Books about Bearded Dragons ..........
Books about miscellaneous lizards....
The reason why I bought a Bearded Dragon is that I heard that they become unusual tame compared to all other kinds of lizards. The name of the specie in latin is Pogona Vitticeps, and originally they originate from the deserts of Australia , where it is even possible to pick up wild ones by the hand. They are a diurnal (day time active) lizard which has a fearless and out-going personality.The inland bearded dragon has a huge range in the interior of Australia, ranging from the subtropical woodlands, to the savannahs, and into the great interior deserts. They spend most of their time perched on logs, rocks or tree trunks, ready to approach any food item. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, and feed on a variety of insects, any small animal they can overpower, and flowers, greenery and fruits. They live in an environment that can be very harsh, so bearded dragons are adapted to eat almost any food that is available during lean seasons. They also can store nutrients in huge abdominal fat bodies, and dig into the ground and aestivate for long periods during unfavorable times. Even in captivity, certain environmental conditions may trigger the bearded dragons to hide in a sheltered spot in the cage, and go dormant for a few weeks, only to appear one day and start eating and behaving as though such activities are just part of being a bearded dragon!
It is important that they have got enought space in the cage. The wattage of the spotlight needs to be adjusted to allow the dragons to reach a body temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit after basking under the light for an hour, as they need to get very warm to digest their food. Arrange the rocks and branches to provide several basking levels. Arrange branches and add shelters so the hatchlings can choose from a range of temperatures and heights to maintain their optimum body temperature. A full spectrum, ultraviolet A emitting fluorescent lamp should be suspended over the cage, and perches arranged so lizards can bask within 6 inches of the bulb, so they can absorb the UV-A to manufacture their vitamin D3 for bone formation. The substrate can be washed sand or newspaper, etc. A very shallow water pan should be placed in the cage where the lizards will run through it. They should be sprayed with water every day, both on the cage and on their heads. They often lap water as it is sprayed on them. Keep a fine mist of spray directed on their heads as long as they keep lapping up the water. The hatchlings require a dry cage, but need to drink a lot of water. Some learn to drink from their water dish, but if they get thin and dehydrated it will be necessary to adjust their conditions by getting them to ingest more water via increased sprayings, providing fresh moist vegetables, or warming or cooling the cage. Under optimum conditions, bearded dragons grow fast, and can reach adult size in 12 months.
Beardies eats crickets, mealworms and different kinds of vegetables, for e.g. broccoli, carrots, mustard, cabbage, corn, bell peppers, peas etc. Vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and others that lack color (they also usually lack in vitamins) should not be fed. The dragons should be offered greens and finely chopped mixed vegetables every day. Be careful with fruits though, since they rotten very quickly by the heat from the light. A calcium supplement containing vitamin D3, such as Rep-Cal (R), should be lightly sprinkled on food items every other day or so to promote healthy bone growth. If the lips start to separate, or the hind legs go into spasm, or are held out stiffly, you need to supply more calcium and D3. Caution should be exercised when using multi-vitamin supplements, as bearded dragons are very susceptible to vitamin A toxicity, characterized by a swelling of the throat, and proceeding to a bloating of the body and lethargy. If the baby dragons get sick, and exhibit erratic behavior, and can't eat and drink on their own you need to assist-feed them. Prepare a solution of chicken baby food mixed with water and Rep-Cal, and a tiny bit of multi-vitamin, all mixed to a gruel-like consistency, and deliver it to the tip of the snout with an eyedropper. The baby dragon will shortly drink in this drop hanging on its lips, and once the drinking reflex begins, you can apply the eyedropper to the snout, and allow the dragon to drink its full. Stop to allow the dragon to breathe, then see if it will take more. You may have to continue this for several days. Don't wait for the dragon to get weak and dehydrated. Treat it immediately and its chance for recovery is better. Keep it separated from cage mates till it again eats well on its own.
Take a look at the books, as well as the linked pages where you can find lots of useful information if you are about getting a BD !