When you first bring a baby dragon home as a pet, it is all fun, and then after the worries start kicking in about what exactly you should feed then and to what amount, more so for a beginner. This article seeks to give you aa the answer about feeding a bearded baby dragon, and you can continue having fun with a pet lizard without getting worried.
So, the question you first ask yourself is What should you feed a baby dragon? The bearded dragons need a diet that consists of insects such as the crickets and plant matter such as kales. To supplement this diet, they also need vitamins and calcium powder. The size of prey offered should be smaller than the head of the baby dragon, while the greens should be finely chopped to ease digestion and eliminate any risk of getting choked.
Whoever your bearded dragons are young, it is important to be keen on the nutrients you feed them since they directly affect their growth. At this stage, the growth is usually very rapid, and they need food that will support the process effectively. They have known omnivores that feed on [lants and insects and calcium supplements. Knowing the exact food that will provide the necessary nutrients is also important since they will play a huge role in the development. The baby dragons need to be fed up to 60 percent of proteins from insects, and 40 percent of the rest of the diet should consist of plant matter.
What Prey Food to feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
The first thing you should always remember when feeding the baby bearded dragons is that the prey should be smaller than the size of the head. This is critical since the feeding of big prey will likely choke the dragon or cause digestive problems. This is a serious matter that can cause death to your dragon. There are a few insects types that are recommended for a baby dragon.
- Pinhead crickets
- Butter worms
- Fruit flies
These foods are found in different sizes, and this means you should know the size of your dragon to determine the size of the prey you are buying. Once you have fed your pet, ensure you do not leave any live prey in the tank for long. Make sure you check how many of the live preys have been eaten by the bearded dragon, and then you can take the rest out of the tank.
VegGies to feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
It is important to ensure your baby bearded dragons get plenty of vegetables in addition to insects. The vegetables should be fed to the dragons at least three times a week, but it is advisable to ensure they are fed every day. If they get used to feeding on the greens from a young age, they will have an easy time feeding on them as adults. They are also healthy since they provide essential nutrients that are important to the growth of a baby dragon. Whenever you are fading your bearded dragons with veggies, ensure that these plants are cut into small sizes to ensure you eliminate any risk of getting choked. It will be easy for them to eat food too.
If you find your bearded baby dragon is not eating food straight away, you need not get worried. The vegetables, unlike the prey, can remain in the tank past the feeding time, and the dragon will feed on them later in their own time. Below are some of the veggies that are suitable for a bearded baby dragon;
- Butternut squarish
- Bell pepper
- Yellow squash
- Artichoke heart
- Mustard Green
- Bok choy
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
Greens to feed Baby Bearded Dragon
The greens are so close to the veggies, and they should be fed to the baby dragon at least three times a week, but it is good you feed them every day if it is possible. It is important to train your baby bearded dragon to eat greens and veggies at a young age so that when they get older, it will be easy for them since the diet will comprise more plant matter. The greens do not need to be removed from the tank after the feeding hour, just like the veggies, since the dragon can feed on them later when they need them.
It is advisable to feed your baby dragons a mixture of both the veggies and green and make sure they are chopped into small pieces to avoid the risk of choking them or getting digestive problems. Below are the best greens to feed your baby bearded dragons;
- Dandelion greens
- Turnip Greens
- Mustard greens
Fruits to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
The bearded baby dragon can also be fed on fruits, although there are some which are too sugary for them. It is dangerous to feed your baby dragons with too much sugar since it causes damage to the teeth and can result in obesity. The fruits are not so necessary since they get most of the nutrients from the greens and veggies, but you can feed them fruits if you want to, but it should be small portions. You also do not need to give them fruits every day. Below are some of the recommended fruits that you can feed to your baby bearded dragons;
Vitamins and Calcium Supplements to feed a baby Bearded Dragon
It is important for your baby bearded dragons to be fed with calcium and vitamin supplements. This is because they lack mainly lack calcium in their body, and it is very important. Lack of these calcium supplements can be disastrous to their health since it may cause problems such as metabolic bone disease. The easiest way to keep them healthy is ensuring they get enough supplements, and this can be done by dusting this calcium on the prey food to the needed levels.
As the bearded dragon gets older, you will not need to supplement so much as you do for a little one. This is because they are already fully developed. Before deciding on which supplements are best to feed your dragons, it is important to do proper research and get all the details to avoid giving them substandard supplements. The supplements should contain vitamin D3 and calcium. The supplements with low quality are there in plenty, but the ideal one to use is the Red-cal.
