I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to write something about this, but… Here we are two months after the fact and I’m just getting around to telling y’all that we added a bearded dragon to the family.
We ended up getting him from a (semi) local breeder, and it’s been great having him. We’re all pretty much crazy about having him in the family and, best of all, our nine year old has risen to the challenge of helping to care for him. In fact, he puts together a tasty lizard salad (consisting of turnip greens and shredded yellow squash) every morning and then handles the cricket feeding every afternoon.
Here’s a quick rundown of the approximate startup expenses:
40 gallon tank — $80
Fluorescent fixture for UV light — $30
UV tube — $25
Heat lamp — $15
Heat bulb — $7
Reptile ‘carpet’ — $16 (four pieces @ $4 each)
Stone food bowl — $5
Log hiding place — $10
Perch for basking — $15
Critter keeper for crickets — $10
Dragon dust (vitamins to dust on crickets) — $5
Gut load for crickets — $8
Lizard — $150
So all in all, we laid out roughly $225 for the necessary gear, and then an additional $150 for the lizard himself. Truth be told, we could’ve gotten a cheaper (by about 50%) lizard at the pet store, but we wanted to be sure that we got a well-established individual from a reputable breeder to minimize any potential problems. We were also drawn to the particular color morphs that this particular breeder has been producing.
With regard to maintenance costs, we go through a bundle of turnip greens ($0.99 each) and a couple of yellow squash (under a dollar total) every week or two, as well as about $3.50 worth of crickets per week (10/day at $0.05 each).
So there you have it… I’ll try to post pictures at some point to show him off. And I’ll probably post some tips/tricks that we’ve picked up thus far at some point soon.