Refuses to eat anything but bugs and butternut squash

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Hatchling Member
I've had my 2 year old male for 2 and a half weeks and he was a great eater (mostly) until I got him some butternut squash. He ate his whole salad a couple days in a row and then started picking out the squash and leaving the rest. He gets mostly mustard greens, a little bit of collards, some endive and cactus pads all chopped up.
When I withhold the squash, he doesn't touch his food. When I bury it, he digs it out. When I finely grate it up and mix it all up, he picks out the big chunks and maybe eats a mustard leaf or two. I put super worms under his salad this morning and he picked them all out, leaving the salad mostly intact.
I have been beefing up his protein intake because he was a little skinny when I got him and he never stops acting hungry when he gets bugs. He downed 40 3/4" crickets in less than 7 minutes and wanted more last week. Lately he's been getting 7-10 supers every other day. At his last home, he got 10 crickets once a week.
I have read the suggestion to give him less bugs, but I'm chicken about trying the tough love approach. He's not skinny, but he isn't at a size I would consider robust. I just weighed him, he's about 425 grams and 18 inches long.
Should I never feed him butternut squash again? Should I find him a less delicious type of squash? Haha.


Hatchling Member
Mine will pick out the squash only when I give them squash with their veggies. They will eat the veggies on days when they get no squash though. I would stop giving him squash and eventually he might figure out that its not coming and give in. He probably knows you will give him some so he's holding out :)


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
We're locked in a battle of wills and he's currently eating nothing but his cactus pads and bugs. I'm at a loss here. He was starting to look skinny so I let him eat as many crickets as he wanted and he wolfed down 40 without batting an eye. I'm staunchly providing him with mustard and turnip greens, chopped young endive and cactus pads. He doesn't even touch his greens at all. He may eat some cactus on days when he doesn't get any bugs. I really don't know what to do. He is so STUBBORN.


Hatchling Member
I never feed mine bugs until they have eaten some salad but they usually eat it first thing in the morning. Its so hard to do the tough love thing but it is better for him in the end. Ralph refused to eat salad for about a week so I didn't feed him anything but salad for 2 days and now he is back to eating it. He is underweight so he gets all the bugs he wants to eat a day and he knew that they were coming so he would just hold out. Smart, stubborn, frustrating little buggers aren't they :) At least cactus pads are a good staple. I wish I could find some here.


Sub-Adult Member
Sounds super stubborn! :eek:
Some of the other owners on here have tried putting a "dressing" on their beardie's greens, and it worked for them (actually I plan on trying it with my big guy once he gets over his relocation stress ;)). Good things to use as a dressing are fruit juice or watered-down babyfood, just make sure that the fruits or vegetables in the juice/babyfood are safe for beardies. Also double check that there are no added sodium/sugars/icky chemicals in there. It may take a bit of experimenting to find the juice or babyfood flavor that your beardie likes, but hopefully after that he'll eat more greens!
Good luck! :)


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I was getting tired of him hardly touching his greens and hard squashes were $1 a pound at the grocery store, so I bought a small one tonight. Maybe I'll puree some chunks with water and toss his greens in it tomorrow for breakfast. Thanks for the idea!
And Mustashio, while it is good that he loves a staple food so much, it's all he wants to eat, so I worry he won't get a balanced diet.
I'm down to feeding him bugs once a week, but it doesn't seem to be stimulating his appetite. I would think it was brumation if it weren't for the fact that he is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating crickets and dubias!

Tonja Addict
I make a dressing of pured blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry and put it on their salad every other day or so..they eat their salad that way.
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