Fortunately, feeding your bearded dragons pets isn’t much difficult, but even so, there are issues that may arise like bearded dragons not eating crickets. But why is a bearded dragon not eating crickets?
If a beardie is not eating correctly or will not accept some food, it creates a lot of concern, and there is much confusion as to why this is happening. Many people have no problem with feeding, but the challenge comes in when the beardies refuse to eat.
If you don’t understand what is causing your pet not to eat, it becomes a big problem. Here, we will learn the reasons behind beardies, not eating crickets and more useful information.
My Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat Crickets
If you can’t know what the problem is, neither can you be able to bring an ideal solution. So, if your bearded dragon is not taking crickets, quitting will not solve anything. You need to identify the root cause of the problem and then know what to do.
Crickets are the most commonly used live insect feeders for bearded lizards. They are excellent sources of calcium and protein after Silkworms and Dubia roaches. Crickets are also cheap and widely available, and that is why many people prefer to use them.
So, when I say that you don’t yet have to quit using the crickets if your beardie turns-down on eating them, is because you might lose a nutritious insect feeder. Also, sometimes, the problem is not with your pet, but there might be something you are doing wrongly.
I want you to know that many reasons can make a beardie reject crickets, and most of them are nothing to worry about; they can quickly be addressed. You just need to identify the primary cause of what is happening, and it will eventually help you to act in the right way.
Continue reading to learn the potential situations for bearded dragons to refuse eating crickets.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Eating Crickets?
At least every person has his/her favorite dish. Although it’s a dish of choice, at times, we will not feel like taking it. This could be because of eating the same food over and over again, or due to other reasons.
Similarly, bearded dragons tend to stop eating crickets because of a couple of reasons. In most occasions, it is because of a non-stressful situation, and you don’t need to be disturbed. But if it is something stressful, you will need to see a reptile vet.
Here are the reasons that could be contributing to your lizard, not eating crickets. Let’s see them.
I’m Tired of Crickets
By stopping to eat crickets, it may be a sign that the beardie is telling you that it has been eating the same food for a long time and it’s time to get something different. The same way we get tired of eating the same meal continuously, it also happens to bearded dragons.
If your pet has been eating crickets for an extended period, and you suddenly realize that it is rejecting them, then that is the issue.
However, BSF or phoenix worms are expensive, but if you can afford them, they are more nutritious. Dubia roaches contain a high amount of proteins and other valuable nutrients and make perfect staple insects for the bearded lizards.
You can also mix a few crickets with another insect feeder in the diet. Note that, not all beardies will accept the crickets again. So, if your pet is in that category, don’t force things, consider using other options and ensure it is getting a well-balanced diet always.
A Beardie Refusing Crickets When Preparing to Brumate
If your dragon stops eating crickets or it reduces its intake, it could be preparing for brumation. If winter season in your region is around the corner, and you observe this behavior, then your pet is getting ready for brumation.
During this period, bearded dragons tend to lighten their diet as one way to prepare them for hibernation. Other signs to check for when the dragons are about to enter into brumation include, lethargy, not wanting to bask, it isn’t easy to wake them up, among others.
When the beardie can’t eat crickets due to brumation, there is nothing to worry you; it is a natural process. Allow the beardie to eat what it can because there is nothing much you can do. But make sure your lizard is hydrated and keep the temperatures at the standard level.
The Beardie has Outgrown the Crickets
Bearded dragons vary in their diet, depending on their age. Young bearded lizards have a good appetite for insect feeders which make up the largest part in their diet. As they continue to grow, the desire for insects keeps reducing and the beardies switch to more vegetables.
So, if you have a beardie and it gradually rejects the crickets, maybe it has outgrown them. You will want to check on its age first to be confident that your pet is just rejecting crickets for this reason.
The adult bearded dragons eat more vegetables than insects, and the veggies provide them with essential minerals and vitamins necessary for good health. If your dragon is transitioning from baby to juvenile or juvenile to the adult stage, you also need to adjust its diet.
Not Taking Crickets Due to Sickness
Another reason for the beardies to spurn the crickets or even other foods is because of illnesses. If you notice the beardie declining crickets and it happens extremely sudden, then this could be due to a disease.
If the beardie is not brumating and there are no other apparent reasons you will need to take your pet to a reptile vet right away. The beardie may be sick or it is impacted.
Whichever the case, the vet will be able to identify the problem and give an appropriate solution.
Crickets as New Food
If you have heard of fussy pets, bearded dragons extremely qualify to be part of that category. They will not readily accept the new food given to them but instead, prefers to have specific foods which they have been eating before.
How can you make your lizard accept the food that is recently introduced to them? It may not be an easy task, and it requires several trials before the beardie can adapt to the new insects.
You will need to be persistent with the crickets, and once the lizard is familiar with these insects, it will start to eat them. However, bearded dragons are not the same, some will eventually accept the crickets, but others will not even touch or smell them.
Don’t be shocked to find that your dragon is the type that is exceptionally fussy and will never eat crickets. Again, please do not force your pet to eat what it doesn’t want because it might undermine its health.
Feeding more than one cricket at a time may result in some insects hiding in the enclosure before the dragon gets the opportunity to gobble them up. Before you finish feeding, it means that there will be several crickets hiding behind decors or underneath.
When these crickets become hungry, they will start to nibble on your bearded dragon and cause injuries. I believe this is the last thing you want to happen to your adorable dragon.
Also, the crickets can crawl on top of your beardie and expose the pet to stress due to disturbances. To avoid all these problems, consider feeding the beardies one insect at a time; you can feed by your hand, use the feeding tongs or a cricket feeding rock.
Like I said, bearded dragons are different, some lizards after receiving cricket’s bites will never forget about it. That’s why they stop eating the cricket and this can go up to forever. But some dragons forget after sometime and can start taking the crickets again.
What Dangers Do Crickets Present to Bearded Dragons?
Although many people widely use crickets as the primary protein sources to their beardies, they are not the perfect options because of the dangers they pose to the beardies.
The rule of thumb explains that the ideal crickets for bearded dragons should be smaller than the width of the dragon’s eyes. More giant crickets are unable to pass through the digestive system leading to blockage and eventually impaction.
We have also seen that when the crickets remain hiding in the tank, they tend to bite on the beardie’s tail, back or legs and cause injuries. We have brown crickets which are nocturnal and black cricket are diurnal, but they all have the same effects.
Wild crickets tend to be contaminated and can result in the spread of parasites to your lizard. Crickets that come into contact with the pesticide, fungicide, fertilizers and other chemicals can kill the beardies when they consume them.
Always buy the crickets feeders from a cricket breeder with a good reputation. Moreover, crickets that are too big can make the dragons choke.
If your bearded dragon is not eating crickets, it could be due to the situations we have discussed above. If your lizard seems sick, take a trip to your reptile veterinarian for an examination.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope it has helped you and your questions have been answered.