Monday, November 13, 2006

Bearded Dragon is the common name for any agamid lizard in the genus Pogona. Bearded Dragons are popular exotic pets in many places, notably the Inland Bearded Dragon.

Bearded dragons have broad triangular heads and flattened bodies, with adults reaching approximately 50 cm(19.5 inches) head-to-tail. Males are slightly longer than females, but females are slightly heavier. They owe their name to a distinctive series of lateral spines (specialized scales) radiating horizontally from the head and base of the tail. They are mostly terrestrial, but climb to bask and search for prey. They inhabit mostly open woodlands, scrub, and desert.

All species are native to Australia, but have been exported worldwide, and due to their convenient size, hardiness, and omnivorous diet, are popular reptile pets. They are one of the most popular pet lizards in the United States.

Recognized species of bearded dragons:

Eastern or Common bearded dragon, Pogona barbata
Black soil bearded dragon, Pogona henrylawsoni
Kimberly bearded dragon, Pogona microlepidota
Western bearded dragon, Pogona minima
Dwarf bearded dragon, Pogona minor (some authorities group this with Pogona minima)
Northwest bearded dragon, Pogona mitchelli
Nullabor bearded dragon, Pogona nullarbor
African Rocky Gama, Rockygama
Central or Inland bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, the most commonly kept pet. Bearded Dragons can puff out the spiny protrusions under their chin beard when they are angry, giving them the appearance of having a humanlike beard. They may bob their heads or wave either of their forearms as communication. A commonly used enclosure size for baby bearded dragons is 10 gallons; adults tend to thrive in enclosures 40 gallons and larger.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006
Bearded Dragon Lizard

Today we released our little visitor, who our darling dog Noddy decided to terrorize! Thankfully the kids found him, before Noddy ate him totally. Bearded Dragon Lizards are beautiful and extremely regal. When sunning themselves, they hold their head so high, and look so proud. When something startles them, they are off, looking much like the road runner (cartoon) with legs going round in circles and extremely fast.
This one is only a baby, probably only a few months old. They grow in the first few months extremely rapid and this little fellow is in the middle of shedding his skin. We only kept him 48 hours to make sure all was okay. Really we didn't expect him to live as he was pretty knocked around .... but he DID survive.
Just keep hoping Noddy keeps his fangs and inquisitive mind, out of all the hollow logs in our garden!

posted by abeautifulcraft | 8:16:00 PM

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bearded Dragon Facts

The Bearded Dragon lizard is capable of living a healthy and active life in captivity. They do well when they are able to interact with both their owner and other bearded dragons. Here are some interesting facts that will aid in healthy and happy bearded dragon care.

The bearded dragon lizard originated in Australia. There are six to seven species of Australian dragons. The most predominant species in the Pogona vitticeps, also known as Amphibolurus vitticeps. Virtually all bearded dragons that have been captively bred have come to the United States from Germany. There have not been any legally exported bearded dragons come from Australia.

The bearded dragon lizard will breed very well in captivity. With a proper egg nesting area and incubation, the female bearded dragon will produce multiple clutches of eggs per year. These captive bearded dragons tend to be healthier than the wild-caught bearded dragon lizards and are often free of pesticides.

Birth defects in captive bearded dragons are rare and most populations survive quite well. Bearded dragon breeding has also produced numerous different colours of bearded dragons, although they are still of the same species.

An early sign of inbreeding causing problems in captively bred bearded dragons is that they bearded dragon will not grow to its full adult size. If you intend to breed your bearded dragons, you should ask your breeder what lines your bearded dragon lizards come from so that you may avoid those lines. Inbreeding also occurs when bearded dragons are sold to pet stores. People buy these dragons not realizing that they are related and then breed them.

Bearded dragons are like any other reptile and they may carry Salmonella. This is a bacterium that causes food poisoning and can sometimes be lethal. This is especially true for children that have an immuno-compromised condition. Careful handling of the bearded dragon lizard will ensure that you remain healthy along with your bearded dragon pet.

Bearded dragons require regular vet checkups as well as. Check with local veterinarians to see if they are familiar with reptiles. If you vet is not, ask him if he can refer to you one that is. You may also check with the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Vets for recommend reptile veterinarians near you.

Bearded dragons will go through a molting process like other reptiles. The bearded dragon lizard adult may exhibit signs of depression during this phase. They will enjoy a warm bath to help remove their shedding skin.

A warm bath is also another way to make your bearded dragon eliminate before handling him or her. There is nothing worse than having a bearded dragon eliminate in your lap. Before handling, place the bearded dragon in warm water. The warm water will make it eliminate and you will feel safer with you r bearded dragon in your lap.

