Bearded dragons make great pets. They’re energetic throughout the day, and when grownup are massive sufficient to be allowed to roam round the home for restricted durations (that’s, till they begin getting chilly) with none fears of them disappearing in small hiding locations – clearly they must be supervised always. In addition they have the benefit of virtually being born tame and are pleased to take a seat on their proprietor and can put up with a cuddle. They’re engaging and have nice personalities, and make wonderful pets for people who find themselves allergic to fur and can’t have any of the extra widespread heat blooded pets. In captivity with the right husbandry they need to dwell for as much as 10 years or much more. The oldest I am at the moment conscious of is 12. To succeed in their potential dwell span they must be fed the right meals. I’m usually contacted by individuals who want to personal a bearded dragon, and who need to know if there may be any different to feeding them dwell meals. The reply is a really particular NO. Though many pet outlets inventory dried meals which is meant to be for bearded dragons, I’ve by no means heard of 1 that truly will eat this. I’ve tried to feed it to mine however I feel they’d quite starve! The quantity and sort of dwell meals they want adjustments as they develop from hatchling to grownup. When first hatched they’re nearly completely carnivorous. When grownup they’re 80% vegetarian. In any respect levels of their lives they need to have the right stability of greens/fruit and dwell meals. When a juvenile is bought and introduced dwelling from the breeder or pet store you will need to all the time provide finely chopped greens/fruit. The rule of thumb when feeding bearded dragons is to verify no meals provided is bigger than the hole between their eyes. This goes for the scale of dwell meals provided, in addition to the inexperienced stuff. If a juvenile has been correctly fed from hatching it will likely be used to all the time have a bowl of veg in its enclosure, which it would peck at if there’s nothing higher on provide. Juvenile bearded dragons are sometimes much like human toddlers – seemingly allergic to something inexperienced! But when they have been used to it they’re going to usually proceed to munch on salad and greens all through their rising interval. Some beardies refuse to the touch greens – some (together with mine!) have been recognized by no means to eat it when their house owners are watching as if by pretending they’re ravenous they’re going to be provided one thing extra tasty. However finally all of them succumb and eat it and, when grownup, it will likely be their staple food plan. If in case you have a juvenile who will not contact the stuff, don’t fret. He’ll get there in time, and although it is disappointing to spend your time chopping meals that is not eaten, you could persevere. It is best to try to number of completely different greens and fruit – some beardies like some issues, others do not. Cabbage, combined salad leaves, curly kale, peppers, candy potato, grapes, apples, carrots are all meals which could enchantment to a beardie. Experiment with objects that you just eat and see what yours likes. Bearded dragons ought to by no means be fed avocado, and keep away from objects with a excessive moisture content material comparable to iceburg lettuce, cucumber or tomatoes which is able to trigger diarrhoea. These reptiles have an astonishing charge of development – they develop 4000 instances in measurement from hatching to grownup, and will attain full measurement between 12 and 18 months. To help this large development charge they need to have copious quantities of protein which may solely be provided by a essential food plan of dwell meals. When deciding whether or not that is the pet for you, you should consider the price of their meals. Throughout their first 12 months of dwell they value as a lot as a cat and a few canines to feed. There’s additionally the issue of acquiring dwell meals – however if you happen to do not dwell close to a suitably stocked pet store mail order may be very environment friendly, and you’ll arrange an everyday order with most on-line suppliers. The fundamental dwell meals food plan is crickets. These are available two sorts – brown, and black. Black are supposedly silent, however you will nonetheless get the odd one that may chirp all evening. Each are nutritious. Crickets, as different bugs, are available numerous sizes known as instars. As a cricket grows it sheds its pores and skin. First instar crickets are the smallest, after which they enhance in measurement by numerous sheds till they attain grownup measurement. Do not feed crickets that are too huge in your bearded dragon (keep in mind the hole between the eyes rule), however conversely, if you happen to try to provide crickets which can be too small he won’t be thinking about them. All dwell meals must be intestine fed – this merely means feeding them the identical greens that you’re providing your beardie. Therefore even when he is not eager on greens, he’ll be getting the goodness by consuming the crickets. When rising quickly they need to be fed dwell meals three instances a day up till the age of about four months – as many as they’ll eat in a 10 minute session every time. This may be diminished to 2 feeds, after which to 1 when the beardie is an efficient measurement – round 6 to eight months. It’s troublesome to provide any particular ages as all bearded dragons develop at completely different charges. As they’re such voracious eaters crickets are really helpful as they’re the most affordable to purchase. Bearded dragons want calcium complement – day by day till they’re grownup, after which about weekly thereafter. Calcium powder is sprinkled on their meals. With out further calcium they’re more likely to develop Metabolic Bone Illness (MBD) which causes deformities of their bone development, and is usually deadly. Prevention is much better than making an attempt to treatment it. It’s completely potential to feed crickets and mud them with calcium powder with out having to the touch them through the use of a Cricket Keeper. You empty the crickets from the bathtub they arrive in into the keeper, and put greens and water into it. Pots of water usually are not really helpful because the crickets are more likely to drown in it, as a substitute you should purchase Bug Gel, or just put in cotton wool balls soaked in water. Cricket Keepers have 4 black tubes. The crickets go up the tubes as they like being at nighttime. When it is feeding time you merely raise out one of many tubes, spinkle some calcium complement down the tube, put one thing excessive and shake vigorously. This coats the crickets evenly with calcium powder, and likewise barely stuns them which makes them slower and simpler for the beardie to catch. You may also decelerate crickets by placing them within the fridge for a couple of minutes earlier than feeding. Most beardies can catch them anyway, however some have issue at first, so slower transferring crickets might be useful. As beardies develop they’ll transfer on to locusts or roaches. A roach colony might be stored at dwelling, and so you may breed your individual dwell meals and make feeding less expensive although not everybody desires to do that. Locusts are way more tasty to a bearded dragon, and likewise costlier to purchase. For those who begin feeding these too early it’s possible you’ll discover he will not return to consuming crickets, and therefore it will likely be far costlier. For that cause I like to recommend staying with crickets so long as potential. As adults they may solely want livefood two or thrice every week. As soon as they’re absolutely grown an excessive amount of protein will overload their inside organs so if you happen to overfeed you may be killing them with kindness. Meal worms shouldn’t be given to bearded dragons. They do like them, however their skins are excessive in chitin which is difficult to digest, and they aren’t as nutritious as crickets or locusts. Morio worms are substitute, however I might nonetheless stick to crickets as a staple food plan. Silk worms will also be fed day by day, however once more are costlier. Wax worms are solely to be given as a deal with as they’re very wealthy. They do love them in the best way we like chocolate! Bear in mind, feeding your bearded dragon the right meals for every stage of its life is vital, however equally so is having your vivarium arrange appropriately. The basking temperature must be proper because it helps them digest their meals correctly, and a robust UVB gentle is important so that they get enough nutritional vitamins. Fed appropriately and stored in the correct situations, your bearded dragon ought to dwell to a ripe previous age and be your companion for a few years to return.