I give them a mix of greens, i.e. Collard, Endive, Escarole, Kale, red & green leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, etc. Variety is the key. No one is a perfect food so a good mix is best. (No Iceberg lettuce) I usually get 4 bunches (various) and as they get low, I get some more, mixing each time. Once and a while, I add a little raspberry for a treat. If you do not have an army to feed, you can get prepared salads such as Riviera, Spring Mix, or from time to time, Field Greens. If you go that route, remove the large chunky stem portions and if you have the Spring Mix, remove some of the Spinach leaves.
I top that off with RepCal pellets. Use Juvenile for the small ones, up to 8 months or so and Adult for the adults. I put them in a cup and soak them with "warm, not hot" water. Get them going so they can soak while you prepare the salad so when you are done, they are ready to go on. They should be completely spongy when done. Once they are done, drain off excess water and spread or sprinkle over the salad. Just use enough to cover the entire salad.
I also raise
my own Mealworms and Super worms. About every 3 days or so, I add some
to the mix. Common sense and or good judgment comes into play here.
I cannot stress that enough! Size does matter. lol Small babies, get
small, I mean tiny mealies, Almost see through. And they get
Once again, I cannot stress enough, the size, portion size or amount, and frequency, must be carefully watched. Too many or too big of mealies will impact a dragon, without a doubt! Also, too many supers will make a dragon obese and or cause fatty liver dieses.
Now, I put
the mealies or supers on top of the veggies/pellets mix and give them
a few min. to dig in. Then daily I use Calcium (RepCal) or Calcium with
D3 alternating. Just sprinkle on top. (I use kitchen shakers from Wal-Mart,
they put a fine powder covering over the bowl) On Sundays,
I do not feed crickets to any of my dragons due to the Parasite potential. Some do not agree with that but many are falling in line with more and more problems with parasites and them opening the door for various other problems. (Most of which occur after you ship an animal out to a new home, creating many stresses. Stress being the catalyst to set off all the problems associated with the parasites.) Once you receive your dragon and if you wish to feed crickets, that is fine but I do have to recommend that you wait until it has had time to settle down and the major stress of moving to a new environment have been over come or adapted to.
thing about soaking the RepCal pellets is it also provides a good source
of water. With the babies, up to 5 months, I still mist them at least
2 times a day. (Using a spray bottle that has never been used for any
chemicals) Make sure the water you use is fresh. Do not use water that
has been sitting in a bottle for several days. Bacteria can get out
of control and possible get them sick. Also, for the first 3 or 4 weeks,
I try to soak the babies every other day. In a small tub (Rubbermaid
or similar) put just enough water to come up to their shoulders. Use
only slightly warm water. NOT HOT or COLD. Doing so could put them into
shock and kill them. You can occasionally add electrolytes i.e. Pedialyte,
PowerAde, Electrodize, etc. right to the soak. I from time to time add
the above to the RepCal pellets too. (Adding just a little to the water
so they soak up a diluted solution, not just straight electrolytes).
As they get older, you can cut the soaks to 1 or 2 times a week. You can also cut the misting down to once a day, as they get older. My adults will not drink from a misting so I just offer a soak once a week and the soaked pellets.
My baby racks have two fluorescent strips over each bin, one 8.0 uvb. bulb and one Daylight Deluxe from Home Depot (just for light intensity, nothing more) For basking bulbs I use Duramax " SPOT" bulbs from Home Depot, they are half the price and last way, way, way, longer than zoomed basking bulbs. They come in 55 or 65 wt. (Don't quote me on that but something in that range)
For my adults I use a Mercury Vapor and any fluorescent bulb.
Now to get the best color from your dragon there is a balancing game here. The goal is to #1 provide the UVB. #2 provide maximum lighting "intensity" "Diet also plays a roll" While making sure the heating requirements are met and not going over. Juveniles require a basking temp. of aprox. 110deg. F (I would not go higher) and an ambient temp of mid. To lower 80's. Adults require a basking temp of high 90's to 100 deg. And an ambient temp of lower 80's. Most people ignore the ambient temp and do not get the full color potential from their dragons. You can have a perfect basking temp.(the closest point to the bulb which the dragon will be) and yet, still have an ambient temp that is too low. The best indicator is to look for circles on the dragon's belly. If they are present, start checking temps. The circles are not a fool proof way of telling as they may show them early in the morning prior to warming up for the day, or after being misted, or being stressed by something, or possibly being sick. With all that said, the first thing you should check is the temps, if the circles are present throughout the whole day. Night time temps can drop down to the mid 70's. ( I do use a night heat bulb for hatchlings for the first week or two.) If you have room with the temps, try to add another fluorescent bulb (just a bright white bulb) to increase the intensity, you may be amazed at how much it can improve your dragons color. They seem to just feel more comfortable so they show off their color.
For substrate, for the first week or two of life I keep them on paper towels and after that they go to washed play sand from Home Depot. (Still use paper towel for hospital and or quarantine tanks).
The adults are kept on Rabbit pellets (yes, it's the rabbit food) It smells like a feed store for the first couple days when you put a fresh batch in but it is easier to work with than the sand (with adults that is) Small dragons poo gets lost in the pellets, that's why I don't use it for the small guys) Also, with the daily misting of the babies, that causes a problem with the pellets because they soak up the water like a sponge and disintegrate. If they stay moist they will get moldy too.
I also try to get them all a couple hours of natural sun each week.
sheet was written by Joel Roberts.
It is a work in progress and not complete. As Joel updates his information,
I will also update this care sheet. Thanks Joel for this wonderful sheet.
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