How many roaches a day?

PumpkinPie

Member
My Beardie is 7 months old and just recently started growing like crazy. She’s not interested in any veggies or fruits right now no matter what I offer, I’ve even tried the bee pollen sprinkle on it. But she has a very steady diet of 3/4 inch medium Dubia roaches. I feed her twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, in all she eats about 40-50 bugs a day. Some people have told me that’s normal and some have told me she should only be eating 20 a day. She’s not fat, and she’s actively growing and running around. How many is the typical amount for them to eat as they grow?
 

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smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
It can really depend on the dragon, but 40-50 in a day doesn't seem completely out of bounds for that age. The most common rule of thumb I've seen for juveniles that are still growing would be as many as they can eat in a 15 minute feeding time. I always just did however many until he stopped, I didn't really worry too much about timing it. They do need the protein and fat while they are growing so don't be too concerned about overfeeding at this stage. Once she gets to be about a year old and the growth slows down you can start cutting back to once a day or every other day for bugs. Once she is full grown by about 18 months old, you can do bugs 2-3 times a week. The only concern I would have with using only dubias would be that they do store their uric acid and can pass it to the dragon, potentially leading to gout. This can be mitigated by feeding your roaches a low protein diet (no commercial roach or cricket chow) and adding some variety with different bugs like silkworms, black soldier fly larvae, superworms, hornworms, crickets, etc. The black soldier fly larvae are great at her age because they don't need to be dusted. They are a little small to be cost effective for adults, but for babies and juvies they are awesome as a staple. They work pretty well as a salad lure too. Sprinkle some on her salad in front of her and see if it entices her to try it out.
 

PumpkinPie

Member
Original Poster
It can really depend on the dragon, but 40-50 in a day doesn't seem completely out of bounds for that age. The most common rule of thumb I've seen for juveniles that are still growing would be as many as they can eat in a 15 minute feeding time. I always just did however many until he stopped, I didn't really worry too much about timing it. They do need the protein and fat while they are growing so don't be too concerned about overfeeding at this stage. Once she gets to be about a year old and the growth slows down you can start cutting back to once a day or every other day for bugs. Once she is full grown by about 18 months old, you can do bugs 2-3 times a week. The only concern I would have with using only dubias would be that they do store their uric acid and can pass it to the dragon, potentially leading to gout. This can be mitigated by feeding your roaches a low protein diet (no commercial roach or cricket chow) and adding some variety with different bugs like silkworms, black soldier fly larvae, superworms, hornworms, crickets, etc. The black soldier fly larvae are great at her age because they don't need to be dusted. They are a little small to be cost effective for adults, but for babies and juvies they are awesome as a staple. They work pretty well as a salad lure too. Sprinkle some on her salad in front of her and see if it entices her to try it out.

Thank you so much for the explained feeding as their growing! I’ll definitely keep this information on hand. I only feed my roaches carrots, so they should be better in that way. I’m willing to try anything at this point to get her to eat some veggies. Do they usually not show much veggie interest until their adults?
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
Thank you so much for the explained feeding as their growing! I’ll definitely keep this information on hand. I only feed my roaches carrots, so they should be better in that way. I’m willing to try anything at this point to get her to eat some veggies. Do they usually not show much veggie interest until their adults?
They're all different so it's hard to say what is usual, but for now just having them in the cage and having her used to it being there is good. You can try sneaking some in while she is munching on a roach. It seems like sometimes they don't know that it's food or are just stubborn about trying something new or whatever. That's how I got my guy to try butternut squash. I stuck a piece in his mouth while he was chewing on a bug. Now it is one of his favorite things. I also found that offering the salad at least an hour or two before the first bug feeding tended to encourage a little nibbling at least when he was a baby. Honestly I wouldn't stress yourself out over her not eating her greens that much at this point. If it continues to be a problem later after she is done growing, there are more "extreme" things that can be done like withholding bugs until she gets hungry enough to eat her salad, but that can wait.

Theoretically, a baby's diet should consist of 70-80% protein and 20-30% greens/fruit/veggies. This moves to 50/50 for subadult (12-18 months old usually) and flips entirely to 70-80% greens and 20-30% protein as full grown adults. These of course are all theoretical ideal numbers, and it is hard to match these numbers exactly in practice unless you are measuring everything and making slurries or something ridiculous like that. They are a good guideline though and should help to set a feeding schedule. As long as she's healthy, happy, poops well and is active, you're doing fine.
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
I almost forgot to mention, another good thing to do is to feed your leftover salad to your roaches or other bugs. That way she gets at least whatever is in the bug stomach even if she isn't eating the salad the first time around. Called gutloading and also helps reduce waste so you aren't throwing out so much.
 

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