feeding issues, my little one does not eat salad!!

Discussion in 'Newbies forum' started by pythonlover1984, Apr 19, 2016.

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  1. pythonlover1984

    pythonlover1984 Not so new Member

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    hi all, i think i got a picky eater, OMG my beaded dragon is an very picky eater that i am pulling my hair out.. she does not eat crickets, i keep going to the vets as she is not putting on weight, i am glade that this does not cost me much but it is a time factor- we going every week (this become my new home) lol.

    one thing is she not loosing weight either... so its a good thing i guess!!, poor baby she got a needle yesterday for vitamins... anyway at the vets we found out that she eats meal worms; gosh she loves them... finally she ate bugs again... the veterinarian told me to put this in her vegetables, this become another hurdle we need to address.. she wont' eat it only when the meal worms are by itself...

    does anyone else have this problem, if do any suggestions please...

    as my boy is different, he eats he vegetables in the morning and his crickets during the night without any complications, just my girl!!
     
  2. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    How old is she ?

    What UV do have ?

    Temperatures ? especially basking and cool zone ?

    Day/night cycle ? (hours lights are on/off).

    Just keep offering the greens and veg each day, she'll eventually start nibbling if she sees something wriggling in them or eating them (ie a cricket).

    Mealworms are a very poor food for a dragon , especially a young one. Better than nothing at all though.

    If she doesn't like crickets (what size are you offering BTW ? if too small she wont be very interested in them, and if too big they might be too scary looking for her) maybe woodies might be more appealing to her , or calcigents. Silkworms are excellent but hard to find this time of the year (though eggs are available) and they can be raised on silkworm chow very successfully (unlikely to find fresh mulberry leaves for much longer this season).

    She might also benefit by being able to see the little boy eating his, she mightn't know they are food. They do learn by observation.

    My two newest beardies (Peppa and Toothless now 5.5 months old and thriving) love their bugs (anything that moves is gone quick as a flash and they loved their greens and veg from the get-go. I found they were pigging out on the greens and veg and filling up and less than interested in their insects until I started giving them their greens and veg with their second live insect feed each day rather than before their first live feeding.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to ask - are they housed together ?

    If so I recommend separating them as the feeding issue might be due to a dominance problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  3. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Don't be fussed about juvenile beardies not eating their greens/veggies. It is a very common thing, and quite normal. Some breeders get their hatchies straight onto the veggies, but most do not. As beardies grow, they start to eat more greens and less live food. As adults, they will eat more veggies than live prey.
    Save yourself a vet bill, and buy a jar of multi-cal powder. You can "dust" any live prey with it, and mix it in with the greens. As suggested above, try not to give too many mealworms. They are ok as a treat, but contain very little nutrition for the beardies. You can try woodies, or try offering the crickets with tongs or tweezers, rather than her chasing the prey. And make sure the insects are not too big.
     
  4. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    How long have you had her and how long has she not been feeding? There are a lot of questions that would give us a clue as to what is wrong.
     
  5. EdwardB

    EdwardB Not so new Member

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    Have had the same problem with my black soil dragons not eating their crickets. Now i feed them a superworm or 2 each first then offer crickets and it seems to work.
     
  6. pythonlover1984

    pythonlover1984 Not so new Member

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    sorry late replied to you all, but here are some answers,


    How old is she ? she is around 4mths old or over as i got her in December and she was small than but i do not know what age she was as i brought her at the aquarium, as he was getting into the reptiles, sadly he did not know what to do...

    What uv i got? i got a dome set up with an 50-60hz, sorry i do not know what size globe..

    Temperatures ? especially basking and cool zone ? ok the basking spot it is around 35c and the cooling spot is around 30c


    Day/night cycle ? (hours lights are on/off). yeah i got a timer it is set for 6:30pm at night and then turns on around 7am


    Just keep offering the greens and veg each day, she'll eventually start nibbling if she sees something wriggling in them or eating them (ie a cricket). i do not do this as the crickets, eat it instead of her, little terrors so you recan i should put the big boy in the tank so he can clear the crickets out



    Mealworms are a very poor food for a dragon , especially a young one. Better than nothing at all though. yeah i give her two every second day and she is on a special diet from the veterinarian which i tube feed her as at the moment, she is not underweight but she is not gaining weight either... i gave her iridium size crickets, but i did give her small crickets but she was just not interested with them either


    yeah i should try some woodies, i never tried them to her yet!! i did before but they just got away from her lol



    i did housed them together before she got sick as she become stress, as the other one become very dominant, so i need to housed them separately..

    - - - Updated - - -

    ok cool i try that, i been dusting my crickets with calcium powder, but i should get some multi-cal powder to see how she goes there, and try feeding the crickets with tweezers to see how she goes..

