Crickets, mealworms, romaine lettuce

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Jsw

Hatchling Member
Is that enough for now? His previous people fed live crickets and mealworms twice a day and left a bowl of dried worms & pellets 24/7 and fed lettuce and other veggies occasionally. I know I'll have to change it eventually but for now can I keep it while I work out other issues? It all seems a bit overwhelming to take in at once, and he seems to have been fine the last two years on this diet.

It feels like feeding him Purina dog kibble instead of high quality commercial food or a balanced homemade dog food, not ideal but not gonna kill him right away.
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
The crickets are good, but most people say that mealworms and romaine are not the most nutritious thing for bearded dragons. It would be better if you could find him some collard, turnip, or mustard greens. Roaches (blaptica dubia) are more nutritious than mealworms, but they are also more expensive and sometimes harder to get, depending on where you are. In the meantime, some calcium and vitamin supplements might help. Also, if he's over 2 years old, most of his diet should be veggies and greens, as much variety as you can manage. But, as you say, if he's been doing ok on the diet he's used to, you probably don't have an emergency on your hands.

I have a 4 year old beardie who refuses to eat enough veggies, but the last time we had him at the vet, he checked out to be in reasonably good health, so go figure. They're omnivores, so they probably have some ability to adapt to a diet that's less than ideal.

Hope this helps a little...
 

kornel351

Hatchling Member
Remaine lettuce is a no no it's mostly just water you would be feeding your dragon but also starving it with lettuce it holds no nutritional value .For the mealworms if he is a adult then it's not much of a problem but their hard shells can cause impaction. Roaches are worth the money more than crickets they are more balanced, nutritious ,less messy and breed in numbers if kept in optimal conditions.
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Hi. Mealworms are not very nutritional. They can not eat through your beardies stomach. You can try dubia, silk worms and Phoenix worms. As for greens here is a site that can help you establish a good base for a salad beautifuldragons.com. it has a color coded chart.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
destiny1998":1keu96je said:
Hi. Mealworms are not very nutritional. They can not eat through your beardies stomach. <<<< that's an old wife's tail, never seen any definitive proof this can happen, they are pretty well killed off in the chewing process and when they hit the acid in the lizard's stomache. They are indeed junk food for most lizards though and should only be used as treats (for beardies).
You can try dubia, silk worms and Phoenix worms. As for greens here is a site that can help you establish a good base for a salad beautifuldragons.com. it has a color coded chart.
 

Jsw

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you for the information.

I went to a salad bar and got a variety of things from the beautifuldragons site's list. He seems to like acorn squash, blueberries, peas, green peppers, and grapes okay, but mealworms are his favorite. I haven't wanted to starve him, so I've been giving in and offering him mealworms after he refuses his veggies for a few hours. Am I creating a picky dragon just like you can create a picky dog by giving in to food preferences like that?
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
At his age, he's probably not going to starve or even suffer very much if you withhold the worms for as much as several days, and make sure he has access to veggies at all times during the day so he can eat them when he gets hungry. Given a choice, most bearded dragons will fill up on as many insects as they can get and then not be hungry for anything else. They always seem to be more interested in something that's moving, or at least ours does.

Our beardie only gets crickets and roaches once a week, on the recommendation of our reptile vet, in the hope that he will get hungry enough during the rest of the week to eat some veggies, and we still have trouble getting him to eat more than a few bites of greens every few days. You're actually lucky that yours seems to like a variety of different fruits and vegetables, because variety is a good thing nutritionwise. The salad bar sounds like a good idea. In fact, thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I should try that too.

I think that some bearded dragons would probably be finicky eaters no matter what you do; it's just the way they're wired, and they all seem to have their own individual food preferences just like people and dogs. But you probably could make it worse by letting him eat too much of what he likes best, especially if it's something that isn't particularly good for him.

(This from a human who behaves as if the 4 basic food groups are sugar, salt, grease, and chocolate, and doesn't eat enough veggies herself :wink: )
 

Rankins

Gray-bearded Member
Dragons can get addicted to certain foods and can be stubborn about change. A few mealworm treats are not an issue, but they can't make up the main portion of the diet. 80% veggies, 20% insect protein (not 20% mealworms) are optimal for an adult dragon. When I was breeding them I totally stopped giving any insects after the dragons were full grown. It worked out well for the several years I was breeding them. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try it with the Rankins. I got a couple months to decide because they are still under a year old. But the cool thing is I have witnessed a bunch of mating attempts...and I may have actually missed some successful matings. So hopefully in a few months I'll have some babies :)
 

Jsw

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the information. I'll give him a variety of veggie options in the morning and just leave it there for the day, cut out the mealworms, and scale back the crickets.

How about water? I've been dribbling him with water (I think I need to get a spray bottle) and he's had one bath, but I noticed his tongue isn't very sticky anymore, and I wondered if that was a sign of dehydration.
 

Rankins

Gray-bearded Member
If the dragon is eating vegetables they will get a good portion of hydration that way. A lot of people give baths about once a week...
Spray bottles work also as long as its not going to make a moldy saturated mess in the enclosure. I use to spritz babies down 4-5 times a day, but babies dehydrate easily. I don't spray my Rankins down...I'm not opposed to it though. I just use sand in my enclosure and don't want sand stuck all over them. But they eat thier greens daily...so its not needed anyway.
 

Rankins

Gray-bearded Member
Forgot to address the pellet food....I have never really used it. I'm sure quality isn't the same for all brands, without knowing what is actually in the pellets I can't offer much of an opinion on it. However, I would probably just feed it to the roaches and crickets as a gut load. For the most part if your feeding the dragon healthy greens and healthy bugs...the pellet food is money better spent on lights or something else more important.
 

Jsw

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I found some acorn squash and collard greens and chopped that up fine. They were the only two things on the feed daily list that I could find. I mixed them with a small amount of peas and bell pepper (which seem to be his favorite veggies) and froze them in mini muffin tins.

I'm thinking I'll give him one mini muffin worth plus a few other tidbits and a couple of crickets per day and toss out what he doesn't eat each evening before bed. I'm looking for a source of hornworms and silkworms.
 

ruben0311

Juvie Member
if he likes romaine lettuce then let him eat it, most people see it as "just water" however it is actually full of good vitamins, fiber and minerals. You definitely want to give him foods that will fill him up however and that is where the variety comes in... go ahead and feed whatever you have available, the key is to mix it up and throw in a few odd ball veggies every so often. chopping the greens up and mixing together is surefire way to ensure he doesnt get picky and only eats what he wants to eat. the main positives for mustard, collard, etc, is that they provide a good deal of calcium and magnesium etc and also proteins, so definitely get him going on those.
 
NO NO NO

Any lettuce can give most animals the "poops", and mealworms have hard exoskeletons that can be difficult to digest.

I understand that sometimes it's difficult to offer a "perfect" diet, and in no way, shape, or form do I think Lucy has the perfect diet. However, variety is key.

A simple, affordable solution would be kale, crickets, and superworms (if he/she is full grown). It's a little controversial, but Lucy LOVES baby food. I go with the all natural kind and always check to make sure there's simple ingredients. Each jar is only $1 or so and it has a long shelf life. Superworms seem to live longer than crickets for me, too. A quick google search can let you know what you can and can't feed your beardie.

Here's a link to the food guide that I basically live by...

http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutritionframeset.html
 
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