Bearded dragons can eat insects like dubia roaches, crickets, wax worms, and mealworms. But what about earthworms?
A common question asked by many prospective bearded dragon owners is: Can bearded dragons eat earthworms?
This blog post will cover everything you need to know about earthworms for bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earthworms?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat earthworms as part of their diet. Earthworms can be a nutritious and protein-rich treat for bearded dragons.
Earthworms offer a valuable array of vital nutrients, such as protein, calcium, and vitamins, making them an excellent supplement for the diet of bearded dragons.
However, it is essential to note that earthworms should not be their diet’s sole or primary staple.
What are earthworms?
Earthworms are fascinating land-dwelling creatures belonging to the phylum Annelida.
These remarkable invertebrates are most commonly encountered in soil and are known for their vital contributions to ecosystems and agriculture.
Notably, they play a crucial role in the food chain by serving as a nutritious meal for various avian and reptilian species.
Are Earthworms Good for Bearded Dragons?
Yes, earthworms can benefit bearded dragons as part of their diet. Here are the points explaining why:
Source of Proteins: Earthworms are widely recognized as an incredibly plentiful and beneficial protein source, significantly contributing to bearded dragons’ growth and overall health.
Calcium: Earthworms, besides being a great source of protein, also provide a decent amount of calcium. It makes them an invaluable addition to the bearded dragon’s diet, as they contribute to their muscle function and support their bone health effectively.
Source of Moisture: Earthworms have a high moisture content, which can benefit bearded dragons, especially if they don’t drink enough water. The earthworm moisture can help keep them hydrated, especially in arid environments.
Healthy Fats: Bearded dragons need healthy fats to support various bodily functions, including hormone production and nutrient absorption. Earthworms contain essential fatty acids, making them a good source of these healthy fats.
How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Earthworms?
Sure, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to feed your bearded dragon earthworms:
Select Healthy Earthworms: Choose fresh, healthy earthworms from a reputable source, free from pesticides or harmful chemicals.
Size Matters: Ensure the earthworms are an appropriate size for your bearded dragon’s age and size. Avoid feeding too large worms, as they may cause digestion issues.
Wash the Earthworms (Optional): If you’re concerned about the earthworms carrying dirt or contaminants, you can rinse them gently with water before offering them to your pet.
Add Calcium Powder: Sprinkle a small amount of calcium powder over the earthworms in the bag or container. You don’t need to coat them heavily; a light dusting will be sufficient.
Use a Feeding Dish: Place the earthworms in a shallow feeding dish. It helps to keep the enclosure clean and prevents the worms from burrowing into the substrate.
Observe and Supervise: Always supervise your bearded dragon while feeding to ensure they eat the worms properly and don’t show signs of distress or choking.
Monitor the Quantity: Feed earthworms as a treat, not as the main staple of your bearded dragon’s diet. Too many earthworms can lead to nutritional imbalances.
Offer Variety: Earthworms should be part of a varied diet. Continue to provide a mix of insects, vegetables, and commercial bearded dragon food to ensure a well-rounded diet.
Remove Uneaten Worms: If your bearded dragon doesn’t eat all the earthworms within 15-20 minutes, remove the remaining worms from the enclosure to prevent them from burrowing or stressing your pet.
Hydration is Key: Ensure your bearded dragon has access to clean water, especially after eating earthworms, as they have a higher moisture content than some other insects.
Avoid Wild-Caught Worms: Refrain from feeding your bearded dragon wild-caught earthworms or insects, as they may carry parasites or toxins.
How often can a bearded dragon eat earthworms?
You can feed your bearded dragon earthworms about 1-2 times per week as an occasional treat. They should not make up most of your dragon’s diet, primarily of appropriately sized insects and vegetables.
Can baby bearded dragons eat earthworms?
Yes, baby bearded dragons can eat small earthworms, provided they are appropriately sized and easy to consume. Continuously monitor your baby dragon while eating to ensure it doesn’t struggle or get overwhelmed.
Can earthworms replace other insects in my bearded dragon’s diet?
Earthworms should not replace the variety of insects in your bearded dragon’s diet. They can be a supplement but not a complete substitute for crickets, dubia roaches, or other insects that offer different nutritional profiles.
Do I need to dust earthworms with supplements?
Yes, it’s recommended to dust earthworms with calcium and vitamin supplements before offering them to your bearded dragon.
Can earthworms carry parasites that may harm my dragon?
Wild-caught earthworms can potentially carry parasites, so it’s best to stick to commercially bred worms for safety.
In conclusion, bearded dragons can eat earthworms, and these wiggly creatures can be a nutritious addition to their diet. Earthworms offer essential proteins, amino acids, and minerals that support your dragon’s overall health and growth.
However, remember to feed them in moderation, and always gut load the worms before offering them to your bearded dragon.