7 Most Common Birds That You Can Find In Singapore

If you live or work in Singapore, you may often have the urge to know more about the city. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the most common birds you can find in this city. We will share some common facts about these birds.

1) Javan Mynah

This bird is called the white-vented mynah as well. For the first time, in 1920, this bird was brought from other countries to be kept as a pet bird.

As far as breeding and food are concerned, mynah is quite adaptable. It leaves its nests before other birds in order to eat road kills, fruits, leftover human food, and insects.

2) Asian Glossy Starling

Often, these birds get together in big flocks consisting of 30 birds. You can find sitting on TV antennas and feeding on different types of fruits in gardens. At night, you can find them in big communal flocks and roosts. Their voice sounds like a whistle.

3) Pink-Necked Green Pigeon

The male pigeon is more colorful than the female. Often, their nests are in trees. Rarely they are found on the ground. Typically, they get down only when they have to drink water.

The pair helps each other incubate the eggs and the nest. Typically, the male rests in the nest throughout the day, and the female comes back in the evening. Unlike other birds, doves and pigeons don’t have oil-producing glands. So, their feathers are not waterproof.

4) Yellow-Vented Bulbul

You can find this bird in almost every park and garden. In gardens, they can be seen flying around flowering shrubs. Usually, it’s cup-like nest is made of plastic strips, raffia pieces, tissue paper, and plant stuff.

They feed on caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, and ants. After having their meal, they like to bathe and preen.

5) Whimbrel

You can find these birds breeding in the arctic and sub-arctic parts of the world. Usually, they fly to other countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, and Asia during the colder months of the year.

In Singapore, you can find them in September and November. Their long bills to feed on marine animals and crustaceans.

Whimbrel was seen at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve after a long time in 2014.

6) Pacific Golden Plover

In Singapore, you can find this beautiful bird on the shores. They feed on insects, spiders, worms, marine, and crabs, to name a few. This bird can fly thousands of miles without getting tired. They fly in flocks of hundreds of birds.

In Singapore, they arrive in late August. In April, they fly back to their original sites.

7) Common Redshank

You can identify the common redshank from its red legs. But the juveniles don’t have red legs. Their legs are greenish-yellow. These nervous birds are often seen flying around the sandy shores.

In the breeding season, the common redshank feast on worms, insects, and spiders. Before or after the breeding season, they eat tadpoles, small fish, crustaceans and mollusks.

Tips for New Leopard Gecko Owners

What you should know about caring for a Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are kid size and kid friendly and with proper guidance you can learn to be an expert reptile owner starting with these great little pets. Kids love them, and hey why wouldn’t they? If you are looking for an economical pet, a leopard gecko definitely fits the bill when it comes to cost, and upkeep. You can find them in just about any big name and the small mom & pop pet stores these days for sale for very cheap. However, for the new leopard gecko owner, knowing the proper care for your reptile can be very daunting without the right instructions. Reptiles have very specific needs which are very unlike the needs of mammals. If you don’t know exactly what you are doing you could end up with a stressed out gecko.

A couple of months ago my nephew’s grandpa bought him a brand new habitat for his geckos and one of them kept hiding behind the scenery making it very hard for him to find his way out. During one of my brother’s attempts to rescue him from behind the faux rock wall, the gecko dropped it’s tail because it perceived my brother as a predator and got stressed out. Did you know that was one of the interesting facts about these reptiles? Yep, they lose their tail as a defense mechanism so that they are able to get away from their prey while they confuse it with the still squirming tail.

I have to say that I’ve never been much of a reptile person but after my nephew got a pair of pet geckos for Christmas, I have become a convert when it comes to these little guys. They have fabulous colors and good temperaments and since they are depending on you to provide their food, shelter, and care, you have to learn how to do it right. That’s where this great guide to a happy leopard gecko was a vital find in our search to keep these little guys happy and comfy.

