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The Bearded Dragon(s)

Bearded Dragon Diet

A Bearded Dragon diet suggestion

Diet

   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.

Vegetation

   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

   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.