Bearded Dragon Diet

How Much, When, and What? Feeding Bearded Dragons Explained

When researching how often to feed your Bearnie, it can get confusing. At first, it seems like it’s rocket science. Well, the good news is, it’s not. And in the next 10 minutes, you will go from knowing nothing to being an expert. So let’s get started!

Baby Bearded Dragon (0 – 4 Month) Feeding Schedule

From hatchlings to 5 months old is when your Bearnie will be eating you out of house and hold. During this stage, they will be eating up to 4 times a day. So have Lots of Crickets ready!

The ideal diet is 80% insects and 20% Veggies. But, it depends on your Beardie, oftentimes they will refuse to eat their Veggies. Also, no fruits at this age.

The insects will need to be dusted with calcium and multivitamins. Need additional information? I recommend reading our calcium and vitamin guide for bearded dragons of all ages.

Insects

Your Bernie is growing and needs lots of protein. And lots of protein means “LOTS of crickets.”

First and foremost, never feed foods larger than the space between your Bearded Dragons eyes. Insects that are too large can cause impaction. And baby Bearnies, will try to eat anything that moves, big or small.

Insects Safe for a Baby Bearnie

  • Pinhead crickets
  • Smallest wax worms
  • Black soldier fly larvae

So how often do you feed a baby bearded dragon?” At this age, aim to be feeding 3 – 4 times a day. With each feeding giving them as much as they can eat within a 10 – 15 minute period. The time is only a guideline and not a rule. Some bearded dragons are voracious eaters. While others can be quite lazy when it comes to eating. You will get to know when he is done.

Make sure to Dust your Crickets with calcium and multivitamins.

  • calcium 5x a week
  • multivitamins 2x a week.

When done feeding, never leave crickets in the enclosure. They can and will bite your Bearnie.

Vegetables

You want to introduce your Bearnie to Vegetables at an early age. Doing this will help him acquire a taste for Veggies.

Unfortunately, at this age, Veggies are not recognized as food. Most baby and Juvenile Bearnies will barely touch them. However, there are always ways to trick your Bearnie into eating his Veggies. Yup! Just like you got tricked into eating veggies as a kid. Try cutting strips of collard greens and move them around the tank. He might think it’s alive and go after it. Also, serving his crickets over a veggie dish may help. If he misses a cricket, he gets a mouth full of veggies. Be creative, persistent, and most important patient. Eventually, he will start going for them.

Also, provide a dish of leafy veggies in his enclosure during the day, Taking it out at night.

Vegetables safe for baby Bearnie

  • Turnip
  • collard
  • mustard greens
  • endive

kale if added to a mixture of the other staple greens mentioned above.

Juvenile Bearded Dragon ( 4 – 12 Months ) Feeding Schedule

During the early juvenile stage, you want to encourage your bearded dragon to eat more vegetables. Ideally, you want his diet to consist of 50% insects and 50% veggie when he reaches 12 months old.

Make Shure his food is no bigger than the distance between his eyes.

Insects

Juvenile Bearded Dragons will require less protein than as a baby. Less protein means fewer crickets. But don’t cancel your cricket deliveries just yet. Over half of their diet is still insects.

Staple insects for juvenile

  • Crickets
  • Silkworms
  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • Dubia roaches
  • Turkish roaches

How often do you feed a juvenile bearded dragon?” Bearded Dragons 4 – 12 months old will need to eat 2 – 3 times a day. Allow him to eat as many as he can in 10 – 15 minutes. A variety of insects is always better than only feeding him one kind. Mix it up, just don’t overdo it on the treat feeders.

Treat Feeders

  • Wax worms: Once a week, 4-5 max.
  • Hornworms: Every other day, 4-6 max.
  • Butterworms: Once or twice a week, 3-4 max.
  • Mealworms: Every other day, 5-10 max. Only for beardies 6 months and above.

As mentioned previously, never leave live crickets in his enclosure, to avoid your Bearnie being bitten.

Make sure to Dust your Crickets with calcium and multivitamins.

  • calcium 5x a week
  • multivitamins 2x a week.

Fruits

At this age, you can start to include fruit in his diet. I would recommend only giving as a treat once or twice a week. Fruits tend to have high sugar content. To avoid having a diabetic bearded dragon, Moderation is key.

Vegetables

Vegetables should account for roughly 20% of a 4-month-old bearded dragon’s diet.

How many veggies to feed your Bearnie can get confusing, so I will keep it as simple as possible.

The diet of a 4-month-old bearded dragon is 20% greens and veggies. Gradually increase the amount of greens you give him. You want greens to make up half his diet at 12 months of age.

  • 4 months: 20%
  • 12 months: 50%

Getting your beanie to eat his veggies can be, shall we say, challenging. If you have a picky Bearnie. Try sprinkling bee pollen on top of his veggies and greens. In addition to bee pollen, provide a bowl of fresh greens and veggies in his enclosure during the day. However, it’s best to remove them 2 hours before lights out starting fresh the next day.

Adult Bearded Dragon ( 12+ Months ) Feeding Schedule

At 12 months a bearded dragond diet will be 50% insects and 50% greens. Over the next 3 – 4 months reduce the number of feeders and increase the amount of veggies you are feeding him.

Adult bearded dragons diet should include 80% greens and 20% insects and veggies. Aside from a healthy diet, bearded dragons also need calcium and multivitamins.

Every bearded dragon will have different tastes when it comes to food. The 80% – 20% is not a rule, after all, you can’t force you Bearnie to eat his veggies if he doesn’t want to. Just make sure he has a balanced diet and not 100% of one or the other.

Insects

The diet of an adult bearded dragon should be around 20% insects. I find it works best to only feed insects on the weekends. Doing so encourages him to eat greens and veggies during the week. He can’t just hold out for his next meal of crickets doing it this way. Experiment and find out what works best for your Bearnie.

Never leave crickets in the enclosure when you are done feeding.

Staple feeders

  • Crickets
  • Locusts
  • Grasshoppers
  • Silkworms
  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • Dubia roaches
  • Turkish roaches/Red runners.

Make sure to Dust your Crickets with calcium and multivitamins.

Up to 2 years of age

  • calcium 5x a week
  • multivitamins 2x a week.

2 years or older

  • Calcium 2 – 4 times a week
  • Multivitamins 1 -2 times a week

Fruits

When it comes to fruits, they should make up very little of a bearded dragon’s diet. You can mix a small amount of figs, papaya, or cactus pad, into his greens daily. Fruits like banana, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries should only be given as treats once or twice a week.

Staple Fruits

  • Cactus Pad/Leaf (Prickly Pear)
  • Papaya
  • Figs

Vegetables

The diet of an adult bearded dragon should be 80% greens and vegetables. Always have a variety of fresh greens and vegetables in his enclosure during the day. Make sure to not leave it in his enclosure overnight.

Staple greens and vegetables

  • Squash: Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Hubbard Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Scallop Squash, Summer Squash
  • Pumpkin (raw)
  • Green Beans
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress

You can find out what foods are safe for your beardie Here.

Conclusion

No matter the age of your bearded dragon it is important to provide a variety of foods. If you notice anything I should add or change let me know.

I would love to hear your thoughts, questions in the comments below.

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