Bearded dragons should have a wide variety of choices in their diet. The bearded dragon should not, however, be fed meat such as beef or chicken. Meat contains too much protein and the bearded dragon will suffer from kidney problems or failures.

Avoid feeding crickets that are too large. Crickets should be no larger than the distance between the eyes of your bearded dragon. Baby bearded dragons should be fed one quarter inch crickets and juvenile bearded dragons may be fed half inch crickets. These crickets are generally around two-weeks old. Babies will be eager to eat larger crickets but they are unable to digest these and may die from impactions.

Crickets can be tricky to manoeuvre from their box to a cricket holding tank. One method is to place the cricket box in a plastic bag. Open the box in the bag and shake the crickets out into the bottom of the bag. Remove the box and the place the bag in the tank. The crickets should slide easily out of the bag as there is nothing for them to grip onto. This is also a good way to feed crickets to your bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons will change their feeding patterns with age. A young bearded dragon will be ready to eat on a moments notice while the adult bearded dragon may eat one day but not the next. This is especially true during the winter months.

The bearded dragon will be tempted to munch on your houseplants. There are a few houseplants that are okay for the bearded dragon to eat. Plants such as ficus, geraniums, hibiscus, petunias, pothos and violets. There are some houseplants that are treated with systemic pesticides, this means that the plant has taken the pesticide into its system and it will have to grow out to remove the pesticide. This will generally take six to twelve weeks.

These bearded dragon facts should aid you in the care of your bearded dragon. The bearded dragon will live a healthy and long life if it receives proper care and nutrition.

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Tips for Teaching Your Bearded Dragon to Eat Veggies

Vegetables are not always at the top of the list on your bearded dragon’s ideal diet. He will readily eat insects and worms, but he may be leery of vegetables at first. The bearded dragon enjoys being hand fed and this may be the first step in teaching your bearded dragon to eat vegetables. The bearded dragon may take awhile to learn to eat veggies but there are several steps that you can take to encourage the bearded dragon to eat their veggies.

There are several methods that you can use to encourage your bearded dragon to eat veggies. Many people have suggested hanging large leafs in the bearded dragon’s take. This will allow them to pull off pieces of the green. Greens may also be placed in a shallow bowl so that the bearded dragon can see them. If young bearded dragons cannot see their food, they generally will not eat it. Adding crickets to the greens will also encourage the bearded dragon to eat the greens because as they catch a cricket, they will catch some greens as well. Eventually, they will learn to eat the greens. Withholding crickets for a couple of days will also encourage the bearded dragons to eat the greens as this is their only source of food.

Misting the greens will also encourage the bearded dragon to eat their greens. The bearded dragon is attracted to the greens because the misting brings the greens to their attention. They will also be tempted to eat them for the moisture.

Baby and juvenile bearded dragons have a hard time to eating what they can’t see. A flat jar lid will help them see the greens and they will be tempted to try them. Piling the greens up will also encourage them to eat the greens. Babies and juvenile bearded dragons do not generally eat a lot of greens and their diet consists mostly of crickets. They will learn slowly to eat the veggies.

Feeding mealworms in the greens and on a salad will also make the bearded dragons accidentally eat the salad. Slowly the salad will also begin to disappear. Cutting pieces of yellow squash into strips will make the squash look like mealworms to the bearded dragons. Once they try the first one, the bearded dragons will begin eating them. You can also begin to place those on top of other greens and those will slowly begin to disappear as well.

Bearded dragons are also very visual. They assume that just about everything that moves is food. Many people drop their food from above the bearded dragons in their cage. Dropping small pieces of food from above may encourage the bearded dragons to try the greens as they are falling from above them. They will see the movement of the pieces of food and they will be tempted to eat them. Clipping pieces of greens and placing a fan on them will cause the greens to wave. The bearded dragon will be tempted to eat the moving greens. Soon, they will be pulling pieces off in no time.

For those bearded dragons that are still reluctant at eating their greens, your next option will be to gut load the bearded dragon’s crickets. Feed your bearded dragon’s greens and veggies to the crickets. Feed the gut-loaded crickets to the bearded dragons. They will receive the nutrients from their greens and veggies as their crickets have also eaten the veggies. This is a great way to get baby and juvenile bearded dragons to eat their greens. Babies and juvenile bearded dragons do not generally eat a whole lot of greens and will benefit from the gut-loaded crickets.

Variety is the spice of life for most bearded dragons. Spicing up their veggie diet will also encourage them to eat veggies as well. Colorful plants such as dandelions, hibiscus and other edible flowers and plants will brighten the habitat and the bearded dragons will become more interested in the new things in their cage.

Dusting the veggies in calcium may also encourage the bearded dragons to eat them. They generally eat other insects with calcium dusted on them and veggies are no different. They will soon eat their veggies because they are dusted in calcium as well.

Fruits and veggies provide the bearded dragon with moisture. They will also receive the necessary nutrients that veggies will provide the bearded dragon. Keep trying and mixing things up with bearded dragons that are reluctant to eat veggies on their own.

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Bearded Dragon Health

The bearded dragon requires a certain amount of care to maintain a healthy and happy life. They generally do not suffer from many diseases may be able to catch parasites from worms as well as develop disorders if they do not receive an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D3.

Good bearded dragon health depends largely on adequate calcium levels. Dragons must have calcium and full-spectrum UVB lights in order to maintain proper bone growth. If these are not available to the bearded dragon, they will suffer from metabolic bone disease. This may cause your bearded dragon lizard to become deformed as well as cause fatal injuries.

Most beaded dragon health diets have been optimized for maximum calcium and vitamin D3 levels. Rep-Cal is a non-phosphorous calcium supplement that may be added to both insects and vegetables. Tums may also be used as an emergency source of calcium. Calcium supplements may be sprinkled on vegetables and insects should be placed in a plastic bag and shook up with the calcium so that it will stick to them.

Herptivite may be used every two weeks or once per month. This is a multi-vitamin supplement. These supplements may be high in vitamin A and may cause many health problems if used too often. This is because they may cause the calcium levels of the bearded dragon to become depressed. The bearded dragon should also not be given any additional phosphorous because the

Bearded dragon health is very dependent on lighting. The bearded dragon will benefit greatly from being exposed to natural light as often as possible. Full-spectrum lighting is necessary but it does not take the place of natural light. The operative wavelengths for the bearded dragon are in the ultraviolet UVB range. These are offered by full-spectrum florescent-type light bulbs. Zoo-Med Reptisun UVB 5.0 is available at most pet stores and have been used by many bearded dragon owners and breeders. These light bulbs must be replaced every six months, as they will lose their UVB component. UVB light rays are not capable of passing through glass or plastic, so you must not use a glass top in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

Incandescent light bulbs are also necessary for your beaded dragon’s health. These light bulbs may be used in a heat-reflector fixture. Bearded dragon health depends on its enclosure being properly lighted so that they are able to warm up enough to digest their food. The bearded dragon must have a body temperature of one hundred degrees in order to digest their food. The gradient should range from the mid 70’s to 80’s on the cool side of their enclosure and 95-105 degrees on the basking side of their enclosure. Lights should be adjusted so that they do not overheat your bearded dragon lizard. Under tank heaters may also be used to keep the bearded dragon’s stomach warm. These may also increase the growth rate of your bearded dragon lizard.

Hot rocks should be avoided by all means. These rocks have been detrimental to many a bearded dragon’s health. These rocks are capable of overheating and burning beaded dragon lizards. The bearded dragon is less sensitive to heat and may not realize they are burning until it is too late. The rocks may also ruin the heat gradient of the tank.

Both types of lights should be placed on timers. The bearded dragon should have twelve to fourteen hours of light and the lights should turn off at night. Erratic lights will mess up the bearded dragons day length and will ruin a bearded dragon’s circadian rhythms. This will make your bearded dragon appear lethargic and sick. The bearded dragon has a “third eye” called the parietal eye, through which they detect environmental cues that are important for their circadian rhythms. The lights turning off at night will replicate night time and will allow the temperatures to fall appropriately in the bearded dragon’s habitat. The temperature may drop to the 60s or 50s without harming the bearded dragon. These temperatures replicate the semi-desert nights that the bearded dragon has adapted for over time.

The bearded dragon lizard’s habitat will run effectively and efficiently for your bearded dragon once it is properly set up. The bearded dragon will live a happy and healthy life as long as his lights are properly functioning and the bearded dragon is able to receive proper amounts of calcium. Calcium is especially important to gravid females, as they must receive adequate calcium to properly form and lay their eggs.

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Incubating Bearded Dragon Eggs

During the process of bearded dragon breeding, the owner should supply an ample place for the female bearded dragon to lay her eggs. This is extremely important, as the bearded dragon will not generally lay eggs without some sort of nesting area. After the female has laid her eggs, it may be necessary to incubate the eggs.

The Hovabator is an egg incubator. This egg incubator must be properly set up and calibrated. To calibrate the Hovabator, you must first check the room temperature. Then you will adjust the device on top of the Herbovator according to the temperature. You will want the incubator temperature to be slightly warmer than room temperature. You may also need to leave the incubator to warm up for a short period of time and then make the necessary adjustments. The temperature should be somewhere around eighty one to eighty four degrees, you do not want the incubator warmer than eighty four while lower than eighty one is okay.

The bottom of the incubator should be lined with vermiculite. The vermiculite should be moist enough that you are able to form a ball out of the vermiculite. After your bearded dragon has laid her eggs, you will place them in small depressions o f the vermiculite. The first clutch of eggs by the female may be somewhat small and they will all fit fine in the incubator, however, the larger the clutches become, the tighter the fit will be for all of the eggs. The temperature of the incubator will also need to be adjusted depending on what season you are in. If your home heats up during the day in the summer, you may need to lower your temperatures on the incubator during the day. Exposure to temperatures above eighty-four degrees may be lethal to the bearded dragon eggs.

Humidity may also play an important role in the hatching of the eggs. Some suggest that the humidity in the incubator be around seventy to eighty percent. Humidity can be hard to adjust and daily misting will help you to increase your humidity if you so desire. Too much water and humidity may cause the eggs to mould and too high of a temperature may cause the eggs to cook. Too low of a temperature will prolong hatching.

Eggs will hatch in about seventy days or so. You will want to be prepared for the hatching by having several crickets ready for the babies, approximately around one thousand crickets depending on the size of the clutch. Babies grow rapidly and you will need to ensure that you have plenty of crickets ready to go. You will also want to gut load the crickets to make sure that the bearded dragon is receiving adequate nutrients. Eggs may also hatch as early as fifty-five days or so, it all depends on the humidity and temperatures in the incubator.

Many females may lay an infertile clutch of eggs. Examining your eggs closely will tell you whether or not your bearded dragon’s eggs are fertile or infertile. The fertile egg will have a round spot that is approximately one centimeter wide. This spot is visible through the egg’s shell. This spot is where the embryo is lying. You may also see blood vessels grow from this spot and soon you will see a red spot in an oval shape under the shell. This is the embryo and other membranes. If you have trouble seeing these signs, you may need to candle your eggs by shining a pen-light through them. Place the penlight against the end of the egg and rotate the egg until you see a spots. Eggs may be fertile even if they do not show and obvious spot. While incubating, you will want to place the egg so that the spot is facing upwards. This will ensure that they eggs are receiving ample heat. Placing the spot on the vermiculite side of the egg may cause the egg to die early.

Bearded dragon eggs will take in water as they sit in the incubator. A healthy bearded dragon egg will appear to be plump when laid rather than partially collapsed or dented. Dented eggs may be seen in the female bearded dragon’s first clutch of eggs, but this is okay. Often times, the first clutch of eggs are infertile and will not hatch.

As hatching nears, however, the eggs may begin to appear dented. These eggs should not be thrown away unless they have begun to mould as well. These dented eggs typically mean that the eggs are about to hatch.

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Bearded Dragon Breeding

The bearded dragon is a reptile and reptiles reproduce by lying eggs. The bearded dragon lizard must be properly cared for to ensure that the bearded dragon female is healthy and sound for breeding. Many bearded dragons will pair together for life and they will maintain an active courtship.

Before breeding the bearded dragon, you will want to make sure that the female is receiving a proper diet. The diet should consist of insects, newborn mice and vegetables. The female bearded dragon should also receive adequate calcium and vitamins. These vitamins and minerals can be bought separately as supplements and dusted on the bearded dragon’s food whether it is insects or fruit. Proper calcium is very important to the female bearded dragon to ensure that she is able to form eggs properly without risking her own health.

Before bearded dragon breeding, the bearded dragons should first be properly sexed. Male bearded dragons have larger heads than female bearded dragons. The throat area of the male bearded dragon will become dark during the breeding season. The male bearded dragon will also be larger in size overall than the bearded dragon. The femoral and preanal pores are larger in the males than in the females. The females may also show darkening in the throat area, but the male bearded dragon will have a darker throat. Other than these physical characteristics, you may find that it is very difficult to sex the bearded dragon. Many reptiles are sexed through a technique called “popping of the hemipenes,” but this should not be attempted on the bearded dragon as it may cause permanent injury to the animal. This procedure involves pushing tat the cloacal area to cause the male’s sexual organs to become exposed. The males also tend to have enlarged femoral pores, which are rounded pores on the undersurface of their thigh and femur bone.

The best method of sexing the bearded dragon is through a natural process. Purchasing hatchlings in groups of fours will allow pairs to form. When the hatchlings form pairs, they are generally forming breeding pairs and you will have both a female and a male. Most bearded dragons will breed at ten months and will form pairs at this time, however, they may become sexually active as early as eight months. Bearded dragon lizards are especially hard to sex while they are young. These hatchling bearded dragons may not exhibit the same sexual characteristics that the adult bearded dragon exhibits. Bearded dragons often have very active courtships and will reproduce well in captivity.

