How many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon?

Understanding the dietary needs of your baby bearded dragon is crucial for their growth and well-being. One common question that arises among reptile enthusiasts is, ‘How many crickets should I feed my baby bearded dragon?’

A good starting point is to offer your baby bearded dragon around 20 to 40 appropriately sized crickets per feeding session, twice a day. Adjust the quantity based on your dragon’s appetite and growth, ensuring they consume all the crickets within about 10-15 minutes.

However, a good rule of thumb is to feed them as many crickets as they can eat in a sitting without overfeeding, ensuring they have access to a varied diet of appropriately sized insects and vegetables for optimal nutrition and growth.

In addition, it’s essential to monitor their weight and adjust feeding amounts accordingly to prevent overfeeding or malnutrition.

Understanding the Dietary Needs of Baby Bearded Dragons

How many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon

Baby bearded dragons have specific dietary needs crucial for their growth and development. Here’s a guide to understanding their nutritional requirements:

  1. Live Prey: Baby bearded dragons require live prey for their primary food source. Suitable insects include appropriately sized crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, and small locusts. Variety is essential for a balanced diet.
  2. Calcium and Vitamin Supplementation: Dusting prey insects with calcium and vitamin supplements is vital for proper bone development and overall health. Use a calcium powder with added vitamin D3 at least three times a week and a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week.
  3. Gut Loading: It’s crucial to gut-load feeder insects by feeding them nutritious foods before offering them to your baby bearded dragon. This enhances the nutritional content of the insects, providing additional vitamins and minerals to your pet.
  4. Vegetables and Greens: Alongside insects, baby bearded dragons should have access to a variety of fresh vegetables and leafy greens. Suitable options include collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale, squash, bell peppers, and carrots. These should be finely chopped or shredded for easy consumption.
  5. Fruits: While fruits should be offered sparingly due to their high sugar content, occasional treats like berries, mango, and papaya can be given as treats. Ensure they are chopped into small, manageable pieces.
  6. Hydration: Proper hydration is essential for baby bearded dragons. Offer fresh, clean water daily in a shallow dish. Some baby dragons may prefer to drink from droplets sprayed onto vegetation, mimicking rainfall.
  7. Avoid Feeding:
    • Insects that are too large and may cause choking.
    • Wild-caught insects, which may contain pesticides or parasites.
    • Toxic plants or insects.
    • Foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, as they can interfere with calcium absorption.
    • Foods high in phosphorus, such as broccoli and cabbage, which can disrupt calcium metabolism.
  8. Feeding Schedule: Offer food twice a day, removing any uneaten insects after about 15 to 20 minutes to prevent them from nibbling on the baby bearded dragon.
  9. Monitoring: Keep an eye on your baby bearded dragon’s weight and overall condition. Adjust feeding amounts and frequency accordingly to ensure steady growth without overfeeding.

By providing a balanced diet consisting of live prey, supplemented with vegetables, greens, and occasional fruits, along with proper hydration and careful monitoring, you can ensure the healthy development of your baby bearded dragon.

How many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon?

The exact number of crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon can vary based on factors such as the dragon’s size, age, appetite, and individual metabolism. However, a general guideline is to offer as many crickets as the dragon can consume in about 10-15 minutes, twice a day.

For most baby bearded dragons, starting with around 20 to 40 appropriately sized crickets per feeding session is a good baseline. Watch your dragon closely during feeding to gauge their appetite. If they finish all the crickets quickly and seem eager for more, you can gradually increase the number of crickets offered at each feeding.

It’s crucial not to overfeed or underfeed your baby bearded dragon. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems, while underfeeding can result in stunted growth and nutritional deficiencies. Regular monitoring of your dragon’s growth, appetite, and overall health is essential for determining the appropriate feeding amounts.

Remember to dust the crickets with calcium and vitamin supplements before offering them to your baby bearded dragon to ensure they receive essential nutrients for proper growth and development. Additionally, providing a varied diet of other suitable live prey and fresh vegetables will contribute to a balanced nutritional intake.

If you’re unsure about how much to feed your baby bearded dragon or if you notice any changes in their appetite or behavior, consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper for personalized advice.

