How Many Crickets to Feed a Bearded Dragon at Any Age

Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles that need a balanced diet of both plant and animal matter to stay healthy and happy. One of the most common sources of protein for bearded dragons is crickets, which are easy to find, digest, and supplement with calcium and vitamins. However, the number of crickets that a bearded dragon should eat depends on several factors, such as their age, size, health, and activity level. 

In this article, we will explore how many crickets to feed a bearded dragon at different stages of their life, from baby to adult, and what other factors to consider when feeding them crickets

Factors Influencing Cricket Consumption

Determining the right amount of crickets to feed your bearded dragon can be a bit of a challenge. Several factors come into play when calculating cricket consumption, and each bearded dragon is unique.

Below are the factors that influence how many crickets your bearded dragon should eat.

1. Age

The age of your bearded dragon plays a significant role in its dietary needs. Young, growing dragons require more frequent feedings and higher protein intake, meaning they’ll consume more crickets compared to adults.

For instance, baby bearded dragons (0-4 months) may eat up to 50-60 crickets per day, whereas adult dragons (over 18 months) might consume 20-30 crickets every other day.

2. Size and Weight

The size and weight of your bearded dragon also impact its cricket consumption. Larger dragons typically require more food to maintain their body mass, while smaller dragons may eat fewer crickets.

Make sure to monitor your dragon’s weight and adjust cricket feedings accordingly to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

3. Activity Level

Active bearded dragons burn more calories and, therefore, may need to eat more crickets to meet their energy requirements.

If your dragon loves to climb, bask, and explore its enclosure, you might need to increase cricket feedings to keep up with its energy needs.

4. Individual Preferences

Just like humans, bearded dragons have individual preferences when it comes to their diet. Some may have a voracious appetite and eagerly consume all the crickets you offer, while others may be more selective eaters.

It’s important to observe your dragon’s eating habits and adjust their cricket intake accordingly. If you notice that your dragon consistently leaves crickets uneaten, consider reducing the number you offer at each feeding.

5. Health Conditions

Certain health conditions can affect your bearded dragon’s appetite and, consequently, its cricket consumption. If your dragon is unwell or experiencing stress, it may eat fewer crickets or even refuse food altogether.

Be sure to consult a reptile veterinarian if you notice sudden changes in your dragon’s eating habits or suspect a health issue.

6. Temperature and Lighting

Proper temperature and lighting are crucial for your bearded dragon’s digestion. If your dragon’s enclosure is too cold or lacks appropriate UVB lighting, it may struggle to digest crickets and show decreased appetite.

Make sure to maintain proper temperature gradients and provide adequate UVB lighting in your dragon’s enclosure to support healthy digestion and appetite.

How Many Crickets to Feed A Baby Bearded Dragon?


From birth to 3 months, a bearded dragon is considered a baby. Dueing this time baby beardies grow quickly and require more protein to support their rapid development. Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience raising beardies:

1. Frequency: Feed your baby bearded dragon crickets daily, ideally five times throughout the day, to ensure they get enough protein for healthy growth.

2. Quantity: Offer as many crickets as your beardie can eat within a 10-15 minute period during each feeding session. Typically, this can range from 20-60 crickets per day, depending on your dragon’s appetite.

3. Size: Choose crickets that are no larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes to prevent choking or digestive issues.

How Many Crickets to Feed a Juveniles Bearded Dragon?


A bearded dragon is considered a juvenile when they are 3 to 8 months of age. During these months they will still be growing quickly although a bit slower than babies.

1. Frequency: For juveniles, you need to drop the feeding sessions to 3 times. Feed your juvenile bearded dragon crickets daily, ideally three times throughout the day.

2. Quantity: Offer as many crickets as your juvenile beardie can eat within a 10-15 minute period during each feeding session.

3. Size: Only feed crickets that are not bigger the space between the eyes of your beardie.

How Many Crickets to Feed a Young Adult Bearded Dragon?


A bearded dragon is considered a young adult when they are 8 to 12 months old. During this time their growth slows down significantly and now they need more veggies. Their diet should be 50% insects and 50% veggies.

1. Frequency: For a young adult you will need to drop down the cricket feeding sessions to two times a day.

2. Quantity: Offer as many crickets as your beardie can eat within a 10-15 minute period during each feeding session.

3. Size: The size of crickets should not be larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes.

How Many Crickets to Feed an Adult Bearded Dragon?


A bearded dragon is considered an adult when they reach 12 months of age. As bearded dragons mature, their dietary needs shift towards more plant-based foods. Their diet should consist of 80% plant matter and 20% insects. However, crickets still play a vital role in their diet:

1. Frequency: Offer crickets to your adult bearded dragon 2-3 times per week to maintain an appropriate protein intake.

2. Quantity: Generally, feed 10-20 crickets per feeding session, depending on your dragon’s size and activity level. Always monitor your bearded dragon’s weight and adjust the quantity accordingly.

3. Size: Continue providing crickets that are no larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes.

Should I Feed Live Crickets to My Bearded Dragon?

Never feed your bearded dragon any dead insects including crickets. Because dead insects decompose very quickly and your bearded dragon can get sick if they eat them.

After your bearded dragon has finished feeding, it’s essential to promptly remove any uneaten crickets from their enclosure.

If these crickets die and begin to decompose, your bearded dragon may still eat them, putting their health at risk due to the ingestion of rotting matter. This can lead to serious illnesses in your beloved reptilian pet.

Why Are Crickets Important for Bearded Dragons?


Crickets are a popular protein source for bearded dragons, as they are easily accessible, less expensive, and provide exercise for the reptile. Although they have a small risk of carrying parasites, purchasing from a reliable seller can mitigate this issue.

Dubia roaches are another option, containing more protein and being less likely to carry parasites, but they are less popular due to their unavailability and the reluctance of owners to bring roaches into their homes.

Other protein options include super worms, which can add variety to the diet. To maximize nutrition, owners can dust crickets with powdered minerals like calcium and vitamins.

Crickets are a cost-effective protein source with lower fat content compared to other options.

Another reason why crickets are so popular for bearded dragons is that crickets are easy to breed.

Wrapping Up

As a fellow bearded dragon keeper, I understand the importance of providing the right nutrition to our scaly friends. In this article, we’ve discussed the key factors in determining how many crickets a bearded dragon should eat, taking into account their age, size, and individual needs. We’ve learned that younger bearded dragons require more crickets than adults, and that it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet by incorporating other food sources like vegetables and fruits.

Monitoring your bearded dragon’s health and adjusting their feeding practices as they grow is crucial to ensure their well-being. Remember that every bearded dragon is unique, and what works for one might not be suitable for another. If you have concerns about your bearded dragon’s diet or health, don’t hesitate to consult a reptile specialist or veterinarian.

Caring for a bearded dragon is a rewarding experience, and I’ve personally found great joy in watching my own bearded dragon thrive on a well-balanced diet. I hope this article has helped you better understand your bearded dragon’s nutritional needs and given you the confidence to provide them with a healthy, happy life.

As we continue our journey as reptile enthusiasts, let’s keep learning, sharing our experiences, and supporting each other in our pursuit of providing the best care for our beloved bearded dragons. Happy feeding!

Filled under: Lizards

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