Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Discuss topics of food for your beardies here.

Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby nursecoffey » Sun May 17, 2020 9:58 am

Hi! First time posting and needing some advice...

We have a 6-8 month old male beardie who has been quite finicky when it comes to eating as of late. I feel like we’re kind of at an impasse with him on trying to get him to eat consistently and it’s been driving both me and my husband a bit nuts.

Tank: 20 gallon, 30”x12”x12” (will be replacing with a 75 gallon, 48”x18”x18” in early June; they are currently back ordered)
Cool End: 83 degrees (temps taken with an infrared thermometer)
Basking Spot: 108 degrees (temps taken with an infrared thermometer)
UV Light: Reptisun 10.0 tube in a ZooMed hood
Vegetables: Collard and mustard greens offered primarily, kale offered occasionally, bell peppers, carrots, squash, and cilantro offered for interest and color.
Feeders: Have attempted superworms, BSFL, dubia roaches, and hornworms. Have had most luck with superworms but he eats them very inconsistently. Some days he may eat 5 or 6, some days he may eat 2 or 3. Some days or may eat 1 or none. The first day we tried dubia roaches he ate 5 or 6 and then refused them from then on out. He would not eat the hornworms. Maybe ate 1 or 2 BSFL.
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby CooperDragon » Sun May 17, 2020 10:28 am

It sounds like you're offering a very nice variety. Your temperature gradient sounds good and you have a good UVB light. Can you post some photos of him and his enclosure? You can upload photos here https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ and post them to your thread using the XIMG button when you reply.

Has he been losing any weight? Sometimes their appetite is inconsistent but if their weight remains stable and they are active and alert they are fine. It's good to keep a log of their weight so you can monitor how it is trending over time. It's usually a good indicator of overall health.
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby nursecoffey » Sun May 17, 2020 11:54 am

I’ve included what his setup looks like. Let me know if you want close ups if anything in particular. He’s alert and he’s a generally active and curious boy who gets up to all kinds of shenanigans in his salad bowl.

We haven’t been weighing him as we don’t have a scale, but can certainly pick one up and keep an eye on it. We can definitely tell that he has been growing and getting larger just by looking at him and handling him every day.

We’re just at a bit of a loss because we have another beardie who basically inhales anything that gets within a three foot radius of her enclosure so we’ve never had to deal with a beardie who turns their nose up at every feeder under the sun.

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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby Draven88 » Sun May 17, 2020 12:36 pm

Everything looks normal there with 1 possible exception and I say possible because my perception of distance in the picture may be off. How far from the basking spot is your UVB there? Given thats a 12" height tank it may be a little close. The was he is shown hiding under the salad made me wonder if hes trying to get away from it by instinct knowing he had enough UVB.

Good to hear you are working on a size upgrade for him as he is going to need some more space. Appetite can vary and a few days as mentioned is really not a problem. They can go much longer than that during brumation without showing interest in food, and he does appear to be doing ok size wise going from the photos.

A small kitchen scale that can weigh in grams works great for keeping an eye on their weight. Preferable one with a function to zero it as it can be easier to get an accurate reading by zeroing with a small tub on the scale then adding your beardie to the tub If they wont sit still on it for you.
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby nursecoffey » Sun May 17, 2020 6:34 pm

Thanks for the great question, Draven88! His UV light measures at 10.5-11” from where he typically basks, at the closest point it is 7.5-8” though he doesn’t spend much time up there after he has warmed up in the mornings. His lights (including the UV) are on a timer from 0600-2000 if that makes any big difference at all. If you think it would help we can definitely try to adjust them higher.

He doesn’t typically spend much time under his salad, I just thought it was a cute picture that highlighted his weirdo personality. He burrowed in that way just before bed and slept that way all night that night if I remember correctly. He does, lounges in his salad bowl on top of his greens frequently; what that indicates, if anything, I have no idea.

Thanks for of encouragement and advice, we’re hoping that we’ll find something that works for him eventually and that maybe this is just one of those picky eater phases like toddlers go through.
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby Draven88 » Sun May 17, 2020 7:19 pm

I would say that given it is over a screen which will hinder some of the UVB that the distance is within a good range. And as you mentioned this all could be a phase that he will simply pop out of but it is always good to monitor everything.

You have of course mentioned a great variety of foods that you offer which is great. I am however not sure how you normally feed, if its by hand for insects or in a dish. I have 6 dragons with 6 different personalities and feeding habits, and I have noticed that with a some they will go for it no matter what, while the others will sit there and stare at a dubia until its moves fast enough for their liking and then snatch it up like its the only thing they have found to eat in a week (despite they may have just stared at it for 5 minutes waiting for it to move). Its the same for other feeders, but dubia are the worst as they will play dead and not move for the longest time. I use escape proof dishes for the dubia and BSFL when i feed, unfortunately https://www.joshsfrogs.com/josh-s-frog-s-no-escape-porcelain-food-dish-large.html is currently out of stock but for example it has a lip at the top that curves back in making it nearly impossible to climb out of. If they aren't showing interest i will gently shake the dish making the dubia scurry around and generally that works.

For the salad fruits are kept minimal in favor of veggies, but if he has a favorite fruit that he would go for you can try squeezing some of the juice from the fruit around the salad to give it tat smell and some taste. I also will lightly mist salad if they have left it for a while, once it started to dry out or wilt many wont bother with it.
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby DragonPete » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:57 am

Love the pic in the salad dish! 😆 But makes me wonder if he likes to burrow under things? I think I'd get a plastic container, maybe 2-3 times the size of his salad dish and 3-4 inches deep and add some strips of micro fleece cut about 1/2 inch to an inch wide and maybe 4-6 inches long. Maybe add enough to make it half full and see if he likes burrowing in it or sleeping in it. 👍 Cheap little project and it might just make for a happy Dragon. 🤗
Just a thought. 😊
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Re: Beardie Doesn’t Want To Eat

Postby nursecoffey » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:50 am

Great idea Dee! We’ll give that a try and see how he likes it. We have a “snuggle sack” that we let him use when he’s out and about (just a sewn fleece pouch for burrowing) and he loves crawling in and snuggling down into it. He loves finding the craziest places to squeeze himself into for sure 🙃
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