In a previous article we discussed taking care of feeder crickets and insects, now we will go over how to prepare feeder crickets for feeding bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons raised as pets need diet supplements in order to get the vitamins and minerals they need. One very important mineral is calcium. It is highly recommended to supplement your bearded dragon’s diet with a calcium with vitamin D3 powder at least three times per week, and a multi-vitamin supplement at least once per week.
Dusting insect feeders can be very tricky. Crickets are excellent escape artists and before you know it four or five have gotten away and run under the nearest piece of furniture.
Don’t fret – there is a very easy solution!
Here’s our easy answer on how to prepare feeder crickets for feeding your bearded dragon.
Use The Cricket Shaker
The Shaker is basically a cup with a screw-on top and bottom, a capture tube, and a swivel cover for covering the capture tube hole in the lid.
The main housing of the Shaker has a vented bottom. The vented bottom is how the dusting magic happens.
Setting The Cricket Shaker Up
First, you will need to unscrew the bottom of the cup off. This bottom section is the calcium/vitamin powder reservoir. This is what holds the powder away from the main housing where the feeders will be placed and dusted.
Once you have removed the powder reservoir, fill it with a spoonful of your favorite calcium or multi-vitamin powder. It doesn’t take much to thoroughly coat your feeder insects.
We like to use Repashy’s Calcium Plus for dusting feeders. It is a calcium and multi-vitamin supplement that offers great calcium, vitamin D3, and other essential vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to use this particular kind as there are others that are very good, such as Rep Cal Calcium Powder with Vitamin D3.
After filling the reservoir, screw it back onto the bottom of the Shaker and remove the capture tube. With the tube removed make sure to leave the swivel cover in the open position.
The Cricket Shaker is now ready for feeder insects. Let’s add some crickets!
Adding Feeder Insects to The Cricket Shaker
Adding feeders to The Cricket Shaker is super easy. Simply slide one of the capture tubes from your Kricket Keeper out of the lid. Be sure to quickly cover the open end of the tube with the palm of your hand. Crickets are sneaky so your palm usually works better than fingers. If a cricket can find a tiny hole it will find a way to escape.
Now move the capture tube over the hole in the lid of The Shaker and carefully slide it into the hole while moving your hand away. Once the tube is inserted into The Cricket Shaker jiggle the tube up and down quickly to knock the crickets lose. Do this until all the crickets have fallen out into the Shaker.
Once all the crickets have been added to the Shaker, remove the capture tube and replace it in the Kricket Keeper. Swivel the lid hole cover back over the hole.
With the lid hole properly covered it is time to dust those crickets.
Dusting the Feeder Crickets
Place one finger over the swivel cover and briskly shake the Cricket Shaker to begin dusting your feeders. Tilt the Shaker slightly to one side as you shake to thoroughly coat the crickets. It usually takes about ten or twelve brisk shakes to get them fully coated.
You will begin to see the powder start to coat the crickets as they begin to turn a grayish-white color. They will look like they are covered in ash.
Now your feeders are completely dusted and ready to be fed to your bearded dragon. You can replace the capture tube and wait a few minutes for the crickets (or roaches) to hide in the tube. Once the tube is full simply place it into the bearded dragon terrarium and dump them out. Your beardie will gobble them up on sight.
You could also remove the lid and use feeding tongs to feed your bearded dragon by hand. It’s up to you!
A Simple Method for Dusting Feeders
This is the easiest method we have found to dust and prepare feeder crickets for feeding bearded dragons. Dusting by hand can be messy and usually ends up with feeder insects running amuck in the home.
For a complete list of the best foods for your bearded dragon, please read our article The Best Foods for a Bearded Dragon.
Pet store feeders can be infested with parasites and viruses that could be transferred to your bearded dragon. Provide your bearded dragon with the best feeder insects by breeding crickets yourself. Learn how with the Crickets Breeding Made Simple e-book.