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Bearded Dragon diet?
04-30-2012, 03:23 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-30-2012, 03:27 AM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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Bearded Dragon diet?
What is the natural food source for the bearded dragon?

What do you feed your bearded dragon? I'd like to know the best of the best stamp food as well as the supplement for them in captivity when the cost is not an issue.

How often and how much should bearded dragon be fed to maintain a good diet?

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04-30-2012, 01:18 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
Beardies are omnivores. As a hatchling they start off 80% - 100% insects, and gradually go to 75%-80% greens/veggies and 20%-25% insects. As babies they should be offered insects 3 times a day, after around 4 months twice a day, after around 6-8 months, or after their last big growth spurt once a day. Then down to a few times a week. Good insects for primary feeders are crickets, Phoenix worms, and silkworms. Superworms are good for adults. For treats butterworms are great, and waxworms & hornworms are good too. Mealworms should be completely avoided for babies, they are almost all shell, and the chitin can be hard to digest. And they are very low in nutrition, so they have to eat allot to get anything out of them when they are growing, which requires allot more shell, so the problem gets compounded.

A salad should be offered every day, preferably in the morning. Babies may ignore it entirely, by the time they 8-10 months old they should be eating greens everyday. Each dragon is different, and they can be picky. Most regular lettuces should be avoided, they contain very little vitamins or minerals, especially iceberg. The majority of the salad should be denser, dark greens high in calcium and other minerals. Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens are generally the best commonly available. Escarole and endive are good too. And mix in different good veggies. Butternut squash s generally a favorite of almost all dragons, and is good in vitamins. Either steam it lightly, though I don't think this is as good, or mince or grate it. Variety is good, as you are getting different nutrients, and it helps keep the dragon from getting bored. Avoid feeding allot of vitamins that are high in vitamin a, and avoid feeding allot of greens and veggies that are high in oxalate's, as this binds to calcium and inhibits proper absorption.

Fruits can be added, I do normally a few times a week. I try to go for fruits high in calcium, like papaya. Avoid acidic fruits, as their stomachs can't handle allot of it properly. Citrus, pineapple, tomatoes, etc...

For supplements, calcium is the big one. The ideal calcium:phosphorus ratio is 2:1, and most insects are far below this, so it is especially important for babies that are growing and eating allot of protein. Phoenix worms are high in calcium so they don't need as much supplementation. Butterworms are also very high in calcium, but most people, including me, think they are high in fat. So I wouldn't use them as a staple feeder. Typically you want to dust one insect feeding a day with the calcium for babies. For adults I do 2-3 times a week, but I also go out of my way to make sure they are eating calcium rich foods. The type of calcium that is best is up for debate as well. Some contain d3, and some don't. And the amount of d3 also varies quite a bit. A dragon should have a high output UVB bulb, and manufacture it's own d3 that way. I use a calcium powder with very low d3. You should also use a reptile multivitamin. There are 1000's of opinions on which are the best. And the common idea is to use it once a week instead of the calcium. I typically add a little bit to the calcium every other time.

The beautiful dragons nutrition page is a great resource, the woman who runs the site has put allot of time and effort into collecting nutritional information and dragon health information. I would say this chart is a must read for any bearded dragon owner.
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05-01-2012, 01:25 AM,
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
Nice job as always, fishbone!
Very informative post on the diet of bearded dragon. I enjoyed reading your lecture. Wink You are our live pet reptile book. Boozing Maybe you should reconsider to be a vet.

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05-01-2012, 04:12 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
Thank you Big Grin I try...

I am actually going to write a care sheet for dragons. I know there are 1000's out there, but this is actually a problem here in the US. There are so many people that get a bearded dragon, and have no real idea how to care for them. It really isn't complicated, but there are THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO. Or the animal will perish.

My fat little lizards are a bit spoiled by the way... Rolleyes
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05-02-2012, 06:40 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
I just wanted to add something here, as I was thinking about it this morning doing the daily dragon salad thing. Although beardies are a bit more work than some reptiles, (snakes where you have to feed one frozen mouse every week or two,) and need to be fed daily, there is a definite easier way of doing things. If you look at the link I posted in the first answer, find good things for your dragon to eat, that you can also eat.

Todays salad consisted of:

Mustard greens. I am going to make an Italian style bean soup in the next few days with Italian sausage, and mustard greens. Check.

Turnip greens. OK, I don't really like these as much, but I'll put a bit in the soup too. Or maybe not.

Butternut squash. Tonight, I'm going to broil a half of butternut with brown sugar, Cinnamon and butter. Check.

Mango. My youngest daughter loves mango. Check.

You get the idea. Maybe you like mixed green salads? Escarole and endive are great for beardies. Maybe you like the southern american style stewed collard greens with bacon? Maybe you like sautéed yellow summer squash? Maybe you like papaya?

Just some thoughts for the bearded dragon owners out there...
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05-02-2012, 01:52 PM,
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
lol sounds like you can make salad for your family and pets at the same time.
Please take a photo of the next plate of salad you make for your bearded dragon. Maybe it will look delicious enough for me.



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05-03-2012, 09:02 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Bearded Dragon diet?
Well, I am a snake guy mostly, and They are easier to feed. Needing to make a salad everyday for a dragon, it's just easier if you incorporate it with food you actually eat yourself. Dragons do best with variety, and keeping 3 - 6 vegetables in your house just to feed a dragon properly is kind of silly really. There are allot of good things for a dragon to eat, so pick a few you like, or someone in your family likes, too.

I'll take a pic of the actual dragon salad sometime, but cold uncooked turnip greens and mustard greens, with minced raw butternut squash and mango doesn't really sound that good... Slobber
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