lazy and will only accept food if its hand fed to them. They still require some protein of course, and as such live food still forms an important part of their diet. Many online sources state that your bearded dragon should be fed live insects twice to three times a week.
Feed live food once to twice a week , with an emphasis on keeping your dragon at a good healthy weight. In general an adult bearded dragon will weigh between 300 to 500 grams, depending on its length. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the fat pads on their head and around the base of the tail are visible.
The rule of feeding nothing longer than the space between the eyes doesnt really apply to adults. Being overweight generally results from too much food and not enough exercise and is very common among captive bearded dragons. Fatty Liver reduces its effectiveness at producing the necessary hormones and enzymes required for optimal health.
There has been some recent evidence that suggests that female bearded dragons will ovulate and become gravid if theyre overfed. This is a natural response in the wild as an abundance of food is a good time to produce offspring. If you have a female dragon whos producing lots of eggs without a male nearby then over-feeding may be the culprit.
With correct temperatures in place, its advisable to give your dragon enough time in the morning to warm up before feeding. Crickets in particular can nip bearded dragons overnight while they sleep, causing damage to scales and skin and other injuries. Worms will turn into their adult insect ( either beetle or moth ) after a time if theyre left too long.
Introducing some live food into the tank during the day it can provide some stimulation for your dragon. Uneaten food will either bite your dragon or will poop and potentially die in the corner causing infection risk.
Bearded dragons usually have a very large palate of what they like to eat. As a matter of fact, their willingness to eat all types of food is one of the many reasons they are so easy to care for. Similar to humans, bearded dragons will eat any food they find palatable. While they do best with a varied diet.
Lastly, if theyre over 3 months to a year old, feed them as many crickets as theyll eat in a 10 minute period 3 times a day. You dont want to let feeders or veggies to just sit around in the cage for longer than 15 to 20 minutes or so during the feeding periods.
You could also feed them Phoenix worms which are so rich in calcium, You wont even need to dust them every time. Because of this, you really wont want to make mealworms your adult bearded dragons staple feeder either, but more of an occasional treat. Bearded Dragons eat a wide range of live insects such as
In the wild Bearded Dragons mostly eat animals, they make up about 75% of their diet. However, as your Bearded dragon gets older, youll need to reduce the amount of meat hes eating. Our live food list tells you what meat your Bearded Dragon can eat:
Our food list tells you what fruit your Bearded Dragon can eat: Figs Melon Apples Mango Papaya Dates Peaches Apricots Plums Kiwi Exotic vet John Chitty recommends that owners usually exercise caution when feeding soft fruit as it is sugary and can ferment and cause teeth problems.
Therefore soft fruit like kiwi is best fed about once a month as part of a fixed diet that includes fibrous veg. Our food list tells you what veg your bearded Dragon can munch on: Peas Green beans Courgette Butternut squash Sweet potato Bell pepper Ocra Brocolli (small bits weekly)
Spinach and beet tops Some guides will say these are fine for your bearded dragon, and they can be in small quantities. However, both contain chemicals that can cause calcium deficiency, which in turn can lead to metabolic bone disease. Exotic pet shops ought to have a range of live and dead insects for your bearded dragon.
A small amount will make your reptile ill, while a large portion can be very fatal However, its fine if they stop eating during the 10 15 minute feeding period, theyre just full! As they get older, bearded dragons need fewer insects, otherwise, theyll get fat.
Some owners usually recommend that Juvenile Bearded Dragons can eat 50% insects, 50% plants, vegetables and fruit. Adult bearded dragons ought to eat fewer insects and animal matter, around 25% to 30%. Remember, adult Beardies dont need too many insects and animal matter otherwise theyll become obese.
Meaning they can naturally eat more meat, however, domesticated Beardies dont get as much exercise. There are quite a number of reasons bearded dragons might refuse food or regurgitate it. Common reasons are the temperature being too high or low through incorrect setup, impaction caused by ingesting loose substrate, shedding skin, parasites or stress.
