Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | May 4, 2011

Feeding

I’d read before I got Keiko that bearded dragons were voracious eaters, and that feeding them is more expensive than feeding a crested gecko,* but I hadn’t quite realised just how much they eat until I got Keiko. Now I’ll be the first to admit that he’s greedy and he’s spoilt (he sees me or my mother coming and waits by the glass at the front of his vivarium just in case some food might be coming, and when I open his vivarium at feeding time he jumps out and comes to sit on my lap to eat his food. He once put his head straight in the mealworm tub and took them from there, rather than waiting for me to dust them for him.

He currently eats a range of different insects: crickets, locusts (his favourite, but they’re expensive so they’re not his staple), mealworms, waxworms as treats (and he loves his waxworms), and the latest that I’ve tried, Calciworms (also called Phoenix worms). He also has salad twice daily. I’m trying to get him to take curly kale, but thus far he’s not impressed, preferring rocket and watercress to everything else.

Due to the relative expense of live food, I’ve decided to try breeding some of my own, following instructions that I found on RFUK. My ‘reptile shelf’ therefore currently consists of the following:

  • a tall tub, containing my remaining 12 waxworms, some cereal for them to eat, some corrugated cardboard and a little bit of tissue, in an attempt to breed them. I did have loads of waxworm pupae, but I fed them to the hens a couple of days ago.
  • Three plastic feeder tubs stacked together. The top one contains the beetles mealworms watch out into (flour beetles, I believe), on some bran and some rice cripsies, with a couple of slices of carrot for moisture and an egg box to hide in. These are to be the start of my mealworm breeding project. Underneath that is a tub containing pupated mealworms. I keep them separate tp the worms and the beetles so that they don’t get eaten, removing any beetles and putting them in the beetle tub every other day. The bottom tub contains the mealworms, on the same bran/rice crispie mixture as the beetles, with a little bit of carrot for moisture. These are to be fed to master Keiko, with pupated ones removed as and when I find them when I’m getting worms out for him to eat.
  • Finally, a tub of Calciworms, freshly delivered today.
  • Irwin currently has some small brown crickets and a few little black ones, kept on the shelf under his vivarium.

    My feeding supply is quite low at the moment, as you can tell. I’ll be getting some more crickets in the next day or so, and possibly some more locusts, although due to the expense of them they’re not my favourite thing to feed.

    *Not that that’s difficult, since cresteds don’t actually need live food; Irwin’s tub of crickets usually die before he finishes them, since he only eats one or two every other day.

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