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Owners of bearded dragons, particularly new handlers need answers to several pressing questions. Knowing what a bearded dragon should or shouldn’t eat is one of the most common reasons for so many questions. That’s why several pet owners ask – can bearded dragons eat chicken?
Bearded dragons can eat chicken, but should not be fed chicken at any time. These reptiles find chicken hard to digest, even in trace amounts. Bearded dragons are omnivorous and will accept chicken if you’re offering, but at a significant cost. Chicken has a high mineral ratio that can make bearded dragons fall ill after regular consumption.
While some reptile owners recommend tiny bits of chicken on rare occasions, others advise you leave it out entirely. Through this post, it becomes easier to know what’s best for your beardie. Also, you’ll get suggestions on the best alternatives to chicken for feeding your beardie pals.
Why Should Your Bearded Dragons Avoid Chicken?
Risk of salmonella infection
If you plan to thinly slice raw chicken and offer to your bearded dragon, please don’t. Your bearded dragon could come down with a nasty salmonella infection that could be fatal. So, for the record, raw chicken is a no-no for your bearded pals.
Chickens have fats humans can consume without issues. But when it comes to bearded dragons, these fats could make your beardy pals gain too much weight. The high-level fat content of chicken makes it unsuitable for bearded dragons.
Unequal calcium-phosphorus ratio
Your bearded dragon needs to have a healthy dose of calcium in its diet. Without the right dose of calcium, your dragon’s bones will suffer significant health challenges.
Chicken has an unbalanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus. For every 1g of calcium in chicken, there’s over 16g of phosphorus. Giving your dragon chicken frequently doesn’t provide the calcium it needs – it depletes it.
The phosphorus cancels out calcium content your dragon needs, draining your dragon’s bone health, resulting in metabolic bone disease (MBD). If you don’t treat a dragon with MBD, it could be fatal.
Warning Signs When a Bearded Dragon Has Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
Whenever a dragon suffers from MBD, it exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Regular constipation
- Misshapen limbs
- Swollen jaw
- Bloated limbs
- Difficulty in moving
Before giving your bearded dragon any meal that contains calcium, confirm it has very low phosphorus. If possible, make sure your bearded dragon’s meals don’t have any phosphorus at all. In most cases, people who can’t confirm the phosphorus content of their dragon’s meals use calcium powder as a substitute.
Chicken Alternatives for Your Bearded Dragon
Dragons like eating live insects and most will jump at a meal offer when it has crickets, roaches, worms, etc. Live insects have a lot of nutrients bearded dragons need to develop. And these insects don’t have costly side effects like chicken.
Bearded dragons can’t eat chicken but can have scrambled eggs. Ironic, right?
Chicken eggs are an excellent source of proteins and vitamin A your dragon needs in their diet. But you shouldn’t feed your dragon chicken eggs more than once every month or two.
Your bearded dragon shouldn’t consume more than half of a chicken egg in one sitting. When you’re whipping these eggs up, make sure it doesn’t have any ingredients.
Eggs also serve as a great alternative for bearded dragons that refuse to take vitamin A diets.
Fruits, berries, veggies, and flowers
Can a bearded dragon eat meat?
Bearded dragons can eat shredded, cooked meat like chicken and enjoy having insects like crickets, roaches, worms, ants, etc. But it is best to avoid feeding your dragon meat often. These dragons can also eat vegetables and many types of fruits.
Can bearded dragons eat scrambled eggs?
Dragons have no problem eating scrambled eggs, but in small portions. Don’t feed your bearded dragons too much eggs in one sitting. In fact, don’t give your bearded dragons eggs as a regular meal. It may be bad for their health.
Can bearded dragons eat egg yolk?
Bearded dragons can eat egg yolks and whites. However, bearded dragons shouldn’t receive egg yolks and whites as a staple food. It is best to feed your dragons eggs as treats. Feeding your dragons too much eggs will make them gain too much weight.
Can a bearded dragon eat cheese?
Bearded dragons shouldn’t eat any kind of dairy foods, including cheese. Even if your dragons need calcium for increased bone strength, cheese has too much calcium content reptiles can’t digest. Don’t give your bearded dragon cheese, not even in little portions.
Final Thoughts: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
Can bearded dragons eat chicken? The answer you get depends on who you ask. But you’re more likely to get no for an answer.
Owners of bearded dragons with a lot of experience choose not to offer their pets chicken as a staple food. It is difficult for dragons to digest chicken, even in small quantities.
It’s not fatal if you decide to give your bearded dragon one nibble on rare occasions. But it’s best you don’t feed your bearded dragon with chicken. If your bearded dragon keeps taking in chicken, it will fall ill and develop digestive problems.
Feed your dragons ideal alternatives like cockroaches, crickets, and other insects. Also, you can feed your bearded dragons several greens, fruits, and flowers without any problems.
Your bearded dragons’ health is important. Get them the right nutrition that won’t cause them long-term harm. You don’t want your dragon falling ill after taking in too much chicken. It could be a fatal mistake.