Bearded Dragons are a very popular pet. They are laid-back and can be sweet and loving with their humans. It is very unusual to find an aggressive Bearded Dragon, although they can mistake your finger for a mealworm on occasion and you will soon learn that they do have a row of jagged little teeth. They do require a specific setup and have rigorous temperature and humidity requirements, and they eat insects that are fed live and supplemented with vegetables and fruit to make up the rest of their diet.
Protein-rich eggs are considered a healthy addition to a human diet: in fact, we are encouraged to eat them because of the health benefits they offer, but are they beneficial to lizards and, specifically, the Bearded Dragon? In brief, yes they can, but only in moderation!
Health Benefits of Eggs
A single egg contains less than 100 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein. It also contains 5 grams of fat and more than 1.5 grams of saturated fat. A typical egg also contains iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. They are healthy for humans, but Beardies have different health requirements to humans. Here are some of the health benefits that eggs offer to this unique breed of lizard:
While your Beardie should get a lot of these vitamins and minerals from their everyday food, it doesn’t hurt to add extra sources, although you do have to ensure that you don’t overfeed your little one, or provide him with too much of any particular nutrient.
Potential Problems Eating Eggs
The only real problem with feeding eggs as a regular dietary addition is the high level of protein they contain.
Bearded Dragons should get the majority of their protein from insect sources. In fact, experts say that 80% of a Beardie’s protein should be fed in this way. Because eggs are so high in protein, even a mouthful of the treat contains a lot of your Beardie’s daily allowance. So, while they are safe to be fed as a treat once in a while, they should not make up a major part of your Dragon’s diet, except if you take on a malnourished Beardie that would benefit from the extra protein kick.
How Many Eggs Can They Eat?
As a general rule, your Dragon should be safe to eat half an egg every other week, regardless of whether you choose to boil or scramble them.
How Do You Cook Eggs for Bearded Dragons?
First and foremost, you shouldn’t feed raw eggs to your Beardie. They contain bacteria that can make your Bearded Dragon very ill. With that said, there are a number of ways that you can prepare the eggs.
Ensure that the egg is properly cooked, shell it, and chop it into small and manageable pieces. Your Beardie may struggle to chew large chunks.
Scrambled eggs are also fine for your lizard. In fact, because the eggs have already been broken down to a convenient size, your Beardie may prefer this method of preparation.
However, you should not add any other ingredients. This means no milk or butter because Beardies cannot eat dairy. It means no seasoning, and it even means no oil. If you are going to serve the scrambled eggs with your Beardie’s vegetables, do not cook them together. Instead, prepare the egg and the vegetables separately, and then add them together.
Should Beardies Eat Egg Shells?
There are several reasons to avoid feeding shells to a Bearded Dragon. First, the shells are sharp and can get stuck in and cut your Beardie’s mouth and throat. They also contain bacteria, unless it is a small bit that has been accidentally cooked with the rest of the egg, and these can make him sick.
Alternatives to Eggs
Eggs are safe to give to your pet reptile. However, they should be fed in moderation and as part of a closely monitored, controlled diet. Depending on how much egg you feed in a single sitting, they should only be given to your scaled friend every week or two, so you can consider the following alternatives to feed at other times.
Can Beardies Eat Bread?
Humans regularly eat bread and eggs together, whether it is egg on toast or egg sandwiches. However, this should not be considered an option for your Beardie. He may choke on the bread because he is unable to chew properly, the bread may contain dairy, and there is no nutritional benefit to giving this ingredient to your pet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tuna?
There are some question marks over the feeding of fish to Beardies. On the one hand, wild Bearded Dragons may occasionally consume fish and it won’t cause them damage. However, raw fish can carry a lot of bacteria, and fish like tuna have high mercury levels. The lack of thiaminase means that feeding fish can lead to a vitamin B£ deficiency, too. Generally, although it might be safe to feed a very small amount of fish, very occasionally, we suggest avoiding it.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rice?
Not only should you avoid feeding your Bearded Dragon rice, but you should avoid all grains. Your lizard will not be able to digest the food properly, which means that raw and cooked rice will lead to your Beardie getting sick.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Meat?
Generally speaking, any meat other than insect meat, is considered high in phosphorous compared to calcium, which means that it is not safe for your Beardie to eat. You should not feed any meat, whether it is red meat, chicken, or poultry, and regardless of whether it is raw or cooked meat.
Bearded Dragons are natural sand-dwelling lizards that, in the wild, would live on a diet of insects and some small invertebrae, along with a supply of vegetables and vegetation. At home, you need to replicate these dietary conditions as closely as possible.
80% of your Beardie’s daily protein should be insect protein, and you should gut-load insects with a vitamin D and calcium supplement before feeding. The rest of their diet will be made up of leafy greens, and moist vegetables that also serve to meet the Beardie’s daily water requirements.
However, you can feed the occasional treat, and eggs are not only safe to feed your Beardie, but they also offer several potential health benefits. But they should be cooked, either boiled or scrambled, before feeding, and you should not feed the shells at the same time.
Featured Image: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels