It’s great to have a bearded dragon that’s got a good appetite and eats all the food you offer them.
On the other hand, if your bearded dragon seems to is always be hungry then this could be due to a more serious reason that needs attention.
In this post, we will take a close look at the many reasons that can cause bearded dragons to be constantly hungry. This will allow you to see which ones are relevant to your situation and make any adjustments that are necessary.
So, why is your bearded dragon always hungry? The 7 reasons that can cause your bearded dragon to always be hungry are:
- Still young and growing
- Fed an incorrect diet
- Poor quality diet
- Under Fed
- Female that’s just laid eggs
- Better lighting setup installed
Read On to Discover…
The 7 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Always Hungry (A Closer Look)
If your bearded dragon is always hungry then it could be due to one of many reasons.
Some of those reasons are natural and don’t need your attention, while others could be signs that something is wrong and needs to be changed.
Let’s take a closer look at the 7 reasons why your bearded dragon could be hungry all the time…
1. Young & Still Growing
One of the most common reasons why a bearded dragon will appear to be hungry all the time is because they are young and still growing.
Baby and juvenile beardies need a lot of food to support the fast-paced growth they experience at a young age.
Baby bearded dragons that are newborn up to 3 months old can sometimes eat around 5 times per day.
Later in the post, we have shared a table that shows you how many times you can expect to feed a bearded dragon each day depending on their age.
Here a guide that shares when bearded dragons are babies, juveniles and adults…
Bearded Dragon | Age Category
If you want to know how fast bearded dragons grow and what can cause them to not grow to their full potential then we have created a full guide that explains all you need to know.
You can head over to our new post that covers how fast bearded dragons grow here…(with tables and charts)
2. Fed Incorrect Diet
Another common reason that can cause a bearded dragon to be hungry all the time is if they are fed an incorrect diet.
This means anything from the wrong type of foods down to the wrong ratio of insect proteins and greens.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons need a higher amount of protein from insects than adults do to support their growth.
You should be looking to feed baby and juvenile beardies around 70% insect proteins and 30% greens, while adults should be fed around 30% insect proteins and 70% greens.
If you don’t offer your bearded dragons insect proteins and greens such as dandelion greens and collard greens in these recommended ratios then it can leave them hungry and wanting more food.
3. Poor Quality Diet
Ok, so you are feeding your bearded dragon the insects and greens they need and in the right ratios so why are they are still hungry?
Well, this could be simply down to the fact that the food you are feeding is of poor quality.
Depending on where you get your feeder insects from, they could actually offer little nutritional value.
It’s always best to gut load any insects prior to feeding them to your beardie to ensure they are providing the most nutritional value possible.
Here’s our guide that shares our recommended places to purchase crickets and worms online…
As well as offering high-quality insects, it’s also important to offer fresh greens too.
If the greens you offer are old and then left in the salad bowl for a few days then they too won’t offer much in the way of nutrition.
Always try to provide fresh greens and change them daily. Providing both high-quality insects and greens will go a long way to keeping your bearded dragon healthy and also stop them from feeling needlessly hungry.
4. Under Fed
If your bearded dragon appears to be hungry even after feeding then you simply might not be offering them enough food.
As a general rule of thumb, It’s recommended to feed your bearded dragon as many appropriately sized crickets as they can eat in a 10 minute period.
So how many crickets do bearded dragons usually eat each day on average?
- Baby bearded dragons: 25-80
- Juvenile bearded dragons: 25-50
- Adult bearded dragons:10
You can use these numbers as a guideline and if you are offering your beardie way less than these numbers then there is a chance you are underfeeding them.
An often overlooked reason for a bearded dragon being constantly hungry is due to the presence of parasites.
Parasites such as pinworms are common in bearded dragons and live in the intestinal tract.
They will often consume a portion of the food that your beardie eats and this, in turn, makes your beardie feel undernourished and therefore hungry.
Parasites can be hard to detect as they often show little to no visible signs of their presence.
If you suspect your bearded dragon may have parasites then asking your vet to perform a faecal examination is the best way to find out if they actually have parasites or not.
Sometimes your bearded dragon can show physical signs of parasites which are:
- Weight loss
6. Female Just Laid Eggs
If you have a female bearded dragon then they will certainly be more hungry after laying.
Laying eggs requires a lot of protein and calcium to be taken from their body to form and feed the eggs and females can be left depleted afterwards.
They will usually eat more to try and replace the nutrients they have lost, this is perfectly natural and something you should encourage.
It’s wise to increase feeding, dusting with calcium and also hydration after a female has laid her eggs (fertile or not)
If you are interested to know how often beardies lay eggs then here’s an article that explains all you need to know…
7. Better Lighting Setup
The last reasons on our list is a far less common one but it’s worth mentioning none the less.
If you have just changed your UVB bulb or upgraded your UVB or basking bulb then it’s possible that your beardie is eating more due to the better lighting setup.
Bearded dragons need good exposure to a basking bulb, UVB bulb and also the correct temperatures in order for them to digest their food.
Without any of these components in order, your beardie won’t be able to digest their food efficiently and will therefore be hungrier less often.
If you have recently changed your setup for the better, your beardie could be benefiting from this and digesting their food much more easily.
This could prompt you to notice that they are hungrier more often than usual.
It’s important to remember that UVB bulbs generally lose their effectiveness after around 6 months and should be replaced after this time frame (although you should check the time frame your manufacturer suggests)
The UVB bulb we recommend you use is the Repti-Sun 10.0
We also suggest you opt for the T5 as it has a much higher UVB output and is the best option.
You can check out the REpti-Sun UVB bulb over at Amazon below…
- Uva wavelengths help increase appetite, activity, and induce reproductive behavior
- Aids in vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium absorption
Last update on 2021-03-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How Many Times Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Each Day?
To help you know if your bearded dragon is actually overly hungry, it’s important to know just how many times a bearded dragon should eat per day depending on their age.
Here’s a table that shares the suggested number of times a bearded dragon should eat each day depending on age:
Bearded Dragon Recommended Feeding Guide
|3-5/Times Per Day||2-3/Times Per Day||1-2/Times Per Day||1/Time Per Day|
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