New Family Member ~ Bearded Dragon, Nala

I thought I would share our newest adventure with you…it seems we are always learning something new!

J has always been interested in owning a lizard of some sort so we finally decided to do some investigation. From that we learned, we found that a bearded dragon is a wonderful “pet” so we bought a book for J to read. He read and researched and read some more. He was hooked!

As with all good investigations concerning adding a new “pet” to the family, we researched cage set up as well as the best place to purchase a lizard. Once we looked at all the necessary areas, we made a decision to move forward with adding a new family member to our home. Meet Nala…

 photo Nala_030214_fancy_zps581928b5.jpg

Curious where the name Nala came from? Well, J wanted to give her a name from The Periodic Table of The Elements so he looked at all the names and didn’t find anything, he then looked at the symbols that represent them and I came up with Nala…Na for Sodium and La for Lanthanum…thus getting Nala. Awesome, right?! [I thought it was really cool! Such a “homeschoolers” thing to do. LOL]

As it turns out, it is best to purchase a Bearded Dragon from a breeder verses from a pet store. So we did more and more research for the right beardie for us. After keeping in mind our budget and looking at all the different colors available (they range from brown to red to yellow – amazing!), we found a girl we really liked. After deciding for sure we wanted her and sending off the money for her (you buy them online and they ship them overnight to you, as weather permits – AMAZING!) we went in search of buying the best priced items.

Fortunately for us we know someone who is really good with lizards in general so she was a GREAT help!

Something important to know…you are supposed to have everything in your cage and have it set up and “running” PRIOR to your beardies arrival.

What are the basics of what you need for a Bearded Dragon? Here is a list:

  • Cage (40 gal breeder, minimum)
  • Proper lighting
  • Proper heat source/s
  • Substrate (stuff on the bottom of the cage)
  • Inside cage items to bask, hide and climb
  • Feed & water dishes
  • Thermometer

These are the items we purchased locally (we actually bought a background too but this pic was taken before we cleaned out the cage and put the background on)…

 photo Tank_1_zps9c5713ba.jpg

We ordered the other items from The Serpentarium and Amazon…depending on which had the best price (including shipping).

Now…the worst part about all this (as far as I’m concerned LOL)…we decided we would actually start a Dubia Roach Colony to feed her instead of paying out money for live bait regularly. (Please note…this is NOT something you HAVE to do…this is a choice we made based on our financial situation.) Dubia Roaches are smaller than “regular” roaches and do not fly. They are also soft shelled.

 photo DubiaRoaches_zps9945ee63.jpg

Most people are aware that dragons eat crickets but our research showed that dubia roaches provide a significant amount of more nutrition and are overall so much better for them. Normal beardies will eat around 30 crickets a day…they will eat 7 – 10 roaches AND get a lot better nutrition. That was all it took for us to realize this is the way we needed to go. Now, currently I {shiver} every time I think about it but I am working my way through it. Our plan is also to eventually (Lord willing) sell the extras we have therefore helping to make a few dollars in this endeavor.

I will post more about this adventure…we a currently just waiting for our ordered items to arrive and see how the weather goes for her arrival (currently thinking Thursday, March 13, 2014). Excited!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

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