how many crickets to feed a juvie

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by For the love of Lizzie, Jun 10, 2014.


How many crickets to feed a juvenile bearded dragon?

  1. 1 per day

    0 vote(s)
  2. 20-30 per day

    0 vote(s)
  3. As many as she will eat in 5 min of unrestrained feeding

    0 vote(s)
  4. As many as she will eat in 20 in of unrestrained feeding

  5. Other....please respond with a post - thanks!

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. For the love of Lizzie

    For the love of Lizzie New Member

    Is this your first bearded dragon? YES
    What area are you located in? Illinois

    Dragons name: Lizzie
    Age, weight and length if you know? Juvenile. Rescue bet 6 mo to 1 yr I was told
    How long with you? 2.5 wks
    What is his condition recently and if it changed, when? Well, I found her on road
    Is he active, clear eyes and bright? Mostly basks but when let loose runs around, bright eyes
    Is the beard, chest or tail tip darker than the rest or than normal? tail is darker toward end. seems to get darker with mood changes too
    Walking/moving normally? Seems to
    Any physical features that do not appear normal? Well she is missing a portion of one front leg toe.
    From Breeder or Pet Store? (this may make a difference) From the road
    Has he every been treated by a vet, Yep. One wk ago. stool check. all good
    If yes, for what and what meds were used/dosed and time if know?
    Basking or sleeping during the day? basking most all day. except at feeding time.
    Is he going to the bathroom, how often? Every day big huge poop in bath
    If not, when was the last time?
    Is it formed/normal or runny/smelly formed and no smell. but it is underwater LOL
    Alone or with others? Lone
    If with others, what sex"?
    Soaking or misting at all and how often? Soaking every day about 5-10 min

    Set up info tank size? 40 gallon
    Temps -what do you use for heat? basking side top at 95-100 and coldest side at about 75
    Basking point? 95-100
    Cool area? 75ish
    What are you measure it with? a digital probe
    What Substrate? carpet
    UVB Lights type (detailed) what brand, model, and length or wattage is All living things 24" 17 watt 50 UVB strip
    How old? NEW
    How close to UVB light when he bask? on grill
    What hours for day/night? 7am ish to 8-9pm
    Do you use any type of nighttime heat, if so what? yep Infrared 75 watt spot from All living Things. During day Spot Aoo med REpti Basking light 100 watt- both on a stand 1 inch from grill

    How is his appetite? IS there a change? Voracious.
    What size, kind and how many/much insects does he eat daily? 30 large dusted crickets per day
    What do you feed the insects normally?
    Is the dragon eating greens/veggies? yes, kale and collard greens daily
    What and how much? well. ...a hand full...
    Supplements? Juvenile reptile food pellets
    What kind of calcium/how often? Yes calcium powder supplements on veggies and crickets
    What kind of vitamins how often none
    How are these given to him?

    I have done a fair amount of internet searching and speaking to friends who have had bearded dragons and this is what I gathered....

    1) as many as they eat in 5 min
    2) as many as they eat in 15 min
    3) 25-30 per day
    4) one per day (?????)

    For someone who has never had a reptile and just rescued a bearded juvenile from the road you can imagine this assortment of information is highly frustrating....

    About the only thing that I think I can say after all these answers is "no matter what I do my beardie will probably be ok".

    So I turn here for some ideas as to how to process all this and to get more answers on the subject realizing that I am going to get more than one and that there is probably no one single approach that is correct. Just trying to plan out my cricket expenses. I am not going to buy bulk crickets. So it will be a daily thing for me till she gets older and eats more fiber than insects. I am interested in possibility of every other day cricket options just from convenience to me but if she needs daily then daily it is.

    I included a poll. Please feel free to comment or vote or both.

    thanks all

    JEFFREH Administrator


    JEFFREH Administrator

    Hello and welcome =)

    Can you provide a picture and size reference? We can better tailor a feeding regiment this way. Age is difficult to guess... I've seen well cared for dragons appear to be adult sized by 7months of age and others that are malnourished at 18months and appear to only be subadults.

    Ideally, you will want to feed a juvenile beardies as many appropriately sized insects as they will consume in a 10-15 minute period a couple of times daily. This may equate to anywhere from 30-100+ insects in a given day, depending on the type of feeder and whether the individual dragon is undergoing a growth spurt.

    So, I would offer a salad every morning and leave it available throughout the day. Then, provide an insect feeding in the early afternoon and another in the later afternoon (two to three, 15minute feeding sessions per day). Be sure he has at least 2 hours to bask and digest before the lights go off when planning the final day's feeding.

    You might consider purchasing insects online as it is much cheaper than going through a pet store (~$0.02 per cricket vs. $0.10+).

    As he approached adulthood, insect feedings can be reduced dramatically. Adults can have a nearly vegetarian diet, supplemented with smaller insect feedings a couple of times a week and pellets.

    Here is an excellent resource for choosing food items (both salad items and insects):

    JEFFREH Administrator

  5. For the love of Lizzie

    For the love of Lizzie New Member

    Thank you and absolutely!!! I will try to attach some pictures here. Lizzie is about 14 inches tip of tail to nose. I have not weighed her and I don't have a small enough scale. Let me know if different pictures would be more useful. Thanks! I am doing about 30 per day and kale, collard greens, dry pellets and reptivit...she appears to be getting....wider.... although my nephew takes offense and says she is just "big boned" lol. I was seriously hoping not to have to own crickets even though they are more expensive in small numbers. I gave up starbucks and I am calling it even :)

    Attached Files:

    JEFFREH likes this.

    JEFFREH Administrator


    JEFFREH Administrator

    Very cute! I'm glad Lizzie found a loving home to take her off the streets! Always refreshing to see someone keeping their beardie in a proper enclosure with non-particulate substrate.

    There are alternatives to crickets, although by the time you'd get any kind of feeder colony established you probably won't have a very high insect demand anymore. I switched to predominantly feeder cockroaches as a staple... never again will deal with the smell, chirping, jumping, and other nuisances caused by crickets ;)

    She still looks rather young and has some room to grow. I would go ahead and continue feeding at about the rate you are now (maybe a bit more if she is willing, follow guidelines in previous post). After a few months, you can start to transition into a more salad-based diet. But for now, she can still put some food energy toward growth, so get some protein in her. Salad is still good and she should be eating (or at least willing to nibble) on it daily, but she can afford to take in some calories during this juvenile to sub-adult growth phase.

    They notoriously get "buddha bellies" after a good feeding! =)

    JEFFREH Administrator

  9. For the love of Lizzie

    For the love of Lizzie New Member

    Thank you! Buddha Belly....I love it! OK will stick to current crickets. Her habitat bundle came with worms...I heard some can be very high in fat and "ruin" her taste. As in she will not like other stuff as much. She appears to be doing well so good to know I'm not too far off. And oh my goodness she LOVES greens! Rips the leaves right out of my hand lol

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