Feedback on diet?

catwu20

Member
Beardie name(s)
Ginger
Hey y'all, I'm sorry for clogging up the forum with my posts tonight but I really want to review how well I'm taking care of by 3yr old beardie, Ginger.

I've heard that adult dragons' diets should be 80% greens and 20% protein. Ginger always didn't seem to have that much of an appetite. Her previous owners only gave her lettuce and carrots, and she would only eat around 3~ whole leaves every day. The same with the food we feed her (escarole, collard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, various fruits, etc.) She would only eat around 3~ leaves maximum. Because of this I have been severly limiting her protein to keep this ratio. I would only feed her 5 crickets every other day, all dusted. This is the routine the previous owners had, too.

However, I'm worried that she's being underfed and not getting enough calcium (which I hear is around 1500mg/day). She will absolutely not eat more greens. I've tried hiding them, salad dressing, bee pollen, hand feeding, etc. This seems to be her limit.

I was wondering if I should increase the protein consumption? I've heard some owners let their beardie eat as many as they want within 15 minutes, which seems to be crazy disproportionate to the amount of greens she eats.

Also, for the 80/20 ratio, is it based on size or weight?

She's fully sized and looks pretty well-fed. At her last checkup the vet says she's generally healthy, just a little chunky (but not overweight). I would love to hear some input on my current routine, thank you everyone :)
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
At that age and if not underweight, you can try holding off on the bugs completely until she eats her salad. When she eats a good amount of salad, reward her with bugs. Keep this up until she is eating her salads routinely. You can also try supplementing with liquid calcium and vitamins in the meantime to make sure she is getting everything she needs. They will not let themselves starve as long as there isn't something else like infection or injury preventing them from eating.

As far as actual ratios, that is really just a guideline. It would be really difficult to get those numbers exact unless you're weighing everything and giving like balanced slurries or something. They will overeat bugs if you let them, but generally they are pretty good at self-regulating and getting what they need as long as they have the variety to choose from. If you are offering salads everyday and bugs like 2-3 times a week it should be fine. That is offering salads for 7 of the 9-10 meals and bugs for 2-3 of those meals, which works out to about 25-30% bugs and 70-75% greens.
 

catwu20

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ginger
At that age and if not underweight, you can try holding off on the bugs completely until she eats her salad. When she eats a good amount of salad, reward her with bugs. Keep this up until she is eating her salads routinely. You can also try supplementing with liquid calcium and vitamins in the meantime to make sure she is getting everything she needs. They will not let themselves starve as long as there isn't something else like infection or injury preventing them from eating.

As far as actual ratios, that is really just a guideline. It would be really difficult to get those numbers exact unless you're weighing everything and giving like balanced slurries or something. They will overeat bugs if you let them, but generally they are pretty good at self-regulating and getting what they need as long as they have the variety to choose from. If you are offering salads everyday and bugs like 2-3 times a week it should be fine. That is offering salads for 7 of the 9-10 meals and bugs for 2-3 of those meals, which works out to about 25-30% bugs and 70-75% greens.
That's funny haha the holding-off-bugs strategy is actually what I'm doing now, for the last week! Before she wouldn't eat a single piece of salad, so we had to do this. She's very responsive to it and has been eating ~4 leaves every day for the past couple of days. I'm very proud of her and I am thinking of reintroducing bugs.

I think the main reason she wouldn't eat salad was because she became too picky and figured out that she just needs to wait a few days to eat bugs again. I'm afraid she'll stop eating the salad after reintroducing the bugs, so I'll have to hold off on the bugs again if that happens. Hopefully she will get the message that she needs to eat salad first, and bugs are rewards. I'll introduce some variety too.

I'm afraid that she won't be able to self-regulate, and she will refuse the salad even more if I increase the bug amount. The schedule is fine - but do you think 5 crickets is enough?
 

hdochow

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
no worries on "clogging up the forum". that's what we are here for! you will find a ton of helpful people on here.

all good advice up there from smaugthebeardie.

sir henry of scales (just about 2 years old) will not eat anything dusted so we give liquid calcium 3x a week and liquid vitamins 1x a week. this is added to tart cherry juice which he has never refused so at least he's getting those in. he gets salads every day, which he either will or will not eat. up to him. 3 x a week he gets 3-5 dubia roaches. sometimes he will eat those, other times he will pass on them as well. tracking his weight is what gives peace of mind for the whole thing. if he's not losing weight, i don't worry about it. (we've been lucky and never had a period where he absolutely refuses to eat.)

a big part of eating is temperature and uvb levels because they run the digestion process, so make sure those are on point. we can help with that if needed.

here's a great link for foods just in case. it is recommended a lot on here. the only thing with it is the kale. put it up into the green level of good to eat all the time. Nutrition Content
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
no worries on "clogging up the forum". that's what we are here for! you will find a ton of helpful people on here.

all good advice up there from smaugthebeardie.

sir henry of scales (just about 2 years old) will not eat anything dusted so we give liquid calcium 3x a week and liquid vitamins 1x a week. this is added to tart cherry juice which he has never refused so at least he's getting those in. he gets salads every day, which he either will or will not eat. up to him. 3 x a week he gets 3-5 dubia roaches. sometimes he will eat those, other times he will pass on them as well. tracking his weight is what gives peace of mind for the whole thing. if he's not losing weight, i don't worry about it. (we've been lucky and never had a period where he absolutely refuses to eat.)

a big part of eating is temperature and uvb levels because they run the digestion process, so make sure those are on point. we can help with that if needed.

here's a great link for foods just in case. it is recommended a lot on here. the only thing with it is the kale. put it up into the green level of good to eat all the time. Nutrition Content
This is actually a good point about temperature. I was looking over OP profile and UV looks good, but cool side at 21 C is a little cool, closer to nighttime temps. Maybe try getting it up to about 26 or 27, and the basking up a point or two to 37 or 38? 36 isn't bad, but warming it up a little might help stimulate more of an appetite.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Still Needs Help

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

HELP what's happening with my beardie!!he has a lifted up scale and it has shedding in a circle around it I noticed it for the first time yesterday and I have no idea what it is and when I shine a flashlight on him it's yellow around the scale what do I doooo
substrate looks scrumptious
My female bearded dragon has recently started gasping for air all the time. She can’t get sleep or really do anything because she has such a difficult time breathing. I think it might be a RI but I’m not completely sure. Any thoughts?
Building a custom enclosure from an entertainment center. Can't wait to see how it ends up! Custom Build
setting up a tank for a garter snake in a few months!!

Forum statistics

Threads
152,386
Messages
1,222,452
Members
74,508
Latest member
Bustersbabybeardy2022
Top Bottom