Does your dragon ‘cook’ their greens and berries?

Spider8ait1994

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Posting a question here out of curiosity.
I have two rescue dragons and the younger one who’s estimated to be about 5 and a half years old now does this a lot.
To begin with he wouldn’t eat greens at all but he now eats them fine (although he’s picky about what he likes) but I’ve noticed some interesting behaviour.
I’ll supply him fresh greens and occasionally some blueberries and he eats usually half of it fresh but leaves the rest of it to ‘cook’ under his light and heating setup.
I’ve watched him and every day he check this food he’s left to ‘cook’ and if he decides they’re not how he wants them he leaves them another day but if they’re ‘done’ when he checks again he’ll eat them then and there.
He always does it with blueberries and will do it most of the time with peas, corn and pieces of green bean specifically.
It’s really like he’s worked out if he leaves these things for a few days they get crunchy (in the case of the peas, corn and beans) or change taste (in the case of berries).
I’ve also seen him do it with other food items like he’s testing to see what ‘cooks well’ and what’s better eaten fresh.
From watching him it’s definitely consistent and intentional behaviour and I’m curious if anyone else has noticed their beardies doing this?
 

ChileanTaco

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
Interesting :) I also love observing my dragon's behavior in detail, BTW.
First: Mine doesn't do so, as he only likes his food super fresh. He's preferring greens from a live plant if possible.

But what you mention, I think that's totally within the mental capacities of a bearded dragon. It's said they are one of the smartest reptiles, there are studies that show they can even learn from what's shown in a video (like: dragon in videos opens a difficult to open door, they imitate). So recognizing "food left longer tastes like this" and "I can wait" doesn't seem to me outside of such abilities.
Also many people, including me, have made the observation that they easily learn that their human might offer different insects if they wait (only dubias? don't eat, wait if human offers superworms, waxworms). I learnt to be careful regarding this, "if today it's dubias, it's dubias".
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Posting a question here out of curiosity.
I have two rescue dragons and the younger one who’s estimated to be about 5 and a half years old now does this a lot.
To begin with he wouldn’t eat greens at all but he now eats them fine (although he’s picky about what he likes) but I’ve noticed some interesting behaviour.
I’ll supply him fresh greens and occasionally some blueberries and he eats usually half of it fresh but leaves the rest of it to ‘cook’ under his light and heating setup.
I’ve watched him and every day he check this food he’s left to ‘cook’ and if he decides they’re not how he wants them he leaves them another day but if they’re ‘done’ when he checks again he’ll eat them then and there.
He always does it with blueberries and will do it most of the time with peas, corn and pieces of green bean specifically.
It’s really like he’s worked out if he leaves these things for a few days they get crunchy (in the case of the peas, corn and beans) or change taste (in the case of berries).
I’ve also seen him do it with other food items like he’s testing to see what ‘cooks well’ and what’s better eaten fresh.
From watching him it’s definitely consistent and intentional behaviour and I’m curious if anyone else has noticed their beardies doing this?
Wow, thats interesting, I keep telling people they're smarter than given credit.
 

ChileanTaco

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
I'd read about them liking them "crispy" before, but thought this means super fresh and crisp like a nice salad for humans, and that would make sense. But that's... wilted, and then sticking to something while it dries out :D My dragon refuses to eat that. I also always have some pieces of carrot in his insect bowl, and he never tried one of these pieces - they dry out during the day.
 

Spider8ait1994

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Wow, thats interesting, I keep telling people they're smarter than given credit.
Definitely. Both my dragons actually bathroom trained themselves because they figured out that I give them outside time on the grass most days and going out there is better than going inside so it wasn’t even a month before they were both waiting until they’re outside to go and I find they both have their own very specific spot in the yard they like so they’ll go and search their spot out and only go there.
Both of them figured out to use the beds I made them so they know they can lay on the mat and put their heads on the little pillow.
And my older guy Spike picked up very quickly his new assisted feeding routine.
I’ve also found they have very good memories so when I first got them and gave them roaming time in the house I found that once they’d worked out where things were they seemed to remember this and go exactly where they wanted without wrong turns such as a specific window in the afternoons and a different window with better sun in the mornings etc
A lot of people think reptile and associate it with very basic primal intelligence (aka minimal instincts) but they’re actually very smart observant creatures and it always makes me wonder just what goes on in their heads and how much they understand about things around them from piecing what they observe together.
 

