Bearded Dragon Diet (Insects Checked Out)

In the wild, bearded dragons have a variety of insect prey. Adding these varieties to your pet’s diet while in captivity is good as long you do not poison your pet. We understand that what your bearded dragon eats is a matter of concern that requires your attention.

So, can beardies eat camel crickets? Beardies can eat camel crickets if you give them. However, it is not advisable to feed your pet these insects. This is because these insects could step into or be sprayed with chemicals that may harm your pet. Being live prey, these insects could also carry parasites and spread them to your pet. Also, it is difficult to gut load caramel crickets; hence, challenging to control what your pet gets from these insects.

As a bearded dragon owner, you may want to add wild insects to your pet’s diet to add variety and to save some money. While this may work, you need to be very selective to avoid risking your pet’s health and life.

Crickets from outside are readily available, and your bearded dragon can feed on them. However, this is not advisable due to the potential risks this source of food carries. Since crickets will travel a long distance within a 24-hour duration, they may walk through pesticides, and if you catch them and feed them to your pet, your beardie will get sick from it.

These crickets may also carry parasites that will transfer to your pet if you feed them. This is common with pinworms, which need a lizard host to grow and reproduce. If the cricket you are feeding your pet carries pinworm eggs, it will transfer it to your pet, where the eggs will hatch and multiply the parasites. The crickets may also walk through poop, which can make your pet sick.

In addition to carrying harmful chemicals, crickets from outside have a hard exoskeleton, which is difficult for a bearded dragon to digest. Feeding your lizard on these insects will cause constipation which can be deadly if not treated in time.

How Many Locusts To Feed a Bearded Dragon

As a first-time bearded dragon owner, it can be challenging to care for your pet, especially when it comes to its feeding routine. It may be difficult to establish how much and what variety of foods you should give your pet to remain healthy. However, if you want your beardie to grow to a certain size, you can establish a feeding pattern and stick to a number of insects per serving.

An adult bearded dragon can eat up to five locusts per day, depending on the size. This figure may also vary depending on your pet’s appetite, given that some beardies have an insatiable appetite while others are poor eaters. To ensure your pet benefits from its feeding, provide the locusts for at least 15 minutes, twice a day. Given the quiet nature of the locust nature, your beardies will prefer this food option to crickets.

Locusts also provide proteins and moisture to your pet. However, they can grow too big; hence, not advisable for baby beardie dragons. Their exoskeleton also hardens over time and poses the risk of constipation if fed to baby beardies.

If you plan to feed your bearded dragon on locusts, ensure it is at the right temperature. Proper temperatures enhance digestion and reduce the risk of constipation. Checking the size of the locust Vis a Vis your pet is also important. As a thumb rule, the locust should not be larger than the width between your pet’s eyes to ensure it fits well in its mouth and does not cause digestive problems.

Can Beardies Eat Beetles?

Supplying your bearded dragon with a balanced diet means providing it with a range of food groups to prevent boredom. For this reason, owners are constantly on the lookout for a way to add variety to their beardie’s meal.

It is not a good idea to feed your beardies with beetles. This is because beetles have a hard exoskeleton that is difficult for your pet to consume. They also have limited nutrients, and their larval stage has a high-fat content.

While it is not advisable to feed your beardie on beetles, if you allow your pet to roam freely, it may come across a beetle and will eat it. For sure, your pet will like the taste and even try chewing on the beetle, but this does not make it a good source of food.

The Superworm beetle has a high-fat content in its larval stage, and while it may be tasty, these fats are unhealthy for your pet. Since beardies in captivity do not get enough exercise, they may become obese from eating Superworms. Beetles can also bite you or your beardie, making them dangerous if fed live.

Just like Superworm beetles, mealworm beetles also have a tough exterior that protects them from their predators. Your beardie will struggle to break this exterior if you feed them. They also have high phosphorus levels compared to calcium requiring you to provide calcium supplementation. Feeding your pet on these insects will thus offer low nutritional benefits hence not advisable.

Best Insects for Baby Bearded Dragons?

Insects form a major part of a bearded dragon’s diet, especially the baby dragons. Therefore, you should ensure your pet eats the right species and amount to grow healthy.

The best insects for baby bearded dragons include crickets, butterworms, Dubia roaches, earthworms, cockroaches, super worms, and redworms. Besides being safe, these insects are also tasty, and your baby beardie will love them. They are also relatively easy to get and have a vast of nutritional benefits to your pet.

During feeding, provide as many insects as possible within a 15 minutes period. Afterward, you should collect the remaining insects and save them for the next feeding. Leaving these insects longer in your pet’s tank will result in overeating. Worse off, if you are feeding your beardie on live insects, the insects may start to burrow and hide in the enclosure.

