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New Beardie Mom... Requesting advice!

chardust

Bearded Dragon Egg
Hi everyone!

My name is Charlotte, and I just got a new Beardie yesterday! I have never owned one myself, but am a little familiar with them/caring for them because my cousin owns a Beardie and a leopard gecko and another I can't remember the name of... but anyways I've been really anxious because I want to give him the best care I can, but I have many different sources online and in person telling me many different things, and my most pressing issue is I don't know how much I really should be feeding him...

So, after getting him from the pet store, I forgot to ask how old he was, so just an hour ago I measured him and he's about 6.5 inches and his tail is about half his length (if that matters ahaha). I looked up a sizing age chart and he seems to be on the lower end of 2 months old. I was given some crickets and they seem to be pretty big, and I did some research and apparently they shouldn't be fed anything bigger than the space between their eyes and I haven't gotten a good look but I have a feeling they might be too big... HOWEVER the guy at the store, who owns bearded dragons himself seemed to have no problems with giving me them in that size... and I don't think he would give them to me if they weren't meant to be eaten at his age...

My second problem is how much I'm supposed to feed my Beardie... the pamphlet I got talked about the diet but not the amount... I'm 95% sure that the guy at the store said two of those big crickets a day... but online it says 30-80 crickets a day but I'm not sure how big they're talking about.

So... based on experience and/or opinion, how many large crickets should I be feeding him a day? (also accounting age!) An answer back would be amazing!! Thank you! Also just because I'm gonna attach a picture of the sweetie here :) (also, no the mat is not only sand, it's a mat made for beardies that has the sand and rocks attached, more for texture! I was told it's fine!)

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Knowinghades63

Bearded Dragon Egg
I recommend the smaller the better on the crickets why take a chance. You don’t have to go tiny but small. If you have a separate container put the beardie in the with several crickets. Keep adding crickets until it stops eating. Don’t have to many in the cage with it as it will stress it out. And they actually bite and can overwhelm your dragon. If you don’t have a separate container then just place a few crickets in his cage at a time but take them out when he has finished eating. The mat should be ok but don’t put anything looser in woth him as he can ingest it when he eats. My current bearded is is a little bigger than yours and eats 3-4 crickets twice a day. Congrats on the beardie.
 

chardust

Bearded Dragon Egg
I recommend the smaller the better on the crickets why take a chance. You don’t have to go tiny but small. If you have a separate container put the beardie in the with several crickets. Keep adding crickets until it stops eating. Don’t have to many in the cage with it as it will stress it out. And they actually bite and can overwhelm your dragon. If you don’t have a separate container then just place a few crickets in his cage at a time but take them out when he has finished eating. The mat should be ok but don’t put anything looser in woth him as he can ingest it when he eats. My current bearded is is a little bigger than yours and eats 3-4 crickets twice a day. Congrats on the beardie.
Awesome! Thank you so much! And they bite?! I don't like the thought of that haha!
 

Knowinghades63

Bearded Dragon Egg
Awesome! Thank you so much! And they bite?! I don't like the thought of that haha!
Yeah. That was actually my turning point was I was hand feeding crickets. Which is a great bonding exercise but don’t overdo it or they will come to depend on it. And they’ll stop chasing prey. Which I think is one of the funnest parts. anyways. the cricket took a bite on her nose. And she wasn’t interested in eating anymore at that time even though it was the second cricket and she always eats more than that.
 

chardust

Bearded Dragon Egg
Yeah. That was actually my turning point was I was hand feeding crickets. Which is a great bonding exercise but don’t overdo it or they will come to depend on it. And they’ll stop chasing prey. Which I think is one of the funnest parts. anyways. the cricket took a bite on her nose. And she wasn’t interested in eating anymore at that time even though it was the second cricket and she always eats more than that.
Awe that's actually really cute...! except for getting bit... I'll keep that in mind. Also, just curious: do they only eat live crickets and worms because of their hunting instinct?
 

Knowinghades63

Bearded Dragon Egg
Awe that's actually really cute...! except for getting bit... I'll keep that in mind. Also, just curious: do they only eat live crickets and worms because of their hunting instinct?
Different with each animal. My beardie a picky one. And refuses dead crickets but I’ve read that if you try wiggling them to make them look alive that it helps them accept dead ones as a feed source. Meal worms are great because you can just keep them in the fridge but they shouldn’t be the only form of protein you give because they are high in fat and not actual protein. Plus the exoskeleton or “chitin” is harder to digest.
 

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