While carrying eggs, the female will show expansion in the abdomen. When it is apparent that your female is carrying eggs, you will want to begin developing an area in which the female can lay her eggs. This is very important because many females will not lay eggs without a properly designated area. If females fail to lay their eggs, they will suffer from a condition called “egg binding.” Many female bearded dragons have died from this condition. A proper egg lying area consists of a box that is approximately two feet by two feet. The box should also be eighteen inches deep. The box should be filled with potting soil and sand. The potting soil should be damp. Females will begin to show signs of egg lying by digging. After laying their eggs, the female bearded dragon will appear very thin. When you notice that the female is thinner than the day before, you will know that the female has deposited her eggs in the soil of her box.

The female may bury up to two-dozen eggs. One bearded dragon breeding may produce enough fertile eggs for more than one laying. The female bearded dragon may be protective over her eggs while lying, but then generally offers no care afterwards. Most female bearded dragons will produce multiple clutches of eggs per year. Many of them will lay their first clutch anywhere from ten months to three years. For many female bearded dragons, the first clutch of eggs is infertile. After you see the female lie eggs, you may begin allowing her to mate with a male bearded dragon. Eggs after the first initial clutch of eggs will be fertile. Because the bearded dragon lays multiple clutches of eggs per year, you will need to be prepared to care for many hatchlings. Many females have laid up to twenty eggs in one clutch. First year mothers may have erratic egg producing cycles, the may also have false gravidity, which means that they appear to be pregnant, but they produce no eggs.

Bearded dragon breeding can be an interesting process and it is very important that you make the egg lying process as comfortable for the female bearded dragon lizard as much as possible. You should also be prepared to house several hatchlings after the first successful clutch of eggs.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bearded Dragon Brumation

Brumation is a period of semi-dormancy. This period of time may shock many first time bearded dragon owners and they tend to think that something is very wrong with their bearded dragons. Whenever your bearded dragon is showing signs that are different from his normal activity, it is best to have a faecal matter check done prior to assuming that the bearded dragon is going through brumation. This will help you to rule out any illnesses and parasites and prepare your bearded dragon for brumation.

Brumation is a natural period during which the bearded dragon is very lethargic. They may not bask in the sun and will only lie in their hiding places. Young dragons do not necessarily go through this period and some dragons may never brumate. Brumation may occur for several days or weeks. During this type of hibernation, the reptile survives on glycogen stores in his body, much like animals that hibernate live on fat stores in their bodies.

Bearded dragons that have a cage near a window or are able to sense climatic changes outdoors will tend to go through a period of brumation. Many books suggest that most dragons go through a period of brumation anywhere from the beginning of November through mid February. During this time, the cage should be adjusted so that the conditions mimic those of outside. Cage lighting times should be adjusted to what is occurring naturally at your home. If the days are shorter, the lights should be adjusted to come on at those times as well, for example. You may also want to check on your dragons periodically at this time and give them a small misting of water. For the most part you will want to leave them alone and allow them to sleep.

Female bearded dragons like to have a place to hide during their brumation. They like to dig in and under many places until they find the right spot for sleeping. All bearded dragons will have a large decrease in appetite and will not produce much faecal matter as well. Ensure that your bearded dragon receives a good meal prior to going into brumation. Healthy dragons will be okay to brumate without food for three to four months. Providing them fluids every three weeks or so is suggested. You can simply mist their noses and they will lick it off of their faces.
Bearded Dragon Feeding

Bearded dragon feeding is fairly simple and easy, however, you do want to insure that you are feeding the proper types of insects and greens to your bearded dragon. Owners should also ensure that the bearded dragon is receiving adequate amounts of calcium and other nutrients so that they may continue to have strong bones and will not suffer from mineral or nutrient deficiencies.

Bearded dragon feeding usually consists mainly of insects. The most commonly fed insect is the cricket. Crickets are good for bearded dragons of all ages. The bearded dragon lizard will appreciate an array of different insects as well. Large bearded dragons enjoy having the option of mealworms, superworms, silkworms and waxworms. Waxworms have a high fat content and it is suggested that you don’t overfeed these worms, instead give them to your bearded dragon as more of a treat. The young beard dragon should not have any mealworms as the mealworm has a high amount of indigestible chitin. These worms will cause a young bearded dragon to suffer from impaction, which may be lethal. If you decide to round up some outside insects for your bearded dragon, be sure that they are free of pesticides. You also do not want to feed your bearded dragon lightening bugs. There have been several bearded dragons die from eating only one lightening bug.

