Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

This forum is for discussing topics of caring for and breeding feeders (crickets, roaches, etc.) for those interested in raising their own bearded dragon live feeders.

Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby kakequinn » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:03 am


I talked to my mom about Dubia, but she has said no those..She doesn't want any roaches in the house which sucks, but I have no say and I really don't want to take her offer on "saving up to get something that doesn't eat roaches." I really want a beardie and figured I'd try what seemed to be the best feeder...Too bad on those getting thrown out the window. :banghead:

So what are the next best things?I don't really want to buy crickets in bulk because they stink, they are loud when big and they may also die out of no where and don't live long...if I can't even deal with 24 crickets, how can I deal with more? :lol:

I was thinking of worms?I figure I should(or would, I don't know if it matters but figured it'd be nice) offer a variety of worms so I was wondering what kind would be best to mix and use as staples?Or if you have any other suggestions or opinions that'd be great.
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby destiny1998 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:31 am

Hi. Well you could do phoenix worms/Reptiworms , hornworms and silkworms are all good.
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby unkempt1 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:25 am

Just be ready to pay out the nose for feeders. Crickets, other than roaches, really are your best bet. Does your mom associate dubia with Georgia cockroaches? If so, maybe show her the difference. That's how I won my wife over. She still initially wasn't keen on the idea, but now she's pretty much forgotten that I have three colonies (I keep them in the closet of my reptile room). :lol:
I'm either a bearded dragon owner that has roach colonies to sustain her, or a roach colony owner that has a bearded dragon to keep the colonies in check. The jury's still out. :D
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby Malon3r » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:40 am

Phenix worms/repti worms are high in calcium and dont require dusting, some people still dust a few times a week as well as multivitamins of course, are low maintanence as they dont require any feeding unless you want to grow them as there is an article for that on these forums, (apparently dont smell) havent gotten any yet to confirm or deny, and can last for several months if kept in around 50-55F temperatures.

Other worms like silks are good but I have no knowledge on them as of right now so I will leave that to someone else
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby hiTimothy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:38 pm

I personally use a mix of dubias, BSFL (aka black soldier fly larve, aka calciworms, aka phoenix worms, aka reptiworms), butterworms, and the occasional silkworm, hornworm and superworm (for 16"+ dragons)

BSFL or whatever you want to call them, have incredibly high amounts of calcium, thus letting you feed them directly to your beardie without dusting them with additional calcium.
They can last up to 2 weeks kept at temperatures approximately around 50-55 degrees F (easily achievable by using wine/beer coolers)
They can get very costly, so it's best to feed them in addition to other insects. (or "breed" them yourself)

Butterworms (aka trevoworms) are another insect high in calcium, similar to the BSFL, they can be fed directly to your beardie without the need to dust them with calcium.
Though unlike the BSFL, they can be kept for long periods of time in the refrigerator.
And as with the BSFL, they can get costly, so feed them in addition to other insects.
(They cannot be bred, due to them being irradiated before they are imported to the states.)

Hornworms (aka goliath worms, aka tomato worms) I'm not sure whether or not you'd want to use them as a staple, because they have a high water content, and can cause watery poop, which isn't fun to clean up!
They can be used as a treat, or to re-hydrate your beardie.
They grow very big, very fast, so they're great for the larger sized beardies. Though they grow as much as you feed them. Feed them little, they grow little. Feed them copious amounts, they'll grow tremendously.
They can last up to 3 weeks at 75* F
If you have LARGE hornworms and don't have anything to feed it to, you can pop those in the fridge and they can last a couple more days.
(can be bred)

Silkworms, similar to the hornworm, grow as much as you feed them. Low in fat, and are relatively high in calcium, they are great soft bodied worms to feed.
They can grow up to 3 inches in length.
They should be kept from 78*-88* F
(can be bred)

Superworms, one of the easiest feeders to get, and can be incredibly cheap.
Though many advise you should wait to feed any beardies superworms until they are 16 inches or longer in length, due to a kink in their digestive tracks that have yet to lengthen out.
They have chitin, which is an exoskeleton unlike the other above mentioned worms, that can make it harder for the beardie to digest, though it is not impossible. They are also relatively high in fat compared to the other worms.
As a tropical species, they cannot be refrigerated, or they will die. Room temp up to 80* F is ideal.
(They are easy to breed, but require lots of time.)


So in short, best feeder insects IMO are Dubias, BSFL and butterworms.
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby kakequinn » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Wow!Thank you so much for all the help guys!I think once I can get a semi-steady amount of money I will start ordering worms.I will have to stick with crickets for now though, but once I can get money I will definitely start ordering worms for my guy.Thank you guys soo much! :D
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Re: Best feeders for a staple diet, besides roaches?

Postby imcallumwbu » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:41 am

Hi there, if you are looking for a worm diet for your beardie your best bet is to go for superworms, some will reccomend mealworms, but they can cause beardies impaction if eaten in high amounts, so they are a big no no, superworms are very similar but have a softer shell so are less likley to get stuck in your beardie. You could also try calci worms aka phonix worms/morio worms but you will pay through the nose for them and come in a horrible substrate that takes ages to seperate :banghead: , beside the fact that they are tiny, but by all means go for calci worms as they are nutritionally fantastic! Crickets however, you can buy silent brown crickets, in my personal opinion they are quiter (hence the name) not bad nutritionally, and a lot more pleseant and dont smell as bad as regular crickets. Most beardies will love locusts too, but these again are a hasstle to feed, just taking them out of the tub is he devils work as they jump everywhere, but theyre fun to watch your beardie eat, chasing them round the tank and all :lol:
But all in all, any of the above are totally fine to feed your beardie as a staple diet, it just depends on what you are really willing to do as they all have a whole host of horrible features, but dont forget, its good to give a beardie a mixed diet so all of the above are good to be fed as a little mixture! P.s. waxworms too are a nice little treat every now and again!
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