ChileanTaco

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
I can't give mine outside time on some grass (no grass here :D) but he also has bathroom-trained himself: Only poops at the front of the enclosure (and not only somewhere close to the front but in fact at one of two specific locations) where I can more easily remove the poo and also see the poo sooner.

His good memory: Can also agree on this. I guess having this kind of good memory is essential for their survival in the wild where one has to know good basking spots, hides, where do insects show up and plants grow and, I have no proof but could think of it, also when (during the day, during the year).

I agree: So many people think reptiles are dumb and emotionless (heard it often, e.g. people assume I got him as a "replacement" for a furry pet which might not have worked out, like, I might have preferred a cat but it wasn't possible - which is in fact not the case).
Very smart and observant: That's it. And tons of emotions! I always wonder why people think there isn't much of smarts and emotions with reptiles - how would they survive in the desert without? I for sure wouldn't say a bearded dragon communicates less emotions than e.g. a cat does.

And yes, this
Spider8ait1994 said:
and it always makes me wonder just what goes on in their heads and how much they understand about things around them from piecing what they observe together.
is also what I'm thinking often, but generally about pets and wild animals: What are their conceptions they have from us? E.g. for my bearded dragon: What does he think of me changing clothes and that it's not changing colors like he does? (He saw me putting on and off jackets for example.)
What is he thinking about me doing things that resemble none of his habits - like, me reading a book or me doing some crafts?
How does he perceive me giving him food? Some animals/pets who are raised by their parents might see us as "parents" or "hunting partners", but as a bearded dragon, he never had parents caring for him and feeding him, so that a being bigger than him giving him food must be a rather artificial concept*.
Also how other pets and animals perceive us? What are their misconceptions about us?
I also see their adaption to living with a human and thus overcoming many instincts (including that: learning to take food from a human, where no being in the wild would share with them, learning that being picked up is a good thing, where in the wild there would never be anything good in this (other with an animal who is raised by their parents who might pick them up)) as how their smarts show.

*For fun, I call myself w.r.t. him his "wormgiver" :D
 
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Spider8ait1994

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I can't give mine outside time on some grass (no grass here :D) but he also has bathroom-trained himself: Only poops at the front of the enclosure (and not only somewhere close to the front but in fact at one of two specific locations) where I can more easily remove the poo and also see the poo sooner.

His good memory: Can also agree on this. I guess having this kind of good memory is essential for their survival in the wild where one has to know good basking spots, hides, where do insects show up and plants grow and, I have no proof but could think of it, also when (during the day, during the year).

I agree: So many people think reptiles are dumb and emotionless (heard it often, e.g. people assume I got him as a "replacement" for a furry pet which might not have worked out, like, I might have preferred a cat but it wasn't possible - which is in fact not the case).
Very smart and observant: That's it. And tons of emotions! I always wonder why people think there isn't much of smarts and emotions with reptiles - how would they survive in the desert without? I for sure wouldn't say a bearded dragon communicates less emotions than e.g. a cat does.

And yes, this

is also what I'm thinking often, but generally about pets and wild animals: What are their conceptions they have from us? E.g. for my bearded dragon: What does he think of me changing clothes and that it's not changing colors like he does? (He saw me putting on and off jackets for example.)
What is he thinking about me doing things that resemble none of his habits - like, me reading a book or me doing some crafts?
How does he perceive me giving him food? Some animals/pets who are raised by their parents might see us as "parents" or "hunting partners", but as a bearded dragon, he never had parents caring for him and feeding him, so that a being bigger than him giving him food must be a rather artificial concept*.
Also how other pets and animals perceive us? What are their misconceptions about us?
I also see their adaption to living with a human and thus overcoming many instincts (including that: learning to take food from a human, where no being in the wild would share with them, learning that being picked up is a good thing, where in the wild there would never be anything good in this (other with an animal who is raised by their parents who might pick them up)) as how their smarts show.

