Bearded Dragons: Dubia Roaches and Superworms vs Crickets

bearded dragon beardie crickets dubias superworms

Hello, passionate reptile aficionados, and welcome to our short guide on beardie feeder insects!
Today, we're diving deep into the world of bearded dragon care, specifically focusing on one of the most crucial aspects: their diet. Bearded dragons are unique creatures, and proper nutrition is paramount to their health and happiness. While crickets have been a go-to in the past, many experts and seasoned reptile keepers now advocate for superior alternatives like Dubia roaches and superworms. Let's explore why and set you on track for feeding your bearded dragons the right way, no matter their age.

The Downside of Crickets

Crickets have long been a staple in reptile care, but they come with a host of issues. First, they're notoriously noisy, and their constant chirping can become a significant annoyance. More importantly, though, are the health concerns. Crickets can be aggressive, biting your bearded dragon during feedings, which can lead to stress and injury.

Moreover, crickets aren't nutritionally robust—they have a high chitin content due to their hard exoskeletons, which is difficult for bearded dragons to digest, leading to potential impaction issues. They also have a less favorable calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, essential in preventing conditions like Metabolic Bone Disease. Add to this the fact that crickets often carry parasites, and you have far more cons than pros.

Enter the Dubia Roaches and Superworms: Nutritional Powerhouses

Now, let's talk about the stars of bearded dragon cuisine: Dubia roaches and superworms.

  1. Dubia Roaches: These roaches are a fantastic food source, boasting a much higher protein level and a more balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, essential for your dragon's bone health. They're easier to digest, less likely to carry parasites, and they don't come with the risk of causing harm to your pet. Plus, they're virtually silent, making them a great choice for indoor breeding.

  2. Superworms: While superworms shouldn't make up the bulk of your bearded dragon's diet, they are an excellent supplement due to their high fat and protein content. They're perfect for treating your pet and providing extra nutrition during growth spurts, breeding times, or recovery periods.

Feeding Your Bearded Dragon: Age-Appropriate Diets

Understanding your bearded dragon's nutritional needs according to their life stages is critical. Here's a breakdown based on age:

  • Hatchlings (0-5 months): At this stage, your bearded dragon needs a lot of protein to support rapid growth. Feed them 3-5 times daily, ensuring a diet of approximately 80% protein (Dubia roaches and superworms) and 20% fresh, chopped vegetables.

  • Juveniles (5-17 months): Their growth is still significant during this period, but not as explosive. You can reduce feedings to 1-2 times daily, consisting of 60% protein and 40% fresh veggies.

  • Adults (18 months and older): Adult bearded dragons do not require as much protein. Their diet should consist of 20% protein and 80% fresh vegetables, with consistent feeding once a day—perfect for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity.

The Art of Feeding: Best Practices

  1. Gut Loading: This involves feeding the roaches or superworms a nutritious diet before they become food themselves, ensuring they pass maximum nutrition onto your bearded dragon. Do this 24-48 hours before offering them to your pet.

  2. Dusting: Supplement calcium and vitamin D3 by dusting the insects with a powder form before feeding. This process helps balance any nutritional deficits in the diet.

  3. Variety and Moderation: Ensure you're providing a variety of vegetables along with Dubia roaches and superworms. Moderation is key, especially with superworms, due to their high-fat content.

  4. Fresh Water: Always provide your bearded dragon with fresh water, even though they get most of their water from their food. Hydration is key to preventing health issues.

Conclusion: Tailoring Your Care for a Happy Bearded Dragon

Every bearded dragon is unique, with their own quirks and preferences. While this guide serves as a general roadmap to proper nutrition, always pay attention to your pet's specific needs and adjust their diet accordingly. Remember, a well-fed bearded dragon is a happy and active one. By opting for high-quality feeders like Dubia roaches and superworms over crickets, you’re investing in your pet’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Have more insights or questions about feeding your bearded dragon? Feel free to engage in the comments below.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published