What They Eat

Now that you have your new pet gecko, you need to make sure that you are going to feed it the proper food that leopard geckos love. One great thing to feed them are small crickets. They are very inexpensive to buy, you can buy large quantities of them, and they will devour them. The other type of food you can give them is wax worms. They really love a dish full of these and will munch on them with pleasure. If you cannot get your hands on wax worms you can give them other types of live worms such as meal worms or silk worms. These are very easy to keep in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator to ensure that they stay alive and ready to feed to them. Finally, always make sure that you change their water daily because all animals love fresh water and require it.

Expert Leopard Gecko Care

So in conclusion, once you have all of the basic care requirements down pat, and you know what to do to ensure a happy life for your pet geckos, you may once day decide to start breeding leopard geckos. This does require a bigger level of commitment and investment of time and money on your part but, the pay off can be a very nice one. Leopard Gecko breeding can make a very nice second income for the avid reptile lover.

Feeding Birds – What Type of Feeder Should You Use?

Wild birds are surely capable of feeding themselves off the land. However, when weather extremes make things tougher for them, having an additional source of food or water can be a life saver.

You may see flocks of red-winged blackbirds descend on your backyard seed feeder before they leave their northern range. Feeders can help prepare wild birds for their long journey of migration. You may live on the southwest coast of North America and see Anna’s Hummingbirds at your nectar feeder in the winter. Wherever you live, your wild birds can certainly use a helping hand from time to time throughout the year.

Wild birds will come to feed at many different types of feeders depending on the type of feeder they prefer. Some birds prefer most to forage from the ground or platform feeders, as do cardinals. Others as this male house finch will feed from the ground, platform feeders, tube feeders, and seed feeders readily all as one. Others still, like the goldfinch prefer thistle seed from open fields or from tube feeders.

Platform feeders will attract Chipping Sparrows, Cardinals, American Tree Sparrows, Towhees, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Song Sparrows, White-Throated Sparrows, Meadowlarks, Evening Grosbeak, Blue Jays, Magpies, Steller’s Jays, Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, Black-Capped Chickadee, Gray Catbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Mockingbirds, and others.

Platform feeders can be as simple as a piece of wood on your picnic table, or your picnic table itself. However, that can be quite messy. Another option would be to get a 4×4 post and nail a wood plank sized 12 x 12 or larger to the top of the post. Drill holes through the wood plank so that water does not just sit as a puddle. To prevent most of the food pieces from just falling off to the ground, you may take some thin wood trimming and nail it to the border of the wood plank. Nailing the wood trim to surround the border of the wood plank will help keep most of the nuts, fruit, suet, or bread from just falling off. Although, having some of the scraps fall to the ground is good, as this will also attract other birds that will like to forage on the ground most often.

Suet Feeders attract: Blue Jays, Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Black-Capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Brown Creepers, Gray Catbirds, Wrens, Steller’s Jays, and more.

A suet feeder is typically made of wire mesh, and easily hung from a tree branch, hanger, or pole.

Fruit feeders/ Fruit & Jelly Feeders attract Orioles, Western Tanagers, Scarlet Tanagers, and Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

Fruit feeders will typically utilize cups for jelly as in the feeder above, with side pins for sticking orange halves.

Peanut Feeders attract: Indigo Bunting, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebirds, and others.

Hummingbird or Sugar Water Feeders attract more than Hummingbirds. They also will attract Bullock’s Orioles, Baltimore Orioles, Western Tanagers, and House Finch among others.

Seed Feeders attract: Painted Bunting, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Grosbeak, House Sparrows, Juncos, Common Redpoll, Red Crossbill, Tree Sparrows, and many more.

What To Know About Cockatoos

Pets make the lives of most people a lot more fun which is why people always make it a point to have a pet at home. Aside from dogs and cats, people also like taking care of birds specifically Cockatoos. These are great birds and are very playful and colorful as well so to those who would like to know more about these birds, here are some things that they should do before getting their very own Cockatoo:

The first thing that the bird enthusiast needs to know about taking care of these birds is to prepare their budget. This is because raising these birds can be a bit expensive. Pet owners should also bear in mind that they should have a pair so the Cockatoo would not be that lonely.

