Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they eat both animal protein and plant matter. In the wild, their diet consists of insects, small invertebrates, and vegetation. As pets, it’s important to feed them a balanced diet that is as close to their natural diet as possible.
Feeder insects are an essential part of their diet, providing them with protein, calcium, and other nutrients.
Some good options for insects include crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and silkworms. It is also important to dust the insects with calcium powder to help ensure they are getting enough calcium.
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The percentage of insects and vegetables in a bearded dragon’s diet should vary depending on their age.
|Hatchlings (0-3 months)||85%||15%||4-5 times a day|
|Juveniles (4-12 months)||70-80%||20-30%||2-3 times a day|
|Adults (1-7 years)||15-30%||70-85%||1-2 times a day|
|Seniors (> 7 years)||15%||85%||1-2 times a day|
Hatchlings and juveniles need a lot of feeder insects to help them grow and develop. They should be offered as much as they will eat, 4-5 times a day.
As they grow, they will start to rely less on insects and more on greens and vegetables. Adults only need as little as 15% insects in their diet, and will eat less often as they age.
Below, some of the most common feeder insects for bearded dragons.
Best Insects for Bearded Dragons
|Insect||Protein (%)||Fat (%)||Calcium (mg/kg)||Phosphorus (mg/kg)|
|Black Soldier Fly Larvae||17.5||14||9340||3560|
Hornwarms aka Goliath worms are another good option for bearded dragons. They are high in moisture and nutrients, and they are also a good source of beta-carotene, which can help to improve the color of your dragon’s skin.
Waxworms are a high-fat insect, so they should only be fed as a treat. However, they are a good source of energy and can be helpful for dragons that are recovering from illness or surgery.
Superworms are similar to mealworms, but they are larger and have a softer exoskeleton. This makes them easier for bearded dragons to digest.
Mealworms are a good source of protein and calcium, but they can be hard for young bearded dragons to digest. They should only be fed as part of a varied diet.
Crickets are a common feeder insect, and they are a nutritious choice for bearded dragons which is very low in fat. They are however not the easiest to keep, as and they can be noisy and messy.
Black soldier fly larvae are an excellent feeder insect for bearded dragons. They have a high calcium content and are easy to gut-load. They can be a bit more expensive than other feeder insects, but they are worth the investment.
Butterworms are another good option for bearded dragons. They are high in protein and calcium, and they are also a good source of fat. They can be a bit messy, but they are a popular choice for dragons.
Silkworms are not as common as other feeder insects, but they can be a good option for bearded dragons. They are high in protein and calcium, and they are also a good source of fiber. However, they can be difficult to find and can be expensive.
Gut-loading is the process of feeding insects a nutritious diet before feeding them to your bearded dragon. This helps to ensure that the insects are getting the nutrients they need, and that your dragon is getting the nutrients they need when they eat the insects.
There are a few different ways to gut-load insects. One way is to feed them a diet of vegetables, fruits, and greens. Another way is to feed them a commercial gut-loading supplement.
In addition to gut-loading insects, it is also important to supplement your bearded dragon’s diet with calcium. This can be done by dusting the insects with calcium powder before feeding them to the dragon.
It is important to use a calcium powder that is specifically designed for reptiles. Do not use calcium supplements that are designed for humans or other animals.
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