Because Bearded Dragons are omnivores, they need a balanced diet of
meat and vegetable matter. Hatchlings eat mostly small insects. As they grow, they will start to eat more vegetable matter.
The diet of a juvenile Bearded Dragon (2-4 months of age) will consist of approximately 80% insects and 20% greens. Young
dragons should be fed 2-3 times daily. If insufficient food is fed, young Bearded Dragons may nip at the tails and toes of
their cage mates.
Plant matter in the diet should make up approximately 20% of the diet
and should consist mainly of green leafy vegetables. Other vegetables can be included. Fruit should make up the smallest portion
of the diet. The vegetables and fruits should be shredded or torn into small pieces and mixed together to encourage the Bearded
Dragon to eat all that is offered, and not just pick out his favorite foods. A few greens that Bearded Dragons can eat are
escarole, kale, collards, bok choy, swiss chard, parsley, clover, alfalfa pellets, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard
greens, beet greens-only occasionally, spinach-only occasionally, never iceberg lettuce. Some vegetables Bearded Dragons can
eat are broccoli, okra, peas, green beans, zucchini, squash, grated carrots, sweet potato, bell pepper, frozen mixed vegetables.
Some fruits Bearded Dragons can eat include figs, kiwi, papaya, melon, apple, grapes, dates, peaches, apricots, strawberries,
plums, tomatoes, bananas with skin.
Meat can include pinky mice for adults and insects such as crickets,
pinhead crickets for juvenile Bearded Dragons, mealworms, wax worms they are high in fat so feed sparingly, king worms, earthworms,
cockroaches. Fireflies are poisonous to bearded dragons, other reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
Preparing insect food
Freshly molted insects are easier for the Bearded Dragons to digest.
Feeder insects should be coated with calcium supplement, powdered calcium carbonate or calcium gluconate, 3-5 times per week
for adults; every day for juveniles. The insects should also be "gut-loaded," which means the insects are fed nutritious and
vitamin-rich foods before they are given to the Bearded Dragon. Good foods to feed the insects include ground legumes, corn
meal, carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, apples, oranges, cereals, and rolled oats.
There are also commercial products rich in calcium and vitamins which can be fed to the insects. Insects may be purchased
or wild-caught, without the use of pesticides. The insects should be fed by placing them in a small bowl. After feeding, check
that none of the insects escaped and fouled the water supply in the cage. To improve hygiene, some owners prefer to have a
separate cage for feeding the meat-based portion of the diet. Food particle size is very important for Bearded Dragons, it
is very important that the size of food be proportional to the size of the animal. Malnourishment, seizures, and intestinal
blockages can occur if hatchlings and juveniles are fed insects that are too large for them to capture or digest.