How Many Crickets To Feed A Bearded Dragon? EXPLAINED

The secret to a healthy and happy bearded dragon is a nutritional diet. Many new owners are left doubting; how many crickets they should feed their bearded dragons. In this article, we will learn about; how many crickets you should feed to your pet according to their age.

The number of crickets in a bearded dragon’s diet depends on their age, size, and activity level. Generally, adult bearded dragons require fewer crickets when compared to juvenile beardies. This is because they have a slower metabolism and are also less active. Female bearded dragons require more crickets than males during the time of pregnancy.

A healthy bearded dragon eats around 10-20 crickets per week. It is also very important to monitor their size and weight to avoid obesity or malnourishment. You can feed a juvenile dragon as many crickets as it can eat in 15-20 minutes. A young bearded dragon eats about  25-80 crickets in just one day. Do not overfeed your pet, as it can lead to digestive problems or impaction.

You should also feed your bearded dragons with the appropriate size of crickets. Feeding a much larger cricket could result in choking, while the smaller one does not provide enough nutrition to the body.

Additionally, you can also add mealworms, waxworms, and superworms to ensure a balanced diet. Feeding only one type of insect can lead to various nutritional deficiencies and health problems.

How Many Crickets Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragon?

How many crickets to feed a baby Bearded Dragon

Crickets are a great way of giving your pet some protein. The amount of cricket depends on the size, age, and health of your bearded dragons. The main indication of how many crickets to feed is to look at the age of your loving pet

AgeFeeding FrequencyCrickets Per FeedingNumber of Crickets Per Day
Baby5 times a dayAs many as they can eat in 10-15 min25-80
Juvenile 2-3 times a dayAs many as they can eat in 10-15 min25-60
Adult1 feeding per dayAs many as they can eat in 10-15 min10

Baby Bearded Dragons

Baby Bearded Dragons

Baby beardies should be fed crickets at least 4-5 times a day. Crickets can act as a source of protein for your pet. Baby bearded dragons need to be fed this often because their body is growing rapidly, and they need an active source of protein. Not only this, baby dragons have a faster metabolism as compared to juveniles or adults. Crickets help maintain your pet’s health and maximize its growth by providing them with a protein-rich diet.

During each feeding, you should allow your pet to eat as many crickets in 10-15 minutes. By the end of the day, your baby beardie might have eaten anything between 25-80 crickets. The number of crickets varies from each owner as they might have different activities and body types. 25-80 crickets might sound like a lot, but it is very normal for them as they are growing rapidly and have a faster metabolism.

Editor‘s Note
You should also give your bearded dragons fresh leaves a few times a day if they get hungry between feedings. Doing so will also help maintain a balanced diet for your pet.

Juvenile Bearded Dragons

Juvenile Bearded Dragon

Juvenile beardies should be given crickets at least 2-3 times per day. When your pet is in juvenile age (3-8 months), they are still going through rapid growth and need an active source of protein. Giving a regular source of protein will boost their health and support organ growth.

As your pet reaches the 6-8 months mark, reduce the number of feedings to 2 times a day. As they become sub-adults, the number of cricket feedings will drop to 1. You should let your juvenile beardies eat as many crickets within a 10-15-minute period. On average, your pet will consume around 25-60 crickets per day.

Adult Bearded Dragons

Adult Bearded Dragon

Adult dragons should be fed very less crickets as compared to babies and juveniles. You should be giving your pet an eighty percent vegetarian diet and only a twenty percent insect diet. Adult bearded dragons only require 1 protein feed per day. 

At this stage of your pet’s life, they have grown as much as they could and now have a slower metabolism. You should mostly feed them with vegetables, leafy greens, and a small amount of fruit. At the time of feeding, let them eat as many crickets as they can within 10-15 minutes.

Editor’s Note
Some Bearded Dragon owners only feed their pets every other day or every third day to keep their digestion and health in check.

What Kind of Crickets Should You Feed to Bearded Dragons?

Bearded Dragon eating cricket

There are over 800+ species of crickets in the world, but the most common ones pet owners use are; House crickets, Jamaican crickets, Tropical house cricket, and Two-spotted cricket.

You should also check the size of the crickets before feeding them to your bearded dragon. A larger-sized cricket can cause a choking hazard, impaction, or digestion issues.

Cricket SizeDescriptionRecommended For
Pinhead-Sized Crickets2 days old crickets, 0.05 inches in size, and are winglessHatchling and Baby Bearded Dragons
Small-SizedCrickets5 days old crickets, 0.13 inches in size, and have a soft bodyOlder baby bearded dragons and juveniles
Medium-Sized Crickets3 weeks old, 0.5-1 inches in size, and are most commonly availableJuveniles and young adults
Large-Sized Crickets5 weeks old, 1-1.5 inches in size, and have a harder exoskeletonNormally used as bait insects

Editor’s Note
Cricket Size should not be larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes.