Crickets are generally available at all pet stores. They can also be purchased through wholesale outlets that will deliver them to your home for bearded dragon feeding. Crickets will require a home of their own and generally do well in a five to ten gallon fish tank. Provide some sort of hiding places for the crickets, as they need to be able to hide from each other. Crickets are known to eat each other, which will leave fewer crickets for bearded dragon feeding. Empty egg cartons and other pieces of cardboard will allow hiding places for crickets. Crickets will also need to be fed well before you feed them to your bearded dragon. Crickets will eat a variety of different foods including vegetables, oatmeal, powdered milk, alfalfa hay, dog or cat food and cricket food. Crickets will also require a damp sponge as a source of water and moisture. Crickets will drown in a dish of water.

Young bearded dragons have very large appetites; this is because they have a rapid growth spurt in their first year. If you young bearded dragon lizard is not exhibiting a hearty appetite, there is an underlying problem somewhere. Young dragons may develop food impactions or may simply be intimidated by their cage mates. They also must have a body temperature of one hundred degrees before they are able to digest their food. New bearded dragon lizards may also have a hard tome adjusting to their new homes and may require a few days before they are ready to eat.

Many owners may also have a separate feeding cage. This allows you to not have to worry about the food and insects causing their regular habitat to become dirty and develop odours. The bearded dragon feeding cage may be a very simple cage that allow the bearded dragon to stay warm enough to eat, but does not require all the other features such as peat moss. You may also have several different types of dishes for different types of insects or food. This makes cage cleaning a lot simpler. The frequency of bearded dragon feeding will vary with age. The bodies of the bearded dragon must warm up before they are able to digest their food, therefore, you will want to feed them about an hour after their lights have been turned on. Timers will make this process easier for you, as you can simply have the lights timed to come on an hour before you wake-up in the mornings. You will also want to give the bearded dragon all of the feed he or she will eat in one feeding. Each bearded dragon may eat between five and twenty crickets. Adults will benefit from fresh veggies and fruits every other day. Worms may be kept in a dish with some potato, as they need food as well. Gravid, or pregnant, females will require more feeding times. The gravid females will appreciate Waxworm treats. She should also receive ample calcium in her diet. The gravid female bearded dragon should have their UVB lights increased and increased calcium supplementation.

Bearded dragon feeding should consist of appropriate fruits and vegetables as well. Some bearded dragon lizards may have difficulty eating these at fist, but there are several tips to help them learn. Vegetables should be offered about every other day and they should be offered a wide variety as well. Most bearded dragons will enjoy a staple of collard greens, mustard greens, kale, parsley, carrot tops, turnip greens, romaine lettuce and escarole. For variety in the diet, you may also add bok choi, red cabbage and endive cilantro. These dark greens are high in calcium and will be very beneficial to the bearded dragon. Avoid spinach as it contains oxalic acid, which causes the binding of calcium, which we want to avoid. Iceberg lettuce should also be avoided because it consists mainly of fibre and water with no nutritional value. Other vegetables and fruits may include peas, broccoli, bell peppers, grapes, cantaloupe, raspberries and bananas.

A well-rounded diet with a lot of variety will keep your beard dragons strong and healthy. Avoid those foods that have little nutritional value and be sure to wash all vegetables and fruits well before feeding to eliminate any pesticide residue.

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Bearded Dragon Care

The Bearded Dragon requires specialized care to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. These exotic lizards require a specific diet, adequate amount of light and heat. These are important areas that must be covered in order to have a healthy bearded dragon. Bearded dragons used for breeding should also have adequate care to ensure that the females remain healthy for producing and laying their eggs.

Bearded dragon care depends on a proper diet for the bearded dragon, as well as adequate fresh water. Adult bearded dragons may be fed on a daily basis. A healthy bearded dragon diet consists of crickets, Madagascan hissing roaches, mealworms and newborn mice. They should also be fed an adequate amount of vegetables and fruits twice a week. The bearded dragon enjoys kale, collard greens, carrots, bananas, apples and mustard greens. Bearded dragons should also be fed on a consistent basis. This is especially true for hatchling bearded dragons. When the bearded dragon is hungry, it is not uncommon for them to bite off a tail of their fellow bearded dragons.

To ensure there is enough vitamins the bearded dragon’s diet, owners should supplement the diet with vitamins and mineral supplements. These vitamins and minerals can be added to the vegetables and fruits. During the breeding season, female bearded dragons should be rich in calcium and vitamins. Calcium supplements may be purchased and dusted on food. Adequate calcium will ensure that females are able to maintain proper health during egg lying, as eggs require a large amount of calcium. This calcium will be pulled from the female’s bones.

