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When is the Right Time to Get a Beardie?

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by jammyja, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    I'm 12, going 13 in 3 days and reptiles have always been very cool to me. I haven't had a reptile yet and I recently saw a little cute guy in the local pet store.

    I fell in love with him and I go to check on him every week to make sure he is still there. I'm in school and wondering if a beardie would need a lot of care through the day and would be to much to handle.

    I feed my dog and care for him everyday and my mother and father think I am ready.

    Thank you
  2. Dragonflies

    Dragonflies Banned User

    Hi there, based on my limited experience so far with our Beardie, I would say that it would be a great first dragon for you.
    The fact that you are asking the question is a good sign, and the fact that your parents think you are ready is another good sign (that's assuming they will help you if necessary :)).

    Read a few care sheets, figure out what you need and how much it is all going to cost (don't forget, if he is a youngster, you will need a smaller tank to start and then a much larger one in just a few months).
    It's also a good idea to find out if there is a vet in your area who is experienced with reptiles.
    If you do all the research and think you can handle, and afford caring for the dragon, then go for it. There's plenty of people on forums such as this who can help you along the way. Just always remember to never believe everything you read on the internet :D, you'll usually figure out which answers are the good ones because people will be in agreement.

    If you do go for it, don't forget to get everything set up first and monitor the temperatures for a day or two before bringing the dragon home.

    Happy 13th in a few days.
  3. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    Thanks, my friends uncle has two bearded dragons and he said he will help me with getting the equipment and getting the temperatures right.
  4. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    So how old is this cute little beardie that you've been looking at? Do he look healthy, and active?

    They can be a lot more work when they are young, frequent feeding and cleaning, Pooping and eating machines.
  5. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    He has all his toes and his tail isn't snipped so it's good there. He is eating healthy with his crickets and veg.

    The only thing I'm worried about is the poop, either he poops a lot or the pet store doesn't clean the vivarium out often enough
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    probably the pet store not cleaning it out enough.

    I would say be sure not only are you emotionally ready for an animal, but financially. Bearded dragons cost a lot to set up and a lot to maintain. Not only do their lights cost a bundle, but crickets/roaches/mealworms aren't free unless you breed them. Lights need to be replaced every 6 months to a year and there are vet bills that come up.

    Be sure to read over care sheets, and then read them again and again and again.
  7. Dragonflies

    Dragonflies Banned User

    LOL, picking up poop is a vocation.:D
  8. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    It seems like that when they are young! LOL
  9. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    So would u guys think I'm ready?
  10. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    What do you know, so far about this reptile and its needs?
  11. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    I think you are ready as far as being prepared as long as you read the care sheet, but remember the cost! If you parents will help pay for these things as they are all vital:

    UVB light--this is not an option, without this they will get sick and won't live long
    Heat light--You can use regular house bulbs that get hot, you don't need reptile lights, they are the same
    the tank--beardies get BIG! People suggest at least a 40 gallon tank for an adult, and you will want to be prepared(Better to buy one tank for it's whole life than 2 or 3 as it grows)
    Food--Read the care sheets, they can't have lettuce, so make sure you know what greens he gets! :)
    Vitamins/Calcium--to be dusted on veggies/crickets, you'll read about this in the care sheets
    Digital thermometer--You can get a cheap one at Lowe's or Home Depot

    There is more, but it's mostly just expensive at FIRST..once you have the tank and the lights it's only upkeep, and replacing the lights when they go bad. You gotta buy veggies and bugs, so make sure you are ready for that(though they aren't TOO pricey)

    And make sure you read proper care sheets, don't put your beardie on sand :) Give him tile or newspaper/paper towels as his substrate to keep him healthy. When he poops you just pick up the paper towel he pooped on and replace it! Easy cleanup.

    I think you can do this and it will be a great pet. Bearded dragons are super nice and great with handling and they get to be such a fun big size(but not scary big!).. As long as you follow the care sheets, everything is easy.

    And you will have us ready to answer your questions!
  12. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    I know it needs a basking rock, hot side at 100-110 is good and cool side should be 75 I believe.

    Juvies eat about 60% insects such as crickets and mealworms with 40% being greens (lettuce isn't great as it has no nutrition). When adult the diet is 60% greens with only 40% insects but once a week you can feed a pinky mouse if you wish.

    Start of with a small vivarium and when it grows move it into a bigger one, when feeding insects I believe it's best to have a separate tank.

    Substrate sand isn't so good as they can eat it and become sick, I've heard that a sort of carpet material works.

    Lighting bulbs must be changed every 6 months. Must keep an eye on temperatures with a thermometer on hot side and another on cool side.

    Am I ready?
  13. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    how old is this bearded dragon you are getting?

    You don't need to feed pinky mice! A variety of insects is best.
    He would need a basking spot that gets 100-110
    Ambient temps of 85-95
    Cool side 75-85 and do not let night time temps drop below 75 degrees

    You don't need to start with a small vivarium, he will grow really fast. Better to start bigger, he will be way to big by 5 months of age for a small enclosure and you will have to upgrade very fast.

    UVB bulbs need to be changed every 6 months.
    Carpet can harbor bacteria if not cleaned frequently, and also nails can get caught in the fibbers, I would go with paper towel or tiles.
    Your thermometer probe should be touching the basking spot to get an accurate reading.
    I would go with 80% protein to 20% greens for a Hatchling (up to 5 months of age)
    50% protein and 50% greens for a juvenile ( over 5 months to 18 months of age)
    20% Protein and 80% greens for an adult ( over 18 months of age)

    Staple greens are very important (dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens, also butternut squash)

    No hot rocks & no particulate substrate
  14. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    I knew not to buy heat rocks as it burns the beardies belly and it slowly kills them.

    I have another few questions :-

    Do you leaving the lights on at night?

    Can you put a heater pad under the substrate for the nights?

    How easy are they to breed?
  15. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

  16. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    How do these pictures help me?
  17. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    No lights needed at night, you will want to keep the enclosure no cooler than 75 degrees at night. If its cool you can use a ceramic heat emitter. Mine never went to the floor at night she always stayed on her basking spot.

    You shouldn't even be thinking of breeding right now, all animals breed, but they have to be in optimum health and weight and pre conditioned prior to breeding. Also breeding should be done at a certain age, its best to wait till they are at least 3 years of age.
    Did you read the breeding section of the care sheet?
    Did you read the diet section of the care sheet?
    Did you read the supplementation section of the care sheet?

    You can never read that care sheet too much, read it and then read it over and over again. I would also recommend that you purchase this book, It's really helpful.

    Bearded Dragons: A Complete Guide to Pogona Vitticeps - Reptile Books
  18. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    I read the diet part of the care sheet but Im not desperate to start breeding
  19. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Breeding is more of a headache than anything, especially right now. You'd have to deal with getting a male with his own separate enclosure, an incubator, worrying if the eggs will even hatch, and then..what to do with the babies! If you can't sell them you end up with a ton of growing beardies you have to take care of. And when you get older and start thinking about college, it will be harder to deal with multiple animals as opposed to one bearded dragon! :)

    The pictures were to show you how fast they grow! People say use smaller enclosures first, but really you can use the full size one as long as you have plenty of places for him to hide
  20. jammyja

    jammyja Well-Known Member

    I know how fast they grow, like I said my friends uncle has two bearded dragons.

    He uses sand and they seem perfectly healthy but that's because they eat in a separate tank.

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