Bearded Dragons do get full, and sometimes adults might not eat for a day or if theyre too hot they might just be only very thirsty. And make sure that your bearded dragon hasnt been eating loose substrate. A good guide is sticking to insects that are no larger than the space between your Bearded Dragons eyes.
Lastly, If your setup and food are good, check if your Bearded Dragon is shedding its skin because that can cause them to stop eating for a short period.
Bearded Dragons occur naturally in the desert regions of Australia and were introduced to the United States in the late 1980s. Bearded Dragons are omnivores and can eat a variety of things. A normal diet will consist of insects, mixed greens and non-citrus fruit. When feeding insects be sure to provide the animal with insects that are near the same size as the space between their eyes. Avoid feeding insects that are too large for the animal. Young Bearded Dragons will require a diet with more insects than vegetables. Bearded Dragons should be fed three times per day and given as many insects as they will consume in 10 to 15 mins. After the feeding time is done it is best to remove as many remaining insects as possible. A typical juvenile can eat 20 to 50 insects each day. Adults will consume more greens than insects, fresh greens should be introduced daily. When using supplements such as waxworms, or Calciworms dragons should be fed 3 to 5 worms 3 times a week. Waxworms are intended to be used to add fat to a dragons diet or the occasional treat and CalciWorms are used for adding the required calcium to a diet. Water should be offered to Bearded Dragons at all times and placed in a shallow dish.
How Often Do
Adult bearded dragons, or those older than 18 months, willAn adult bearded dragon will be one that has reached full sexual maturity. This typically happens around 18 months of age. It is at this point that their diet should consist of only around 20% protein, with the rest being that of a fresh salad.Although many vets or inexperienced owners will advocate for mealworms… they’re actuallySince super worms are so rich in protein, you won’t need to overload your bearded dragon with them. As such, you should aim to be feeding your aMuch like a human baby, baby bearded dragons NEED to eat multiple times a day.On a personal note, I remember many moons ago having my first bearded dragon how lost I was! Having been new to reptiles at the time, I simply assumed my baby only needed to eat like twice a day…Fortunately, it wasn’t long until I noticed her growth stall that I realized my poor girl needed to E-A-T! So, rest assured… if you’ve been underfeeding I TOTALLY get it. As long as you make the necessary adjustments, this is a judgement free zone 😉A little bit of a hotly debated topic, you’ll get aWhile some owners believe babies should be allowed to eat as much as they want in 5-10 minute intervals 3-5 times a day, others believe in capping their total cricket intake at around 50 crickets a day, give or take 10-20.Just like with people, this answer will slightly vary depending on the current health of said bearded dragon. I’ve actually already taken the liberty of writing aOh yes! Just like people, bearded dragons can become overweight from an over-indulgent diet. In fact,Typically, obesity in adults occurs when the diet is overly rich in yummy things (Read: insects) and deficient in veggies. Funny how that seems to apply no matter the species, eh?In short? GREENS! You should be feeding your bearded dragon that is 12 months of age and older greens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.However,While bearded dragons don’t absolutely need to eat every day, you SHOULD feed them every day.Now, ff your bearded dragon has to go a day or so without eating because you’re out of town briefly, they should be fine. Just don’t make this a regular occurrence.In terms of protein,In short? Dubias areYou could also feed them Phoenix worms which are so rich in calcium you won’t even need to dust them every time! However, Phoenix worms can be expensive, so just be prepared to splurge…Crickets are going to be your next best bet after Dubias and Phoenix worms, though they’re definitely not as protein-rich and can be quite dirty if you want to breed them. (Just a head’s up… they can also be quite stinky!)Another feeder that you can feed are mealworms, although they should never be given to a dragon younger than 2 years as their hard chitlin shell is very hard to digest. Because of this, you won’t want to make mealworms your adult bearded dragon’s staple feeder either, but more of an occasional treat.Truth be told, there areIn terms of theBaby bearded dragonsFor an adult bearded dragon that isNow, if your bearded dragon is pregnant or underweight, you will want to boost their protein intake.The same goes for scrawny or underweightNow, if you aren’t able to get Dubia roaches for your baby dragon, your next best bet is going to be crickets.As your bearded dragon ages, you’ll want to switch them from a protein-heavy diet to one with more veggies. Their adult diet should be 70-80% veggies with the rest being comprised of insects.
What this post covers
In our category about Bearded Dragon Insects we explore various different insects and live food that you can feed your bearded dragon. The article about Suitable Vegetables For Bearded Dragons looks at the vegetable options for your Dragon. It also highlights that the mixture between live food and vegetable food changes as your Bearded Dragon matures. In this article we answer the question of how much should I feed my bearded dragon. We’ll look at how often you should feed them, when you should feed them and how much at a time.
Why Is The Right Diet Balance Important?
In captivity, too much protein leads to obesity, fatty liver and kidney problems. Well worth avoiding. Most dragons in the wild never live long enough for this to become a problem.Too many soft treats such as soft fruits, soft worms or soft bodied insects can lead to tooth decay problems. Too much sugar from fruits can also lead to digestion problems. Bearded dragon digestive systems rely on a fermentation process which sugar interferes with.Equally however, too many hard shelled insects can cause problems with impaction, particularly in babies and juveniles.Too little calcium will result in Metabolic Bone Disorder, and too much calcium can lead to hypercalcaemia and other complications.It’s important to get the balance right if you want your bearded dragon to live a long and happy life.
How Big Should The Insects Be?
Baby dragons should not be fed any insects that are longer than the gap between the baby’s eyes. This reduces the risk of complications from impaction, and in severe cases paralysis.We’ve seen posts online recently that state this is a myth – however, we strongly disagree. We have seen baby bearded dragons require significant veterinary care after being fed insects that were too big. This can lead to spinal cord compression internally and therefore paralysis. Baby dragons aren’t overly clever and will try to eat anything that moves, even if it is too big.In the wild, a baby bearded dragon that eats something that’s too big becomes paralysed and a meal for something. In captivity you have to watch them struggle and potentially die. It’s just best to stick to smaller food and avoid that.
What About Water? Do They Need It?
Central bearded dragons have evolved in the dry areas of Australia. They will generally get most of their water content from their food. However, they do still require some water so a small water bowl in the vivarium is a good idea.Don’t make this too big though. A baby dragon can easily drown if the water is too deep and big water bowls will increase humidity. A bowl of about the circumference of a mug and a centimetre deep should be plenty. Change the water at least every day though as it will go stale quickly. Any water in the enclosure is likely to get pooped in too.You may need to wiggle your finger in the water after feeding to show your beardie where it is. Baby beardies especially don’t see stationary things as food (which is why their vegetables aren’t likely to get eaten voluntarily). Wiggling the water in the bowl may entice them to have a taste. Once they get used to it they’ll drink on their own if they want to.
Can I Hand Feed The Live Food?
Absolutely. You can hand feed in a separate enclosure or in the vivarium. Sometimes it can be best to mix hand feeding in the vivarium with non-hand feeding outside. Either way it’s up to you.Hand feeding can be a great way to build a bond with your baby. They’ll soon grow to recognise that your hand isn’t a threat but instead means a tasty treat.But do be aware, some dragons can become lazy and will only accept food if it’s hand fed to them. It’s probably best to mix it up a bit. Do some hand feeding and some feeding that they have to hunt for themselves. Lazy dragons become fat dragons.
Why Won’t My Baby Bearded Dragon Eat?
This is a huge topic. There are a whole range of reasons why your baby dragon might not be eating. We’ve covered this in a separate article so we won’t go over it again here. For more information see our post entitled My Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat.
Can Obesity Be Reversed?
