Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Discuss topics of food for your beardies here.

Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby MrSpectrum » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:32 am

The prevailing wisdom--as I understand it--is not to feed a BD anything larger than the space between their eyes, lest it not go down their gullet and they choke. This has not been my personal experience, so how valid is it, or is it just one of those things like, "Never eat anything larger than your head," etc.? :shock:

I followed it in general, until my first mail-order of dubias, and basically any/all mealies. giant mealies, and supers. My first order of dubias was for 3/8", and while probably 2/3 were that size or smaller, a fair number were considerably larger--up to an inch. Even when he was quite small, ZaRDoZ had no trouble munch-munch-munching them down, even going for the largest ones first. At first I was a little concerned his eyes might be bigger than his stomach, but he had no problems munching, swallowing, or at the other end. Same for all the worms. Now that he's grown some, the smallest meal worms are of a size that would fit between his eyes, but they're long gone. Currently, the space between his eyes is about ¾". His large super worms are easily running 1½" to 2", and again--no problemo. Sometimes he slurps 'em like spaghetti, and sometimes he bites them in the middle and they go down folded in half.

The only thing I make sure is that small anymore are pieces of salad, because if they won't fit entirely in his mouth, they either fall out or he spits them out and I find them all over the enclosure.

So is ZaRDoZ an outlier, or has anyone else had similar experiences? Is this "guideline" a lot of hooey?
Does it only apply to certain (e.g. crickets, locusts/grasshoppers) feeders, or what?
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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby DragonPete » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:46 am

MrSpectrum wrote:The prevailing wisdom--as I understand it--is not to feed a BD anything larger than the space between their eyes, lest it not go down their gullet and they choke. This has not been my personal experience, so how valid is it, or is it just one of those things like, "Never eat anything larger than your head," etc.? :shock:

I followed it in general, until my first mail-order of dubias, and basically any/all mealies. giant mealies, and supers. My first order of dubias was for 3/8", and while probably 2/3 were that size or smaller, a fair number were considerably larger--up to an inch. Even when he was quite small, ZaRDoZ had no trouble munch-munch-munching them down, even going for the largest ones first. At first I was a little concerned his eyes might be bigger than his stomach, but he had no problems munching, swallowing, or at the other end. Same for all the worms. Now that he's grown some, the smallest meal worms are of a size that would fit between his eyes, but they're long gone. Currently, the space between his eyes is about ¾". His large super worms are easily running 1½" to 2", and again--no problemo. Sometimes he slurps 'em like spaghetti, and sometimes he bites them in the middle and they go down folded in half.

The only thing I make sure is that small anymore are pieces of salad, because if they won't fit entirely in his mouth, they either fall out or he spits them out and I find them all over the enclosure.

So is ZaRDoZ an outlier, or has anyone else had similar experiences? Is this "guideline" a lot of hooey?
Does it only apply to certain (e.g. crickets, locusts/grasshoppers) feeders, or what?

Maybe that's just for tiny babies? With Supers at 2 inches, how many adult Beardies have 2 inches between their eyes? Of course if you measure the other way, width instead of length, 2 in worm is nothing. I dunno.🤔
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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby Claudiusx » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:53 am

It comes down to more of a general guideline to give to people who are new to the hobby and just starting out. Just like telling someone to get their basking temp to 105-110 for a baby. With more time and experience and knowledge of your particular dragon, you might find that he likes it warmer or cooler than that. But the general guideline is a good starting point.

And that's what it is with food too. It's just a general starting point when you dont know your dragon or have more experience.

For instance, 5 or 10 years ago the common recommendation was to not feed supers until your dragon is over 15 or 16 inches long. Once again, a good starting point, but far from a rule.

I'm sure you've realized that there are no real set in stone rules with dragon care. More so just guidelines to start you down your own path :)

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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:29 am

If it's soft bodied and squishy ( like a large silkworm ) down it goes and all that's left of it is bit of green dribble on the lips and throat .

If it's got a hard exoskeleton, then it's very wise to stick to the rule , but a dragon is perfectly capable of breaking down a bigger insect by bashing it apart against a hard surface.
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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby Wickedpogana » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:42 am

I have a juvie and he has eaten an adult hornworm he eats grasshoppers often way bigger then the space between also I offer him a whole piece or green to tear at as he please like twice a day that "rule" is just a myth had another beardie anf had no issues with the same care
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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby AHBD » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:06 pm

It's not a myth at all. For hatchlings it's mandatory, after 7-8" in length it's not as potentially dangerous.. I remember with one of my first clutches my cricket order came in on the large side of 1/4". As I fed them to some of my 2-3 week old babies a number of them soon became impacted and sadly died. I knew exactly what it was as I saw the ones become lethargic, strain to poo and were dead the next day. As the dragons get older /larger the danger is not as serious but who wants to make the mistake that can cause a prolapse or worse ? Without some guidelines many new owners would easily make the mistake , especially as they see pet stores that have crickets in the tank that are too large . As for dragons in the 13-14" range they can handle a certain number of superworms IF they are healthy and they have enough heat + time to digest them. Large dragons can easily scarf down a soft bodied adult hornworm that is 3-4" long. Some people [ I don't ] even feed their large beardies a mouse every now + then. But the between the eyes rule is a good one for all young dragons, better safe than sorry.
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Re: Can we talk about this "between the eyes" thing?

Postby DragonPete » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:12 pm

My feeling has always been it's more appropriate to the babies. I certainly wouldn't risk it if I had a little guy. With an adult I don't think it's as concerning. That just makes sense, I mean babies ARE babies after all.
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