Baby bearded dragons need calcium supplements to develop strong bones, and this should be done at least 2 to 3 days a week. You, however, will need a trusted supplier for these supplements. The best and most recommended is the Red-Cal with vitamin D3 if you have a regular UVB bulb, but if you have a mercury vapor bulb, then it is good you use this supplement without vitamin D3 since the UVB rays from this bulb will allow much processing of vitamin D3. These are the most recommended supplements by most vets.
Since it is important to supplement the diet of your baby dragons with vitamins, it is important to know the ideal choices that will fully benefit your beardie. When the bearded dragon is in the wild, it has a variety of vitamins and minerals due to a diverse diet that lacks un captivity, and this is the reason behind the need for vitamins. The greens and veggies provide minerals, but it is vital to have supplements since if you do not, it will mean the dragons will have to feed on the greens and vary every day, which is hard forcing them. With these vitamins, even when they fail to eat, it will still be okay.
The best multivitamin is the Red-Cal Herptivite Multi-vitamin. The reason why this is the ideal choice is due to the absence of vitamin A which becomes harmful to the beardie when it is over consumed. Alternatively, it contains Beta Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the bearded dragon according to its need. When the baby bearded dragons are between 0 to 6 months, they need this multivitamin dusted around 2 to 3 times a week.
What to feed The Baby Bearded Dragon at the Different States of Growth
Stage 1: 0 TO 1 Week
Right after birth, they can eat their natural diet, such as insects but have a low interest in food such as veggies. You will find them trying to catch small insects moving on the ground. At this point, if you want to offer them vegetables too, you can shred them into fine pieces that they will eat without struggle. At this stage, they still have some nutrition from the egg, and therefore they might not have the appetite to feed, and they may remain dormant for the first 48 hours. Most people get worried, but it is very normal.
The diet should be small insect pieces that are gut-loaded, and it is advisable to avoid veggies in this stage.
Stage 2: 1 to 2 weeks
If your bearded baby dragon was not feeding during the first week, you should now start noticing them moving and eating. You can now try feeding them with some vegetables that are shred into small pieces and small insects, preferably hoppers and locusts rather than crickets. You shuls consider feeding them with insects that are shorter in length than the width. If you decide to feed crickets to your baby beardie, pour the insects into a bowl and pour some supplements in the bowl, too, and shake it a little bit. The reason why the locust and hoppers are more preferred is that they are more nutritious.
During this stage, you should ensure you give them calcium and vitamin supplements every day for the sake of their health. When you are feeding them with live insects, you should give them 10 to 15 minutes to allow them to catch and eat the insects. They should be fed two times a day, and all the uneaten food should be cleaned from the enclosure.
Stage 3: 2 to 3 Weeks
At this stage, many owners, more so beginners, wonder whether they should continue with the same diet or there are some supplements needed. At this stage, you should not start feeding them with vegetables more regularly. It is advisable to avoid lettuce or any food that can bind with calcium. Ensure the leaves are cut into smaller pieces that will be easy to eat, and it will encourage them to feed more.
At this stage that is when they need to be separated into small groups to avoid any fight for food and space. The temperatures should be closely monitored and maintained. You should also ensure there is water always so that they can drink whenever they feel dehydrated.
Stage 4: 3 to 4 Weeks
At this stage, the beardie is usually active and looking healthy. At this period, there should be a fixed diet plan that should be followed up to the 8th week. They still need more od insects than the vegetation since they are yet to fully mature.
- During the first day of this week, both meals should contain insects.
- During the second day, the first meal should contain veggies, and the other one should contain insects.
- On the third day, both meals should include the insects.
- During the fourth day, one meal should contain veggies while the second one should have insects.
This routine should be followed continuously until the 8th week and more if you want. However, you can adjust your feeding plan according to your wish as long as they feed properly and get all the necessary nutrients. As you feed them during this stage, ensure they have access to clean drinking water so that they remain hydrated always.
food you should Avoid Feeding your Baby Bearded Dragon
It is important to know the food you are not supposed to feed your baby bearded dragons to avoid harming them unknowingly. Most of these foods are not supposed to be fed to a bearded dragon at any stage of life, be it a baby, juvenile, or adult. They include the;
- Wild insects
- Fireflies and any other insect that glows
Mealworms – they can be fed to adults, but the hard shell can be hard for babies to digest.