People should also prepare for the noise because most Cockatoos are noisy. Some even talk like little kids so to those who want some quiet time with their loved ones, they may need to think about it first before they consider getting one.

You also need to make sure that you provide your birds a lot of attention because that is what they like. You should be able to spare some of your time to interact with your pets because it makes them feel good all the time.

Cockatoos also need to be maintained properly. Their cages should always be cleaned and there should be enough water to hydrate them. It is also important that the cages of the birds are in the busy area in the house so the birds would always have tons of audiences to watch them when they are doing some bird tricks.

Cockatoos are also a bit noisy and they scream a lot. There are tons of noisy breeds so to those who would like to have some quiet time, they may pick those species that are not that noisy. People should also bear in mind that when pets get too excited, they tend to scream or make a lot of noise.

These type of birds are also great and could easily be taught so pet owner might want to train their very own Cockatoos. People could earn money from training Cockatoos or putting up some bird shows.

Now that you know what Cockatoos can do, you might want to consider getting your own pet. These are great information that future bird owners would like to check out before getting one.

How to Prepare for a Horse Show

With spring in the air and competition season beginning it’s time to get serious about the upcoming show season. Preparation is key, for both you and your horse. So work out what you’re doing and when and work out a schedule to build up to it.

Getting your horse show ready

  • Once you know what shows you’re entering, practise for that event. Try lengthening and shortening stride so you can get the right distance between jumps, and always practise on fences slightly higher than those in the show. This way your horse should be calm and composed on the day. And similarly for dressage – you need to be confident that your horse can comfortably perform everything asked of them, so it’s a good idea to show them at one level lower than the level they perform at home.
  • During the winter months, like humans, horses can lose some fitness. Work on building it up again to get them back to their peak for show season.
  • Get grooming and trimming to make sure your horse looks his best.

Preparing for a show

Think about everything you’ll need for the show, for both you and your horse and make a list. If you’re staying overnight or longer you’ll need bedding, hay and grain for your horse as well as tack, grooming equipment, buckets, first aid equipment, paperwork etc.

With all the focus on getting your horse ready, it can be easy to forget that you need to get yourself ready too. Good quality, well-fitting show clothes will not only be comfortable, but also create a really good impression. If last years are looking a bit tired, consider investing in some new show attire. Mark Todd have a new Italian Collection, which is both stylish and designed with the practicalities of riding in mind, with breathable fabrics and machine washable jackets. It’s a good idea to take a spare set of show clothing if you can, just in case there are any issues (like mud all over your white jodhpurs!) on the day.

Of course the best way to keep your horse looking good for show season is to care for them well all year round. So keep up with medical checks and groom them daily, paying attention to their tail and mane to avoid knots and tangles. Bathe them the night before the show and braid them too, so they’re looking their best on the day.

Plant Based Horse Minerals

When I was advised to give my horse Nathy a mineral supplement to improve his health and well being, I decided I wanted to take a natural approach. Of all the minerals I found for horses most were of a metallic nature, which was going against the way I want to approach supplementing Nathy.

The word Metallic is enough to turn me off feeding these minerals to my horse, I wanted something more natural. I came across a brand of horse minerals that are plant based and all natural. With 74 plus plant ingredients to keep horse healthy and happy, below are just are few.

Premium Horse Mineral Ingredients.

  • Sea Plants
  • Kelp
  • Age Old Healing Plants and Herbs
  • Colloidal Minerals
  • Biotin
  • Moringa Powder
  • MSM Plant Sulphur
  • Clay Dolomite
  • Clay Calcium Bentonite
  • Diatomite

Natural plant minerals are better for a horses digestive system and also absorb easier than non plant derived minerals. Eating natural, healthy products can improve human well being, so should the same not apply to our animals.Humans usually don’t go well on high starch, or high sugar, which lead to diseases like diabetes. Diabetes can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. If we can improve a horse diet with healthy feed and natural supplements, it has to be better than feeding them unhealthy feed filled with sugar and starch.

