What To Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon- Everything You Need To Keep In Mind
If you have a baby dragon in your house and you are wondering what to feed a baby bearded dragon and how to feed the dragon, this is a great guide to learn everything you need to do for feeding your little dragon.
I am sure you already know bearded dragons come under the category of omnivorous animals. Omnivorous animals are those that can survive on both, plant food and animal matter. Bearded dragons can eat a variety of food ranging from insects, vegetables, and fruits of various kinds.
They definitely need a diet that varies widely due to which knowing what to feed a baby bearded reptile is pretty cool and fun, you already know this if you have a baby bearded dragon and have seen him chasing after cricket.
This piece of information will throw light on what to feed a baby bearded dragon, adult dragon, and how to feed them. Let’s start answering your questions and clearing your doubts one by one.
What To Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon?
Baby bearded dragons or bearded dragons, in general, can eat a vast range of live food like mealworms, crickets, or king worms. They usually eat vegetables such as sweet potatoes and pepper or leafy veggies like parsley and kale. Not only live food or vegetables, but they can also eat fruits. You will get to know what to feed a baby bearded dragon from the list provided further.
If you have a wild baby bearded dragon, know that 75% of their diet will include live organisms like cockroaches, crickets, worms, or even mice. Other than these food items for them, 25% of their diet includes vegetables, fruits, and greens.
What To Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon- Diet And Food
The diet you are providing your baby bearded dragon should be the same as they would have eaten if they were in wild habitat or the diet should replicate what they would have eaten elsewhere. This clearly states that their diet should include vegetables, greens, fruits, and most importantly meat.
When you have a baby bearded dragon, you should feed them a lot of these food items and as they grow older you may reduce their intake gradually, mainly the amount of meat they eat because your beardie is not as active as his wild friends and cannot exercise much jumping and crawling on trees which can lead to obesity. Obesity is bad for every other creature and not just humans, we clearly know the side effects.
The list on what to feed a baby bearded dragon will tell you everything about food to feed, which food is safe, which food is not fit for them, etc.
If you feel your house lacks live food to feed your beardie, feel free to visit Northampton Reptile Centre so that you can have live food for them easily.
Having the right food and the right diet for your bearded is another important aspect of their care. Let’s answer common questions related to their food so that you can pick a great diet for your baby bearded dragon.
Can I Feed meat To Baby Bearded Dragon?
Meat is important for their diet, by meat we don’t mean the eat humans consume, baby bearded dragons usually eat live insects. The list mentioned below tells you all about live insects that they can eat.
- Dubia roaches
- Phoenix Worms
- King worms
- Superworms- These constitute the larger version of already mentioned mealworms, but these should only be included in the diet of adult bearded dragons.
Can I Feed Fruits To Baby Bearded Dragon?
Baby bearded dragons can consume a variety of fruits. We have incorporated a list of all the fruits you may feed them.
The food that has hard coverings should not be kept directly in front of your baby bearded dragon because they are not mature enough to consume by teeth. Also, owners should exercise a little caution when it comes to feeding soft fruits because these fruits are sugary which can lead to fermentation and teeth problems. Keeping this in mind, soft fruits like kiwi should be fed once a month by making them a part of the fixed diet including fibrous veg.
What Type Of Veggies do You Need To Feed A Baby Dragon?
Same as meat and fruits, the baby bearded dragon can eat a lot of vegetables too having different varieties.
Let’s see the list of vegetables your baby beardie can munch on.
- Green beans
- yellow Squash
- Bok Choi
- Acorn Squash
- Brocolli (small pieces, once in a week)
- bell pepper
- sweet potato
- Butternut squash
Greens To feed A baby Bearded Dragon
Your baby beardie eats greens too. The list given below will give you ideas on which greens to bring home for them.
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Dandelion greens
These were food items that you can incorporate into their daily diet if you are wondering what to feed a baby bearded dragon. Other than daily diet, some food items should be given occasionally.
Some food items that you can add occasionally to their diet include tomatoes, sprouts, blueberries, cucumber, grapes, banana, grated carrots, and pear.
Also, keep in mind that you cannot just keep the food item in front of them to be eaten fully. You have to first prepare some veggies and fruits by removing their peel and then cutting them into several small pieces for your beardie to eat.
If you are putting live insects in their dorm, make sure they are not growing them into a water bowl kept in front of them. If they do so by any chance, make sure you remove them and clean them as soon as you can.
Talk to your vet for taking expert advice on what to do and what not to do if you are highly concerned about their health or growth.
There are some food items that you should highly avoid and you cannot feed them to your baby beardie if you are getting ideas on what to feed a baby bearded dragon.
What To Avoid In baby Bearded Dragon’s Diet?
If you are sticking on the food items given in the sections of vegetables, fruits, greens, or meat, it is totally fine. If you do not know what to feed them exactly and you have extra items in your house and you are wondering if you can feed those food items to your beardie or not, just check the list given below.
