Eggs…very yummy to us humans but are they safe for Beardies? Can Bearded dragons eat eggs of any kind?
In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about feeding your Bearded Dragon eggs.
Let’s start with the basics first,
What are Bearded Dragons?
Bearded Dragons are a type of lizard that’s fast gaining popularity as an exotic pet here in the US and is native to Australia. They are all over Australia, from the inland to the desert, and all the way to the coast.
There are many different species of Bearded Dragons but the most popular one kept as a pet is the Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps).
Bearded Dragons grow anywhere from 18-24 inches long and live an average of 10 years. They get their name from the fact that they have a “beard” of spines around their neck. They are one of the most popular pets in the reptile world and can live up to 15 years with proper care.
What do Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded Dragons are insectivores by nature but as they grow older, their diet starts to change and they become omnivorous. Young beardies eat more protein in the form of insects while adults eat more vegetables and fruits.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons eat a variety of different insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, moths, beetles, and caterpillars. They will also eat the occasional small mammal or reptile.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons are usually fed a diet of crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, and earthworms. They will also eat a variety of vegetables and fruits such as kale, collard greens, carrots, squash, and berries.
As they get older and their diet starts to change, you can also feed them pinkie mice, small lizards, and chicken.
That means that they can eat both plants and meat, including eggs.
But, just because they *can* eat something, doesn’t mean that they *should* eat it.
So, can Beardies eat eggs? Let’s find out…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Eggs?
You can feed your dragon boiled or scrambled eggs an equivalent of 2 eggs spread over an entire month as the protein nutrients that beardies get from eggs are already in its main diet. Eating protein, therefore, increases the risk of your Beardie having too much protein which may cause health issues including;
Fatty liver disease
Let’s understand a bit more about the nutritional profile of eggs.
A whole hard-boiled egg has the following nutritional composition;
10.6% Fats: The fats found in boiled eggs are healthy fats. Healthy fats are important for Bearded Dragons as they help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
12.6% Protein: Protein is an essential part of a Bearded Dragon’s diet as it helps with growth and repair.
1% Sugar: There is very little sugar in a boiled egg and what sugar is present is in the form of glucose which is a simple sugar that is easily metabolized by the body.
75% Water: Water is essential for all life and is especially important for reptiles as they rely on external sources of water to stay hydrated.
0.4% Fiber: There is a small amount of fiber in a boiled egg which is beneficial for gut health.
Raw vs boiled/scrambled eggs: Which one to feed
The biggest difference between raw and boiled eggs is the risk of salmonella. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans and reptiles.
Reptiles are much more susceptible to salmonella than humans as their immune system is not as developed. This means that they are more likely to get sick if they eat food that has been contaminated with salmonella.
The risk of salmonella is much higher in raw eggs than it is in boiled eggs as the bacteria is killed when the egg is cooked.
For this reason, it is recommended that you only feed your Bearded Dragon boiled or scrambled eggs.
What are the benefits of feeding eggs to Bearded Dragons?
Eggs are a good source of protein and fat which are both essential nutrients for Bearded Dragons. They are also a good source of water which is important for hydration.
What are the drawbacks of feeding eggs to Bearded Dragons?
The biggest drawback of feeding eggs to Bearded Dragons is the risk of salmonella. As mentioned above, reptiles are much more susceptible to salmonella than humans and even a small amount of contaminated food can make them very ill.
Another drawback is that eggs contain a lot of protein. Bearded Dragons need protein for growth and repair but too much protein can cause health problems including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
How often can I feed my Bearded Dragon eggs?
You should only feed your Bearded Dragon eggs as an occasional treat and not as part of their regular diet. A good rule of thumb is to feed them 2 eggs spread over an entire month or no more than half an egg/week.
Can Beardie Eat Raw Eats?
As we mentioned before, the risk of salmonella is much higher in raw eggs than it is in cooked eggs. For this reason, we recommend that you only feed your Beardie boiled or scrambled eggs.
If you do decide to feed them raw eggs, make sure that you wash the egg thoroughly before giving it to them. It is also a good idea to give them a raw egg that has been sitting out for a few hours as this will reduce the risk of salmonella.
