Caring for your Bearded Dragon
Full grown is around 14 inches
10 years (or maybe 1 if you use repti-bark)
Best raised alone in a cage that will last them their lifetime. My adult is in a cage 4 feet high, 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. A tree limb runs up the center to a shelf for him to hide and sleep. A water bowl large enough to sit in is at the bottom with just enough water to reach his elbows. These guys do not need a lot of water.
I have found that Drydeck (the rubber mats used behind most Bars and in kitchens at restaurants or in shower stalls) work great. They are raised off the ground so the pee runs under and your pet is not always walking or slithering through it and it hoses off easy cleaning and disinfecting. Wood chips and bark can hold mites, also they may ingest it and not be able to pass it. The rubber mats have lasted me over 10 years now. You can get similar mats fairly inexpensive at Wal-mart or Costco. You can also order them from me but I will charge you twice as much due to the weight in shipping. Save the money get them local and use the left over cash to buy my pictures. That sounds like a good deal now doesn't it? Hmmm?
Feeding your Bearded Dragon
Hatchlings up to two months: two week old crickets twice a day at least. Dust the crickets with vitamins. Alternate crickets with finely chopped mixed vegetables and Kale. Variety is great for these omnivorous lizards. There is a commercial diet for them, which I also use, but not as a daily meal mabye every 3rd day. Two to four-month-old dragons get medium crickets. Never wider than their mouths. Especially as hatchlings. This could kill them. As they pass the 4 month stage, adult crickets, dark green leafy veggies like mustard and collard greens. Mealworms may be feed. Also when they reach adulthood feed every other day. You can offer them pinkie mice. Variety is important so offer everything.
Sunlight and full spectrum light is a super must do! As often as possible you lizards should have access to direct, unfiltered sunlight. Have a cage, NOT a glass aquarium but
an open-air cage on your patio, in your yard or by an open window. Put your lizard in there and let him soak up the rays. He will feel better, bite less and get those bright eyes and beautiful colors you want. Please keep in mind if it is too hot you could cook the litle guy so make sure temps do not exceed their limits. Possibly place them in a tree shadow so the light is there but not too intense. This will provide UV radiation necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D and allow the reptile body to absorb calcium. In the winter this can be a problem. How can you put your sunlight needing reptile out in the yard when the cold will kill him? Answer is full spectrum lighting. I prefer natural sunlight, but is the next best thing. A florescent light tube (never the screw in kind) that copies a little bit of the sun. I have been using Vita-lite brand as far
as I can remember with great success, but I believe they have sold to GE and I'm not sure if the bulbs are the same. I'm still looking into it. Another problem is that there are now a zillion lights on the market claming to have full spectrum capabilities. As my time allows I will put more information on this subject later. There is much available on the Internet now if you search.
This and That
A bit costly to start up but smooth sailing after that.
They have little teeth that just barely hurt if they do bite. Although I've never been bit by an adult so I don't know what that feels like. Good disposition. Hearty eaters. No humidity needed.