Your baby bearded dragon does not recognize what is contagious to them or they cannot consume. They will eat anything and everything you keep in their recks, due to this, it is your responsibility to feed them only the things that are necessary and do not disturb their health.
If your beardie got sick earlier due to any food, do not feed them again. Also, seek help and advice from your vet.
Some food items to avoid includes:
- Iceberg Lettuce– Iceberg lettuce mostly has water in it. The nutritional value is minimal or very little to be consumed. So, make sure your beardie does not eat it.
- Beet Tops And Spinach– You will also read some guides on “what to feed A baby bearded dragon” which supports consumption of beet top or spinach in small quantities. But you should know that spinach and beet tops both contain certain chemicals that result in calcium deficiencies. Having a deficiency of calcium in the body can lead to metabolic bone disorders and diseases. If you are giving them spinach on any particular occasion, it will not cause much harm, but when we have so many greens to feed them as an option, considering spinach beet tops is not something you should opt for.
- Insects From Wild– Wild insects live in a wild environment where there is no one to keep a check on parasites. Wild insects might have many or some parasites living inside their body making them host. These parasites can harm your bearded dragon. If you wish to feed them live insects, you may visit exotic pet shops that keep enough of such insects. You are anyway going to find a lot of such shops in the UK and the US.
- Fireflies– Do not ever make the mistake of feeding your bearded dragon or any other reptile these fireflies. If you are wondering what to feed a baby bearded dragon, there are lots of insects to begin with other than fireflies. Not only fireflies, if you see any insect glowing, just remember instantly that it is harmful to your bearded dragon or any reptile and has certain toxins that can even cause the death of reptiles.
- Avocadoes– You might be wondering what is so wrong with avocadoes because they are extremely healthy and a great source of fat for us, what to feed a baby bearded dragon is extremely cautious. You cannot make comparisons between their diet with yours. Avocadoes consist of certain chemicals that are undoubtedly great for our gut but have the opposite effects on reptiles. They can be highly toxic. Giving them a small amount of avocado can make them sick, but giving them in larger amount can even cause their death.
- Rhubarb- Rhubarb is another such thing that is proven to be toxic for your bearded dragons. Rhubarb has high levels of oxalic acids in them. Oxalic acid is proven to be poisonous for your reptiles or bearded dragons, so make sure you are not using them.
Some other things that you should NOT feed your baby dragon include seafood like fish or prawns. Talking about the plants, there is a huge list of plants that are wild in nature and should be avoided for bearded dragons. To mention a few, you may consider bracken fern, poppy, oak, ivy, daffodil, crocus, chestnut, etc among the plants you should never feed your bearded dragon.
One final food item that is left over to discuss is sand. I am sure you do not give your bearded buddy sand to it, but it has come into notice that many owners use sand as a substrate to feed their bearded dragon because it’s loose and dragons easily consume it. Never ever try to feed them sand when you are thinking about ideas on what to feed a bearded baby dragon because it may cause impaction. It will eventually build up inside their body and cause a blockage.
You should feed your baby bearded dragon at least once a day depending upon their age. You should know that baby dragons need more insects in their diet as compared to vegetables. Also, they should be fed more often than adult bearded dragons. If you have a bearded dragon of just a few months, you have to feed them even thrice a day sometimes.
If you have left greens and certain vegetables in their cages, they are likely to eat them whenever they feed like. After they finish their veggies, you can place insects for them over 10-15 minutes of feeding periods.
It is hard to digest for us but baby bearded dragons can eat even 60 insects per day. You can feed them in 10 or 15 minutes feeding periods, once they stop eating you will know that they are full now. Clear out anything whether insects or vegetables if they do not eat.
As they grow older, they will require very few insects because if they get so many insects in a day they will eventually get fat and then get obese.
Live Food To Feed A Baby Dragon?
Live food is the most consumed food by baby bearded dragons. Having a great knowledge of what type of live food to feed them is mandatory if you are a bearded dragon owner that loves their pet. Among their favourite live food, mealworms and cricket are their choices.
you can easily find a lot of crickets and mealworms to feed your bearded dragons. Also, they are not very hard to store and your beardie will enjoy eating them as a baby.
Live crickets are an amazing choice too. Why? because chasing them is quite fun and stimulating for your little dragon. Just see them catching crickets once, you will be highly surprised how quick they are.
Once you are set to buy live food after you have decided what to feed a baby bearded dragon, you can check the nutritional value, how to store the food, and how much will each insect cost you. Budget-friendly options are also available in stores. Once you have bought any food item or animal matter, you can bring other animal matter next time to maintain a wide variety for your beardie.
Usually, in pet shops, we have come across, you can expect nearly 5 dollars for purchasing 500 crickets for your beardie. As already mentioned, a baby dragon can eat up to 60 crickets a day. For 10 days you do not have to worry about the animal matter they need in their diet if you buy crickets from pet shops or online.
Once you have brought any animal matter, store them in large boxes having certain holes present. If you have leftover food from any meal, you can feed that to crickets from the holes given inside the boxes. Practising this will make them more nutritious for your bearded dragon and you will not have to worry about what to feed a baby bearded dragon for at least a few days after this.