Yes, it can, but it’s going to require a bit of effort on both your part and your dragons. The basic formula isIf your dragon is obese, gradually reduce the amount of food and increase the amount of exercise. But don’t be cruel about it. Starvation won’t do them any good and sudden intense exercise in an obese dragon won’t either. Make it gradual. You can also reduce the amount of live food they’re getting while increase the amount of leafy green vegetables. In this way they get less fat and protein in their diet.
Other complications of over-feeding
This one only really applies to female bearded dragons. There has been some recent evidence that suggests that female bearded dragons will ovulate and become gravid if they’re overfed. This is a natural response in the wild as an abundance of food is a good time to produce offspring.These eggs will be infertile unless they’ve been with a mate of course. However, the female still has to ‘give birth’ to them when they are ready. As with any animal giving birth this can be a traumatic time and injury and death can occur.If you have a female dragon who’s producing lots of eggs without a male nearby then over-feeding may be the culprit.
When Should I Feed My Dragon?
There’s only one thing to bear in mind when it comes to timing of feeds for your bearded dragon. This is that they require heat to digest their food properly. Bearded Dragons are reptiles and as such they’re cold blooded animals. They rely on external heat sources to provide them with their body heat.Digestion relies on the right temperatures to operate the chemical reactions between the food and the hormones and enzymes involved with digestion. If the environment is too cold then the chemical reactions slow down or don’t work properly at all.With this in mind, you’ll need to firstly make sure that the temperatures in your vivarium are correct. See our article on Bearded Dragon Lighting for more information on this.With correct temperatures in place, it’s advisable to give your dragon enough time in the morning to warm up before feeding. Allow enough time after feeding for them to stay warm to digest properly.Allowing around 2 hours to bask in the morning before feeding is advisable. Ensuring the basking lights stay on for at least 2 hours after feeding is also advised. This gives you an 8 to 10 hour window in which to feed them.E.g. if your lights are on a 12 hour schedule and come on at 8am and go off at 8pm. We’d advise not feeding your dragon until at least 10am. We also advise not feeding them after 6pm if this is the lighting schedule.
What Can I Feed My Dragon?
This article has dealt with how much food and when they should be fed. It’s also looked at the differences between adult and baby bearded dragon’s diet. We’ve not gone into detail about the different insects or vegetables to feed. To get a list of suitable live foods please see our other articles in the Bearded Dragon Diet and the Bearded Dragon Insects section.We hope this post has been useful. Please leave a comment below if you’ve any questions or feedback. You can also join the Facebook Group, Bearded Dragons Rock for interactive questions and answers.
What Fruit Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded Dragons eat a wide range of live insects such asVegetables, such asThey can also eat fruit.In the wild Bearded Dragons mostly eat animals, they make up about 75% of their diet. And can includeGreens, vegetables and fruit make up the other 20% to 25% of their diet.
What can’t Bearded Dragons eat?
Bearded Dragons can a wide range of vegetables. Our food list tells you what veg your bearded Dragon can munch on:
What do baby Bearded Dragons eat?
You should feed your bearded dragons at least once a day, how much will depend on their age.They will need to eat more insects than vegetables at this stage. And you will need to feed more often than older bearded dragons. They can be fed up to three times a day.Therefore, if you leave vegetables and greens in their cage they’ll munch on them whenever they want. And subsequently, you can add insects over three 10 – 15 minute feeding periods.Therefore, baby Dragons can eat up to 60 insects a day. However, it’s fine if they stop eating during the 10 – 15 minute feeding period, they’re just full!Therefore, clear out any insects they don’t want and start again a few hours later for their next meal. As they get older, bearded dragons need fewer insects, otherwise, they’ll get fat.
Juvenile and adult Bearded Dragon Diets
Some owners usually recommend that Juvenile Bearded Dragons can eat 50% insects, 50% plants, vegetables and fruit.Adult bearded dragons ought to eat fewer insects and animal matter, aroundRemember, adult Beardies don’t need too many insects and animal matter otherwise they’ll become obese.In the wild, bearded dragons get a lot of