If humans can get a disease like diabetes, it is crazy to think that a horse would be immuned to this. Horses shouldn’t have too much sugar, it can lead to laminitis and even insulin resistance, much like a person with type 2 diabetes. It’s important for us to give our horses a well balanced diet, so they stay gut healthy and avoid diseases such as insulin resistance and laminitis.

Minerals play an important part in a horses overall health and in my opinion, natural minerals are a better choice to help a horses digestive system and overall well being. Horses can’t tell us how they feel or what is causing them pain and discomfort but they can show us by either physical, emotional or by their overall behaviour. Most bad behaviour by a horse is caused by pain, or if they are uncomfortable, if we don’t listen to them these behaviours will only get worse and could cause harm to the horse owner.

Caring for Chubby Frogs (Asian Painted Frogs)

About Chubby Frogs:

The Chubby Frog got its nickname because of its plump, round body. It is also called the Asian Painted Frog because of its origin and the fact that it has two stripes on its back that are outlined in black or dark brown, giving it a “painted” appearance. The frog’s scientific name is Kaloula pulchra. All the Kaloula pulchra frogs in the pet trade are wild-caught from their various natural habitats which include leafy forests, rice fields, and even small towns. During the daytime hours, these frogs stay hidden underneath leaves and debris. They emerge for feeding in the evening.

Choosing a Frog:

Make sure you pick a healthy Chubby Frog at the pet store. For one, make sure the frog is actually chubby! Its body should be full and round. If the frog is underweight, you’ll see bones sticking out. Examine the eyes for clarity, and the skin for open wounds or abrasions. If you go to the pet shop during the day, the frog should be hiding. If you find it out in the open, that could be a sign of illness. Of course, it could also mean that somebody else was recently examining it. Be sure to ask the pet store owner if someone was recently handling the frog. Unless the frog is disturbed or ill, it will remain hidden during the day.

Chubby Frog Housing:

A 10- to 15-gallon enclosure will give your frog the amount of room that it needs. If you’d like to house 2 frogs, a 20-gallon tank is recommended. Be sure to use a terrarium with a tight, screen lid secure enough to prevent escapes. These frogs are great climbers!

The bottom of the enclosure needs to be layered with substrate, at least 2″ deep for burrowing. Steer clear of gravel, wood chips, sand, and vermiculite or perlite. The best substrates for your Chubby include peat moss / potting soil mixes, eco earth, organic mulch, and coconut fiber.

Furnish the terrarium with potted plants, driftwood, and other items that the frog can use for hiding or climbing. To prevent the frog from uprooting plants while burrowing, you may wish to keep live plants planted in pots rather than directly in the substrate.

Your frog will prefer the temperature to be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a heat lamp or under-tank heater to maintain the temperature. Aim for about 80 degrees F. during the day, and no cooler than 70 degrees F. at night.

A few times per week, mist the inside of the tank with water. Humidity is important for your frog. The water MUST be 100% chlorine-FREE!

NOTE: Day / Night Difference – Your frog needs to be able to tell day from night. For this reason, an under-tank heater may be better than a heat lamp. That way, you can maintain the temperature at night without having the bright light on in the frog’s face. Also, you should keep the frog’s terrarium in a location where it can naturally experience light during the day and dark at night. Try to keep it in a room that will not have lights turned on often at night.

Setting Up Lighting For Your Aquarium

These days almost any aquarium sets that you get as a package comes with some form of lighting. But if you do have or buy an aquarium that did not come as a set you would then have to get all the different equipment and accessories separately. In this case, you may be wondering what kind of aquarium lightning to get and how to properly install them.

The real question is whether lighting for a fish tank really is that necessary or is it merely a decorative element that you could do away with.

