For a bearded dragon that is under two months old and under 7 inches long, I would recommend a cage that has at least two square feet of floor space. The aquarium size equivalent to his would probably be about 30 gallons. I would not use anything bigger because the bearded dragon would have trouble finding its food. I would also not recommend using anything smaller because then the lizard wouldn't have enough room to run around and be active. For a juvenille that is between 9 and 13 inches, I would recommend using a cage that has about four square feet of floor space, or a 55gallon aquarium. This size can be used for a single adult as well. For adults, make sure you have at least 4sq feet of ground space for each adult. Never house more than 4 or 5babies together or else you will have nipped tails and missing feet.
The enclosure can be made of anything, but I prefer either wood or glass. This is because they hold heat better than any other material. Whatever you use make sure there is plenty of room and there is a top on the cage. this is to prevent the lizard from escaping.
The substrate can be anything you want it to be. Just make sure it is not toxic to the animal. I would recommend using either sand, newspaper, paper towels, alfafa pellets, or astro turf. If you use sand make sure it is washed playsand that you can buy at toys R' us or home depot. Dont use sand for bearded dragons that are under two minths of age. This is because they are more likely to ingest the sand and block their intestines than older bearded dragons. If this happens then they most likely will die. If you use astroturf, make sure there are no frared edges just incase the bearded dragon might eat it and get impacted. Whatever you use make sure the substrate is kept clean and replaced periodically. NEVER USE PINE OR CEDAR AS THE SUBSTRATE BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO REPTILES AND WILL KILL THEM.
I would recommend using wood and rocks to decorate the cage. This way the cage will sort of resemble the bearded dragons natural habitat. The wood I recomend using is sandblasted grapevine or sterilized driftwood. Driftwood can be sterilized by putting it in the oven at 200degrees for about 30 minutes. Always keep an eye on the wood to make sure it doesn't start on fire. The rocks can be small 5 pound boulders that can be found everywhere, also make sure they are sterilized the same way as the wood. These are just recommendations on how to decorate a cage, do it anyway you want but DONT USE PINE OR CEDAR BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO REPTILES.
To heat the cage I would recommend using an incandescent light bulb in a reflector dome placed over one end of the cage. The reflector dome and light bulb can be purchased from home depot or walmart for about $8. The temperatures in the cage should be (all in degrees fahrenheit) 80-85 in the cool end 90-95 in the warm end, and 100-105 directly under the light bulb. To heat the cage you can also use a heat pad that can be purchased from any petstore that deals with reptiles. I would only use this in conjuction with the reflector dome in cooler parts of the country. It should be wrapped in a towel and placed under one end of the cage. The wattage of light bulb depends on the cage size, try out different wattages untill you get the closest to the temperatures mentioned above. NEVER USE HOT ROCKS, BECUASE THEY DEVELOPE HOT SPOTS AND CAN SEVERELY BURN YOUR LIZARD.
Always have a UVB UVA light such as Reptisun 5.0 or vitalite placed over the cage at all times. The light should be kept on for about 12 hours a day, always turn off all lights at night. If you don't use a UVB UVA light bulb then the lizard will die. The light bulb helps the lizard absorb vital nutrients and vitamins that are needed for good health. In addition to the special lighting, periodical exposure to natural sunlight will also be helpful. NEVER LEAVE YOUR LIZARD UNATTENDED OUTSIDE BECAUSE IT MIGHT RUN AWAY. The lights can be purchased from any petstore that deals with reptiles. Make sure the light bulb is long enough to cover the whole length of the cage.
Baby bearded dragons should be fed about 80% live foods like crickets, mealworms, and very very occasionally waxworms. Always make sure that the babys prey is no more than 1/4 inch long and half that width. Anything bigger will cause irreversable damage to the bearded dragon. They should also be fed leafy greens like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, radish leaves, but never feed iceburg lettuce because it has no nutritional value whatsoever. Juvenilles and adults can be fed appropiately sized insects like crickets, locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, superworms, and an occasional waxworm or pinky mouse. Only feed pinkys and waxworms ever once in awhile because they are high in fat content. Make sure the prey is not longer than the distance between the eyes of the bearded dragon and half the width.
Every other meal should be supplemented with a calcium supplement and a multi vitamin. the calcium can be grinded up tums or a product called rep-cal/ the multi vitamin can be herptivite. All these can be purchased from a petstore that deals with reptiles.
Selecting a Bearded Dragon
The bearded dragon you are looking to buy should have bright alert eyes. It should appear active and healthy. It should not have a fecal matter by the vent or deformities (crooked jaw, bent arm, etc). It should not have any external parasites or wounds (ticks, mites, bleeding sores, etc). And if possible, have the person you are buying from feed the dragon before you buy it, This wya you will be able to see if the dragon is eating before you buy it.
I WILL HAVE A SEPERATE PAGE FOR BREEDING INSTRUCTIONS AS SOON AS I CAN MAKE ONE!