How Many Bugs Should a Bearded Dragon Eat? [Size Matters]

Bearded dragons need to eat insects every day to receive adequate nutrition. The amount of insects they consume depends on their age, weight, activity level and overall health. Juveniles need more protein to support their growth and may eat up to 50 insects per day. Healthy adult bearded dragons should eat around 10-20 crickets a day or 25-50 crickets every three days. Dubia roaches are also a great source of nutrition for bearded dragons, with adults eating three to five roaches per day. Be sure to provide a variety of different bugs to ensure your bearded dragon is getting the proper nutrition.

How Many Bugs Should a Bearded Dragon Eat?

Recommendations For Babies and Juvenile

For baby bearded dragons, a higher protein diet is required to aid in their growth. They should be fed live insects up to three times a day, and the amount will depend on the size of the bugs.

Generally, babies can consume anywhere from 30-80 insects per day, spread across 3-5 feedings. Once a dragon reaches three months, it is considered a juvenile and can be fed a diet that is roughly 50/50 plants and bugs. Juvenile dragons should be offered live insects up to three times per day and they should limit themselves to 15-20 bugs per feeding.

Recommendations For Adults

When it comes to adult bearded dragons, it is best to feed them once a day. For adults aged twelve to eighteen months and above, feed them 2-3 times per week. Depending on their size, limit them to eight to twelve insects per feeding.

An adult bearded dragon should aim to have 25 live feeders per week. This could be five crickets every day or three crickets and two other insect types such as mealworms or waxworms.

Factors That Affect How Many Bugs Bearded Dragons Should Eat Each Day

When it comes to determining how many insects a bearded dragon should eat each day, there are several factors that need to be taken into account.

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Activity level, weight, health and other food sources in their diet all need to be considered. A bearded dragon’s activity level can have a major impact on how much they should be eating. If you have an active dragon, they may need more food than a less active one. Similarly, if your bearded dragon is underweight or overweight, their diet needs to be adjusted accordingly.

If a bearded dragon is receiving other food sources such as fruits or vegetables in their diet, this should also be taken into consideration when determining how many insects they should be eating each day.

Activity Level

Activity level is important for bearded dragons to ensure that they are getting the right amount of exercise and food. Bearded dragons that are more active will require more food than those who are less active.

For example, if your bearded dragon is in an outdoor enclosure, they will be able to hunt for their own food, so they may need more insects than one in an indoor enclosure. The amount of exercise a bearded dragon gets can also affect their appetite and how many bugs they need each day.

Weight

The weight of a bearded dragon also has an influence on how much they should be eating. If they are overweight, they should have fewer insects. If they are underweight, then you should offer more insects to help them gain weight. Be sure to monitor your bearded dragon’s weight and adjust the amount of insects accordingly.

Health

If a bearded dragon is sick, injured, or has any other medical conditions, you’ll want to get them checked out by a veterinarian and adjust their diet accordingly. A veterinarian can also recommend the amount of bugs they should be eating based on their health status.

Other Food Sources in Their Diet

Bearded dragons also need other food sources in their diet to stay healthy. These can include fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. Fresh vegetables such as squash, green beans, and carrots are especially good for them. Leafy greens such as collard greens and kale are also good for them. Fruits such as apples and bananas are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, but shouldn’t be fed in large quantities.

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The Best Bugs For Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons should have a wide variety of bugs in their diet to ensure they get a balanced nutrition. Crickets are the most common feeder insect and can be fed as a staple, while mealworms and Dubia roaches should also be offered as they are a great source of protein. Waxworms and silkworms are also an option, however, they should be offered sparingly due to their high fat content.

It is important to remember that not all bugs are safe for bearded dragons to eat and it is up to you to make sure the insects you provide are safe for your pet.

Crickets

Crickets are a great source of protein for bearded dragons and should be a staple in their diet. They should be gut-loaded with fruits and vegetables before feeding them to a bearded dragon and can be fed up to 10-20 per day.

As with any insect, however, it is important to not overfeed them as this can cause obesity. Crickets should be dusted with a mineral supplement before being served to the dragon to ensure they get all the essential vitamins and minerals.

Mealworms

Mealworms are a great source of protein and fatty acids for bearded dragons. These small insects are low in chitin, which is tough for some reptiles to digest. Adult bearded dragons should consume no more than 5-6 mealworms per day, with juveniles able to eat up to 10-15 mealworms in a single feeding session. It’s important to remember that mealworms should only be fed as part of a varied diet. Eating too many mealworms can lead to obesity and fatty liver disease.

Dubia Roaches

Dubia roaches are another popular insect choice for bearded dragons. They are one of the most nutritionally balanced feeder insects and are rich in calcium, protein, and other essential vitamins. They are also high in moisture content and have a softer exoskeleton which is easier to digest.

Dubia roaches can be fed to both adults and juveniles, as long as they are appropriately sized for the dragon’s age and size. They also have the added benefit of being hardy enough to survive in a Bearded Dragon’s enclosure for a few days before being eaten.

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Waxworms

Waxworms should be fed no more than five to six times per day and should always be given as part of a varied diet alongside other less fatty staples. Overfeeding waxworms can lead to weight gain and other health issues, so it is important to monitor how many you give your beardie. Be sure to only give them the amount of waxworms they can consume within 10 to 15 minutes.

Silkworms

With their high protein and relatively low-fat content, silkworms are considered to be amongst the best insect foods for Bearded dragons. They usually grow to be around two inches in length and should be offered in moderation due to their higher fat levels. It is recommended that up to five silkworms per feeding be given to an adult bearded dragon for good overall nutrition and health.

Key Points

  • Bearded dragons need to be offered some kind of insect every single day in order to stay healthy.
  • The size of the insect should never exceed half the width of their face and they should never be overfed.
  • Depending on their age, activity level and overall health, the number of insects they should eat per day will vary.
  • Babies can consume anywhere from 30-80 insects per day, spread across 3-5 feedings.
  • Adult bearded dragons typically consume between 20 and 50 insects per week.
  • The best kinds of bugs for bearded dragons to eat are crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, waxworms, and silkworms.
  • Knowing what your pet needs to eat to stay full and healthy is an important part of their care.