Vitamins and Calcium

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Vitamins and Calcium

Postby clyde612 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:14 pm

I want to talk about how often beardies should be getting calcium and vitamins in their diet. I've been to some many different sites and they all have different numbers and opinions. It has come to my attention that I may have been giving my beardie too much calcium, so I'm going to back down. I read on a website that babies should be getting calcium supplements 7 days a week, but the website did not specify if it meant every meal or once a day. I usually mix the roaches with calcium (every meal) in a separate bin, so he has only been eating the calcium that actually sicks onto the bugs, there's not a lot of access in the bowl, not sure if that makes a difference. Anyways, is it safer to air on the side of less calcium or more calcium? More vitamins or less vitamins. I also have a multi vitamin with beta carotene (instead of vitamin A) that I give maybe every other day, and will give less as he gets older.

And then there is Calcium with D3. I have a ReptiSun 10 HO T5. I only give him the calcium with D3 once a week (instead of plain calcium). Do beardies with proper lighting need this? Is it a good idea to supplement some D3 or safer not to?

I feel bad that I have been maybe giving him too much calcium, but I've read so so much and I just want some clearer answers on vitamins so I know what to do in the future, especially as he grows up and needs less vitamins.
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Re: Vitamins and Calcium

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:24 pm

Supplementation can be a bit controversial. I think that's because there isn't a ton of data available on it. The way I see things, if they have a high quality UVB like a T5 at a proper distance (producing 3-6UVI) then they should be able to produce D3 on their own and I use plain calcium. Otherwise I use calcium with D3 or an all in one like Repashy Calcium plus.

I think of the supplements as a way to make up for deficiencies in the captive bugs in terms of vitamins and minerals that they would likely have in the wild. I give a light, even coat of supplement on each bug feeding. If you have a younger dragon who eats more bugs than an adult then you could probably reduce this to once a day or maybe every other day. Adults (and younger dragons) who eat lots of veges will get much of their vitamins and other nutrients from that. Salads don't need supplementation because they are nutrient rich on their own. It boils down to making up for a lack of nutrients in captive bugs, that's all.
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Re: Vitamins and Calcium

Postby clyde612 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:42 pm

Thanks for the insight. I had another question about veggies. I was reading Claudiusx's post about babies needing to learn to eat veggies. My guy is a juvenile and I started feeding him greens right way (at 2 months) but I could only find endive, which turns out do be a lot less bitter than collard greens or kale. He loves endive but won't eat collard greens, kale, anything dark green and bitter. Today I tried skipping some feeding to get him to eat his collard greens, I did end up giving him 5 roaches in the morning after I though he may have eaten some greens (not a lot) and 2 for dinner. I usually give him 6-8 three times a day. I offered him like 4 fresh salads throughout the day and he practically didn't touch them. Should I keep skipping meals until he eats his greens? Is he too little (4months) for that? Should I just feed him endive instead? It seems like endive is much less nutritious than the dark leafy greens...

I'm also going to be gone for half the day tomorrow and I am wondering if its a bad idea to leave greens in his cage, what is he decides to eat them after they've gone off?
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Re: Vitamins and Calcium

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:59 pm

At 4 months I probably wouldn't withhold food but the advice to try offering veges at a young age is good. Just try offering some different things. Try cutting squash into little worm shapes. I've had good luck doing that. Try chopping green beans into crunchy little bite sized pieces and see how those go over. They each have their individual preferences and even those change from time to time, so just keep offering variety and let them take what they want. Offering a choice of a well balanced diet is the main thing.
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Re: Vitamins and Calcium

Postby clyde612 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:26 pm

CooperDragon wrote:Try cutting squash into little worm shapes. I've had good luck doing that. :D

SO cute. What do you think about endive/escarole as a staple leafy green? Endive seems pretty watery and lacking... Is it less nutritious than other leafy greens that are darker?
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Re: Vitamins and Calcium

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:09 pm

Both seem to be good options, but I haven't tried them. Variety is best when you can. I usually reference this list http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html and just rotate in what looks good at the store at a given time (along with the personal favorites like squash).
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