Vet Blog

"Hold the Crickets.. Give Me a Salad!"- Diets of Bearded Dragons

October 01, 2016

Ah, time for dinner. Most humans have the idea that my relatives and I only need crickets to eat. We DO like crickets but they are not a balanced diet.

Assume that all you could eat is chocolate cake. At first this may be great but soon serious diseases can start to occur. Nutritional secondary parathyroidism is very common in Pogonas that have a calcium deficiency. Most people buy crickets from the store and feed them to us right away. Theses crickets are usually starved themselves and have very little nutritional value. Many are full of parasites that are past to us. It is best to place the crickets in a plastic tub and add chicken layer scratch for them to feed on. Scratch is for chickens that lay eggs and is very high in calcium. Gut loading crickets this way provides a much higher calcium level than by traditional dusting.

At birth, Pogonas need a diet of 90% protein and 10% vegetables. Gut loaded crickets, meal worms, waxworms, and roaches work well but also offer small amounts of shredded mixed vegetable salad. At 1 year-old, the diet should be 50% animal 50% vegetable. At 2-3 years old, feed 90% vegetable matter. Give insects only 1-2 times per month.

A wide variety of vegetables can be offered. Any dark green leafy plant, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, beans and peas are some options. Calcium powder should be added to the salad also. Bearded dragons really don't need other supplements other than a good diet and calcium.

Oh, the waiter is here to take my order. I will have the house salad as an appetizer, the vegetable and fruit plate for my entrée and finish with a chilled waxworm for dessert. Oh, and a glass of Chardonnay. Bon appetit!!