*For fun, I call myself w.r.t. him his "wormgiver" :D
Oh I can tell you they have their opinions on clothing. I live with family my mother has one specific shirt my eldest HATES. If he sees it he head bobs and acts like he wants to fight it.
He does the same with my fathers shoes (crocs 😂).
I’ve also noticed a similar thing in wild water dragons here. Just last year I walked through an area where there was a lot of those around and I happened to be wearing a shirt with a red logo on the chest. One of the males I came across started challenging me as they would a rival male because with this species males show red coloration on the chest for courting purposes and will challenge each other particularly during breeding season.
I have facial hair as well and my hair color is dark so I did find they had opinions on that too. They don’t like it shaves because they don’t like the prickly feeling and they don’t like it long because it tickles them when they cuddle up but if I keep it trimmed to just the right length where it’s not prickly but not overly long they don’t mind it.
As for your lack of grass I wonder if you got a bit of artificial turf (astroturf) and laid that down?
I used that for my younger dragon initially because he wasn’t too sure about grass touching him at first so I used the artificial turf mat to gradually introduce him to grass touching him
 

ChileanTaco

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
I used that for my younger dragon initially because he wasn’t too sure about grass touching him at first so I used the artificial turf mat to gradually introduce him to grass touching him
We're here in the Atacama desert (the city is Antofagasta), and there is just no grass, or forest, meadow, garden with soil instead of keeping everything in pots, as it's just not surviving.
Very different to the situation of relatives in Germany (where I'm from originally) who also have a bearded dragon, live on the countryside and take their dragon out into their garden and "outdoors" automatically means "grass".

But: He has a great view of the desert from two windows, access to a sunny balcony (supervised, of course) and a nice enclosure. Once he's a bit bigger, I can take him for hikes in the desert.
 

ChileanTaco

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
Oh I can tell you they have their opinions on clothing. I live with family my mother has one specific shirt my eldest HATES. If he sees it he head bobs and acts like he wants to fight it.
He does the same with my fathers shoes (crocs 😂).
I’ve also noticed a similar thing in wild water dragons here. Just last year I walked through an area where there was a lot of those around and I happened to be wearing a shirt with a red logo on the chest. One of the males I came across started challenging me as they would a rival male because with this species males show red coloration on the chest for courting purposes and will challenge each other particularly during breeding season.
I have facial hair as well and my hair color is dark so I did find they had opinions on that too. They don’t like it shaves because they don’t like the prickly feeling and they don’t like it long because it tickles them when they cuddle up but if I keep it trimmed to just the right length where it’s not prickly but not overly long they don’t mind it.
As for your lack of grass I wonder if you got a bit of artificial turf (astroturf) and laid that down?
I used that for my younger dragon initially because he wasn’t too sure about grass touching him at first so I used the artificial turf mat to gradually introduce him to grass touching him
Regarding the color red: Once my husband was wearing a red t-shirt when we went to the reptile store. It's obvious what happened :D

I'm just always wondering what they might think of us being able to take this stuff (= clothes, hats, glasses...) off. Wearing a differently colored shirt might be interpreted as "changed the color", but when they see e.g. one is removing this hoodie, jacket.... from their body and now it hangs there over the chair.


Regarding the grass:

It is not an issue of me not having a garden but there being grass all around or so, like somebody living in a tiny city apartment in Europe or such.
We're here in the Atacama desert (the city is Antofagasta), and there is just no grass, or forest, meadow, garden with soil instead of keeping everything in pots, as it's just not surviving. So there it's just not required to "introduce" him to some grass because he will never see or touch the real thing.
Very different to the situation of relatives in Germany (where I'm from originally) who also have a bearded dragon, live on the countryside and take their dragon out into their garden and "outdoors" automatically means "grass".
But: He has a great view of the desert from two windows, access to a sunny balcony (supervised, of course) and a nice enclosure. Once he's a bit bigger, I can take him for hikes in the desert. And I personally also don't like astroturf for myself, but rather enjoy the nice succulents (that's what is growing so well here) on the balcony.
(And in general: I like the idea of introducing a dragon who has a fear of grass but just will be around grass and touching it when being outdoors to it gradually with astroturf.)
 
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Xjrosie

Hatchling Member
Thor here doesn't like fresh greens either. I try to put fresh ones in before he wakes up, and hopefully they're to his liking by the time he's warmed up enough to eat. I don't normally leave his dish in overnight. I take it out so he won't eat anything too close to when his lights turn off, but sometimes I forget.
1000001332.jpg
 

Lyrebird.Rainwing

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Swordtail
L
Thor here doesn't like fresh greens either. I try to put fresh ones in before he wakes up, and hopefully they're to his liking by the time he's warmed up enough to eat. I don't normally leave his dish in overnight. I take it out so he won't eat anything too close to when his lights turn off, but sometimes I forget.
View attachment 88464
They're just taking a salad bath, that's all
 

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