Factors Influencing Feeding Frequency and Quantity

Several factors influence the feeding frequency and quantity of food for baby bearded dragons. These include:

  1. Age: Baby bearded dragons have high growth rates and metabolisms, requiring more frequent feedings compared to adult dragons. As they grow, their feeding frequency may decrease.
  2. Size: The size of the baby bearded dragon directly impacts its dietary needs. Smaller dragons typically require smaller prey items and may need to eat more frequently to support their rapid growth.
  3. Appetite: Individual dragons may have varying appetites. Some may be voracious eaters and require larger quantities of food, while others may eat more sparingly.
  4. Metabolism: Metabolic rate can vary among baby bearded dragons, affecting how quickly they process and utilize nutrients. Dragons with faster metabolisms may require more frequent feedings to maintain energy levels and support growth.
  5. Activity Level: Active baby bearded dragons may require more food to fuel their energy expenditure compared to less active individuals.
  6. Health Status: Dragons recovering from illness or injury may have altered feeding habits. Consult a veterinarian if you notice any changes in appetite or behavior that could indicate health issues.
  7. Environmental Factors: Temperature and humidity levels in the dragon’s enclosure can influence its metabolism and appetite. Ensure the enclosure is properly heated and humidified according to the dragon’s needs.
  8. Diet Composition: The nutritional content of the diet also plays a role in determining feeding frequency and quantity. A balanced diet that includes a variety of prey items, vegetables, and supplements ensures the dragon receives all essential nutrients.
  9. Growth Stage: As baby bearded dragons transition into juveniles and eventually adults, their dietary requirements evolve. Feeding frequency and quantity may need to be adjusted accordingly to accommodate these changes.

It’s essential to monitor your baby bearded dragon’s growth, appetite, and overall health to determine the appropriate feeding regimen. Adjustments may be necessary based on individual needs and circumstances. Consulting with a reptile veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper can provide valuable guidance tailored to your dragon’s specific requirements.

Signs of overfeeding or underfeeding

Recognizing signs of overfeeding or underfeeding in a baby bearded dragon is crucial for maintaining its health and well-being. Here are some indicators of each:

Signs of Overfeeding:

  1. Obesity: An overweight dragon may have a visibly round or bulging belly, and its limbs may appear stubby or shorter than normal.
  2. Excessive Fat Deposits: Fat deposits may accumulate around the tail base and limbs, giving them a plump appearance.
  3. Lethargy: Overfed dragons may be less active and spend more time basking or resting than engaging in normal exploration and activity.
  4. Difficulty Shedding: Excessive fat can interfere with the shedding process, leading to retained shed skin, particularly around the toes and tail tip.
  5. Regurgitation or Vomiting: Overfeeding can overwhelm the dragon’s digestive system, leading to regurgitation or vomiting of undigested food.

Signs of Underfeeding:

  1. Visible Ribs or Spine: A visibly thin or emaciated appearance, with prominent ribs or spine, may indicate underfeeding.
  2. Sunken Eyes: Dehydration and malnutrition can cause the eyes to appear sunken or dull.
  3. Decreased Activity: Underfed dragons may exhibit lethargy or reduced activity levels due to lack of energy from insufficient food intake.
  4. Weight Loss: A noticeable decrease in body weight or failure to gain weight at a healthy rate indicates underfeeding.
  5. Weakness: Undernourished dragons may exhibit weakness or difficulty moving, climbing, or gripping onto surfaces.
  6. Brittle Bones: Calcium deficiency resulting from inadequate nutrition can lead to weakened bones and skeletal deformities.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s essential to reassess your baby bearded dragon’s feeding regimen and consult with a reptile veterinarian for guidance. Adjustments to feeding frequency, quantity, diet composition, and supplementation may be necessary to address nutritional imbalances and ensure the dragon’s health and proper growth.

