Crickets are going to be, or should be, the staple food in your dragons diet ( although I hear good things about cockroaches ). They are the most readily available insect. Most pet stores will usually carry them. They also aren’t too bad on price. If you can’t find them locally or if you just want a better product at a cheaper price, there are breeders that sell them online.
How Often Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Crickets?
You’ll want to feed as many crickets to your dragon, as they will consume in about 10 to 20 minutes. You will be able to tell when your dragon doesn’t want anymore. Don’t be surprised if your dragon eats 60 crickets one day and maybe 25 the next.
You’ll also want to dust them with vitamin and calcium supplements when needed. Check out my page on bearded dragon supplements for more information on this.
Don’t throw too many crickets in the cage at once, I have heard that this might scare your dragon. Also, don’t leave them in the cage over night, they might start to nibble on your dragon.
I like to buy mine through breeders on the internet. Depending on how many you want to house at one time, you will find a better price for them from breeders.
I have found that this beats going to the pet store every week and paying more for lesser quality crickets. Again this is just my opinion. You can also buy smaller quantities from breeders as well.
Even though the prospect of keeping live crickets in your house may not be too appealing, it really isn’t as bad as it may seem. I find that I like showing off my crickets as much as I like showing off my dragons. It’s kind of fun to see peoples reactions after seeing hundreds of crickets together in one place.
You are going to need a place to store these guys before they are fed to your bearded dragon, unless you are willing to go to the pet store every day.
Keeping crickets is almost a hobby in itself. Don’t get too attached to them though, for they soon will be departed.
All you’ll basically need is a container to house them in, and also somewhere to put them so you don’t have to listen to their chirping all the time.
I have used an aquarium with a screen lid on top and also have used rubbermaid containers with small holes punched in the side and top. The size of the container is going to be determined on how many of them you are going to keep on hand at one time.
Right now I am using totes that you can buy at any retail store. I think that for me this is the best solution. It is rather cheap and I can have more than one on hand and switch dirty bins out when I need too.
I usually switch bins when I receive an order of new crickets. I clean out the dirty ones, so I have them on hand and ready for the next switch.
If you use bins/totes, you will want one that is deeper. This will help you keep the crickets inside. If it seems that the crickets can climb the side of the bin, you can place smooth packing tape on top half inside the bin. Crickets have a hard time climbing on smooth surfaces such as this.
Feeding and Watering Crickets
There are many products on the market for feeding, watering and also gut loading crickets. I have used some of these and they seem to work really well. I have also just used oatmeal, and leafy greens for food and provided cut up fruits or vegetables for water.
If you provide a “water dish”, be sure that the water is very shallow. If not, you will lose some of your population to drowning. Also, a dirty water source is the main reason for a cricket container smelling bad. I really recommend keeping your water source clean.
I am using oatmeal and fortified baby cereal for cricket food at this time. I am getting good results with this. The crickets are lasting pretty good and they are also getting some nutrients to pass on to my dragons. There is also cricket food on the market that is a very viable option.
For my water source I am using ESU’s Water Pillows I tried them and ended up really liking them. I am now using them exclusively. They have cut out the bad odor that my cricket containers would sometimes. I put the water pillows in a food dish to isolate the water source. So far I have had great luck with these.
Keeping live crickets in your house might not be something that you find appealing. However, it is neccessary to owning a bearded dragon. Keeping them in your home isn’t quite as bad as it seems.
You might even start to enjoy keeping these guys as well as your dragon(s).
Keeping crickets is a fairly simple process. With this little bit of knowledge you shouldn’t have a problem keeping them and also feeding them to your dragon at all.
It might even help you get over a fear of insects, I know that it has helped me.
Also, if you need crickets , I highly recommend Wormman.com, Ghann’s Crickets and Top Hat Crickets. This is were I get all my crickets.
I have nothing but good things to say about their services. They really are a good places to get quality crickets at great prices.