Can Beardie Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Yes, Beardies can eat scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs are a good source of protein and fat and they are also easy to digest.
When feeding your Beardie scrambled eggs, make sure that they are not too runny. You don’t want them to be so runny that the egg whites are still liquid as this can increase the risk of salmonella.
It is also a good idea to add some vegetables to the scrambled eggs as this will give them some extra nutrients.
Can Beardie Eat Eggshells?
Yes, Beardies can eat eggshells as eggshells are a good source of calcium which is essential for bone health. However, there are risk of bacteria being present on the egg shell and you also run the risk of providing your pet with too much calcium.
Too much calcium can lead to health problems including kidney stones and calcium deposits in the joints. For this reason, we recommend that you only feed your Beardie eggshells on occasion and that you remove the eggshell before giving it to them.
If you decide to feed eggshells to your Beardie, make sure that they are washed thoroughly and that they are crushed into small pieces. You don’t want your Beardie to eat large pieces of eggshell as this can cause digestive problems.
Can Beardie Eat Egg yolks?
Egg yolks are a good source of protein and fat but they also contain a lot of cholesterol. For this reason, it is best to only feed your Beardie egg yolks on occasion. They also present the risk of salmonella which is present in raw eggs.
When feeding your Beardie egg yolks, make sure that they are cooked thoroughly. This will reduce the risk of salmonella and will also make them easier to digest.
Can Beardie Eat Egg whites?
Yes, Beardies can eat egg whites but they are not as nutritious as egg yolks. Egg whites contain mostly protein and no fat or cholesterol.
Egg whites are also a good source of water which is important for hydration. However, they do present the risk of salmonella which is why we recommend that you only feed them to your Beardie on occasion.
Can Beardie Eat Boiled Eggs?
Yes, Beardies can eat boiled eggs. Boiled eggs are a good source of protein and fat and they are also easy to digest.
When feeding your Beardie boiled eggs, make sure that they are not overcooked as this can make them difficult to digest. You also don’t want to feed them undercooked eggs as this can increase the risk of salmonella.
Bearded dragon’s mellow temperature, hardiness, and long life span make them an amazing choice for individuals who are interested in keeping a pet reptile.
However, part of the duties of being a responsible owner is ensuring that you meet the daily needs of your pet. This has to do with providing them with the right food and proper habitat.
Bearded dragons are not difficult reptiles to feed, as these famous lizards are very resilient eaters that like devouring a large variety of food substances and items. Having an suitable nutrition and diet will not only make your bearded dragon healthier but could also assist in enhancing its activity level, life span and help in keeping its coloring livelier and vibrant.
Given that these renowned reptiles need a mixture of live food and vegetables to stay healthy, their nutritional requirements could seem quite overwhelming and complicated to anyone inexperienced with reptiles, however, the hints and tips provided in this article will assist in ensuring that your bearded dragon gets the proper stuff.
Your beardie’s age plays a very significant role in its nutrition and diet needs. A young bearded dragon’s diet will contain mostly insects because they need fat and protein to grow, while a grownup beardie needs a diet made with mostly vegetables for general nutrition and health.
Given that under-aged bearded dragons are continually growing and protein is needed to help in that growth, they will have large appetites for insects. You should always feed younger bearded dragons with as many insects as they can consume in 15 minutes, up to three or four times a day.
Though younger bearded dragons are always hungry, most owners find it challenging getting them to consume greens; but, it is essential to ensure their diet contains 75 to 85 percent insects and 30 to 40 percent greens.
Once your bearded dragon approaches adulthood, its appetite starts to change. Some will start consuming more vegetables before six months of age, while others may take longer.
As your bearded dragon grows older, it will gently start eating more of the vegetables. There are certain instances where matured bearded dragons won’t eat vegetables, but this is because they have been fed with too many insects, thus keeping them satisfied, and/or they are being fed with vegetables they don’t like.
As soon as they become mature you will notice that your beardie will not be as hungry as it was when it was rapidly growing, and its eating preferences will change to 20 percent insects and 80 percent greens.
To make up for dietary change, feed them with adult insects once every one to three days and always maintain a fresh supply of plants, vegetables, and fruits in the cage for them to consume throughout the day.
