Substitutions for greens?

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Enzynom

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My dragon is coming up on 3 months old and he is still refusing to eat and greens or fruits. Is there anything that I can substitute for them so he can get all his vitamins?
 

Gail

BD.org Addict
Not really, he needs to learn to eat greens. How and when are you offering them? I offer them first, thats the only food option for a few hours. I only feed insects after 11AM or so, a hungry dragon is more likely to eat then one that is comfortably full from bugs.
I also recommend you start with one type of green, something softer and mild like escarole or endive.
If he has never eaten greens, he might not realize they are food. This is something I blame on the breeder, baby dragons should be started out of greens from day one so they recognize them as food.
You might have to handfeed greens or trick him into opening his mouth so you can poke some in, hopefully that will help him get the hang of it.
 

Enzynom

Member
Original Poster
Gail":2ww56zln said:
Not really, he needs to learn to eat greens. How and when are you offering them? I offer them first, thats the only food option for a few hours. I only feed insects after 11AM or so, a hungry dragon is more likely to eat then one that is comfortably full from bugs.
I also recommend you start with one type of green, something softer and mild like escarole or endive.
If he has never eaten greens, he might not realize they are food. This is something I blame on the breeder, baby dragons should be started out of greens from day one so they recognize them as food.
You might have to handfeed greens or trick him into opening his mouth so you can poke some in, hopefully that will help him get the hang of it.

I offer him chopped up fruits and greens every morning at 8am. I leave them about the same size as the crickets he eats so they aren't too big or too small for him. I leave him alone with it for 30 mins before I feed him crickets. I got him to lick some mango juice once but that's all. I also leave a big leaf of collard greens in his cage for when I'm at work just in case he wants to snack while I'm gone because I read to not leave real plants in his cage due to beardies getting munchie on them. He still doesn't eat it. I let him walk around in a playpen last night and he tried to eat a piece of lint that I didn't notice. I can't believe he would try to eat lint but won't touch his greens! Any tips on how to force his mouth open so I could get some greens in there? I'm afraid of hurting him.
 

Gail

BD.org Addict
You need to leave the greens with him for more then 30 minutes before you offer bugs. He knows bugs are on the way and he is waiting for the good stuff. Also, leave the bowl of greens in with him all day, even if they dry up at least he has them if he wants to nibble. A whole collard leaf can be a bit tough for a baby to bite.

You can take a piece of collard and gently slide it between his lips on the side, maybe press it lightly against his teeth. This will often get them to open up. I wouldn't "force" his mouth open at all, that would be counter productive. If he ever gaps while basking, you can sneak a piece in then too.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Really, at 3 months old, if he is even interested in his greens , it's a bonus.

MUCH MORE IMPORTANT he gets LOADS of high quality gut loaded (with greens) dusted insects, at least two , three is better, live feds per day.

I wouldn't stress if he's not interested in his greens at 3 months old, just keep on offering them each day anyway.

I found my hatchlings were pigging out on their greens and grated salad vegs and not having any room for their bugs when they were really little (like your's) so I decided to delay giving them their greens and salad until immediately after the mid afternoon live insect meal had been dispatched. This worked better , I'd also leave the greens and veg in their rearing tubs overnight until brekky when I'd remove the left over greens and veg , remove any poos and recapture any remaining (rogue crickets , rarely found more than 2 or 3).
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Gail":1af4blod said:
You need to leave the greens with him for more then 30 minutes before you offer bugs. He knows bugs are on the way and he is waiting for the good stuff. Also, leave the bowl of greens in with him all day, even if they dry up at least he has them if he wants to nibble. A whole collard leaf can be a bit tough for a baby to bite.

You can take a piece of collard and gently slide it between his lips on the side, maybe press it lightly against his teeth. This will often get them to open up. I wouldn't "force" his mouth open at all, that would be counter productive. If he ever gaps while basking, you can sneak a piece in then too.
<<< yep I use this approach in handfeeding bugs and greens to my lizards. Works well, with the greens it's good idea to tare up the leaf into strips or finger sized pieces and support the droopy end of it while the lizard is eating it - else it is likely to be bitten off and fall.
 

Enzynom

Member
Original Poster
kingofnobbys":167yc053 said:
Really, at 3 months old, if he is even interested in his greens , it's a bonus.

MUCH MORE IMPORTANT he gets LOADS of high quality gut loaded (with greens) dusted insects, at least two , three is better, live feds per day.

I wouldn't stress if he's not interested in his greens at 3 months old, just keep on offering them each day anyway.

I found my hatchlings were pigging out on their greens and grated salad vegs and not having any room for their bugs when they were really little (like your's) so I decided to delay giving them their greens and salad until immediately after the mid afternoon live insect meal had been dispatched. This worked better , I'd also leave the greens and veg in their rearing tubs overnight until brekky when I'd remove the left over greens and veg , remove any poos and recapture any remaining (rogue crickets , rarely found more than 2 or 3).

