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Bearded Dragons can you just feed baby food to provide veggies?

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Washout, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Washout

    Washout Arachnolord Old Timer

    Could I get away with feeding a dragon on mealworms, crickets, and baby food? Or are fresh leafy vegatables a requirement? I'm aware that many people compose a salad on a bi-weekly basis but could I just feed strained spinich and other fruits offered as baby food at the supermarket?
  2. MilkmanWes

    MilkmanWes Arachnobaron Old Timer

    We tried feeding ours baby food once, mashed mangos we were putting out for other animals and I decided to see if they liked it. They ate it right up. It got on the tip of ones nose and dried there with sand stuck to it like glue. Couldnt get it off even with a bath. Stayed there for a couple weeks until she shed. My girlfriend was rather unhappy about the sandy lump on it's snout so I haven't given them anymore.
  3. Michael Jacobi

    Michael Jacobi RETIRED/RARELY USE AB Arachnosupporter

    First, don't use baby food. Many bearded dragons will accept a limited amount of fruit, but they are arid climate lizards: they eat grasses, flowers, and leaves. Second, yes you need to offer fresh DARK greens including: turnip greens, collard greens, kale, mustard greens plus dandelion flowers and greens, other safe flowers. These provide not only nutrition, but also water. My adults never get fresh water alone. Third, do not feed spinach. It will actually negatively affect calcium absorbtion. Beardies are primarily herbivorous both as juveniles and adults. However, juveniles should be offered crickets no larger than the half the length of their heads [large crickets are thought to contribute to hind leg paralysis]. As they grow I also give baby superworms [not mealworms or king mealworms with their chitinous exoskeletons]. I recommend dusting with Miner-All I and Sandfire/T-Rex Bearded Dragon ICB for minerals, vitamins, and other important dietary supplements. My adults get full-grown superworms and roaches as occasional treats, but mostly get a salad of the dark greens mentioned above with grated carrot, squash, dandelion flowers, hibiscus flowers, mixed veggies [corn, peas, beans], strawberries, apple... every other day And, equally important - daily exposure to high UVA [30%+] and UVB [5%+] reptile lighting that is within 12" of the basking lizards. Bulbs must be replaced annually regardless of their working condition [I use dual fixtures with one Exo-Terra 2.0 and one Exo-Terra 8.0 UVB 4' fluorescent tube and neodymium coated basking lamps. Of course, natural unfiltered by glass sunlight should be provided as possible - as in outdoor pens with protection from overheating, pests, predators.

    Finally, animal care isn't about "getting away" with anything. It's about doing it the best way possible based on the newest information possible - or not doing it all.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  4. Washout

    Washout Arachnolord Old Timer

    Sounds like bearded dragons require more maintaince than I do. :) This is exactly what I was wondering about. From what I read I was under the impression that they were primarily insectvores and the salad was a dietary supplement. Good to know that it's really the reverse. I think I'll stick with the strictly insectovore lizards.
  5. Iktomi

    Iktomi Arachnoservant

    It's the reverse more so when they are adults. Babies need more protein than adults.
  6. ingas866

    ingas866 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    you need to go to kingsnak.com and ask. some of the things said here do on sound right i was all ways told that they were inst. eaters more than vegie. :?
  7. andy83

    andy83 Arachnoknight Old Timer

    My adult beardie got a hopper mouse for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It munched the hopper down with no problem(pre-killed of course).
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  8. Iktomi

    Iktomi Arachnoservant

    Now THAT is one beautiful fire! Love that orange!
  9. CruelBenevolence

    CruelBenevolence Arachnopeon

    Hello there. I feed my dragon baby food, but through an eye dropper. He loves it. Then I usually hit him with a wet paper towel when we are done. He sometimes gets excited and eats the eye dropper too so I have to be careful, he usually chews up about 3 eye droppers per sitting. While he is licking his chops from the baby food, I take small pieces of greens and shove him in his mouth. He will end up licking up the small leaf while he is licking his chops. The process takes about 30 minutes or so, until he tells me he is done. But that's usually how I get my dragon to eat his greens. Usually some collard greens, and dandelion greens. He doesn't eat them willingly. And he is extremely spoiled. I offer it everyday in his tank but won't touch them. So I usually do a nice baby food base, like pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or some plain apple/berry combinations and rip up some greens (like a handful or so) into tiny pieces. EVERYTHING MUST BE ORGANIC WITH NO ADDITIVES AND NO ADDED SUGAR - READ THE LABEL! I try and dust the leafy greens before I feed it to him, but really don't dust the baby food or mix it in with the baby food because I think it changes the flavor for him and then he is not willing to take it. I use Repashy Calcium Plus. I think the baby food is a great way to keep him hydrated as well, because my baby isn't a good drinker. But it is by all means no supplement to bathtime! Baths are extremely important for him. Minimum 15 minute soak in the tub at least twice a week, and I usually up it to daily when he is shedding. Also, don't be afraid to throw in some Epsom Salts for him, just make sure its Epsom Salt bathsoak with NO ADDITIVES! They can also have some organic 100% essential oils in their bath. My dragon is particular to Chamomile. It comforts him when he is shedding. It also helps with bowel movements, especially when he goes ham on the super worms. I do this a couple times a week for him. He's about 16 inches long now, almost a year old. So like every couple of meals worth of bugs, I sit with him and do the baby food/greens routine. Its even gotten to the point where he tells me what he wants that day, he will reject like 3 kinds of bugs and just kind of stare at me as if he is telling me he wants greens and veggies. Then he usually eats that with no fuss. Only seldom will he reject everything. I don't force the issue, if he is not hungry, I will just try again later, or the next day. But always leave greens and fruit in the tank for him in case he changes his mind. I also leave a small little bowl of super worms in there for him just in case he changes his mind. He sometimes will eat them himself, but most of the time, the little ham will wait for me to hand feed him. But he seems pretty happy with the arrangement, and is super healthy. I take him in regularly for checkups and my vet said he is perfect and everything I am doing for him is perfect. I also get his stool checked every 3 months or so. Its $40 bucks, but it should be checked regularly when you are feeding any kind of live feeder insects because they do carry parasites. Better to be safe than sorry. Even if he is acting healthy, I will still take it in every 3 months. I also change his UVB lights no later than 6 months, even if they are still working. There is a lot of care that is involved with a bearded dragon. They are pretty high maintenance. Honestly, if you can't handle it, I would find it a good home with someone that can and get yourself a cat. They don't require much attention and just put out some food in a bowel for them. If you fail to properly take care of your beardie, they WILL die and/or get really sick and suffer of malnutrition, parasites, dehydration, impaction or metabolic bones disease. Also - To the guy above that has sand in their tank, GET RID OF IT. Sand is the #1 cause of impaction. No substrate whatsoever. Just a felt cloth for the bottom and thats it! Nothing that can be licked up and accidentally digested. If you have any additional questions, contact me. Bye and good luck! :)
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. MatisIsLoveMantisIsLyf

    MatisIsLoveMantisIsLyf Arachnoknight Active Member

    Never feed them spinach, it's take away their calcium from their body, and yes, a babies diet is at least 10% veggies