Benefits and danger of feeding Baby bearded dragons crickets

How many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon

Feeding crickets to baby bearded dragons can offer several benefits, but there are also potential dangers to consider:


  1. Nutritional Value: Crickets are a rich source of protein, essential for the growth and development of baby bearded dragons. They also contain other nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are crucial for overall health.
  2. Variety: Offering a variety of prey items, including crickets, helps ensure that baby bearded dragons receive a balanced diet. Variety is essential for meeting their nutritional needs and preventing dietary deficiencies.
  3. Natural Hunting Behavior: Hunting live prey, such as crickets, stimulates natural hunting instincts in baby bearded dragons. This can provide mental stimulation and enrichment, contributing to their overall well-being.
  4. Hydration: Crickets have a high moisture content, which can help contribute to the hydration of baby bearded dragons, especially if they consume them live.


  1. Choking Hazard: Crickets that are too large can pose a choking hazard, particularly for baby bearded dragons. It’s essential to select appropriately sized crickets that are smaller than the space between the dragon’s eyes.
  2. Injury: Live crickets can potentially injure baby bearded dragons if they bite or scratch them during feeding. Ensuring that crickets are appropriately sized and monitored during feeding can help mitigate this risk.
  3. Parasites and Disease: Wild-caught crickets may carry parasites or diseases that can be transmitted to baby bearded dragons. It’s safer to use commercially bred crickets or raise them yourself to minimize this risk.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Some baby bearded dragons may develop allergic reactions to certain components of crickets, such as their saliva or exoskeleton. Monitor your dragon for any signs of allergic reactions, such as swelling or itching.

To mitigate the potential dangers of feeding crickets to baby bearded dragons, it’s essential to select high-quality, appropriately sized crickets from reputable sources.

Additionally, offering a varied diet that includes other prey items, such as dubia roaches and mealworms, can help ensure nutritional balance and reduce the risks associated with relying solely on crickets. Regular monitoring of your baby bearded dragon’s health and behavior is crucial to identify any issues early and address them promptly.

Tips for offering crickets to ensure they are consumed

Offering crickets to baby bearded dragons in a way that ensures they are consumed involves some techniques to entice the dragon to eat and to prevent the crickets from escaping. Here are some tips:

  1. Select Appropriately Sized Crickets: Choose crickets that are smaller than the space between the baby bearded dragon’s eyes to prevent choking hazards.
  2. Use a Feeding Container: Place the crickets in a designated feeding container rather than releasing them directly into the enclosure. This makes it easier to monitor how many crickets are consumed and prevents them from hiding in the substrate.
  3. Prey Movement: Baby bearded dragons are more likely to respond to moving prey. Wiggle the crickets using feeding tongs to simulate movement and catch your dragon’s attention.
  4. Hand-Feeding: Some baby bearded dragons may be more willing to eat if the crickets are hand-fed to them using feeding tongs. Gently place a cricket near the dragon’s mouth and allow it to catch and eat the prey.
  5. Feed During Active Times: Offer crickets when your baby bearded dragon is most active, typically during the morning or early evening. Dragons are more likely to hunt and eat during these times.
  6. Limit Distractions: Minimize distractions in the enclosure during feeding time to help your dragon focus on hunting and eating. Turn off any bright lights or loud noises that may startle or stress the dragon.
  7. Monitor Feeding: Watch your baby bearded dragon closely during feeding to ensure they are consuming the crickets. Remove any uneaten crickets after 10-15 minutes to prevent them from bothering the dragon or hiding in the enclosure.
  8. Variety in Feeding: Offer a variety of prey items, such as different types of insects (e.g., crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms) and even occasional treats like small waxworms or phoenix worms. This prevents boredom and ensures a balanced diet.
  9. Supervised Feeding: Supervise feeding sessions to ensure that the baby bearded dragon is not overwhelmed by the crickets and to prevent any potential accidents, such as crickets biting the dragon.

By employing these tips, you can encourage your baby bearded dragon to eat crickets and ensure they receive the essential nutrients needed for healthy growth and development.


Determining how many crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon depends on factors such as its size, age, appetite, and overall health. As a general guideline, offering around 10 to 20 appropriately sized crickets per feeding session, twice a day, is a good starting point.

However, it’s essential to monitor the dragon’s behavior and adjust the quantity accordingly to ensure they consume all the crickets within about 10-15 minutes. Regular observation and adjustments based on the dragon’s growth and appetite will help maintain a balanced diet and promote healthy development.