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Why Your Bearded Dragon Needs Crickets
You love your bearded dragon, we all know that. They’re unique looking animals, but they need a proper diet in order to properly grow, shed, and continue to prosper under your care. One of the most common staple insects fed to these wonderful lizards are crickets, as they well should be. They can make the best choice for a number of reasons, but let’s take a look at the actual benefits and you can decide for yourself.
A Quick Nutritional Breakdown
Since humans are finding themselves eating them these days, the nutritional properties of crickets are quite well understood. For those with more experience keeping lizards, you’ll see that they have almost a perfect balance of nutrients.
The common cricket will contain the following by weight:
This lends them to a pretty optimal profile, and you can gutload them to add additional nutritional value.
The Crickets Themselves
Crickets are one of the most common feeder insects used for reptiles and amphibians throughout the hobby. With good reason too, they’re easy to care for, cheap, and offer a lot of bang for your buck.
The crickets themselves contain large amounts of protein and calcium, both of which are absolutely essential for the continued good health of your pet. The large amount of protein in these little chirpers is especially important for a growing bearded dragons and their diet should consist of between sixty and eight percent insects.
Mealworms and the like are sometimes fed solely by inexperienced keepers. You don’t want to do that, since you’ll find that the thick chitin is hard to digest.
Crickets also have a rarely talked about benefit, they offer some much needed exercise while your bearded dragon chases them down. This little bit of exercise is beneficial for them and entertaining for you.
There is a hidden benefit to using crickets for feeding your bearded dragon though.
Gutloading your crickets is what makes them stand out as the protein staple for your lizard. Bearded dragons are omnivores, and by feeding them a properly gutloaded cricket you can add even more nutrition into their diet.
A properly gutloaded cricket dusted with calcium powder is probably one of the absolute best things for your lizard’s continued health. You’ll find that this simple process can be made quite easy with commercial preparations or you can do it yourself if you’re an experienced keeper.
The proper things you’ll want to feed them are generally the same greens or vegetables you’d normally feed your bearded dragon. With this, you can add additional nutrients to your lizard’s protein.
You’ll also want to dust them with calcium powder of course, this nutrient is absolutely vital for the health of all lizards. It can be especially important for those lizards with thick, plate-like scales… just like your dragon.
Consider it strongly if you’re planning on feeding them, the additional benefits can be pretty impressive. It’s simple as well, simply place the crickets in an enclosure with the nutritious foods you want them to eat for a couple of days then place them in your dragon’s enclosure.
These fantastic little insects have been the preferred feeder insect for decades. They’re easy to raise, but above and beyond that they add an optimal nutritional profile for your lizards. Once you gutload and dust them the nutritional benefits for your lizard are downright amazing. If you’re not already feeding properly prepared crickets to your beardie, definitely give it a shot. The health benefits for them are amazing, and you’re sure to have fun watching them chase them down. It’s just too much to pass up!