Exposure to sunlight is very important for proper bearded dragon care. Natural sunlight is important in bearded dragon care. The bearded dragon should be exposed at least three times per week. Enclosures should be well ventilated to ensure that the bearded dragon does not overheat in the sunlight. Shade is also important and the bearded dragon should have the option of moving in and out of natural sunlight. Dragons will benefit from thirty minutes, three times per week. Indoor enclosures should include a high quality full-spectrum light as well. These lights, however, will not replace the important sunlight that the bearded dragon requires. Natural sunlight will help the bearded dragon to produce natural Vitamin D, which is important to proper bone health. Indoor enclosures should also contain a basking light at one end of the cage. The temperature should reach around ninety degrees and the rest of the cage should remain a consistent seventy-five degrees.

The bearded dragon’s enclosure should be lined with a natural substrate such as peat moss. Peat moss is natural and is safe for the bearded dragon to consume and also maintains adequate moisture. Peat moss is also excellent for absorbing odours. Peat moss should be soaked with water and packed into the bottom of the enclosure. The peat moss should then be allowed to dry under a heat lamp or in the sun. Once dry, peat moss will dry into a hard surface.

To insure that your bearded dragon is properly hydrated, the bearded dragon should have access to adequate water. Bearded dragons may also be soaked in about half an inch of water for twenty minutes once a week. This will help to ensure that your bearded dragon remains hydrated as well as clean. Soaking the dragon is a good way of cleaning faeces off of the bearded dragon. They will also enjoy having the chance to splash around a bit as well.

As a reptile owner, it is important that you remain healthy as well. Following specific hygiene patterns will ensure that you do not catch any diseases that reptiles are prone to having. As with other reptiles, the Bearded Dragon can be a non-symptomatic carrier of Salmonella. Salmonella can be lethal to humans, especially children. Because of this it is important that you take measures to minimize the risk of catching Salmonella. Do not kiss your dragon and always wash your hands with soap or use a hand disinfectant. Disinfect any areas you used to clean cages, dishes, etc. If you use any sponges or scrubbers for cage cleaning, you should have a different set for you dragon and a set for your own dishes. All utensils used should be disinfected in 100% bleach. Children may also be more susceptible to catching Salmonella than adults and special care should be taken when they handle reptiles. If you are pregnant or have an child with an immune suppressing disease or disorder, it is not recommended that you own a reptile. If you become pregnant, you may need someone else to handle and clean your reptile’s enclosure.

Owning a bearded dragon can be a fun and rewarding experience for the reptile lover. Taking proper care of your dragon and using proper hygiene techniques will ensure that your dragon is healthy and happy.

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Taming the Bearded Dragon Pet

The bearded dragon has a long history of making good pets. Most people hear about them being very calm and friendly and they think that they would be a fun and interesting pet. For the most part, the bearded dragon is calm and friendly, but for many bearded dragons, this only comes after they are taught that handling is safe. The bearded dragon has to gain your respect and be reassured that you are safe.

Many bearded dragons may exhibit aggression to their new handlers at first. There are several ways to overcome this aggressive behaviour. One way is to turn their aggression in to hunger. Whenever they are being aggressive towards you, then you will want to withhold food for a day or so. The next time that the bearded dragon gets fed, you will be able to gain the bearded dragon’s respect.

If you always have greens or fruit when you put your hands in the bearded dragon’s cage, the bearded dragon will begin to associate you with food. While the bearded dragon is basking in his habitat, they will often open their mouths gapingly. Placing food in the bearded dragon’s mouth will help the bearded dragon associate your hands with food.

Bribery also works well with the bearded dragon. They love waxworms because the worms are high in fat. These worms are the equivalent of candy to the bearded dragon and although they should be fed sparingly, the bearded dragon will always enjoy them. Using the waxworms as treats and as encouragement for the bearded dragon will help them to associate you with goodness.

Once the bearded dragon allows you to handle them. They will also enjoy being rubbed on the head. Rubbing the bearded dragon’s head will help the bearded dragon to relax and they generally close their eyes and calm down.

Try picking up the baby bearded dragon by the tail. Then lay the bearded dragon in your hand and hold him down with your thumb in a position so that his mouth can’t reach your hands. Hold him securely, yet gently. They may squirm, but you don’t want to put them down while they are squirming. You are basically training your bearded dragon at this point to understand that as long as they are squirming you are going to hold them. When they stop squirming, then you may put them down. If you put them down while they are squirming, then you are only showing them that they can squirm to get put down.

Beaded dragons must also feel secure. Baby dragons may be easily intimidated, especially by other dragons. If the baby is housed with larger dragons, you will want to separate him or her. You may also need to put up a visual barrier so that the baby cannot see the other dragons. This is especially true if you have tanks that are placed end to end. Placing a towel or a piece of cardboard between the tanks will prevent the baby from seeing the other dragons. Make sure that you do not smell threatening yourself. Wash your hands and arms with a non-scented soap before and after handling different bearded dragons or your bearded dragon.

