Quick Questions

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by LoveJae, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. LoveJae

    LoveJae Embryo

    So sorry if these have been answered a million times. I could not find them.

    I just recently (about a month and a half ago) adopted a baby bearded dragon that had recovered from an infection that was eating away at his limbs (the name escapes me). He is doing a lot better since then, we thought we were going to lose him, we lost the other one that had it.

    Anyways, I have him set up in a 40G tank with 75w ceramic heat on 24/7. And during the day has UVB light and Basking light on. According to a laser temperature gauge the hottest spot is barely 85 degrees. I have used other lights to raise the temperature before and when I do he gets extremely lethargic. In his temperature right now he is perfectly active. Runs, eats, poops, even lays in his water dish. Is there really a problem with his temperature being lower than recommended?

    The other issue I am having with him, his name is Lincoln by the way, is that he refuses to touch fruits and veggies. I put a salad in there every day as well as Bearded Dragon food (two different kinds) and he does not touch them. He is eating crickets and worms just fine. I am just worried about him not eating his fruits and veggies. Any suggestions on specific tricks I can try or foods?

    JEFFREH Administrator


    JEFFREH Administrator

    Welcome to the boards, LoveJae = )

    I'll start off with a couple of questions myself:

    -How confident are you in the accuracy of your current thermometer? And do you possibly have another one to use to ensure that it is properly calibrated and not giving incorrect readings?

    -What is the specific brand of UVB producing bulb you are using, and roughly what is the distance from the bulb to the dragon while he is basking?

    -How warm are things during the night with the CHE on?

    Its pretty unusual for laser thermometers, tempguns, and other digital thermometers to deviate significantly from the actual temperature readings; but it is a bit odd that your dragon fairs so well in such cool temperatures. These are sun-loving, basking reptiles that should crave higher temperatures. I've personally experienced issues in digestibility of prey items and even regurgitation when a basking temperatures were too low, and typically shoot to keep things in the 100-105 degree range for adults and upwards to 110 degrees for juveniles right under the lamp. That being said - if your dragon is alert, active, eating, and pooping regularly under your current conditions I wouldn't go out of my way to make any drastic changes.

    It may be possible the type of lighting or proximity to the bulb are causing issues rather than the actual temperature being generated. Or maybe your current thermometer is wildly inaccurate and things may be warmer than they seem in there (unlikely, but I suppose it could be a possibility).

    As for getting him to eat salad: There are a few things you can do. I personally wouldn't make eating salad #1 on my priority list at this moment, because I'd like to look a little further into ensuring he is properly set up and otherwise doing well consistently, but he will need to start developing a taste for his greens.

    For starts, always offer salad in the morning as the first meal without any insects. Juvenile bearded dragons can be just like children; picky and stubborn about their salads, especially if they know tastier food will be delivered with it. You can leave the salad in there all day to be munched on at the beardie's leisure.

    To actually get him to begin eating - you can start by trying to elicit a feeding response with movement. Try dropping the salad pieces into the bowl, or rolling a small berry or something to that nature across the cage floor in hopes that he will attack it. Once he's gotten a taste for it and recognizes its food, the process can become a bit easier.

    In my opinion, the best way to get beardies to eat their salad is by the tough love/cold turkey method. Feed them only salad, and nothing else. This can be hard on the owner, because it can take some time for the dragon to cave in and begin eating. This being said, with new additions, I prefer to see them eating something (even if its only insects) and allow for some adjustment period before jumping into this more extreme measure. These guys will not starve themselves, and when they are hungry enough, they will take the salad. In addition, beardie's often begin to develop more of a taste for salad items naturally with age, but it is still an important component of the growing diet and important for them to recognize it as a daily food source.

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