He gets two feedings of gut loaded crickets dusted with calcium everyday. He eats about 20 at a time. He has a ravenous appetite.

Gail":167yc053 said:
You need to leave the greens with him for more then 30 minutes before you offer bugs. He knows bugs are on the way and he is waiting for the good stuff. Also, leave the bowl of greens in with him all day, even if they dry up at least he has them if he wants to nibble. A whole collard leaf can be a bit tough for a baby to bite.

You can take a piece of collard and gently slide it between his lips on the side, maybe press it lightly against his teeth. This will often get them to open up. I wouldn't "force" his mouth open at all, that would be counter productive. If he ever gaps while basking, you can sneak a piece in then too.

I finally got him to eat a couple of piece of chopped mango thanks to your advice! I also think it he didn't notice it when I put it in his dish in the corner of the cold side of his cage because this time I put it directly center in his cage and he was at it within minutes.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Enzynom":39kfif3m said:
kingofnobbys":39kfif3m said:
Really, at 3 months old, if he is even interested in his greens , it's a bonus.

MUCH MORE IMPORTANT he gets LOADS of high quality gut loaded (with greens) dusted insects, at least two , three is better, live feds per day.

I wouldn't stress if he's not interested in his greens at 3 months old, just keep on offering them each day anyway.

I found my hatchlings were pigging out on their greens and grated salad vegs and not having any room for their bugs when they were really little (like your's) so I decided to delay giving them their greens and salad until immediately after the mid afternoon live insect meal had been dispatched. This worked better , I'd also leave the greens and veg in their rearing tubs overnight until brekky when I'd remove the left over greens and veg , remove any poos and recapture any remaining (rogue crickets , rarely found more than 2 or 3).

He gets two feedings of gut loaded crickets dusted with calcium everyday. He eats about 20 at a time. He has a ravenous appetite. <<< how big are the crickets he's currently getting ? if he's eating 20 in a sitting they are likely too small and perhaps you should upsize his crickets.

Gail":39kfif3m said:
You need to leave the greens with him for more then 30 minutes before you offer bugs. He knows bugs are on the way and he is waiting for the good stuff. Also, leave the bowl of greens in with him all day, even if they dry up at least he has them if he wants to nibble. A whole collard leaf can be a bit tough for a baby to bite.

You can take a piece of collard and gently slide it between his lips on the side, maybe press it lightly against his teeth. This will often get them to open up. I wouldn't "force" his mouth open at all, that would be counter productive. If he ever gaps while basking, you can sneak a piece in then too.

I finally got him to eat a couple of piece of chopped mango thanks to your advice! I also think it he didn't notice it when I put it in his dish in the corner of the cold side of his cage because this time I put it directly center in his cage and he was at it within minutes.
 

Enzynom

Member
Original Poster
kingofnobbys":3aowkn1e said:
Enzynom":3aowkn1e said:
kingofnobbys":3aowkn1e said:
Really, at 3 months old, if he is even interested in his greens , it's a bonus.

MUCH MORE IMPORTANT he gets LOADS of high quality gut loaded (with greens) dusted insects, at least two , three is better, live feds per day.

I wouldn't stress if he's not interested in his greens at 3 months old, just keep on offering them each day anyway.

I found my hatchlings were pigging out on their greens and grated salad vegs and not having any room for their bugs when they were really little (like your's) so I decided to delay giving them their greens and salad until immediately after the mid afternoon live insect meal had been dispatched. This worked better , I'd also leave the greens and veg in their rearing tubs overnight until brekky when I'd remove the left over greens and veg , remove any poos and recapture any remaining (rogue crickets , rarely found more than 2 or 3).

He gets two feedings of gut loaded crickets dusted with calcium everyday. He eats about 20 at a time. He has a ravenous appetite. <<< how big are the crickets he's currently getting ? if he's eating 20 in a sitting they are likely too small and perhaps you should upsize his crickets.


I follow the rule where they are no bigger than between his eyes.

Gail":3aowkn1e said:
You need to leave the greens with him for more then 30 minutes before you offer bugs. He knows bugs are on the way and he is waiting for the good stuff. Also, leave the bowl of greens in with him all day, even if they dry up at least he has them if he wants to nibble. A whole collard leaf can be a bit tough for a baby to bite.

You can take a piece of collard and gently slide it between his lips on the side, maybe press it lightly against his teeth. This will often get them to open up. I wouldn't "force" his mouth open at all, that would be counter productive. If he ever gaps while basking, you can sneak a piece in then too.

I finally got him to eat a couple of piece of chopped mango thanks to your advice! I also think it he didn't notice it when I put it in his dish in the corner of the cold side of his cage because this time I put it directly center in his cage and he was at it within minutes.
 

Gail

BD.org Addict
Great that he ate some mango, now to get him eating greens/veggies. Fruit is only for a occasional treat. Maybe try some colored veggies like yellow bell pepper or yellow summer squash, just chop them small enough to be easy to eat since they are firm.
 
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