You are what you eat, the same holds true when buying feeder insects and crickets for bearded dragons.
Why we don’t recommend crickets for bearded dragons
While crickets for bearded dragons are easy to find and manage, they are not the best feeders for insects. Additionally, they smell and make noise. And many inexperienced beardie owners just dump them in the tank. If left in there, they have the potential to eat your dragon, so they are not the best feeder. However, brown crickets for bearded dragons do have good nutritional value and work as a source of protein. If you have no other options they are fine, but we definitely recommend dubia or discoid roaches.
Bearded dragons are omnivores meaning they eat both animal and plant based food. Their diet includes a combination of select bearded dragon vegetables, with some fruit and live feeder insects. The thing that is important to remember is that your bearded dragon will eat whatever is in the stomach of the feeder insects. That is why you should never feed your dragon insects from your yard. If they are your feeder insect of choice, crickets for bearded dragons can be purchased wholesale or in bulk at a local reptile store or a reputable insect breeder.
What we recommend in place of crickets for bearded dragons
Dubia roaches are one of the best feeder insects you can give to your bearded dragon. Each of them has the nutritional equivalent of about 5 crickets. It is important to dust calcium over your dubia roaches and crickets for bearded dragons as it provides a supplement. These are both staple insects that you will feed to young dragons daily and regularly to adult dragons. To balance and supplement their diet, locusts, wax worms, butter worms and phoenix worms can be used to supplement their diet (in moderation because they are generally high in fat). However, never feed your bearded dragon earthworms.
Feeding best practices for insects
Crickets for bearded dragons are typically sold by size. The rule of thumb is never feed your dragon an insect that is larger than the distance between his eyes. Feed your bearded dragon via tweezers or using a glove so that you will not get bitten accidentally. And do not place too many crickets in their tank or enclosure as it might overwhelm or freak them out a bit.
In Raising Bearded Dragons: The Ultimate Care Guide, we have a super extensive food list that goes over the supplements you need to schedule as well as more of the different types of insects as well as vegetables that you can give to your bearded dragon.