The first factor that determines the necessity of aquarium lighting is whether you have real plants in your tank or not. If yours is a planted tank, the aquatic plants in the water will require light to perform photosynthesis. Without proper lighting at least for a couple of hours of each day, your live plants will begin to wither and die. If your aquarium is positioned in a place that receives some sunlight daily, even if it is not direct sunlight, then fish tank lights aren’t really that crucial.

Even if you do not have live aquatic plants, having a tank that sits in a dark corner of an ill lighted room is not healthy to your fish. Fish like all living creatures live in a cycle of light and dark. Without a distinct difference between the two, they would eventually have deteriorating health and other issues.

In general there are three types of aquarium lights that you could get: normal fluorescent, compact fluorescent and metal halides.

Normal Fluorescent Lights

These are the common types of lighting you can get for a very cheap price in any pet shop. The normal fluorescent lights do provide the basic function of lighting up your fish tank and they do help with providing your aquatic plants the light it needs. The issue about these lights though is that they can be a little bulky. If you do get shorter tubes, the strength of the light might not be sufficient. The same goes if you have a fairly large tank, where you will need to get a couple of tubes together in order to provide suitable illumination.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These are just like the normal fluorescent ones with the exception that they are much smaller. But don’t let the size full you, they do provide sufficient illumination as much as a longer normal one would. So the benefit here is that you would be able to have more tubes in a smaller space, giving your plants and fish all the light they need.

Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting

These are the latest addition to the aquarium lighting scene. Metal halide lights are able to provide illumination that is stronger and more concentrated. This allows the light to penetrate far deeper into the tank than Fluorescent lights can, making metal halides perfect for really large tanks. The light spectrum that they provide is also ideal for plants and can be selected based on the type of aquatic plants that you have.

The only drawback here is that it is for advanced aquarium enthusiast because it needs proper installation and maintenance. So if you are a new hobbyist and do not want to go through the hassle, this may not be the one for you.

So your task now is to evaluate the size of your fish tank and see which of the three options you would like to go with. They all have their pros and cons, so it is mainly a matter of preference.

Fish Tank Heater Guide

The temperature of the fish tank is absolutely critical for the well-being of the species of fish inhabiting it. Unlike human beings and warm-blooded pets, species of fish tend to not generate their unique physique heat. They must rely on the temperature of the water to regulate their internal temperature. The aquarium water heater information below covers everything you need to understand regarding heating units, and will cover types of fish tank heaters, sizes, and placement of the heater.

Deciding on the type of fish tank heater to use with your aquarium tank isn’t really difficult as long as you recognize the variances between a number of fish tank heaters. There are a number of basic aquarium tank heating units; immersible heating units, submersible heating units, substrate heating units, and filtration system heating units. Depending on the size of your tank and additional components such as a sump, you may have to decide what will work best for your aquarium.

Figuring out which kind of water heater to acquire for your aquarium tank is just the main picture. Heaters occur in several sizes and power ratings. Are you still undecided as to what exact size water heater you need for your aquarium tank? There exists a way to analyze the proper sizing water heater, using the size of your tank and desired temperature. Once you know what size heater you need and the type of heater, you are ready to select the brand. Please read reviews online or on the fish tank heater site at the end of the article to see what heaters are worth buying.

Numerous species of fish that want warmed-up water for ideal health and fitness (such as the Betta) are held in small tanks or containers. Regrettably, mini tanks and smaller types of fish tanks could be a difficult task to heat adequately. In past times, a couple of years maybe, a range of small heating units were introduced towards the aquarium tank market place. Have a look at these types heating units specifically made for mini aquariums if you own a tank less than 10 gallons in volume. They are typically marketed as “nano” or “pico” heaters, and get the job done fairly well without the risk of over-heating the tank with a full sized fish tank heater.