There are other foods that you are not supposed to feed to your bearded dragon, and they are not in the list above, and it is, therefore, wise to always consult your vet before feeding them with what you are not sure about.
What is the favorite food for baby bearded food?
This largely depends on the personal preference of the individual beardie. There are other factors you can consider when determining the favorite food, such as the food it has been fed since the first day. After considering all the factors, the favorite food for most baby bearded dragons is usually the wax worms or pinhead crickets, but it is not limited to these two. However, the dragons are not robots, and therefore they also like having variety rather than getting fed the same food all through.
The baby bearded dragons grow rapidly, and this means they need to eat a lot of food to support their growth. Mostly the baby bearded dragons are fed up to 5 times a day with a setting of 10 to 15 minutes, and during this time, they should eat as many live preys as possible. Normally they should feed on 20 to 60 insects a day. However, this will depend on the age of your bearded and the type of insect you are feeding them.
How to get the Baby Bearded Dragon to eat more Vegetables
Most bearded dragons may not have an issue with eating vegetables and fruits, but there are a few that might have some difficulty. If you find yourself in this situation, you should first ensure the vegetables and fruits are chopped into finer small sizes and put them in a bowl, and then you can put some prey food on top, and this will attract the babe beardie to eat.
What happens who you put them on top is they will quickly try to eat the insects and, in the process, they will grab the veggies without even noticing. However, this method works most when the dragon is hungry, and by the time the beardie finishes feeding on the prey, it will have eaten a good number of veggies, and this should be done continuously until they get used.
Is it Possible to Overfeed your Baby Bearded Dragon?
For instance, if you feed your baby bearded dragons 5 to 8 times a day, they are likely to eat all these times. It might not be an issue since they have an appetite and need a lot of food to grow. However, the problem arises when they have difficulty digesting food. Whenever the baby dragons finish eating, they usually bask in the sun to increase their body temperatures and enable efficient digestion. If you continuously overfeed the baby dragons, there will come a time when they will struggle to digest all this food. For that reason, it is advisable to feed your baby bearded dragon a maximum of 5 times a day since this is enough to give them the required nutrients.
Best time to feed Baby Bearded Dragons
Most people think the feeding time of baby bearded dragons is not important. Some people have a very busy schedule, and getting time for feeding their dragons becomes very hard. This is understandable, but it is advisable to avoid feeding your baby beardies their last, mean less than three hours before the basking lamp goes off for night time. This is very vital since the dragons digest food at their optimal temperatures, and if you feed them shortly before turning the basking light, it means they will have a struggle digesting food.
If you do not follow this, it may lead to impaction where they will have undigested food and end up getting constipated. This might also bring about loss of appetite, and this is why you should serve a certain feeding schedule for the health of your baby bearded dragon.
Do the baby Bearded Dragons need water?
Naturally, the bearded dragons are found in the semi-desert areas, where getting water may be a bit hard. This means they have a high efficiency of utilizing water from any source, including the insets and vegetables they feed on. It is advisable to provide them with water in a small bowl to drink in case they need to hydrate. You can also spay the fruits and veggies before feeding them so that they consume them whenever they want.
Reasons why the Baby Bearded Dragons might not want to eat
They are times when your baby bearded dragons do not want to eat, and one may get worried. Below are some of the reasons why they may behave this way;
Stress is none of the reasons why the bearded dragons may stop eating at any age, either a baby or adult—the reasons why the dragon may be stressed include.
- Being put o the same tank with other baby dragons
- Getting intimidated by other pets in the house.
- Small objects such as toys that look like a predator.
- A new house that they are not used to
- The enclosure might be close to the window, and it gets intimidated by things outside, such as birds.
If your baby bearded dragon does not have an appetite, there is the likelihood that it is sick. It is, however, very difficult to tell when they are ill and what is ailing them. It is important to contact your vet whenever you suspect the baby dragon is ill.
By now, you have a better understanding of what you need to feed your baby bearded dragon. There is a variety of options, but it is important to ensure you choose a balanced diet that will positively affect the health of your bearded dragon. If you find food and you are not sure if it is safe for a bearded baby dragon, it is crucially to always seek advice from a vet. Reminder to always supplement the diet with vitamins and calcium, and if you follow all these principles when feeding your baby beardie, you are assured of a healthy bearded dragon at the end of it all.