new beardie owner

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new beardie owner

Postby ciaramcmullen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:58 pm

Hii everyone
i just got a new baby beardie less than a week ago from petsmart and i was seeing if anyone could answer a couple questions about him.
my first question is rex seems to not eat very much maybe only one time a day , is this normal for new babies ?
my second question is whenever i lean up close to the tank and start talking to him he comes up to where i am and cocks his head a couple times then closes his eyes , is this good behavior or normal ?
my third question is when should i start handling him like picking him up and etc most the time he doesn’t seem to mind me petting him but i’m so nervous and get startled easily when i try to pick him up
my last question i swear lol rex seems to scratch his head a lot on his wooden cave why is that ?
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Re: new beardie owner

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 am

Relocation stress is cause for slow eating -- but he should not quit eating all together --- lets go over your lighting in the tank -- if your using a coil bulb they are inadequate for a 40+ gallon tank and should be replaced ASAP- basking temps should be 105-110 and taken w/ a digital probe thermometer- No stick ons they are inaccurate -- he should be eating as many insects in a 10-15 minute time frame dusted w/ calcium D3 5 x per week and vitamins 2 x per week -- he also needs salads every morning and every day - you may need lures to get him to the salad bowl - I can help w/ that - you will need a glass or ceramic bowl so worms and insects cannot get out -- there should be NO colored bulbs as well -coming to the front to the tank is curiosity and is normal - you need to go slow w/ handling him a little at a time so he gets used to you and his surroundings - he needs to learn to trust you and it may take some time - approach from the side not over head he will think your a predator-- you can take a piece of clothing or small fleece blanket and put in his hide so he gets used to your smell - if hes scratching his head on his decor hes probably gonna go into shed -- try hand feeding worms or some salad to get him used to your hand and have your hand in his tank as much as possible to get him used to you --- I would not take him out for long periods of time just so he can acclimate to his surroundings --
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Re: new beardie owner

Postby ciaramcmullen » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:44 am

he has a bigger tank i’m not quite sure how many gallons exactly but definitely bigger than 10 gallons his lighting / temps are all where they are suppose to be he’s going to the bathroom everyday so i know he’s digesting it good he just refuses to eat majority of the time and all the time with his greens i’ve tried force feeding greens leaving them in the tank but nothing seems to get him interested in the greens rn i’m still trying with the crickets everyday hoping he’ll start eating more and more maybe it’s the way i’m feeding him too though i feed him crickets one by one bc i don’t want to have to kill a bunch of the ones he won’t eat is this a good way or does it effect him negatively
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Re: new beardie owner

Postby ComicBookMama » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:17 am

ciaramcmullen wrote:Hii everyone
i just got a new baby beardie less than a week ago from petsmart and i was seeing if anyone could answer a couple questions about him.
my first question is rex seems to not eat very much maybe only one time a day , is this normal for new babies ?
my second question is whenever i lean up close to the tank and start talking to him he comes up to where i am and cocks his head a couple times then closes his eyes , is this good behavior or normal ?
my third question is when should i start handling him like picking him up and etc most the time he doesn’t seem to mind me petting him but i’m so nervous and get startled easily when i try to pick him up
my last question i swear lol rex seems to scratch his head a lot on his wooden cave why is that ?


1) Yes, relocation stress will definitely put a baby off its feed for a bit. How old is Rex? Try offering small numbers of bugs 3x a day and have a salad available throughout the day. Babies may not eat much salad - though you can also try hand-feeding it, and might have more success. Use Karrie's trick with the worms on the salad to lure him in. I recommend BSFL - aka Phoenix worms, Nutrigrubs, CalciWorms - for babies. They're a bit pricey, depending on where you get them (most expensive from the Phoenix Worm store; I buy from DubiaRoaches.com) but are pretty much the BEST feeders for little dragons out there; they're so naturally high in Calcium that you don't have to dust them with anything (except vitamins on the recommended schedule).

Try to vary your feeders... remember that you can't leave crickets in the hab with your dragon, so a separate feeding bin for them might be good. Or you can buy a cricket-specific feeding cup, which minimizes (but doesn't prevent) crickets roaming in the hab. Many of us start off feeding crickets because they're convenient and available through pet stores, but eventually go over to Dubia roaches for a ton of reasons.

2) Talking to your dragon is a great way to build trust, and it does sound like he's enjoying it! I don't know why they close their eyes; sometimes it's a sign of relaxation and trust (I think this is the case for you) and sometimes it means "please stop doing what you're doing and leave me alone." Dragonspeake is hard for us primates to understand!

3) If you got him a week ago, you can probably start handling him now, in short, frequent, positive sessions. Conventional wisdom is that you want to give a new dragon about a week of no handling to settle in. Remember that little guys move very fast and think that the laws of gravity don't apply to them - so handle while seated, or over a soft surface, or in the tank. Short and frequent are the way to go, with hand feeding in between.

4) Head scratching might be that he's coming on to a shed... or it could be mites. Some pet stores are infested with the nasty little bugs. Keep an eye out for small red or black moving dots on your dragon or around the edges of his tank.

You might want to post a pic of your setup so we can help you out with the housing basics... lighting and substrate and such. If you bought a dragon starter kit, there is a LOT in those that you don't need or don't want to use, sadly.

Enjoy you new little guy, and welcome to the forum! This is the best place online for dragon advice, and the members here ROCK. :D
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