4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

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4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby KLB85 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:59 am

Hi there, I'm new here and have just gotten a baby Beardie a week ago. I didn't know it at the time, but after some research, I've realized that my baby was sold to me too young - at 3 weeks old. So I'm doing tons of research to make sure she has everything she needs to be healthy and thrive. She (or he) wouldn't eat for the first few days, so we put her in a quiet room and tried not to disturb her too much, to allow her to de-stress. We fed her everyday, but she wouldn't eat until the 3rd day. When we put some dubias in there (nymph sized) and she ate 6! But since then she ate 4 the next day, then 2, then 3, etc. When I put them in her tank, I put them in a dish that they can't escape from, so she can jump in there whenever she wants to get some. She usually looks pretty interested in the morning when I put them in, but will only eat 1, then 1 or 2 more later in the day. Is this enough? She is pooping and we are giving her water daily from our finger, which we will lick off. She spends most of her time basking and seems alert. It's only been a week, so perhaps she's still a bit stressed, but I just want to ensure she is eating enough. Thanks!!
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:42 pm

Welcome to the forum! It sounds like you're on the right track and she is progressing pretty well. Don't worry too much about the amount she is eating because it sounds like she is active/alert and is eating something which is good. She will eat at different rates over time so just make food available as you've been doing and let her dictate what she needs. It's good that you're giving her some space to settle in and relax. Hopefully she will be settled and ready to interact soon but don't push too much. I would track her weight (in grams) using a kitchen scale so you can get a good idea about her progress. Her weight should be trending upward over time (it may increase and decrease from day to day which is fine). If you'd like me to review her setup I'd be glad to. Just post details and maybe some photos of what you have set up for her. You can upload photos here https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ and post them to your thread using the XIMG button when you reply.
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby KLB85 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks I really appreciate your detailed reply! Regarding the scale, she's not keep on being picked up and is quite scared if we try. I don't want to stress her to much trying, so I will probably try weighing her in the next week or two once she's settled in a bit more. I keep a close eye on her belly to make sure it's looking nice and plump. I can see a difference in her size and belly in just the 1 weeks I've had her, so that's a good start! I'll post a picture of her habitat shortly :)
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Sounds good. The weigh in isn't worth the stress if she still doesn't like handling so it's fine to hold off. It's a good tool to keep in mind in the future.
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby KLB85 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:08 pm

Here's a picture of her tank. She's currently in a 10 gallon because she's so small, I don't want to overwhelm her with too much space, but she will be moved up as she grows. We purchased a Sunblaster ballast which rests on top of her tank at the back and I was able to source an Arcadia UV bulb because I read these were the best. Her heat lamp is over her branches, which is her fav place to hang out. The white dish below is where I keep her dubias because it's too high for them to climb and long enough for her to jump in and get them. She has slate tiles below and paper towel on the other side. She has a hidey home, which she's never gone in..I don't think she knows she can go in it, but sometimes she sits on it :) She has a water dish, which she never uses, but she licks water off the tip of our finger daily, to make sure she's hydrated. I usually have some greens in there, but she never eats them. Hopefully she'll start one day soon! I added a picture of her too, she seems to be plumping up, which makes me happy! :D Let me know what you think of her habitat!

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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:15 pm

The arcadia 12% is an excellent bulb and the sunblaster is a good choice for a fixture. It's incredibly powerful for such a small tank though. She won't easily be able to get away from it. The goal should be to provide a gradient for both UVB and heat so she has areas that are warm with lots of UVB and areas that are cooler with little to no UVB. She wouldn't be overwhelmed by a larger tank for very long and the extra space will let her roam around a bit and will allow you to create heat and UVB gradients much more easily. Petco is having their tank sale right now so it may be a good idea to go pick up a 40g breeder tank which would be a very good option for her until she is fully grown.
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby KLB85 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:54 pm

Hmm that's confusing, because I've read in many places that the UV light should extend the entire length of their tank, minimum 80% of their tank. I understood that they need a cool side to escape the heat of their light, I've never read that they need to escape UV?
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:05 pm

They tend to move around a bit during the course of the day so I find it's best to provide them with zones. You want at least two zones (four is better). High heat, High UVB, Low Heat, Low UVB and perhaps High Heat Low UVB and UVB with low heat. I've been running some informal tests outside of the tank using mercury vapor bulbs at different heights along with halogen flood lights and find that during different times of the day my dragon prefers different combinations of heat and UVB. That's why I usually advise providing as many choices as you can.
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby KLB85 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Sounds like a good idea, I'm sure they'll choose what they like best if you give them the options. I'm definitely planning on making her habitat more interesting for her when we build her a large wooden vivarium. I'm planning on doing numerous ledges and branches and open area and hides, so she has a range of terrain to choose from. I'll incorporate some different lighting options zones throughout her habitat as well, sounds like a good idea :) Thanks!
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Re: 4 week old Beardie - Eating too little?

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:28 pm

That sounds like it will be a really nice setup =)
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