Once you purchase a fish tank heater, the next step is deciding where to place it in the tank. Should the item become located in the middle or off to a side? Can you route the current more efficiently? Will it possibly make a difference? There are many simple, although crucial, tips for proper water heater placement. A little trial and error also goes a long way. You may want to invest in a thermometer probe to accurately monitor the aquarium temperature.

Even under great conditions, issues can certainly occur. Essentially the most frequent undesired event is usually a water heater that decides to break without warning. In the event that you are worried about this happening, you must think of utilizing a water heater safeguard. You’ll want to have it when you need it. You might as well throw it in the cart when you buy the heater.

Another difficult fish tank heater task is usually through the summer time whenever aquarium tank water temperatures increase along with ambient temperature. At times, turning off the fish tank heater isn’t really ample to stop hazardously excessive water temperatures, and extra measures are needed and keep the species of fish cool. One can add cups of cold water, but that is quite time consuming. Chillers exist and are essentially the opposite of the heater. If you’re roughly in the middle hemisphere, you might as well throw a chiller in the cart with your fish tank heater and heater safeguard.

From the wintertime, the opposite issue can occur. This is especially true should your water heater not be able to provide enough heat during the winter time of the year, and measures should be taken in order to keep the species of fish warm. Either a stronger heater, or ideally a second heater should be considered as well. Two heaters will ensure the tank doesn’t get too out of line should one fail. Even if your 300-Watt heater is twice as strong as a 150-Watt heater, should it decide not to turn on then it becomes a 0-Watt heater. Might as well throw a second heater in the cart.

Hopefully after reading this you will have a better idea of what type of fish tank heater to purchase. Once you have an ideal system in place, you won’t have to worry because you know the aquarium temperature will be constant and if something were to fail there are safeguards in place to prevent disaster.

The Best Food to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons make wonderful pets. They are active during the day, and when adult are large enough to be allowed to roam around the house for limited periods (that is, until they start getting cold) without any fears of them disappearing in small hiding places – obviously they need to be supervised at all times. They also have the advantage of almost being born tame and are happy to sit on their owner and will put up with a cuddle.

They are attractive and have great personalities, and make excellent pets for people who are allergic to fur and cannot have any of the more common warm blooded pets. In captivity with the correct husbandry they should live for up to 10 years or even more. The oldest I’m currently aware of is 12. To reach their potential live span they need to be fed the correct foods.

I am often contacted by people who would like to own a bearded dragon, and who want to know if there is any alternative to feeding them live food. The answer is a very definite NO. Although many pet shops stock dried food which is supposed to be for bearded dragons, I have never heard of one that actually will eat this. I’ve tried to feed it to mine but I think they would rather starve!

The amount and type of live food they need changes as they grow from hatchling to adult. When first hatched they are almost totally carnivorous. When adult they are 80% vegetarian. At all stages of their lives they should have the correct balance of vegetables/fruit and live food.

When a juvenile is purchased and brought home from the breeder or pet shop it is important to always offer finely chopped vegetables/fruit. The rule of thumb when feeding bearded dragons is to make sure no food offered is larger than the gap between their eyes. This goes for the size of live food offered, as well as the green stuff. If a juvenile has been properly fed from hatching it will be used to always have a bowl of veg in its enclosure, which it will peck at if there’s nothing better on offer. Juvenile bearded dragons are often similar to human toddlers – seemingly allergic to anything green! But if they’ve been used to it they’ll often continue to munch on salad and vegetables throughout their growing period. Some beardies refuse to touch vegetables – some (including mine!) have been known never to eat it when their owners are watching as if by pretending they are starving they’ll be offered something more tasty. But eventually they all succumb and eat it and, when adult, it will be their staple diet.

If you have a juvenile who won’t touch the stuff, don’t worry. He’ll get there in time, and though it’s disappointing to spend your time chopping food that’s not eaten, you must persevere. It’s best to try and variety of different vegetables and fruit – some beardies like some things, others don’t. Cabbage, mixed salad leaves, curly kale, peppers, sweet potato, grapes, apples, carrots are all foods which might appeal to a beardie. Experiment with items that you eat and see what yours likes.