    - - - Updated - - -

    i had her in December, but sadly she cought an infection as he was growing but she was not, so i thought this was strange... the veterinarian gave me some antibiotics and since 5 weeks we been going back to the vets once a week; lucky she does not charge me only if i get special food for her what the veterinarian gave me, which i tube feed her every second day and give crickets the other day but sadly i face another hurdle she did not want to eat crickets, so i told the vets this... and i said can i try some meal worms instead; finally she had her first bug last monday...

    i think she is getting better, as she done her first big poo all over me today.. which i need to report this to the veterinarian... lol
     
  7. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    I keep my lizards at 42-45C or so. 35C in my experience is far too cold, especially for a baby lizard with a high metabolism. Just make sure she can escape the heat (as per any reptile).

    Was she feeding when you got her in December?

    Are you handling her often aside from when you need to give her food/take her to the vet? Stress is a huge factor for babies not eating, I'd definitely recommend not handling her at all unless it's required (and definitely do not put the male back into her tank at all, even to clear up crickets.
     
  8. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    I aim for 38-40oC for my beardies' basking temp.

    Their preferred body temperature is 36oC (I can't recall where I gleened that from).

    If you don't know the size (Wattage) and UVB rating for the globe, throw it out and buy a new 10% UVB fluoro tube (T5 is more effective than T8 , but you'll need a new fitting for the tube) or if you don't want to convert to a T5 or T8 10% UVB tube , a UVB200 (10% UVB is very good in a dome fitting so long as the beardie can get close to it (about 6 - 8" from the globe).

    The crickets eating the salad will attract your beardie to the salad, and she'll eat some by accident when she eats the crickets she finds on salad. (BOTH GOOD , it gut loads the insects, and might encourage her to eat greens and salad.)

    Got no idea what iridium sized crickets are ..... please tell us in millimetres long .



    Peppa and Toothless are now 5.5 months old and we upgraded them from 1/3 sized Frog Arcade crickets to 2/3 sized Frog Arcade crickets a couple of weeks ago as they are thriving and now big enough to take the bigger crickets.

    11.5 hours of day cycle IS WAY TOO SHORT.... , I think you might find things improve if you bump up the lights on hours to 14 -16 hours per day (much more time for the her to be warm , to bask, to soak up UVA and UVB) and if you provide a brand new UV globe rated at 10% UVB.
    The longer hours exposed to high levels of UVA are particularly good for boosting a beardie's metabolic rate (along with a nice warm tank and a toasty basking temperature).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Is the vet an experienced REPTILE VET ? ,..... general vets are useless and can do more harm than good if you have a sick lizard. Even many "reptile/exotics" vets are VERY HIT AND MISS from my limited experience.

    Antibiotics will knock a beardie about a bit and will likely kill off most the beneficial gut flora and will put them off their food for while even after the antibiotic schedule is completed.

    . This can be fixed relatively easily though with some suitable probiotics.

    DEFINITELY KEEP THE TWO BEARDIES SEPARATELY HOUSED (AS A PERMANENT ARRANGEMENT).

    She should IMO be on 2 live insect feeds per day + her salad and veg at her age. With at least 3 or 4 hours after the afternoon feed to bask and digest/metabolise the last feed of the day before her lights and heat are turned off for the night.
    A feed every couple of days for a young hatchling / juvenile like your's is totally inadequate IMO , but fine for a full grown adult.

    If she wont eat of her own accord, you may have no choice but to handfeed the live insects and strips of green leafy buk choi , and perhaps some small chunks of veg to her - is easy to do , or perhaps you might have to make insect purees and syringe feed her using a proper feeding syringe and a suitable sized straight crop needle. These bits of kit can be bought online or from any good vet.

    What is the special diet the vet has her on exactly (products and amounts per day) ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  9. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    The ideal basking spot for beardies directly under the globe should be mid 40's. There is a product called herpaboost that can be syringed into the beardie's mouth; this will help kick-start its appetite.
    Regarding the UV, whether you have tube or globe it needs to be 10.0 rating.
    Another thing you can try to get her started eating is to put her into a small container to eat crickets/woodies; less room for them to escape.
     
  10. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep, I had a lot of luck getting my lizards to feed by putting them in another container inside their tank (to stay warm, no lid on the tank) with a bunch of crickets. They have no choice but to look at all these delicious morsels running around beneath their feet.

    Is she eating salad at all? If she's not, keep offering by putting a tray of it in her tank but don't fuss. It's mostly important she gets protein right now.

    As kingofnobbys touched on, the cooler temperature and short UV day for her may be telling her it's cooling down and she's instinctually not eating much. Although baby reptiles don't usually turn off their food, if she thinks it's winter she may refuse so she doesn't get sick. I would honestly try giving her a few days of a hotter basking spot and longer UV, maybe offer some mealworms or two during the day, but after those few days, unleash crickets on her and see if she gets a kickstart. Turning her appetite on won't happen overnight if her environment doesn't change.

    If she's having trouble with crickets, try putting them in the fridge for a few minutes. The cold slows them down and makes them much more manageable.

    I'll repeat though, please do not put the male back into her tank. Ensure you can catch the crickets yourself by removing things in her tank they can hide under.
     
