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Reptiles/Size issues with my beardie

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QUESTION: my beardie is 8 inches long but i was told he is around a year old, maybe 11months old, but definitely older then 10months.. why is he so small?  I feed him medium locust 1 or 2 every 3 days and greens at least twice a week.. he also has a fresh supply of water and a 3ft vivarium.. any tips to help him grow?

ANSWER: Zee,

He is small because he is not eating nearly enough. A year old dragon should be eating multiple insects every day and should have greens available every day. Are you supplementing his food with Calcium and vit D3? How about a multi-vitamin?  Dragons need to have a tube type UVA/UVB light and MUST have calcium/D3 supplement at least 5 days a week on their insects, to grow properly. An adult dragon can easily eat 10 or more full sized crickets per day, plus mixed vegetables and greens.

Please refer to www.beardeddragon.org for detailed lists of proper diet, lighting, temps, and caging. All aspects of bearded dragon care are very important. It sounds like your dragon is less than half of the size he should be if he were eating properly.

Jennifer

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I see, he has all the supplements and correct components for his vivarium, so i guess it is just a case of feeding him more.. i was worried he was too fat though as he had quiet a large belly on him in comparison to the rest of his body and did not seem very active when i got him but since i fitted a new UV tube and put him on a diet from 3 locust every 3 days he seems more active, but i guess he just needs to eat to grow.

Zee

ANSWER: It sounds like you have the situation under control. Remember that the correct lighting is very important as well as Calcium supplement. You're doing a good job.

all the best
Jennifer

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks Jennifer, i went to the pet store to get some advice he's now eating 5 a-day (give or take) with calcium supplement and has a new UV light. He's actually starting to look a bit bigger. thanks for the help

Zee :D

Answer
Zee,

I'm so pleased to hear he's doing better. it sounds like you are a great owner. He is lucky to have you. remember to feed him a variety of greens and veggies also. sometimes you will have to introduce greens and veggies for a week or more before they will be willing to eat them. The best greens are kale, arugula, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, dandelion, strawberries, blueberries, shredded squash and many others. Just chop them up in small pieces and replace them daily. It's a good way to get more veggies into your diet too, since a little dragon won't usually eat all that you buy from the store. lol

Happy holidays
Jennifer

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Jennifer C Parnell

Expertise

I can answer questions about health, diet, behavior, housing requirements, common illnesses, and general husbandry of most reptiles. My answers are not a substitute for veterinary care. If I don't feel confident about answering your question, I can generally point you to someone who can answer it, or advise you to seek veterinary help.

Experience

My father is a licensed veterinarian for 40+ years. He specialties include venomous American snakes, reptiles, rodents, primates, dogs, cats, goats, geese. I grew up assisting him and have always maintained rescued, injured, or unwanted reptiles. I'm familiar with snakes, most common lizards, turtles, terrapins and tortoises. I'm also familiar with Bearded Dragons and currently have several.

Education/Credentials
veterinary technician wildlife biology

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