How Often to Feed a Bearded Dragon at ANY Age

If you’re a first-time owner, understanding how how to properly feed your  bearded dragon can feel somewhat like rocket science!

From figuring out what veggies and insects to feed them, to how often feed a bearded dragon at any age, to even understanding how to use vitamins and supplements… let’s all agree that getting started with a bearded dragon definitely requires doing some research!

It is my hope that no matter how old your bearded dragon is… that this post will answer any question you have in regard to not only how often to feed them, but also what to feed them as well.

So, with that being said… let’s jump straight into answering your most pressing questions!

How Often Do Adult Bearded Dragons Eat?

Adult bearded dragons, or those older than 18 months, will need to be fed just once a day every day. Now, if you miss a day here and there it will by no means be the end of the world. But, you really should strive to feed your bearded dragon once daily.

How Many Crickets to Feed an Adult Bearded Dragon

An adult bearded dragon will be one that has reached full sexual maturity. This typically happens around 18 months of age. It is at this point that their diet should consist of only around 20% protein, with the rest being that of a fresh salad.

Healthy adult bearded dragons should eat around 10 crickets per day OR 20 crickets every other day.

How Many Mealworms to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Although many vets or inexperienced owners will advocate for mealworms… they’re actually NOT that great for your beardie.

Mealworms are comprised of a VERY hard chitlin exoskeleton which is difficult on a bearded dragon’s digestive track. Mealworms have been known to lead to such issues as impaction. On top of this, they also contain very little nutritional value. Bottom line? Choose a different feeder like crickets, Dubias, or Super Worms.

How Many Super Worms to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Since super worms are so rich in protein, you won’t need to overload your bearded dragon with them. As such, you should aim to be feeding your adult bearded dragon around 7 to 10 super worms on an every other day basis. 

How Often Do Baby Bearded Dragons Need to Eat?

Much like a human baby, baby bearded dragons NEED to eat multiple times a day. For babies under 3 months, aim to feed them 5 times a day.

Babies 3-6 months should be fed 3-4 times a day, while those six months old should be fed 3 times a day, working their way down to 2 times a day as they approach a year of age.

On a personal note, I remember many moons ago having my first bearded dragon how lost I was! Having been new to reptiles at the time, I simply assumed my baby only needed to eat like twice a day… Boy was I WRONG!

Fortunately, it wasn’t long until I noticed her growth stall that I realized my poor girl needed to E-A-T! So, rest assured… if you’ve been underfeeding I TOTALLY get it. As long as you make the necessary adjustments, this is a judgement free zone 😉

PRO TIP: Around 12 months of age, be prepared to start incorporating more veggies into your bearded dragon’s diet. The ratio at this time should be around 70% veggies and 30% salad.

How Many Crickets to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon

how many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon
Crickets, along with dusted calcium AND multi-vitamin supplements are essentially the ONLY staples in any baby bearded dragon’s diet.

A little bit of a hotly debated topic, you’ll get a different answer depending on who you talk to…

While some owners believe babies should be allowed to eat as much as they want in 5-10 minute intervals 3-5 times a day, others believe in capping their total cricket intake at around 50 crickets a day, give or take 10-20.

However, here is what the MAJORITY of owners will recommend… 

For babies under 3 months, feed them as many crickets as they’ll eat in 5-10 minute increments 5 times a day. For babies 3 to 12 months old, reduce these feedings to just 4 times a day, then 3 times a day, and eventually 2 times a day by the time they’re 12 months of age.

How Long can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Eat?

Just like with people, this answer will slightly vary depending on the current health of said bearded dragon. I’ve actually already taken the liberty of writing a really comprehensive post discussing this very question, so you should definitely check it out to learn the surprising answer!

Can You Overfeed a Bearded Dragon?

Oh yes! Just like people, bearded dragons can become overweight from an over-indulgent diet. In fact, obesity can become quite a problem in adult bearded dragons and as such, is something no owner should take lightly.

Typically, obesity in adults occurs when the diet is overly rich in yummy things (Read: insects) and deficient in veggies. Funny how that seems to apply no matter the species, eh?

What Can Bearded Dragons Eat Everyday?