  11. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    It is very normal for juveniles to not eat salads/greens; this often changes as they get older.
     
  12. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi pythonlover,

    Looks like you getting some pretty good advice here but there are a couple of things that haven't been addressed that may be having an effect on your little critter's reluctance to eat.

    Providing the correct environment without subjecting the lizard to stress should initiate its natural predatory instinct to hunt and eat. Having to tube feed the little critter on such a regular basis is going to have an impact as far as a stress related condition is concerned. Personally I'd try to avoid this and look at addressing housing conditions in the hope that this is a factor relating to its reluctance to feed. If the lizard is provided with a suitably warm environment that allows a basking spot for it to reach its optimum metabolic temperature it should instinctively become active which in turn will stimulate appetite. Are you sure this is being achieved?

    How is it housed? FYI glass vivariums are notorious for not maintaining a suitably warm environment and should be avoided with young lizards. Size and shape of the vivarium are also points to take into consideration.

    Live food items offered should not be any larger that the distance between the young bearded's eyes and as suggested it is often best to offer them in a smaller container to make them easier for the young lizards to catch. If your feeding the critter in its enclosure it is a good idea to remove any uneaten crickets because believe it or not crickets wondering about the enclosure may also cause further stress to a sick lizard. They may even try to bite it. Avoid mealworms as the young lizards
    will have difficulty in digesting the chitinous shell. Try softer options like small woodies, super worms, maggots or if you can get them silk worms.

    Healthy young Beardeds should be very active and grow quickly. As such their metabolism will digest food quickly. To combat this they should be offered suitably sized food items at least twice a day and where possible three times a day. They should be allowed to eat as much as they want over a period of around 10 to 15 minutes. As the pinefamily have alluded getting protein into the young lizard is more important than worrying about vegetables at this stage and I wouldn't worry too much if it's not interested in vegies offered. Just be persistant and offer them in small amounts every couple of days until they take an interest

    One other important bit of information is to make sure your lizard is well hydrated. Dehydration will have a negative effect on the lizard's appetite. Young beardeds are notorious for not recognising standing water and should be lightly sprayed at least once a day. This will encourage them to identify and lick water from their lips and or the droplets lying on cage furnishings or sides of the enclosure.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  13. pythonlover1984

    pythonlover1984 Not so new Member

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    Thanks i see how it goes, i put it up too 42-45c on my timer to see how that goes...

    no i do not really touch her much touch only apart from feeding her through the tube; that is every second day..

    yeah she was eating in December but sadly the aqauriam, where i got them said i can put them together so i got two and put them in the same enclosure... then from my sight, i was like this is so crazy she was not growing, so i went to the shop and they told me they gave the wrong light.. i was like what the!! then i brought the right light.. but i thought seeing a veterinarian won't hurt she told me that the little one caught an infection... as the other one is being dominant.. this infection is cleared up now; but i still have regular checks with the veterinarian to put her back on track..
     
  14. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    Have you also increased her daylength too ? don't forget that , it's important that she has lots of time per day to bask, warmup and soak up both UVA and UVB, at least 14 - 15 hrs per day.
    UVA will help her metabolism and help improve her activity levels and appetite. (your light needs to produce at least 30% UVA for a bearded dragon to be healthy).
    UVB is necessary for her to metabolise dietary calcium from her food and to produce vitD , and more beardie and strong bones. (Your light needs to be rated to produce at least 10% UVB , 12% is better).

    What light did the pet shop sell you ?

    Keep in mind pet shops are very poor when it comes to providing good guidance in lizard care, their stuff usually knows SFA about good lizard husbandry and they are only interested in selling stuff and getting you out the door after selling you something.

    If you are gutloading the crickets with foods that are rich in calcium (such as buk choi or puk choi or kale) this will ensure she gets some "hidden" greens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  15. Jackcaleo

    Jackcaleo New Member

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    Hi guys, sorry about stealing your thread, but I have had a struggling year so far. Most of my beardies in my colony have passed away from a mysterious disease/ virus. I am in Townsville, North Queensland, and I built an pen for them outside in the sun, so temp and sun aren't to much of a problem. I keep their cage rather clean with monthly sprays of disinfectant but I move them inside. Now the problem is, and I've taken it to many local vets, but 6 out of my 9 beardies have been killed by this disease. It all starts out normal and they are acting fine healthy in fact, eating, maybe a little weight loss is when I start to notice it. So as I assumed it to be pinworms, so I dewormed the whole colony. After about 2 days the weight loss had increased to almost nothing around the tail and head and later death. I have tried everything from grinded pinkies to baby food and blended veggies and meat to try and put on far. But no luck, and after about a week of noticing it they wither up, in the last 2 days they vomit up food and obviously die. I have hopefully managed to stop it by separating them all, but I'm scared it'll come back and I want some knowledge into what it could be and what I can do to help the rest of my beardies. Cheers. Jack
     
  16. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    Jack, your best bet is to have a vet do a necropsy so you know for sure what it could be.
     
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