rukita wrote:Hey guys, so this is extremely weird but my bearded dragon loves his carrots and refuses to eat crickets. He is approx 4 months old ( according to the person who sold him to me) but he is extremely small, 7 inches, and he is losing a lot of weight. i got him about a month ago and he was eating properly and growing well, but for about 2 weeks recently he has only been eating carrots and eats about 15 crickets every 3 or 4 days. i know that their diet switches when they are older, but is he not too young to be eating veggies all the time? I have also been noticing that he hides in dark areas in his vivarium? is this odd?
please help, I am so concerned and cannot find much help anywhere.
Should be seeing something like
If you are not :
1. Check the temps are right. basking spot at about 40 degrees Celsius.
2. check the UV is at least rated at 10%UVB and close enough to ensure he's getting very high / extreme UV A AND B .
3. make sure the lights are long enough for the little guy to get ample to bask and soak up those wonderful UV rays so he can digest his food and metabolise his dietary calcium adequately to produce enough vitD and grow more beardie bones and tissues and more of him. If he has a nap mid avo no worries , he'll be back for more food later and more basking and sunbaking. I find a 16 hr period per day is good for my beardies .
I started to see Peppa and Toothless doing similar feeding behaviours at about 3 months and I brought a quick stop to this , I opted to control their veg intake by holding it back until late in the afternoon so they would have to eat their crickets. I also adjusted their feeding schedule to the following
>> am (about 3 - 4 after lights on) big meal of live crickets (a few at a time until they lost interest), I'd handfeed the first of each of crickets first up = bonding ritual + ensured they have the taste for more bugs when returned to their tanks) ... Peppa and Toothless were each eating up to 20 x 1/3 sized gutloaded and dusted crickets in this meal .
>> mid pm either
>>>>>>> smaller feed of crickets (2/3 or 1/2 the number of the am feed) then I'd give them their greens and grated veg to nibble on in the evening and overnight.
>>>>>>> 8-10 small (1.5 inch) or 4-6 medium (2 inch) silkworms on a fresh mulberry leaf presented in the salad bowl with with greens and grated veg.
>>>>>>> 6 small or 2 - 3 medium silkworms + 10x 1/3 sized crickets + greens & grate veg.
Carrots are a great source of hydration , but have virtually zero protein content. Your little guy is malnarished , and his conditioning is wasting away.'
NOTE also carrots are high in phosphorus , have quite a poor Ca/P , and this excess phosphorus will bind the dietary calcium he will be getting from his few crickets per day .... not a good situation for young beardie.
You might need to consider giving him a high potency reptile supplement such as HerpaBoost http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/vetafarm_herpaboost
or equivalent by syringe feeding , or even Oxbow Carnovore Care http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/produc ... bject=1609
by syringe feeding +
You will likely have problems forcing him to open his mouth to enable you to give these by regular syringe (even if you actually get them to squirt out the business end as the bores on these are very small and not designed to allow flow of thick liquids or slurries) . The vet should have suitable sized crop needles in stock (only need to really get the end past his teeth and into his mouth) , http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/crop_me ... dles_birds
and a proper large bore feeding syringe http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/reusabl ... inge_birds
And since he's not getting enough calcium from his current diet , you will likely need some liquid calcium (I've used http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/vetafar ... supplement
with sick/injured rescued lizards with great results).
His behavior is likely a consequence of incorrect temperatures and UVA levels (too low), and not eating enough of the foods he needs to be active, healthy and grow.
He is way to young to switch over to predominantly greens and vegs (this wont happen for another year or so , ie Toothless has become a great greens eater in the last month or so, before them he only ate them under sufferance and if daddy shoved them into his mouth between crickets (and he usually spat them out !!!).
Variety in feeders is helpful in avoiding the hatchlings getting bored with same feeder insects day in day out.
ALSO stick to a predictable routine - for beardies routine is everything.
CBDs: Puff ( RIP 10Dec2015 (3.2 years old (aneurism)) ,Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 at 4.6 yrs old (unexplained death)) , both adopted at 6wks old..Toothless & Peppa : (5 wks old 19dec2015).
Eastern BT Skinks : George & Mildred (born Sept 2010).
Eastern Water Skinks : Lucky (wild juvenile), rescued from a cat.Taken by a SI and far too soon, 9mths with us. RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles - (rescued injured), small lizard thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016.)