Never eats greens

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My beardie is now going on 3 years old and he never eats his greens. I had the hardest time feeding him as a baby. He wouldn't eat greens, crickets, wax worms, meal worms, none of the typical things I read about. I was lucky enough to finally come across hornworms one time at a reptile show I went to and much to my surprise he absolutely loved them. Now it is all he'll eat. For a while if I couldn't get any for a few days, he'd eat some crickets if he was really hungry but now he won't even do that. He gives a half ass attempt to get a couple, misses each time then gives up.

At this age, I know his main diet should be greens though. I've offered him greens every morning since he was born and he never touches them. I do put the hornworms on top of the greens and luckily they hang onto the greens when he gobbles them up but that's the only veggies he's ever eaten. Still not the 80/20 ratio he's supposed to be getting. What do I do? I read that it's also not good to starve them until they eat greens. I did read that chopping up fruit with the greens can help entice them. Is that my next step? I kinda doubt that will work. He doesn't show interest in anything that doesn't move. Is it really bad if he only ever eats hornworms?
 

Claudiusx

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Starving them isn't the term i'd use, as they can eat whenever they decide to, but that is an acceptable method to use with a healthy older dragon. We've seen it take some dragons over a week before they finally cave.

The thing is, they are smart. He's grown to learn, if he holds out long enough, he will get what he wants from you, which is hornworms. He's also smart enough not to let himself die of starvation. I would cut out the hornworms completely and offer him his salad every day and that's all he gets. He might put up a fuss for a few days, but it's not in their nature to let themselves starve. He knows he can eat his salad, he knows his salad is right there for him if he wants it. Once he gets hungry enough, or realizes the hornworms aren't coming, he will start eating his salad.

It's brought many stubborn dragons over to the salad eating side! :D

As long as the dragon is healthy, has no other health issues, and husbandry is fine, letting them go hungry until they decide they are hungry enough to eat their salad is fine. You aren't starving them, they can eat whenever they want. :)

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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Thanks so much for that response. Yes starving him was a bad way to put it. I couldn't imagine they would actually let themselves die out of stubbornness. He's gone as long as 4 days with no food before but I always cave and give him the worms. I guess I just need to get past that hump and see what happens. I'll start doing more of a variety of greens and adding fruits as well.
 

Claudiusx

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I knew what you meant :)

Weve seen it take over a week for them to finally give in. I believe weve had a few cases where they didnt eat till week 2. Of course who's to say if they didnt secretly nibble while no one was looking Haha. But the point is a normal healthy (stubborn) dragon wont starve itself to death :)

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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Is it time to freak out yet? I've tried everything. Different greens, different fruits every day. He will not touch anything. I'm honestly surprised he's still alive. I seriously worry every day I'm going to come home and find him dead. I'm freaking out. I can't do this anymore. I just ordered him his damn worms. That stubborn little turd is driving me nuts.

Is he secretly picking at his greens just a little bit and I can't tell anything is gone? I have no idea but it's been 3 weeks now since he's had protein and this can't be good. I'm putting my nest cam on him during the day to try and catch him eating. I don't know what else to do.
 

KarrieRee

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Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Have you weighed him to see if hes losing weight? Has he been tested for parasites which can cause them not to eat------------- I am just throwing some things out there since he wont eat anything at all basically------------ have you tried dubia roaches ? they are a great staple feeder - I would try them before giving him the horn worms
Karrie
 

Claudiusx

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Yeah that was going to be my suggestion. Has he lost any weight? It would be good to track, especially during this time. They can go for long periods of time without eating when they decide to. If he is acting normal and moving around id not worry too much. Although I know it is tough, especially when it's been so long.

I would bet he has been at least nibbling at the salads. What have they been consisting of?

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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I haven't weighed him in a while unfortunately. I thought about dubia roaches before but he's just so picky. I don't hear about to many beardies not liking Phoenix worms but mine won't touch them. Well he came close. He gave a very pathetic attempt to stick his tongue out at them and missed by a mile. He gave up after that and walked away. He doesn't seem to want to waste time with the small stuff. He loves those giant hornworms. How big are the dubia roaches? I might try them if they're pretty big.

I've been feeding him kale, mustard greens or collard greens with either strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. He is behaving normal. Pretty sure he's going through his brumaion cycle right now. He spends a lot of time on his cave during that and obviously isn't very active. Maybe that could also be contributing to how long he can hold out for the food he wants.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 

Claudiusx

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Yeah if he is brumating right now he won't eat at all. I'd weigh him now just to get a baseline. Does he look like he has lost weight?

I don't have much success with BSFL either.

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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Also, where's the best place to buy roaches from? I buy my worms from Josh's frogs but every time I look, theyre dubia roaches are all sold out.
 

Claudiusx

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Has he been acting like that since the beginning or only since you started only offering salads?

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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Pardon my ignorance. BSFL?
He looks the same. I still take him out and let him pass out outside of his cage whenever he's not in his cave when I get home so I still handle him as much as I can.

He's been very stubborn with his food since day one. He was very stressful as a baby. He wouldn't even eat crickets. His pathetic attempts to grab food have just started since I've been trying to get him on salads though. He started eating crickets when he got older and I've always been able to feed him those on between horn worms. The last batch of crickets I got him, he wouldn't touch at all. That's when the very slow and almost fake attempts at eating them started. He tried a couple times, missed then gave up. I've fed him a batch of hornworms since then and he grabbed them just as aggressively as he always does. Then again with the pathetic attempts when I tried the Phoenix worms.
 

Claudiusx

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Phoenix worms, reptiworms, calciworms, they are all just name brands of BSFL, black solider fly larva.

Sorry, I meant has the possible brumation behavior been since the beginning of your post or only since you stopped feeding insects.

-Brandon
 

nickanthony

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Original Poster
Okay gotcha.

No that behavior has been like that since brumation. He's always the same and always scares me. I guess since I found hornworms he's always eaten like a beast even while brumating so that's what I'm used to now.

Thanks for the link karrie. I just ordered some from that website. Not a bad price at all even with shipping. Everything on Amazon was 50ct or higher. I just want to see if he likes them so $13 for 24ct sounded great to me. I spend $25 on 12 hornworms from Josh's frogs. So now I have both on the way.

Are dubia roaches better feeders than hornworms? Does it really even matter? He still needs to eat salad, right? . I don't want to just switch the worms for roaches and still be stuck in this and boat.
 
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