Commonly belonging to the ‘beardies’ family and scientifically called the Pogona Vitticeps, the bearded dragon is the most loved dragon pets..!!
It has peculiar physical features that make it look armored and mighty. It has spiny scales all over the body with a beard of spikes just below the skin that reacts based on its mood. Sounds weird and dangerous, right? No, never..!!
They are the friendliest dragon pets you can always own..!! However, feeding them is a challenging task, rocket science indeed..!! They have preferences, likes and dislikes, and, more importantly, mood swings..!!
What do bearded dragons eat, and how often should we feed them? Let us delve deeper to get into the details right away..!!
Bearded dragons are omnivores, and they eat a variety of foods. Commonly favored are insects like mealworms and crickets. They also feed on fruits and vegetables. Taking care of bearded dragons and human beings are more or less the same..!! It is just like how we have specific modes and patterns of eating for children and adults..!!
Baby bearded dragons
Baby bearded dragons eat multiple times in a day as expected from a newborn human baby. They stay active, healthy, and grow consistently when the bearded dragons are conservatively fed. Up to three months of age, they require to be fed at least five times a day.
Three to six months old babies have to be fed 3 – 4 times a day, depending on how do they react and eat. Further, as they grow beyond six months, they eat three times a day. And, as we approach 1 year of age and after that, they might eat only two times in a day. As the eating patterns differ, so are their preferences on food changes..!! We shall see it in detail in the latter portion of the article.
Adult bearded dragons
You call a Bearded Dragon as an adult when they reach 18 months of age. Once, they become an adult; they eat once in a day..!! So, until they reach this stage, you should go careful feeding them.
And, even after that, it is important as well..!! You miss out on that day’s meal; you are on the verge to miss your dragon forever. It is also important that you feed them sufficiently and balanced with essential nutrients. In the wild, the bearded dragons feed on insects majorly. They eat live crickets, mealworms, and even mice.
What can you feed them often?
We must give a balanced diet to our bearded dragons. However, as they grow older, we should make sure that they eat the right quantity. Else, they are going to suffer from obesity just like us..!!
- Meat – We will have to compensate for the meat quantity food that a wild bearded dragon would eat. We can conveniently feed them with crickets, earthworms, cockroaches, locusts, silkworms, and king worms. Mealworms and Super worms are also essential but just for the adult ones. As mealworms have thick outer bodies, they don’t get digested in babies. A matured bearded dragon can easily feed on 10 crickets per day. Also, you can feed around 7 super worms in a day. In the case of babies, you can keep feeding crickets even every ten minutes, and that can end up to 50 crickets per day as well..!! (Start exploring where you can get crickets all the time now..!!)
- Fruits – They feed on a variety of fruits. To name a few, we have apples, mangoes, papaya, peaches, dates, and apricots. They love eating strawberries, kiwis, guava, raisins, and plums, as well. We have to exercise some caution as we feed them fruits. Fruits contain a lot of sugar, and that might damage their teeth just like as we do..!!
- Veggies – Bearded dragons enjoy the vegetable flavor as well. They eat bell pepper, sweet potato, peas, beans, cabbage, okra, and asparagus. They also feed on parsley, mustard, and turnip greens.
Baby bearded dragons should consume 75% insects and the rest fruits and vegetables. Juvenile dragons can presumably eat 50 – 50% and both. On the other hand, Adult bearded dragons should feed on 25%insects and otherwise concentrate on veggies and fruits.
Given this description, it is advised that we do not feed on certain food items. For example, spinach and beetroots have chemicals that let the calcium down in your beardies. Also, insects that glow are toxic to their health like the fireflies. It is also best regarded that you do not feed on insects caught in the wild as they contain a lot of parasites.
What can affect their eating habits?
Sometimes, our cute little bearded dragons tend to behave differently, and that can affect their food habits. For example, when you change their living arrangement or introduce new elements within, they get distracted and do not eat..!! They hesitate to eat if you introduce a new food item in their diet as well.
They are pretty much straight forward and stubborn. They are notorious at times..!! Genuinely they might not eat if they are ill or getting accustomed to the brumation process. It is our knowledge and expertise to find the right reason and get over it. It takes a lot of time and relationship building to get engaged well with our little pet to get them going. You can try force-feeding if they are playing with you, although it is not recommended all the time..!!
Now you know the amount of research and the extent of caution that you need to work on the food patterns of the bearded dragons.
However, it is just a lovely pet. You need to set up a secure habitat for it to live, provide the necessary food at the right time, and you will see it enjoy growing..!! It will never stand as a disturbance to you anytime. Now, with no regret and neglect, you can always grow a bearded dragon at home..!!