In short? GREENS! You should be feeding your bearded dragon that is 12 months of age and older greens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

However, don’t let uneaten veggies sit around for longer than 20-30 minutes if you can help it. This will prevent things like mold and bacteria from spreading in the tank. Same goes for feeders be they dead or alive.

Do Bearded Dragons Need to Eat Every Day?

While bearded dragons don’t absolutely need to eat every day, you SHOULD feed them every day.

Now, ff your bearded dragon has to go a day or so without eating because you’re out of town briefly, they should be fine. Just don’t make this a regular occurrence.

What is the Best Thing to Feed a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragon eating dubia roach
There truly is NO better, more reliable, and safe source of protein for a bearded dragon than a Dubia Roach!

In terms of protein, there is no better option than Dubia roaches.

In short? Dubias are very easy to digest, are protein-rich, and tend to be safer than crickets which can carry parasites.

You could also feed them Phoenix worms which are so rich in calcium you won’t even need to dust them every time! However, Phoenix worms can be expensive, so just be prepared to splurge…

Crickets are going to be your next best bet after Dubias and Phoenix worms, though they’re definitely not as protein-rich and can be quite dirty if you want to breed them. (Just a head’s up… they can also be quite stinky!)

Although Dubia Roaches and Phoenix Worms pack more protein and tend to be cleaner, there’s NO denying just how easily accessible and cost effective crickets are.

Another feeder that you can feed are mealworms, although they should never be given to a dragon younger than 2 years as their hard chitlin shell is very hard to digest. Because of this, you won’t want to make mealworms your adult bearded dragon’s staple feeder either, but more of an occasional treat.

Truth be told, there are 9 great feeders you can give your bearded dragon for a protein-rich diet… do you know them all?

In terms of the best vegetables… you’re going to want to offer dark leafy greens like collard, endive, dandelion, and the like.

How Many Dubia Roaches to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Baby bearded dragons 3 months old and younger should consume 10-20 Dubias three times a day until they’re 4 months old.

Between 4 and 12 months of age, give them 10-15 Dubias twice daily, working your way down to one feeding by the time they’re one year old.

For an adult bearded dragon that is 18 months and older give them 10-20 Dubias just one to three times a week, depending on their weight.

Now, if your bearded dragon is pregnant or underweight, you will want to boost their protein intake.

If your bearded dragon is pregnant… you’ll ESPECIALLY want to up her calcium intake as well since egg-laying will deplete her calcium store!

The same goes for scrawny or underweight bearded dragons that need to be fattened up!

How Many Crickets to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon a Day

Now, if you aren’t able to get Dubia roaches for your baby dragon, your next best bet is going to be crickets. A baby 4 months and under should eat between 30 and 60 crickets a day over the course of 3 10 minute feedings.

A baby between the ages of 4 months and a year should eat between 20 and 40 crickets over the course of 2 feedings. Once they’ve reached a year, go down to one feeding a day of 10 to 20 crickets.

PRO TIP: You’ll also want to dust the feeders with calcium AND a multivitamin. Dust a baby bearded dragon’s food with calcium 4-5 times a week, no more than once a day and provide a multivitamin 2 to 3 times a week. For healthy adults, dust their food three times a week and offer them a multivitamin just once a week.

What Vegetables CAN Bearded Dragons Eat?

what vegetables can a bearded dragon eat
Fun Fact: The ONLY thing you can let your bearded dragon indulge in ALL day, EVERY day is a nice, fresh salad!

As your bearded dragon ages, you’ll want to switch them from a protein-heavy diet to one with more veggies. Their adult diet should be 70-80% veggies with the rest being comprised of insects.

The vegetables a bearded dragon can eat include…

  1. collard greens
  2. kale
  3. mustard greens
  4. turnip greens
  5. bell peppers (raw)
  6. butternut squash
  7. carrots
  8. cucumber (peeled)
  9. endive
  10. okra (raw)
  11. spaghetti squash
  12. pumpkin
  13. parsnips

Want a more thorough list? Check out EVERYTHING you can feed your bearded dragon in this comprehensive post!

What Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat?

Luckily, what bearded dragons CAN’T eat, is a rather long an extensive list compared to that of what they can eat.

Basically, any food that isn’t an approved feeder (crickets, Dubia Roaches, Mealworms, super worms) or an approved vegetable or fruit is not going to work.

