Bearded Dragon Diet & Feeding

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Live Food

Bearded Dragons eat a combination of fruits, vegetables and live food which can include roaches, crickets, hornworms, silkworms, superworms or butterworms. Mealworms are generally not recommended due to the amount of difficult-to-digest chitin in their exoskeletons. Though not required, some keepers feed their dragons live pinky mice. We recommend blaptica dubia roaches as a staple feeder for your bearded dragon.

    Some bearded dragon feeding tips:

  • Do not feed insects that have been captured from the outdoors; they may have ingested poison or other noxious substances.
  • Dust feed with calcium with D3 and powdered vitamins (just shake them in a jar or bag that contains a small amount of the supplement).
  • Some keepers choose to supplement their diets with commercially available pellets which incorporate the nutrients found in both prey and greens. Some bearded dragons will accept this alternative, and some won’t.
  • Feeding should take place during the day when they are awake.


Fruits & Vegetables

The bulk of the plant matter fed to bearded dragons should consist of nutritious leafy greens and orange vegetables such as squash or yams. Don’t count lettuce, except for romaine, in the leafy greens: it doesn’t contain significant amounts of nutrients. Rather, the most nutritious greens include collard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, carrot and beet tops.

    Some fruits and vegetables tips:

  • Spinach, chard and kale should be provided in limited quantities; they tend to reduce the body’s absorption of calcium.
  • Tough vegetables such as carrots or yams may need to be lightly steamed to facilitate digestion.
  • Fruit should make up only 10-15% of the dragon’s diet; it will cause loose stools if provided in excess.

Feeding Baby Beardies vs Adults

Baby bearded dragons grow rapidly, up to 12 inches in their first year. They need greens and insects/worms at least twice daily. To determine how much live food to feed a baby bearded dragon, begin with 10 prey items at a time and gradually increase the quantity until it is clear that the baby has had enough. Supply food small enough to fit in the dragon’s mouth.

Note that baby dragons will initial eat more crickets than greens; they’ll increase the amount of greens they’ll consume as they mature. Adult bearded dragons are usually maintained on a schedule alternating live feeders and fruit/vegetables.


Water

Bearded dragons do not always drink consistently from a water dish, though one should be provided. Instead, they receive most of their hydration from the fruits and vegetables they eat. In addition, bearded dragons will benefit from being bathed weekly. Soak your bearded dragon in warm water 3”-5” deep for several minutes. They may drink the water but will also absorb water through their skins. Since they originate from a desert habitat, humidity is best kept low in their enclosures.

What’s next?
Once you’ve learned about bearded dragon diet and feeding, it’s time to attend to Bearded Dragon Health.