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RE: Adult Bearded Dragon-Cricket Free?

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Posted by: PHLdyPayne at Wed Nov 24 13:43:45 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHLdyPayne ]  
   

I wouldn't use pellets as a substitute for insects. Adult dragons don't need many insects (about 10-20% of their daily intake of food) and its not that difficult to buy and keep superworms. You can get 100 at a time and this is good for a month and superworms are easy to keep. Just leave in a bran substrate (wheat bran or oat bran will do) with a few fresh greens for moisture (or potato slices can be left instead, but I find these really stink after awhile, if they don't dry out...and can get moldy too.)

Dragons also don't always like pellets...and will not eat them even if they are moistened first. I had some luck with dragons eating the 'moist' foods...but I only offer these on a trail basis and really didn't like them for anything like a staple (I don't trust the gelatin base as being good for dragons). I have tried other pellets and can't get dragons to eat more than one taste before they turn their nose at it.

Other options to live insects are the 'Can 'O' products, basically cooked insects in a can, which can be offered...my dragons have eaten these insects eagerly....and they are all normal insects you would feed live. (crickets, locusts, silkworms (though they use the pupae form of silkworms, instead of the actual caterpillar..which I really don't know if any good as it would have a tough outer skin compared to the caterpillar itself). Don't use the snails and 'sea food' forms...as these are more for aquatic turtles or other reptiles that habitually feed on them.

There is also a freeze dried product..I can't recall the name of it..but basically its dried mixed greens, insects and other foods you just add water to, then serve. I tried it once...found large locust heads in it...and my dragon didn't touch it at all. My blue tongued skinks liked it though....

For the most part, these 'convenience' foods for dragons and other reptiles, are often useless...as the dragons won't eat them anyway. The canned foods are probably the only ones that seem to work, mostly I expect, due to being the actual insects...just a 'dead' form.

If you really are dead set against feeding any insects, alive or dead....then I suggest you look into getting either blue tongued skinks or uromatyx..both are good reptile pets, easily handled (especially with the skink) and their basic care isn't much different than dragons. Skinks are omnivorous like dragons but you can get away with feeding them some quality canned dog food (mix a small amount with alot of greens/veggies, maybe a tablespoon per third cup of finely chopped greens. makes a great 'binder' to mix up all the food)

Blue tongued skinks are great for handling especially if acclimated to it at a young age (and are from captive bred stock) They are a nice size, being around 17-24" inches depending on species) smooth bodied so you don't have to worry about accidental pricks from spiny scales and I really feel they are under appreciated.

Uromastyx are not quite as tolerate of handling as bearded dragons but can get used to it. They do like hotter temps and a more terrestrial layout then a bearded dragon. I don't have much personal experience with these guys like I do dragons and blue tongued skinks....but have researched them in the past. Captive breed uro's are the way to go, but alot are still wild caught.
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PHLdyPayne

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