Feeding/Drinking Question


Original Poster
Hi all - It's been awhile since I posted here and my little guy (well he's not so little anymore he's about 22"/23" long! He'll be two this coming September) has been doing well, but I feel like I've been having a battle of wills with him over food and water.

Tldr; my beardie seems healthy but is generally not wanting to eat his offered greens and won't drink clean water. He seems to prefer 'scavenging' for leaves outside and drinking river or rain water. Is there anything I can do? Or is he just like this?

After he did his first sort-of brumation (he'd sleep a few days and then be active for a few and repeat - it was weird and confusing) I've struggled with getting him to eat his greens. I give him collard and mustard greens (but I've tried offering kale, turnip greens, arugula, and I think a few other things?) And I'll sprinkle calcium on them sometimes (he used to really like calcium) and have tried using bee pollen (he seems pretty indifferent), but he'll just... not eat them. He's a giant fart and I can't get him to eat anything besides meal worms or superworms (He used to chow down on crickets, I've tried dubia roaches and black soldier fly larvae but he decidedly did not like them). I've tried to tough love him and only give him greens and offer only the healthier bugs, but he's stubborn enough to not fold. I give him a couple worms maybe once a week and offer him greens everyday. I have resorted to giving him some baby food (which he of course enjoys) when he just doesn't want the greens (I figured it was better than just worms).

Here's the thing: he's still pretty active and is really happy when he's hanging out and snuggling with me. He loves going outside and running around and 'helping' me work. He's not showing any signs of being sick that I can tell.

He also would rather eat and drink stuff that's outside. I do my best to keep him from eating anything outside but sometimes he just makes a beeline for a leaf and chows down (I've checked what he's eaten and it's all in the safe to eat category). He's also eaten and attempted to eat non food items (no issues thank god). He also would rather drink rain water and nasty river water than anything I offer him. I give him baths and drip water on hid nose and he does not care. He has a water bowl and I spray his food. Doesn't care. Doesn't care if I mist him. He hates baths, but loves swimming in the river and drinking water from it (I try to keep him from doing that, but if he starts I don't want to make him choke). He's drank water from puddles on the concrete or leftover rainwater hanging out in my window. Obviously this isn't good since both those water sources can have bad stuff in them.

Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to try and justify that I've tried other things with not much headway.

(I've attached a picture of him drinking rain water, happily hanging out by the river, and also just of him for reference)


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BD.org Sicko
Staff member
He looks happy and healthy in the photos. I'm guessing that he's just more into the adventure and active options outside (which is generally good). I'd probably try to keep him from drinking river water if you can, but some of them do love to swim and that's OK as long as you're keeping a close eye on him. I'd keep offering variety like you have been. Maybe cut back on the bugs to once a week (salads offered every day) and see how that goes. At this age he may not need as much to eat as you might think. Hand feeding his veges might help get his attention. If he is outside a lot then you could direct him to some safe to eat plants that he can go after and see how that goes.


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Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Another thing you can try is adding a little none citrus fruit juice or punch to give the water flavor. Be sure it's none citrus.
Use anf eyedropper to drip it on his snout. Be sure to use a wet cloth to wipe away any that runs down his chin. No need to take a chance on causing bacteria or fungus to start.

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