Bearded dragons should never be fed avocado, and avoid items with a high moisture content such as iceburg lettuce, cucumber or tomatoes which will cause diarrhoea.

These reptiles have an astonishing rate of growth – they grow 4000 times in size from hatching to adult, and should reach full size between 12 and 18 months. To support this tremendous growth rate they have to have copious amounts of protein which can only be supplied by a main diet of live food. When deciding whether this is the pet for you, you need to factor in the cost of their food. During their first year of live they cost as much as a cat and some dogs to feed. There is also the problem of obtaining live food – but if you don’t live near a suitably stocked pet shop mail order is very efficient, and you can set up a regular order with most online suppliers.

The basic live food diet is crickets. These come in two types – brown, and black. Black are supposedly silent, but you’ll still get the odd one that will chirp all night. Both are nutritious. Crickets, as other insects, come in various sizes called instars. As a cricket grows it sheds its skin. First instar crickets are the smallest, and then they increase in size through various sheds until they reach adult size. Don’t feed crickets which are too big for your bearded dragon (remember the gap between the eyes rule), but conversely, if you try and offer crickets that are too small he might not be interested in them.

All live food should be gut fed – this simply means feeding them the same vegetables that you are offering your beardie. Hence even if he isn’t keen on vegetables, he’ll be getting the goodness by eating the crickets.

When growing rapidly they should be fed live food 3 times a day up until the age of about 4 months – as many as they can eat in a 10 minute session each time. This can be reduced to 2 feeds, and then to 1 when the beardie is a good size – around 6 to 8 months. It is difficult to give any definite ages as all bearded dragons grow at different rates. As they are such voracious eaters crickets are recommended as they are the cheapest to buy.

Bearded dragons need calcium supplement – daily until they are adult, and then about weekly thereafter. Calcium powder is sprinkled on their food. Without extra calcium they are likely to develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which causes deformities in their bone growth, and is often fatal. Prevention is far better than trying to cure it.

It is perfectly possible to feed crickets and dust them with calcium powder without having to touch them by using a Cricket Keeper. You empty the crickets from the tub they arrive in into the keeper, and put vegetables and water into it. Pots of water are not recommended as the crickets are likely to drown in it, instead you can buy Bug Gel, or simply put in cotton wool balls soaked in water. Cricket Keepers have four black tubes. The crickets go up the tubes as they like being in the dark. When it’s feeding time you simply lift out one of the tubes, spinkle some calcium supplement down the tube, put something over the top and shake vigorously. This coats the crickets evenly with calcium powder, and also slightly stuns them which makes them slower and easier for the beardie to catch. You can also slow down crickets by putting them in the fridge for a few minutes before feeding. Most beardies can catch them anyway, but some have difficulty at first, so slower moving crickets can be beneficial.

As beardies grow they can move on to locusts or roaches. A roach colony can be kept at home, and so you can breed your own live food and make feeding much cheaper though not everyone wants to do this. Locusts are much more tasty to a bearded dragon, and also more expensive to buy. If you start feeding these too early you may find he won’t go back to eating crickets, and hence it will be far more expensive. For that reason I recommend staying with crickets as long as possible. As adults they will only need livefood two or three times a week. Once they are fully grown too much protein will overload their internal organs so if you overfeed you will be killing them with kindness.

Meal worms should not be given to bearded dragons. They do like them, but their skins are high in chitin which is hard to digest, and they are not as nutritious as crickets or locusts. Morio worms are a good substitute, but I’d still stick with crickets as a staple diet. Silk worms can also be fed daily, but again are more expensive. Wax worms are only to be given as a treat as they are very rich. They do love them in the way we like chocolate!

Remember, feeding your bearded dragon the correct food for each stage of its life is important, but equally so is having your vivarium set up correctly. The basking temperature should be right as it helps them digest their food properly, and a strong UVB light is necessary so they get sufficient vitamins.