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
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?
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?
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…
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
- bell peppers (raw)
- butternut squash
- cucumber (peeled)
- okra (raw)
- spaghetti squash
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:
- Dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.)
- Meat (red meat, sea food, poultry, etc.)
- Wild caught insects
- Lettuce (loose leaf and iceberg)
✅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.