You should also get the above insects from a trusted supplier to avoid poisoning your pet. This implies that you should keep off insects you collect outside as they could harbor parasites or have traces of pesticides on them which could harm your pet.

Best Baby Bearded Dragon Feeder Insects?

The health and wellbeing of your baby bearded dragon are dependent on how well you meet its nutritional needs. Therefore, you should provide a diverse diet comprising live feeders.

The best feeder insects for your bearded dragons are rich in protein and calcium but low in fats. They include hornworms, silkworms, Dubia roaches, discoid roaches, and phoenix worms. When feeding your beardie on these insects, ensure they are alive since dead insects lose some nutrients and could make your pet sick.

These insects should also be smaller than the width between your pet’s eyes. Insects longer than this width may end up getting stuck in your pet’s digestive tract causing constipation. The stuck insect may also cause pressure on your pet’s spine resulting in paralysis or death.

Just like human beings, bearded dragons need calcium for healthy bones and body. A bearded dragon has a higher risk of metabolic bone disease in captivity, which is a severe weakening of its body and bones due to calcium deficiency. If untreated, this disease will cause death.

Thus, you should ensure a constant supply of calcium to your pet in captivity. To do this, feed your pet on insects rich in calcium or do calcium supplementation by dusting its food with calcium supplements or gut loading. You can also provide UVB rays to your pet’s enclosure to naturally absorb vitamin D.

What Is Bearded Dragons Favorite Food?

Just like many other animals, bearded dragons are very picky eaters. While they can feed on vegetables and fruits, they also feed on other types of foods. However, to ensure that the animals live comfortably, it’s of utmost importance to determine whether a bearded dragon has a specific favorite food.

The bearded dragon’s favorite food is mostly insects and worms. Bearded dragons are wild animals that often hunt for live prey while in the wild. Although they are omnivores, bearded dragons love to feed on insects and worms. This is particularly because of their strong jaws.

When kept in cages, bearded dragons should be fed with different foods daily, with earthworms, super worms, roaches, and crickets, being on the menu at least once a day. These foods are more important to younger dragons since they require more protein for their rapid growth.

Due to this, all juveniles should be fed with worms and insects at least three times a day. However, it would help if you did not forget to feed them with vegetables and fruits, as well. At the same time, all bearded dragons’ hatchlings should be fed crickets purely.

While bearded dragons favor crickets and other insects, it’s important for juveniles and hatchlings alike to receive a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. As if that’s not enough, it’s also important to sprinkle calcium powder on the food at least once a week. Keep in mind that calcium is integral in aiding bone development and different neurological processes.

What Is Poisonous To Bearded Dragons?

Although you can give your bearded dragon fruits, insects, and vegetables, there are several things that you should avoid feeding your dragon. This is mainly because these foods are often poisonous to your little companion. To accord your bearded dragon the best food, it’s of utmost importance to ensure that you feed your bearded dragon the ideal food.

Foods such as lettuce, fireflies, reptile meat, beet tops, rhubarb, and spinach are poisonous to bearded dragons. Although bearded dragons may enjoy feeding on some of these foods, it’s important to avoid them as much as possible.

While some foods, such as fireflies, are entirely poisonous, others, such as spinach and beet tops, contain chemicals that inhibit calcium absorption. Therefore, if you can only feed them in moderation, they may not have devastating effects, unlike the highly poisonous ones.

Therefore, rhubarbs and fireflies are highly poisonous to bearded dragons. In case you accidentally feed them to your pet, give them water and contact your vet immediately.

Wrap Up

Bearded dragons rely on insects as their main food, especially in their juvenile stage. Therefore, you should provide a safe variety to meet its nutritional demands for a healthy pet. To do this, avoid insects collected from outside since they could harbor parasites. These insects could also pass through pesticides and feeding them to your pet will result in sickness. Instead, you should source your pet’s food from trusted vendors.

While feeding your beardie, you should ensure a supply of healthy nutrients such as calcium. This implies avoiding low nutrient insects such as beetles. Besides their low calcium content, beetles have a high-fat content, increasing the risk of obesity in bearded dragons living in captivity.

To ensure healthy feeding, replace such foods with healthy insects such as hornworms, silkworms, Dubia roaches, and discoid roaches. Finally, whatever insects you choose to feed your beardie, ensure their size is not bigger than the width between your pet’s eyes. This way, you will prevent constipation which could be fatal.

It’s now clear that although bearded dragons can eat different foods. However, foods such as avocados should be avoided by all means. They either contain contaminated surfaces such as oxalic acid and high-fat content.

Likewise, some of these foods are completely poisonous to the bearded dragons and can cause different health conditions such as respiratory distress, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to know the type of food before feeding your bearded dragon.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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