While holding your bearded dragon, ensure that their legs are held up as well. Bearded dragons are very concerned about their little legs and holding their whole body and legs together will give them a sense of security. Begin holding by keeping your hands inside the cage, this will help to make sure that if your bearded dragon slips out of your grasp, then you won’t have to scare them by chasing them around the room. They are also fearful of anything that comes down from above them. Approach the bearded dragon at a horizontal direction and scoop them up rather than reach down a grab. They are naturally inclined to bit anything that comes down from above them.

The key to successfully handling your bearded dragon is time and patience. You will want to consistently pick them up and hand feed them frequently. The more you talk and expose the bearded dragon to you and others, the less frightened they will be. Every time you feed them, attempt to rub their head or back gently. Take baby steps in the handling process and you will slowly gain ground with your baby bearded dragon. Do not push them too much at once and they will slowly come around to the
idea that you are not so bad after all.

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The Bearded Dragon

The bearded dragon lizard received its name from its ability to “puff out” its throat. This puffing results in spikes that are formed from their modified scales. This area of the throat may also change to black. Males will often have a darker black “beard” than females. Both males and females will “show off” their beards. The bearded dragon is a very social animal and they have a lot of movements that they exhibit to communicate with each other.

The bearded dragon lizard will often bob its head and gape its mouth. They may also flatten their bodies as they circle each other. They may also swish their tails and check their environment or another dragon with their tongues. They may also raise their arms up and move it around in small circles to show submission. The bearded dragon pet is also very curious and will enjoy romps and adventures around your house. The bearded dragon will also establish a hierarchy and adapt to their owners. They very rarely exhibit aggressive gestures towards their owners. Bearded dragon pets will also interact with their owners in the same manner they interact with each other. Through hand gestures, you will have your bearded dragon pet bobbing his head and circling his arms.

Bearded dragon pets benefit from social interaction with other bearded dragons and it is generally best if you are able to have a pair rather than a single bearded dragon. They will enjoy having a friend to sleep on in the sun and to play with. Males and females will also have mating displays that are very interesting as well. Occasionally, the bearded dragon lizard may become aggressive with the other and they may have to be separated for safety reasons. Dragons that are of dramatically different sizes will often have aggression issues. The small dragon will be the first to react by losing his appetite and having overall bad health.

A young bearded dragon pet will require much more care than the adult bearded dragon. They grow very quickly their first year and they will generally double in length their first year. The first month for infant bearded dragons are especially difficult, but after having survived the first month, life becomes much easier. Most young bearded dragons will reach their adult size in their first year. The bearded dragon lizard may grow to be fourteen to twenty-four inches in length the first year. At five months the bearded dragon lizard will be around ten inches and they seem to take a growing break around six to nine months.

Signs that your bearded dragon pet is ill are generally fist apparent when they display a lack of appetite. An ill bearded dragon pet may slow its eating or stop eating, as well as hide or has runny stools. Bearded dragons will molt and shed their skin. During this period of time, the bearded dragon may become lethargic. Young bearded dragons may still exhibit a large appetite while adults may slow their eating. When the bearded dragon is molting, you will not want to pull on the shedding skin, as this may damage the new skin beneath it. Misting and soaking in warm water will help the bearded dragon shed is dead skin. The bearded dragon also enjoys and occasional warm bath.

Bearded dragons generally live in arid, rocky and semi-desert regions. They also enjoy arid woodlands, as this is where they usually get their vegetation and water. In captivity, you will want to do your best to replicate this natural habitat. The adult bearded dragon does not require a water dish in its habitat, however, baby bearded dragons do. The baby-bearded dragon can be taught to drink from a medicine dropper, from a syringe or from a shallow water dish. These dishes become dirty easily and will grow bacteria. They can also be trained to drink from a hamster bottle.

There are several illnesses that the bearded dragon may suffer from, although most of them tend to live healthy lives. Many diseases are from bearded dragon lizards being inbred to each other. Metabolic bone disease can be prevented; by ensuring a proper diet with the proper amount of lighting and calcium supplementation. They may also get parasites from various worms that are fed. These conditions are easily treated by a visit to the veterinarian. There are also two diseases that are communicable among bearded dragon pets. These diseases are yellow fungus and adenovirus. Females that become egg bound and survive will need to be spayed. This condition often results from females not having adequate calcium to properly produce eggs.

Despite these various illnesses, the bearded dragon pet will generally have very few health problems. Along as they are properly fed and have adequate lighting, the bearded dragon pet will live a long and active life happily in captivity

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