Here are just a few examples of foods to NEVER feed a bearded dragon: 

  1. Dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.)
  2. Avocado
  3. Meat (red meat, sea food, poultry, etc.)
  4. Wild caught insects
  5. Spinach
  6. Lettuce (loose leaf and iceberg)
  7. Onion
✅PRO TIP: In addition to things a bearded dragon should NEVER eat… there’s also quite a few things they can only enjoy on RARE occasions. To ensure you’re not feeding them too much of these types of food, check out our Full Bearded Dragon Diet Guide.

Wrapping Up how Often to Feed a Bearded Dragon

I sincerely hope by now you have a clear understanding of how often to feed your bearded dragon. As a bearded dragon matures, feeding them becomes extremely easy and low maintenance with just one feeding per day.

And as some last minute advice… if you’re running short on time in the morning, you can always prep your bearded dragon’s salad in advance. Sometimes I would prepare the salads almost like meal prepping for myself. It really helped cut down on time in the mornings.

32 thoughts on “How Often to Feed a Bearded Dragon at ANY Age”

  1. Hi,
    I’m a new bearded dragon owner and I have a question.
    Do I need a thermostat for my ceramic heater (it will be on at night)
    Kind regards,
    Abi

    Reply
    • if you have a ceramic heater, that means your house gets below 65 degrees, if that doesn’t occur then there is no need for a ceramic heater, but if it does, make sure that when you do use one make sure the temperature stays in the 65-75 range, so yes you will need a thermometer, but after a few nights if it stays in that range, then you won’t need to check it. but if it gets too high, then lower the wattage, and if it gets to low put in one with more wattage

      Reply
    • I use a ceramic light for my beardie and I don’t use a thermostat and all seems well and good but you should buy a thermometer for your bearded dragons vivarian

      Reply
      • Yes, always know what the temperature in your dragons house is reading. My beardie is roughly 6 months old and I have one at either end, digital works best. You need to know what temp the basking area gets up to and the cooler end is reading as this helps your dragon grow properly, and digest their food.

        Reply
  2. so helpful, found out everything in one website. very clean and nice setup. the only thing i needed to know is what quantity of dubia roaches i need to feed my beardie everyday, i know you mentioned once a day but forgot how many? otherwise great piece of information.

    Reply
  3. Thank you so very much for all the info!!! My beardie, Hector, is having pooping problems and I am worried. I have a great vet and he’s been there twice, but he doesn’t seem to poop by himself. Now, I’ll try the dietary ideas. I know I’m probably nuts you, but I know this can get serious and I love my baby!!!

    Reply
  4. Im new. I just got a bearded dragon today, it was my cousins. Is 3 times a day for feeding too much for my lizard ? He’ll be a year in December.

    Reply
  5. I simply love this site! My sweetboy is 2 years young, lol and means everything to me! I have had him since he was a baby, and I love him so much! Someone once told me that “ ya can’t get attached to a reptile”, I beg to differ, ya certainly can! He has an awesome personality, he’s amazing! I have seen and viewed many sites about reptiles and this site is by far the absolute BEST EVER! Thank you so very much for caring enough about them to create such an informative and useful site!

    Reply
    • If he doesn’t eat what I did is mixed up his vitamin supplements some live food water and veg and any other food you use and made a smoothie out of that just make sure he’s getting enough of the UV light and heat

      Reply
  6. I’m still trying to convince my parents to get me a bearded, but this site has given me so much information that I feel a lot more prepared. Wish me luck! I think I’ll need it!

    Reply
  7. arent 10 crickets a day a bit much? if so, which size? because my dragon doesnt want to eat his greens and vegetables (adopted 1.5 year old dragon)

    a store in my hometown said that like 2 big crickets a week suffice…

    thank your for your quick response in advance 🙂

    Reply
    • What…. No you feed them as many as they will eat in a 10 minute time frame. My mr. Izzzard is the same he like hardlt ever eats veggies at all. If it wasnt for crickets hed starve im sure.

      Reply
  8. What donu mean dont feed them lettuce? I do. Its like almost the only veggie he will eat. I try to feed him salad but hes like….. Nope and dosnt eat it.