The most common crickets available for bearded dragons are small, medium, and large. Small crickets are suitable for baby bearded dragons, while medium and large crickets are suitable for adults. Small crickets are also wingless, thus making it easier for your baby dragon to eat them.

Never Feed Dead Crickets

Never feed dead crickets to your bearded dragon. If there are any uneaten crickets left in the tank you should remove them. Bearded dragons will want to eat the leftovers when they feel hungry in between feedings. Dead crickets start decomposing very fast and can cause serious health-related issues for your pet.

The easy way to avoid this problem is by never feeding them dead insects and always cleaning the tank after the feeding session. You should also remove the leftover greens as they might also get moldy with time and cause a problem for your pet.

Wild Caught Crickets

It is important to consider the source of the crickets. Crickets purchased from a pet store are considered the safest option for your bearded dragon. You should never feed live caught crickets to your pet as they may carry parasites and diseases. Feeding wild-caught crickets could lead to a fatal problem for your loving pet. 

You can also breed crickets at home to have more control over what your feed your beardie. Even if you are buying crickets from a pet store look out for any signs of illness or injuries before feeding them to your bearded dragon.

Hard Exoskeleton

Be very cautious when you feed large crickets to your bearded dragons, as they have a hard exoskeleton. A hard skeleton might be a good protein source but can cause mouth injuries for a baby or juvenile dragon. These injuries can later result in many health issues like mouth rot and should be paid attention to.

If you are noticing any behavioral patterns or eating disorders in your pet, visit a vet and limit the feeding sessions to a few days. If your pet is having any kind of external issues, it will start to eat less and will be in an agitated mood.

How to Feed Crickets to My Bearded Dragon?

The first thing you should keep in mind is to only feed live crickets to your bearded dragons. Let your pet eat as many crickets as possible for 10-15 minutes, and clean out any half-eaten crickets after the feeding session. Also, replace the water if any half-eaten cricket has fallen inside it. 

Only place a couple of crickets at a time inside the enclosure. Do not dump all the crickets at once doing so will help the bearded dragon eat all the food completely.

Also, pay a closer look at your pet’s eating patterns this will help you notice if there are any changes. Keep track of the crickets that are trying to hide from the bearded dragon and remove them once the feeding session has been completed.


Baby beardies should only be fed small and softer crickets as they have not developed a bite yet. Hatchlings and baby bearded dragons can not break through the hard exoskeletons of older crickets.

Baby bearded dragons do not have great hunting skills, hence they need young crickets to feed easily. Young crickets also do not have wings, which makes it easier for your pet to catch and eat them easily.

If your pet is still having trouble catching the crickets, you can use a pair of tweezers to help them throughout the process. Just use the tweezers or the feeding tongs to hold the crickets in front of your pet’s face till they eat them.


Juvenile bearded dragons can consume bigger crickets. However, always keep the size of the cricket in mind and do not feed them anything which can lead to a choking hazard or impaction.

Juveniles have a better set of hunting skills and will catch live crickets with ease. And if your bearded dragon is still struggling to eat crickets, just use a pair of tweezers to feed them. The key is to help them till they can feed on their own, that is what a responsible owner should do.


Adult bearded dragons can consume larger crickets during their feeding sessions. You should avoid giving your pet crickets who have a larger spine on their back legs, as it could lead to various digestive problems.

You should also only give a set amount of crickets to your adult bearded dragons, as this will help you monitor their diet carefully. The number of crickets per day can be anything between 5-10 till your pet is not looking overweight.

For safer consumption, place your bearded dragon and crickets in a separator container during the feeding session. Doing so will help you clean up the mess they make after the feeding session is completed.

Why Are Crickets Important for Your Bearded Dragon?

Crickets are natural prey for bearded dragons. Your pet loves to chase, stalk, and eventually chow down on its prey. Crickets not only serve as a great protein source but also provide enrichment to a bearded dragon in an enclosed environment. Chasing and capturing the cricket becomes a fun little activity for your pet and keeps them fit.

Crickets are also readily available in the market as compared to other insects like Dubai roaches. Crickets are also way cheaper than other protein-rich insects and serve as a great part of a nutritional diet. Crickets are also considered safe, as long as you stay vigilant for any parasite-infested lot of crickets.

You can also increase the nutritional value of a meal by dusting crickets with calcium and vitamin. Simply sprinkle the cricket with calcium powder before feeding it to your pet. Hence, becoming a part of a well-balanced and nutritional meal.