Make sure you are using those crickets only that your bearded dragons can easily consume. How to know which one is perfect for your dragon? Well, it is quite easy. Just place the cricket between your beardie’s eyes, if their size is larger than that, you should be able to figure out that they can cause problems once consumed. If you wish to make crickets more nutritious for your beardie, try dusting them with calcium and vitamin powders.
Once you have dropped the animal matter, be it crickets or mealworms, make sure they do not drop in the water bowl present inside the cage. If by chance they have drowned inside the water just pick them out, but after picking them out do no just leave them as it is inside the cage. You can ask the pet shop owners to give you covers.
Pet shops also sell covers for water bowls that you can use easily to stop crickets from getting inside the water. If you do not wish to spend money on plastic bags for covering the water, some people also suggest using a bowl filled with crystals of the polymer. The crickets once dropped inside the cage will be walking on these crystals instead of drowning.
Another option as already mentioned if you are still wondering what to feed a baby bearded dragon is mealworms. They are also cheap and you can store them easily just like crickets. You may store them either inside the fridge or outside the fridge depending on your comfort. If you have thought of storing them inside the fridge, you should know already that they will enter a state of dormancy.
It is completely on you to decide what to feed a baby bearded dragon, if you wish to feed crickets it’s well and good, if you wish to buy mealworms, it’s good too but mealworms have higher fat content as compared to crickets. If you decide on mealworms, make sure you are not giving them too much to eat.
Your beardie will not realize if they are getting fat or not and would not stop eating them if your drop them in the cage, but it is your duty to supply them according to their need considering their age.
Mostly the live feeders depending upon their nature starts to smell after you have stored them for quite a time. It is better to find any space where they can be kept. For instance, your garage or a place where you visit less.
Locust, cockroaches, or some other worms are immensely popular as live food for your beardie. There are people who consider live mice to feed their beardie but is not very essential to give them. There are small insects having a great nutritional value that are mentioned above to start with.
Important Of Vitamins And Calcium In Bearded Dragon’s Diet
Having low levels of calcium or calcium deficiency can be highly dangerous for reptiles as it can lead to metabolic bone diseases.
Giving them varied diet risks with vitamins and other supplements can help them cure their deficiency and make them at low risk of metabolic bone diseases. They can also benefit from vitamin and calcium supplements that can keep them entirely healthy.
The easiest way you can incorporate vitamins and calcium if you are still confused about what to feed a bearded baby dragon is using powders. A separate tub of multi-vitamins and calcium powders can be brought. One tub will cost you around 2 dollars which is not a very high price when it comes to your beardie’s nutrition.
If you are thinking about how you will incorporate this powder into their diet, then a simple step to follow is dusting all the food you give them with these powders. If you have live food ready or stored in a container, as mentioned above, just sprinkle it through holes in the container onto them. Just give it a good mix before serving them.
It is highly recommended and best if you are not mixing these supplement powders. For instance, give them multivitamin powder dusted food on any one day and then calcium powder the next day and so on.
Calcium powder usually has vitamin D3 mixed in it. If your bearded dragon was in wild habitat, they would have received it from the sun, but in the cage, it is best to take it through supplements. So it is fine to give them calcium and vitamin D3 mixed.
If you are wondering what to feed a bearded baby dragon in terms of calcium and vitamins, keep in mind to feed them supplements on a daily basis until they are 6 months of age. As they keep getting older, you can gradually lower the supplements you are going to provide. Your dragon is 6 months old to 1 year old, you can still give them supplements every day. After ageing 2 or 3 years old, you can reduce the calcium intake once 3 to 4 days.
To reduce the intake of supplements you can give them natural sunlight.
What To Feed A Bearded Baby Dragon If Your Beardie Is Not Eating
If you are wondering why your baby dragon is not eating anything after you have tried everything to feed them, the reason could be a high change in temperature. If the temperature becomes too high or too low drastically because of some setup you have done. Other reasons could be changed in their skin, ingesting loose substrates, etc.
Another reason that can cause lower appetite in your beardie’s gut is brumation. Brumation is a state of slugginess common in reptiles. If they refuse to eat, do not conclude immediately that something or the other is wrong with them. Sometimes it can be that they are already full. A baby dragon usually eats every day but in adults, it is not so, they can even pass a day without having anything to eat.
Losing weight due to loss of appetite is something you should be concerned about. Another reason dragons refuse to eat anything is the size of food. If you giving them the entire piece without cutting it, they might refuse to eat. In this case, make sure you are cutting them in pieces before serving your beardie.
Some serious problems of loss of appetite are lack of energy, diarrhoea, swollen or droopy eyes. You need to see your vet as soon as you can if you think these issues might occur and your beardie has lost evident weight.
If they are ill, create a watery mix of food you are feeding them. If you are planning to change your beardie’s diet, make sure you are seeing and consulting your vet before that.
This was everything you needed to know about what to feed a baby bearded dragon, when to feed, and what to do if they are not eating.
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