Feeding Tips for DragonsDragons are predators and grazers - in the wild they will hunt and kill live animals (mainly insects) in order to eat, as well as chomping on plants and vegetation. When feeding a dragon in captivity, we need to fulfill all the indicators dragons use to determine that food is edible;
Dragons will attempt to eat nearly anything that moves. Live insects are therefore a fantastic feed choice, both from the benefits to the lizard, but also from an entertainment perspective.
Bearded Dragons see UV reflectance very well (much like a bee). This enables them to determine the right time to eat fruits, berries, flowers etc to maximise nutrient value. Shiny and sparkly things (like jewelry) will grab their attention, as will brightly coloured fruits and veggies that are fit for humans to eat. When feeding veggies, its always advisable to lightly spray them with water, and place the bowl under bright light. The dazzling effect of the water’s light reflectance almost guarantees instant interest from a dragon.
Please read When should I change Food Sizes for the correct food sizes for Bearded Dragons.
Pellet and ‘Dead’ Food
Bearded Dragons can learn quite quickly, and if they are fed good food in a particular bowl or location, then they will eat almost anything offered in that bowl. This can include veggies, pellets, canned or frozen insects, and occasionally thawed pinkie mice.
Reluctant Feeders (Assuming the dragon has been a good feeder previously)
If a dragon becomes reluctant to eat, then this usually indicates one of three things;
Some foods can be detrimental to a dragon’s health. DoLittle Farm suggests you refrain from feeding rhubarb, onion, potato and avocado (inc any veggies or fruit that has touched an avocado). It is also advisable to avoid feeding American cockroaches (the ones under the fridge) due to their tough exoskeleton. Young Bearded Dragons should not be fed on mealworms either.
DoLittle Farm doesn’t recommend you attempt force feeding, but if it is necessary, we suggest you contact us before attempting to do so.