Quick Change in Eating Habits

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Quick Change in Eating Habits

Postby suziquetn » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:20 pm

I'm a newbie in the word of beardies and while I think things are going great, I'm concerned about a sudden change in behavior. I believe Critter is about 6 months old and is about 10 inches long. He looks great and until 3 days ago, had very predictable behavior except sometimes where he chose to sleep.

His diet has consisted of small crickets in the morning, a salad around mid day and crickets in the evening. I feed him til he looses interest. He has never been a fan of chasing the crickets when they go to the back of the habitat but will usually scurry around to grab them in the front. In the evening my daughter puts calcium on 4-6 crickets 5 days a week. The salads are are made of a mix turnip or mustard greens, bok choy, dandilion greens etc (I usually vary 2 per week) with occasional veggies or fruit and he is always willing to eat it.

Lately, he has been pooping every other day and sometimes going 3 days. I usually give him grapes or other good fruit/veggie to increase the his water content. 3 days ago he seemed to lose interest in any crickets. They can even walk right over his front foot and he ignores them. He is still eating his salad and he did eat meal worms out of a bowl yesterday and today.

Any words of wisdom? I don't know if I should be worried or not. Thanks in advance for any help or advise you can give.
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Re: Quick Change in Eating Habits

Postby Drache613 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:14 pm


Welcome to the world of beardies! It sounds like you are doing a great job & that he has plenty
of variety of foods, too. If you can also run over your tank setup, such as the type/brand of UVB
as well as the temperature & size of tank along with your supplementation for him, that would be great. Feel free to post pictures, as well
so we can see him & his home.
At or around 6-7 months, they can start to get bored with foods & want something different. Also
this time of year a lot of them tend to go through a brief slowdown period. While he probably wont
go through a full fledge brumation, he may go through a lazy period of time where he doesn't eat
much & wants to lay around some. The weather doesn't help matters, either.
Has he been blackbearding at all, or not?

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Re: Quick Change in Eating Habits

Postby suziquetn » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:49 am

Thank you for your response!

Critter's habitat is a 40 gallon tank (sorry, it's time for a cleaning). I use a double bulb fixture with a 100W PowerSun UV bulb and a 26 W ExoTerra UVB 150. On the hot side, the temp stays around 92 degrees on the stone (it is stone, not plastic). At night and if the bulbs are off, it stays between 68-71 degrees. He sleeps around and will sometimes be on top of the tree or under it. Last night he just plopped on the floor.

I work from home so I usually turn on the lamp around 8am, feed him crickets around 9 or 10, salad between 12-2 and crickets again in the evening. My timing is not exactly consistant and sometimes varies based on our schedule. He is only pooping every 2 -3 days. I've been including grapes or other watery fruit/veggie to try and get him going. I use distilled water in his bowl. I spray him for a shower probably 5 days a week with distilled water which he seems to like. If there are crickets left in the cage at night, I try to get then out so they don't crawl on him. My daughter was dusting about 4 or 5 crickets with calcium about 5 days a week but we've held off on the calcium this week until I can figure out why he's not pooping.

About 3 days ago, he decided he has no interest in crickets except for the two I put in the bowl and held up to him on his log and even then he had to think about it. They can walk directly in front of them and he will barely look at them. He did scurry over to the mealworms yesterday and was very interested in them. My daughter said mealworms are the best nutritional food for him.

In the past week, he has drawn back 2 or 3 times like he was scared when I take the screen off but then I can pet him or feed him by hand and he's fine. Usually there isn't a reaction.

I think his colors are looking a little darker or muted like he may be getting ready to shed again. We have not given him a bath. Is tap water ok to bathe them in? I've been concerned about the chlorine/floride in case he decides to drink a bunch of it.

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Quick Change in Eating Habits

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:48 pm

You might want to set the PowerSun from an adjustable lamp stand and remove the top so the screen isn't intercepting the UVB and you can get some slightly higher temps (only if no other animals are in the house). Nighttime temps sound fine as they are. Shedding can have him off his appetite too so I'd keep an eye on that.

I wouldn't bother with baths unless he gets stinky and really needs it, especially if they are stressful. Tap water is fine though and they can drink it without a problem. Bath water should feel just slightly warm to the inside of your wrist.
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