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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Worms? (Must-Know Information)
From time to time, I get the question – can bearded dragons eat red worms?
Bearded dragons – like any reptile – require a varied diet consistent of different vitamins and nutrients.
Unsurprisingly, worms are one of the most nutritious foods you can feed your bearded dragon. They contain essential fats and proteins that keep your bearded dragon healthy!
However, not all worms are created equal. Some are going to be good for your bearded dragon while others could pose a potential health risk.
So, this brings us back to our original question – can bearded dragons eat red worms?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat red worms. They provide high amounts of protein (approximately 10.5%) and contain very little fat (2%). Furthermore, red worms can be an awesome source of hydration since they contain 84.8% moisture. Although they shouldn’t be used as a primary food source for your beardie – they can be fed as an occasional treat!
So, now that we know red worms are safe for bearded dragons, let’s dive a little deeper into what a red worm is, how often you can feed them to your beardie, and the best place to purchase them!
What Are Red Worms?
Red worms, also known as red wrigglers, are small worms that are closely related to earth worms. They’re long and sticky, and generally sold for the use of compositing.
If you’re unsure what compositing is, it’s basically the natural process of recycling within a garden. Red worms play the role of consuming vegetable scraps which plays a crucial role in the plant growth and structure of a garden.
So, you’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with bearded dragons?
Well, it just so happens that red worms also make a nutritious and delicious treat for bearded dragons! These little worms happen to pack a big punch when it comes to protein and hydration!
Nutritional Facts for Red Worms
Although we know red worms can make for a delicious treat for your beardie – it’s important to understand the nutritional value that red worms provide.
This can help us better-determine the health benefits of red worms and how often you can feed them to your bearded dragon!
Below are the nutritional facts for red worms:
- Protein: 10.5%
- Fat: 2%
- Moisture: 84.8%
- Ash: 0.7%
Health Benefits of Red Worms
As you can see, red worms provide an excellent source of protein for bearded dragons. Anything over 4% is generally considered an excellent protein source for bearded dragons. Therefore, red worms are the perfect food if you’re looking for a high protein treat!
Protein is an essential nutrient that promotes growth and helps maintain strength in bearded dragons. For baby bearded dragons, foods high in protein are essential to their development.
Furthermore, red worms are low in fat. Although some fats are useful to your bearded dragon – too much fat can lead to weight gain, obesity, and an array of other health issues. Many worms, such as the horn worm, contain high amounts of fat. Therefore, red worms definitely hold the advantage over other worms when it comes to fat content.
How Often Can You Feed Red Worms to Your Bearded Dragon?
So, now that we know these little worms make great treats for your bearded dragon, you’re probably wondering – how often can I feed them to my bearded dragon?
You can feed red worms to your bearded dragon once every 1-2 weeks. Although they provide a ton of digestible protein, they contain little other nutritional value. Moreover, red worms contain high levels of moisture, which, if overfed, can lead to digestion issues for your beaded dragon.
Although red worms can be a great source of hydration for your bearded dragon, too much hydration can cause digestive issues. Bearded dragons are from the desert, and their bodies aren’t used to consuming large amounts of water.
Additionally, red worms are somewhat limited in their variety of nutrients. They don’t contain much calcium and contain low levels of iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Basically, red worms are mostly made up of two things: water and protein. So, although they can make a great treat, they shouldn’t be fed on a daily basis or replace any of the other bugs in your beardies diet.
Where Can I Buy Red Worms?
Unfortunately, red worms aren’t a very popular treat among bearded dragon owners. The truth is, they haven’t exactly caught wind in the reptile community.
As a result, finding a reputable red worm vendor can be a challenging task.
Unfortunately, you can’t just go out into your yard and capture a red worm to feed to your bearded dragon. Wild worms can contain parasites, pesticides, herbicides, and many other toxic substances. These toxins can make your bearded dragon incredibly sick – so avoid trying this at all costs!
As of now, the most reliable red worm distributor is Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. They offer a variety of different live or dried worms – ranging from red worms to earth worms to meal worms.
The great thing about Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is they guarantee their worms arrive fast, alive, and insect/mite free. They have thousands of great reviews and offer pretty reasonable prices for the quantity of worms they provide.
Basically, the point is, if you want to give these treats a try, you should definitely get them from a reliable source such as Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.
Check Out Uncle Jim’s red worms here:
How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Red Worms
Although red worms may be a healthy treat for your bearded dragon, that doesn’t mean they’re the most convenient food to devour!
Unfortunately, red worms can be a bit of a hassle for bearded dragons to eat.
This is because bearded dragons use their tongues to capture their prey. Crickets, mealworms, and other dry bugs easily stick to a bearded dragons tongue.
Red worms, on the other hand, have a sticky coating on the outside of their body. This makes it difficult for bearded dragons to capture them with their tongues.
However, there’s a very simple solution to this problem: cover your red worms in calcium powder!
Not only will this dry the red worm out, hence, making easier to capture; it will provide that extra calcium boost that will make it that much healthier.
We all know how crucial calcium powder is to a bearded dragons health! Adding a bit of calcium dust definitely won’t hurt!
- Although red worms are generally pretty small (around 2-3” in length), try cutting them in half if your bearded dragon is a baby or has difficulty eating it.
- If your bearded dragon seems disinterested in the red worm, try poking it with your finger to make it active. Your bearded dragon may not recognize it as food for the first time, so be sure to let them know!
Red worms, although not overly popular in the reptile community, can make an awesome treat for your bearded dragon. They contain a ton of protein and high levels of water.
However, because they lack other vital nutrients such as iron, calcium, and zinc, they should only be used as an occasional treat!
With that being said, we hope you learned something new today. As always, happy herping!