Feeding insects to a bearded dragon
Bearded dragons will eat just about any kind of insect that crawls past them. Insects are an essential part of bearded dragons diet (particularly younger bearded dragons), thus, it is important to ensure that your beardie is consuming the appropriate amount, species and type to stay healthy.
Black soldier fly larvae
First off, your bearded dragon will devour literally every insect that crawls in front of it. But, not all insects are healthy foods for bearded dragons’ consumption.
It is up to you to ensure that they are consuming safe insects. As long as tasty insects are concerned, you cannot go wrong with butterworms, soldier fly larvae, cockroaches, Dubia roaches, redworms, superworms, earthworms, and crickets. These insects are conducive and safe for bearded dragons to eat and are somewhat easy to get.
Insects to Avoid:
Venomous insects, like scorpions, wasps, and bees.
Insects you found outside
Insects vended as an enticement for fishing
Insects found inside your house
When feeding, allow your bearded dragon to eat as many insects as possible within 15 minutes. After that time frame has passed, collect the uneaten insects and save them for the next feeding session.
In case you leave the bugs in your beardie’s tank for a longer time, you are risking your beardie overeating or the bugs burrowing and hiding within the enclosure.
Ensure you get your bearded dragon’s bugs from a good feeder insect supplier. Do not feed your dragon insects you see on or outside your property, or bugs intended to serve as baits for fish.
The reason for this is because, it is rare for the insects around your home to have parasites or to have pesticides, both of which are risky and dangerous for bearded dragons.
You can also buy safe insects from an online feeder insect supplier or your local pet store.
Feeding Vegetables to Your Bearded Dragon
Fruits, plants, and vegetables are an essential part of all bearded dragons’ diet. Consuming these is how many bearded dragons stay hydrated and also get important minerals and vitamins.
Frozen items can make them lose their appetite easily, thus, it is necessary to utilize fresh greens and veggies. Bearded dragons will consume most veggies and greens raw, however, in case the veggies are too hard, you might want to think of cooking them so they are soft enough for your bearded dragon to consume.
There are several fruits, plants and vegetables that are healthy and safe for bearded dragons’ consumption, however, some favorites include, collard greens, squash, seedless watermelon, bell peppers, and mustard greens.
Of course, it is best to always mix up your beardie’s diet once in a while. Adding variety sometimes can enhance your bearded dragon’s appetite.
Safety Concerns for Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are not hard to feed, as these renowned lizards are extremely hardy eaters that love devouring a large variety of food items. The following few tips should assist you in making feeding your bearded dragon safer and easier.
Monitor the amount of food you feed your bearded dragon. Do not feed your pet anything wider than the space between your eyes. Anything wider than this space could cause severe impaction or put pressure on your beardie’s spine, which can cause mobility and health issues, so always make sure that insects are not wider than this, and always cut veggies and fruits you offer your bearded dragon to the right size.
While not a main issue, overfeeding your beardie can lead to obesity and should always be avoided for health concerns. Most scenarios of overfeeding are always as a result of owners giving grownup bearded dragons insects that are too high in fat (like waxworks) regularly. It is advisable that you feed grownup beardies lower-fat insects, like crickets, for meals, and offer them fatty waxworks for occasional treats or snacks only, and not as standard fare.
Hydration for Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons reside in very dry and hot climates; thus they are used to surviving on very little water. But, hydration is still a very essential issue. Your beardie will receive most of its water from veggies and plants.
But, given that the tank of your bearded dragon is dry and hot, it doesn’t take long for the veggies and greens to get dehydrated. That’s why it is necessary to provide them with other water sources.
Some owners put dishes in their dragon’s enclosure; but, bearded dragons originated from desert environments and don’t easily recognize standing water. They may end up not drinking from the water bowl.
If this is the case with your pet, it is usually more common for your pet dragon to soak in its water bowl rather than drinking from it. Soaking is considered normal behavior for beaded dragons and it assorts with the digestion process.
Given that beardies usually defecate or urinate while they soak, ensure you always change the water from time to time, and most importantly the moment you notice it has been fouled.
