Tad Cooper Says Hi!

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Tad Cooper Says Hi!

Postby Spanners80 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:39 am

Our son has been begging us for a bearded dragon for nearly a year. After proving he'd researched & was willing to handle the bugs etc. we agreed but decided to re-home a beardie instead of going to petsathome (we're in the UK).

Tad Cooper (nickname is already Nugget because he's dinky) arrived with his tank last weekend and I've retracted everything I say about lizards. He's gorgeous.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he's been thriving. We're told that he is 9 months old, but he's quite small compared to some posts here (he's roughly 15cm head to bum & another 15cm of tail) and wasn't really fussed about eating for a few days. We were given a tub of locusts as food which seemed way too big, so we now have a tank of crickets & hoppers chowing down on salad & fish food as their last meal, and are being both dusted & fed calcium. He's now eating around 15 each day and has clearly put on weight and has a proper belly on him :)

He eats peas, but seems utterly disinterested in any real vegetation (which makes me wonder if he's really 9 months, or just really flipping fussy).

Since arriving, we've thoroughly cleaned his tank - it's a 5ft wooden vivarium with glass front. It did have sand as substrate and stank to high heaven. He now has paper towels and my son & I have washed everything with pet safe disinfectant.

We're not sure what his temperatures were previously as he didn't have thermometers, but we're now at 27c in the cool bit & 35c at the basking end. We think that might be a bit cool, so have replaced his basking lamp today for a 100w bulb (it was 75w, but my son was able to touch it). He also has an Arcadia UV lamp (direct, no mesh) although we don't know it's age.

Tad is gradually getting used to us & now let's Charlie stroke his back and had his first bath this morning which he thoroughly enjoyed for 5 minutes before realising that he's meant to be grumpy and stomping off. He's nowhere near being picked up territory, but Charlie has taken to doing his homework next to the tank so Nugget can watch and get used to him.

If anyone knows anything else that we can be doing to help him settle and encourage healthy growth (& eating greens!) I'm open to advice :)
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Re: Tad Cooper Says Hi!

Postby BeardedDragonSteve » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:00 am

If you dont know how old the uvb is you should get a new one. Sounds like he is in good care and welcome to beardeddragon.org. You can make him eat his veggies by putting some Black Soldier Fly Larvae on top of the greens. You could use greens like collards, kale, arugula and lots of others, I would recommend for you to look at the beautifuldragons.com for nutrition information.
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Re: Tad Cooper Says Hi!

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:47 am

Upon not knowing age of UVB it is best to change it out before issues arise-- how are you taking basking temps? Infrared heat gun ? digital probe? or stick ons? The IR gun and digital probe are the best way to get accurate temps-- feeding salad first thing in the morning w/ the BSFL and 3 super worms small or medium will get him to the food bowl - feed your insects after he has eaten from his bowl for around 30-45 minutes for so then add your insects to the salad bowl so he is eating both --
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Re: Tad Cooper Says Hi!

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:19 am

As far as the veggies, it can be a struggle to convince our beardies that those are food. Keep offering a variety, and try the different tips and tricks you're sure to come across, and he should catch on at some point. Other than possibly needing to replace the UVB bulb, I think you're doing a great job of improving Nugget's health and helping him get settled in. I think you or Charlie could even start trying short stints of holding him - just slide a hand under him and make sure he feels fully supported and secure. He may grump about it , but as long as he doesn't seem completely stressed out, he will likely figure out it's actually not so bad. :0)
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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