There are also several other protein-rich insects available for your bearded dragon. These insects include superworms, Dubai roaches, etc. But there is nothing that comes as close to crickets as a natural diet for your pet. You can try and switch up their diet with these insects whenever they look bored of crickets. 

But at the end of the day, crickets become a staple protein source in your pet’s diet. Crickets not only save you a lot of money but also contain a lower amount of fat than other protein insects. Crickets are also high in calcium and iron; these nutrients are essential for the growth of a young bearded dragon.

Small crickets are also perfect for a young bearded dragon as they are easier to eat and have a softer body. Other protein insects might be a little cumbersome to eat for your young bearded pet. Crickets also contain a lot of moisture, which helps bearded dragons with digestion and prevents impaction.

Tips for Feeding Crickets to Your Bearded Dragon

Now that we know about the relevance of feeding crickets to bearded dragons, here are a few tips that you can use to make the most out of the protein insect.

Dusting And Gut Loading

Crickets can be easily gut loaded with multivitamins and calcium to provide all the essential nutrients to your pet. These nutrients promote healthy growth for your pet and keep them in a good shape. Gut loading is done by feeding these vitamins to your crickets a day before the feeding session. Make sure you do not go beyond the 24-hour window period otherwise all the vitamins will be passed down through the cricket’s digestive system.

You can also dust the crickets with calcium powder or vitamins. Just place the crickets in a bag filled with calcium and shake them well before feeding them to the bearded dragon. Dusting the crickets is an easier way to provide calcium and other nutrients as it can be done just before the feeding session.

Prevent Impaction

You should choose the right size of crickets before feeding them to your pet. Baby and juvenile dragons should be fed smaller crickets so they do not cause any health or digestive issues. You should also give smaller crickets to younger beardies as they are easier to eat and have a soft exoskeleton.

A good way to stop impaction is by switching up the protein insects for your pet at regular intervals. This is done so your bearded dragon does not get used to just one type of protein insect. Mealworms and Dubai roaches are great substitutes for crickets, as they are rich in protein and serve as a great part of a well-balanced diet.

Also, try and keep your beardie hydrated by providing it with clean drinking water. You should also change the water after each feeding session; in case any half-eaten cricket is still left inside the enclosure.

Monitoring Eating And Behaviour Patterns

Crickets are considered safe protein insects, but you should still keep an eye out for any change in eating or behavior patterns. As a pet owner, you should also keep a track of their bowel movements as well. Doing so will alert you of any health concerns or digestive issues. Large crickets can bite bearded dragons if left inside the enclosure, so it is important to remove any uneaten ones after each feeding session.

How to Breed Crickets at Home?

Breeding crickets at home is a great way to cut down on food expenses for your pet. It also helps you make sure that you feed the right size of cricket to your bearded dragon. Please note that crickets tend to make a lot of noise, so you should place them in a seldom room.

Choosing A Container

Cricket in a container

Choose a container that is large enough for them to move around and breathe in. If there is not enough space, they might eat each other for resources. It is best to have three large containers with plastic lids. It is easier to clean a plastic container as we do not need any bacteria flourishing in your pet’s food.

Adding Ventilation

Cut two holes of about six inches each on the lid to make room for ventilation. Glue a screen to the lid, this screen will prevent the crickets from escaping their container.

Add A Substrate

Put a layer of vermiculite deep inside the container. Vermiculate will prevent any bacteria and moisture built up inside the container. The substrate will also reduce any odor coming from inside the container.

Add an Egg-Laying Container

Cricket boring a hole into the ground with her ovipositor to lay eggs

Fill the egg-laying container with damp soil, and make sure the soil does not contain any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Place a film on top of the container this will help you protect the eggs from the other crickets.

Add A Heat Source

You can use a heat lamp or heat mat for your crickets living inside the container. Crickets need a warm temperature to incubate the eggs laid.

Place The Baby Crickets In Another Container

Take all the baby crickets and place them in the hatchling container. A separate container for hatchlings will help you protect them from larger insects. And lastly, remove any dead crickets from inside the container; so there is no risk of contamination.


How many crickets bearded dragons eat in a day?

An adult bearded dragon can eat about 10 crickets in a day. Whereas, a baby and juvenile bearded dragon eat about 25-60 crickets per day. These numbers vary from one pet to another, as it depends on their size, age, and physical activities.

Can bearded dragons eat dead crickets?

No, you should never feed dead crickets to your pet. A dead cricket might give your bearded dragon health and digestive issues. Crickets also lose all their moisture and nutrients after they have expired.

Final Thought

Crickets are one of the safest protein insects that you can feed your bearded dragons. The amount of crickets you should feed depends on the size, age, and physical activities your beardie is involved in. 

I have been feeding my bearded dragon crickets for the past 5 years and have never faced any problems. Just make sure it is of the right size compared to your pet and you are good to go.

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