Furthermore, you can mist your bearded dragons to keep them hydrated. Misting beardies with fresh water at least once or twice per day helps in stimulating dew and rainfall.
Mature beardies will drink the dew or raindrops for hydration, thus misting will serve as a way of recreating such an environment.
You can also mist your pet when they start shedding. Hydration will help in moisturizing their skin and help in making the entire shedding process easier.
Essential Minerals and Vitamins for Your Bearded Dragon
Understanding mineral and vitamin requirements can be a tricky and challenging task for many pet owners and ensuring that your bearded dragon gets the appropriate amount of supplements is important for its health. To assist in understanding this, this section will be further broken down by vitamins
Vitamin A & Bearded Dragons
Most older bearded dragons will receive sufficient vitamin A form their veggies, and younger beardies typically receive enough vitamin A directly from the yolk within their eggs to last them until they are 6 to 7 months old (which is about the time they start consuming more veggies and greens).
There are several vitamin-A supplements presently available on the market which you could include in your bearded dragon food, but only utilize those containing beta carotene.
Beta carotene is also known to be present in most veggies, and when eaten, it is transformed into vitamin A by the beardie’s body. If a bearded dragon eats excess beta carotene, it’s body merely excretes it rather than absorbing it, thus, posing little or no risk of vitamin A overdosing.
In case you feed your bearded dragon with vitamin A supplement containing synthetic or artificial vitamin A, your beardie will absorb the vitamin A even if it isn’t necessary, which can lead to vitamin A toxicity.
Bearded Dragons, Vitamin D3 and Calcium
Beardies can’t absorb calcium without proper vitamin D3, hence, most supplements often contain both. Vitamin D3 and calcium are very significant for growth and development.
They enhance healthy bones and assist in preventing certain metabolic bone disease. Vitamin D3 and Calcium are essential for gravid female dragons and young, growing bearded dragons.
Usually, baby beardies will require a daily dose of vitamin D3 and calcium, juveniles will require the supplement three to four times every week, while grownups only need it once every week.
Phosphorous for Beardies
Phosphorus assists with bone development. Vegetables and fruits naturally contain phosphorus; Therefore, most bearded dragons tend to receive enough phosphorus from their daily diet.
You should always keep an eye on your beardie’s calcium-to-phosphorus levels to ensure that they are getting the proper amount of both supplements. In case your dragon’s diet is too high in phosphorus, you may want to make use of multivitamins which are phosphorus-free.
Foods to Avoid When Feeding Your Beardie
As mentioned earlier, there are several plants and insects that you should avoid feeding your beardie. While some of these items are merely unhealthy, others could be poisonous and can be deadly if ingested. Never feed bearded dragons any insect or bug that glows.
Stay away from lighting bugs, fireflies, or any other worms that glow in the dark. The chemical responsible for making these bugs glow is extremely toxic and dangerous to bearded dragons.
You should also avoid feeding your beardie with avocados, as they are also poisonous to bearded dragons. Non-poisonous foods you should avoid giving to your beardie, due to their unhealthiness, include spinach and lettuce.
Spinach is healthy; but, it can cause calcium to bind to it while digestion is ongoing, making it more challenging for your beardie to digest.
Lettuce contains no nutritional value and is literally made of only water, therefore avoiding feeding your bearded dragon anything pertaining to lettuce.
The bearded dragon’s long life span, temperament, and general hardiness are what make it the best addition for any family. Irrespective of the fact that you are excited about getting your first beardie or you just wish to add another bearded dragon to your family, these bearded dragon nutrition guide will assist in ensuring your beardie stays healthy for as long as possible.
Check out Bearded dragon food chart below Green -Feed daily, staple Black -Feed occasionally Blue -Feed rarely Pink -Questionable Red -Never
Alfalfa (plant, not sprouts)
High content of antioxidants, vitamins C and K, copper, folate and magnesium
Great source of vitamins C & K
extremely rich in important flavanoids, antioxidants and dietary fiber
A high amount of vitamin C, as well as potassium
Artichoke Heart (raw)
Vitamins A&K-They are number 7 on the USDAs top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list
Great source of vitamin A,K. Primarily helps the body make new cells.
It is low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and K