Rio Reptiles
Rio Reptiles - A Rescue Resort

 
Food Size & Feeding Guide


Up to 3 Months

Food must be smaller than the size of the space between your dragons eyes and dusted with calcium once daily and supplements twice per week.

 Baby to

1 month, 3/8", 2 months 1/2", 3 months up to 5/8" Crickets

 Juvie

Phoenix Worms

 

Baby roaches or nymphs up to 1/2"

 

Feed insects 3 or 4 times per day as much as they can eat for 10 to 15 minutes only offering 1 or 2 crickets at a time. A baby dragon should eat around 10 to 20 crickets per feeding. If your dragon seem uninterested in chasing the crickets, remove the back legs or make them easy to catch. Hand feeding will encourage your dragon to eat more if there is concern.

 

VARIETY of Collard, Escarole, Dandelion, Kale, Turnip Greens, Chikory and Winter Squashes, Butternut, Acorn, etc, cut very small

  Nature Zone Dragon Bites

 

Offer greens daily in morning

Problems Many young dragons will stop eating or eat less when they arrive in their new homes sometimes causing slow weight gain or even some loss. It is very important to be able to offer them more than just crickets in order to encourage consistent eating. Roaches and Phoenix worms are two of the best alternatives and should always remain available to them on occasion.

3 to 6 Months

Food must be smaller than the size of the space between your dragons eyes and dusted with calcium once per day and supplements twice per week.

 Juvie to

1/2" to 5/8"Crickets

 Sub Adult

Phoenix Worms, Silkworms, Butter Worms, Baby Superworms

 

Medium roaches or nymphs

 

Feed insects 2 or 3 times per day as much as they can eat for 10 to 15 minutes only offering 1 or 2 crickets at a time. A juvie should eat at least 20 to 30 crickets per feeding to maintain good growth. Many dragons will get bored with chasing crickets after the first few are offered, try hand feeding using tweezers to get your dragon to eat more or offer more variety.

 

VARIETY of Collard, Escarole, Dandelion, Kale, Turnip Greens, Chikory and Winter Squashes, Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Summer Squash

  Nature Zone Dragon Bites

 

Greens in morning or offer daily increasing as they get older

  Once juvies are on the right track and eating well, they will usually eat anything you put in front of them. During this growth phase their appetites seem never ending so it is important to feed them well to maximize growth and proper nourishment.

6 Months to

Most healthy dragons this age can eat fully grown crickets and roaches. Dust with calcium once daily for 5 days per week and supplements 2 days per week.

1 Year

1/2 to Adult Crickets

 Sub Adult

Phoenix Worms, Silkworms, Horn Worms, Butter Worms, Super Worms*

 

Roaches or nymphs

 

Feed insects 1 or 2 times per day as much as they can eat for 10 to 15 minutes only offering 1 or 2 crickets at a time. A sub adult dragon should be eating around 30 crickets or per feeding to maintain proper nutrition and growth.

 

VARIETY of Collard, Escarole, Dandelion, Kale, Turnip Greens, Chikory and Winter Squashes, Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Summer Squash

  Nature Zone Dragon Bites

 

Offer large bowl of greens in morning, refill as often as needed later

Do not allow uneaten crickets to stay in your dragons enclosure!

     
  It is very important that you feed your beardie a variety of insects, this will help them get the proper nutrition naturally as if they were in the wild.

Aside from having feeding fresh greens with high Calcium to Phosphorus ratio (Ca:P), always available to your bearded dragon, they will always need a good source of protein.  Being omnivores, dragons of all ages enjoy a variety of worms, crickets and roaches.  A young beardies diet will be comprised of 80% insects and 20% veggies until they are around a year old.  After a year or sometimes earlier, dragons will gradually migrate towards eating approximately 80% greens and  20% insects eating them maybe 3 or 4 times per week.  
 
  CRICKETS - If you are buying crickets from the pet store your total food bill can add up quickly.  A young dragon can eat up to 30 crickets three times daily.  That’s almost 100 crickets!  You might find it beneficial to buy larger quantities from a cricket farm and setup a 10 gallon aquarium to keep them in.  They can be purchased in quantities of 500 to 2000 per box and the box contains the egg flats needed to house them.  When they arrive, just cut off one end of the box and slide the egg flats into the aquarium.  Provide a dry food source, water crystals, occasional fresh fruit or vegetable and clean out the droppings and sheds every couple days.  
  ROACHES - Another great insect to feed are roaches.  They are available in several species and aren’t for the faint of heart.  One of the advantages is their high meat to shell ratio, less shell means more digestable food availability.  They are also easier to feed and it takes less of them to fill an adult dragon up.  Roaches can be purchased outright or you can start a colony and breed your own.  Ultimately this could result in free food for the life of your dragon.  Keep in mind, an established roach colony eats about as much as a small dog every day.  They require fresh fruits and vegetables daily and water crystals make a good water source.  The key to a succesful colony is heat and humidity.  Roaches are native to tropical areas so the use of an under tank heater will help a colony thrive.  
  SILKWORMS - These are great feeders and can be very fun to raise.  They are available over the internet and can be purchased as eggs to raise yourself or as growing worms in all sizes.  Raising them can be somewhat of a challenge but is easily mastered with time and patience.  Since silkworms only food source is the leaves of mulberry trees, a special mixture known as silkworm chow can be obtained and cooked for raising them in captivity.  It is important that their environment stay clean and dry, as they can be very sensitive to contaminants such as mold and bacteria.  The eggs are very tiny but once hatched, grow very quickly when a constant food supply is available.  When they reach the desired size, food can be held back for up to several days to halt their growth temporarily.  If allowed to grow to full size they will spin a cocoon and eventually become a moth that can breed and start the whole cycle again.  
  PHOENIX WORMS -  A calcium rich soft bodied grub that are fairly new to the feeder market.  They are the larvae of the black soldier fly and even the large size is edible by a 6 inch dragon.  They are also great for animals with calcium deficiencies because they are naturally rich in calcium as well as growing juveniles and gravid females.  They aren’t very big so even a small dragon can eat a lot of them at one time so it’s probably better to feed them on occasion or as part of a dragons daily insect meal.   If fed as a staple these could make your food bill a bit high.  
 

SUPERWORMS -  Looking like huge meal worms, these are a great staple worm for adult dragons, they are fairly large in size, affordable, and easy to keep.  Most pet stores carry superworms in small tubs so they are easy to obtain as well.  They can also be bred and raised fairly easily if your willing to do the research and set it up.  These worms should never be fed to small dragons under the length of 16 inches. 

WAX WORMS -   are larger soft bodied worms, larvae of wax moths, are a great occasional feeder or treat.  They are high in  fat so should be fed as a treat or when trying to fatten a malnourished dragon.  They are available from most feeder suppliers at a low cost and should be kept at 55 to 65 degrees for best results. 

BUTTER WORMS - Another large soft bodied worm that is the larvae of a moth.  They can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months so they are very easy to keep and make a good treat or to add variety to your dragons diet.  They are similar to wax worms but are a lot bigger in size and can have up to 43 percent calcium content.  They have a fruity smell and are a red to yellow color so there is no way a dragon could resist one.

 HORNWORMS - Another fat and very soft bodied worm.  Only specific hornworms are edible by dragons so be cautious and only buy the correct type, never feed hornworms found in gardens or on tomato plants.  These can be expensive and not as easily obtained but are still a good worm for providing nutrition and variety to your dragons diet.

 

 

 

 

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