    Reply
    • There’s actually this thing called reptile salad dressing that is supposed to make them like salad better, and according to the amazon reviews, it works really well. Another way to get them to like salad is to feed it to them before insects and if they don’t eat it then don’t feed them insects, but don’t feel like your starving your beardie they will eventually learn to eat salad, that should work unless your beardie is the most stubborn guy in the world.

      Reply
  9. Give your bearded dragon raw pumpkin..I buy jars of baby food pumpkin..There is nothing added or raw pumpkin in the grocery ..Not the pumpkin mix.
    Just pumpkjn

    Reply
  10. Need advice!

    We got the baby beardie over xmas break for the kids and were feeding him about every 2 hours (so about 4-5 times a day). Now, we are back to work. We can do morning and late afternoon feedings but that’s only TWICE a day and we are panicking that we are hurting him. We can’t get home during lunch. What should we do? We use crickets now. Maybe change the feeder?

    Reply
    • For ours we were keeping crickets loose in her tank, she wasn’t happy but we had cricket food and wet paper towels in there for water. We just moved to Dubias and I also got the feed dish ( very cheap) that they can’t get out of. I have some cricket food in that with vegs for water. Try the dubias as you can keep a few extra in the bowl for her to help herself to.

      Reply
  11. New to baby beardies, we just switched to dubias and she and my anole do not like them. I know they can’t eat mealworms that my anole eats. When they say how many she can eat a day, she may eat 2-3 dubias at a time and that is it. What she is eating now are 1/2 and 5/8 inch in various sizes. i just ordered 1/4 inch. Are they the size she should be eating 10-25 a day? The tiny crickets she pays no attention to but the say size of between the eyes. I have no idea what I am doing wrong trying to get her to eat what she is suppose to. Today is the first day she actually ate a good bit. She is offered a bit of salad daily and she will take a bite or two also. Help. The beardie and the anole are in separate rooms too.

    Reply
  12. Howdy,

    Can you dust crickets with calcium and multivitamin every time you feed them? Is it possible to overdose on rep-cal calcium with D3 supplement and Herptivite?

    Reply
  13. So I have a 5-6 month old bearded dragon, I see I should be feeding her 10-15 roaches at least two times a day. Can I be feeding her other insects also with the roaches? We have nutri-grubs and she loves them. What would be the right amount to feed her both?

    Reply
  14. I have a question–
    Is it ok if a younger beardie eats once in the morning, again at about 7pm ish, and then at 9pm? I wasn’t sure if that’s a healthy cycle or not…
    thanks.

    Reply
  15. I just got my baby bearded dragon yesterday, I owned an adult beardie so feeding was pretty straight forward. It’s my very first time feeding him today and so far he has eaten 4, I placed some crickets around him and offered them to him on the long tweezers but he stopped eating after the first 4. I have pellets in his cage, some cut up collard greens, kale, and cucumber in his cage and some water. Should he be eating up to 10-20 by the end of the day ? I just lost my 14 year old baby spike so I want to take the absolute best care of this lovely new friend of mine .

    Reply
  16. I have a question I’ve been feeding my beardie Dubai roaches , crickets, mealworms, and juvenile crunchies and have been trying to find out what all vegies I can feed and how much and how often lately ive been worried because his belly looks like its going to explode and his poop is very large and I am not sure what give to help he’s always acting like he’s starving but his belly looks like its going to burst and im not sure what to do? any info and help would be greatly appreciated. please email me any help and info.

    Reply
    • I have this same question. We have had a baby bearded dragon for two weeks. He barely ate maybe 3 to 4 crickets per day. Yesterday we started it on dubias and it sent crazy. Ate like 11 and will regularly eat 5 to 6 like three times per day.. looks like this going to explode… how much is too much?

      Reply
      • Hi Xavier!

        To answer your question I would ideally need to know about how old your bearded dragon is. If you reread the article above, you’ll see I recommend around 40-50 small (0.5″ or less) sized nymph Dubias per day for juvenile beardies (5-17 months). However, at 12 months I would cut this down and start giving them their adult diet, which you can ween them into over the course of a few weeks or months if they’re being stubborn. To get an idea of the # of Dubias for adults, just find that section above.

        Happy reading!

        Reply

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