Stephanie's Page on Diet Bearded dragons are often referred to as omnivores, meaning they eat both vegetable and animak matter. They are also herbivores (vegetable eaters), carnivores (meat eaters), foliovorous (leaf eaters), frugivorous (fruit eaters), and insectivorous (insect eaters). They will eat a wide variety of foods, which is partly what makes beardies easy to care for. Like people, beardies need variety. You should feed your beardies vegetables twice a day, and insects once. Some people have different views on that, but basically in the wild they will eat a lot of leaves. As babies, to about 4 months of age, be careful to not overfeed them. True, babies grow rapidly at this stage and it is better to feed them several small meals a day, rather than one or two big meals. When offering crickets, make sure you get pinhead crickets. If the prey item is too large, your baby beardie may suffer an impaction, which puts pressure on the nerves, resulting in temporary or permanent damage to theit back legs. In general, the crickets need to be about the size of the space between their eyes. Offer vegetables a few times a day. They may not eat them at first, but will eventually. If you want to offer larvae as part of their diet, you might want to get a few waxworms instead of mealworms. Waxworms are softer and will be easier for your baby to digest.

Vegetables that are offered should include dark leafy greens as the bulk of the veggies. Collard greens, mustard greens, kale, dandelion greens are all good. Iceburg lettuce is a NO-NO!! That lettuce has no nutritional value and will cause diarhea if fed to your beardies. Spinach should be used SPARINGLY. Spinach has a lot of phosphorous which can block calcium absorption. Other vegetables that are usually offered include, yellow squash, zucchini, green, red, or yellow bell peppers, peas, green beans, cooked corn, bok choy, carrots, and cucumbers. Beardies also like fruits and should be offered occassionally as treats. Bananas rank #1 but also have phosphorous. Apples, cantaloupe, strawberries, mangos, and grapes are well liked to a beardie. As beardies become adults, you can feed them bigger crickets two or three times a week bit offer veggies every day. You will need to give a calcium supplement to your beardies for proper bone growth. Every other day, dust crickets with Rep-Cal or other phosphorous free calcium powder. Offer water in a small bowl every day. Most beardies won't drink standing water but I keep a small bowl in the tanks anyway. I also mist water on my beardies once a day. They will lick the water off their nose. If you keep plants in the tank, you can mist the leaves, giving a similar set up like they have in the wild for finding water. They will lick the water off the leaves.

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