Ash’s breakfast: collard greens, butternut squash and dubia roaches dusted in calcium. 

Ash did well this morning and ate some veggies instead of picking the insects out and not touching the salad. 

Ash contemplates the bowl of food, looking for the next target in the breakfast feeding frenzy.

Ash loves mealtime 

Ash has figured out the feeding schedule and routine and gets very excited when it’s mealtime. 

Ash eats a little bit of the collard greens I put in the bowl but is mostly interested in eating dubia roaches. That’s normal for baby dragons. Older ones eat more veggies and less insects. 

Ash standing on hind legs, attentive and excited because it's dinner time.
“Did someone say food?”
Favorite food: Dubia Roaches.
Ash standing with front legs in the food bowl, back legs outside it.

Food for the crickets 

Feeding the insects you feed to your bearded dragon is called “gut loading”. It’s important because whatever your crickets are eating, your dragon ends up eating. To properly gut load the crickets, you need to feed them good food for 24-48 hours before feeding the crickets to your dragon.

I started looking around in forums and on YouTube to see what other bearded dragon owners are doing to feed their crickets. I liked the advice of those that are feeding their crickets regular vegetables and fruits. It’s easy to do, inexpensive and I know what’s going into the food.

The first step is to select what you’ll put into the food and blend it. After it’s about the consistency of a smoothie, place it into an ice cube tray and freeze. The cubes are good for about 6 months.
I used collard greens, carrots, butternut squash, mango and some Fluker’s High-Calcium cricket diet. It looks terrible but smells really good. The crickets like it so that’s good.

Close-up of blender with vegetable smoothie in it
Gut loader “smoothies”.

Here’s the video I watched to learn how to do this:

Day One

This morning I found that Ash was shedding and seemed very itchy and agitated.

Ash with large area of shedding skin on it's back.

I read that a warm bath can help soothe the discomfort so we gave it a try. It worked really well. Ash had a little breakfast and then settled in for some napping and basking.

Sleepy post-bath Ash, basking in the heat lamp.

The thing that attracted me to Ash over the other babies that were available was that Ash seemed very interested in people. The others were somewhat indifferent. I have discovered that Ash really likes being held and will climb on my hand at almost every opportunity and then wants to stay there. 

Ash resting calmly in my hand.

We tried some beardie salad for dinner – butternut squash and collard greens. Ash ate some but liked the crickets much better. Ash standing in a bowl of squash and greens.

After a first night in the smaller terrarium I set up for feeding and bathing, Ash moved into the big tank. It looks like Ash approves of the furniture. Ash basking on a perch