Monday, November 06, 2006

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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2 comments:

Unknown said...

My beardie was eating her salad, but all the sudden she stopped. Can't get her to eat any salad now, I have tred holding back her crickets for a couple days and everything else you can think of.. plz help any suggestions. .

Sandra Almquist said...

My beardie was eating her salad, but all the sudden she stopped. Can't get her to eat any salad now, I have tred holding back her crickets for a couple days and everything else you can think of.. plz help any suggestions. .