Bearded dragon feeding

Being omnivorous, Bearded dragons will accept a variety of foods including plant materials (greens, esp. leafy greens), invertebrates, and the occasional vertebrate.

As pets, Bearded dragons can be offered a variety of insects, fruit, vegetables, flowers, flower leaves/herbs, and nestling mice. To give a healthy, balanced diet, at least half the daily food should consist of commercial insects.

Bearded dragon feeding

An adult Bearded dragon can eat between one to forty insects per day depending on its age and the size of the food. Make sure to have a reliable feeder insect supplier nearby or breed your own.

Hatchling Bearded dragons will start to eat from two to four days after birth. Only very small insects should be offered until baby Bearded dragons are used to hunting and eating.

When babies have difficulty in hunting, live prey can be placed in a refrigerator for a few minutes prior to feeding. This will slow the insects down and make them easier to hunt. Dead insects can also be offered with the greens.

Try hand-feeding Bearded dragons as soon or as young as possible to limit the number of insect escapes.

The space between the eyes of a baby and a juvenile Bearded dragon is generally used as the maximum size of the food that can be offered.

Insects should always be gut-loaded with appropriate mineral/vitamin supplements and should be dusted two to three times a week with a suitable powdered calcium supplement.

The size of insects can be gradually increased to maximum when Bearded dragons are about four to six months of age.

Bearded dragon feeding schedule

Hatchling and juvenile Bearded dragons should be fed insects at least once or twice, but preferably up to four times, a day. Adult Bearded dragons can eat insects once a day or once every other day.

When feeding Bearded dragons more than twice a day, only feed the number of insects that can be consumed within about fifteen minutes. A satiated Bearded dragon will run away, close its eyes and go and have a nap in the basking area. Free-roaming insects can cause stress and should be removed.

It is advised to keep the feeding schedule constant by feeding insects at the same time of the day. Greens should be available during the entire day, even if no insects are offered. An electric timer can be used to switch the lights on early in the morning after which feeding can take place about two hours later.

Bearded dragon foods

Bearded dragon food should consist of a combination of plant materials, vertebrates, and invertebrates. Plant food should consist of a variety of green feed incl. leafy greens like leaves and herbs and other plant materials like fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

The bulk of the food should include invertebrates like commercial cricketsDubia roaches, other feeder cockroaches, silkworms, flying ants, and Phoenix worms. Other less desirable insects include mealworms, mealworm beetles, Superworms, Trevo worms, butter worms and waxworms. The occasional nestling mice can also be offered, but should not make out the bulk of the diet.

Crickets

Crickets contain most of the main nutritional ingredients, namely carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water. Their practicality, efficiency, and ease of culturing put them in the number one spot when it comes to Bearded dragon food. Crickets should be gut loaded from at least 24 hours prior to feeding them to Bearded dragons. Read more about feeding crickets to Bearded dragons.

Greens

The second half of a Bearded dragon’s diet should consist of an assortment of torn, shredded, or diced fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and flower leaves. A shallow container with a mixture of the correct size greens should always be available on the cooler side of the enclosure. Popular greens that can be fed to Bearded dragons are carrots, carrot tops, alfalfa/lucerne, and nasturtium. For a complete list, also see what greens to feed Bearded dragons.

What about water?

Although Bearded dragons are desert reptiles and you probably might never see one drink, a shallow water container with clean fresh water should always be available. Baby and juvenile dragons love to take an occasional plash in their water container which is probably to cool down or to get rid of loose skin and not because they drink a lot of water. Some literature refers to misting hatchlings and young juvenile bearded dragons with water. Another source suggested misting the water container once a day to stimulate drinking in babies. As long as the humidity stays on the low side, any of these methods can be used.