Insects make an important component of your Bearded Dragon’s diet. But you want to make sure that you are giving them the right type of protein.
So, can bearded dragons eat earthworms?
Earthworms are safe to feed to Bearded Dragons of all ages, and offer a good source of calcium. They should only be fed once per week, because of their low nutritional value.
Earthworms can be a great insect to bring more variety to your Bearded Dragon’s diet. (As long as they’re used sparingly.)
If you’re looking for something a bit more nutritious, check out my article on bearded dragons eating hornworms.
Let’s look at a closer look at earthworms, and how you can safely feed them to your pet.
How To Prepare Earthworms?
Once you have a steady supply of earthworms, you will need to know how to prepare them properly for your Bearded Dragon. Thankfully, this tends to be a fairly simple process.
Before you feed them to your pet, you should make sure to wash them thoroughly. This will allow you to remove anything that is on the skin of the earthworm.
For example, if you are breeding them yourself, there might still be some dirt on them. If you have purchased them from a pet store, they might have some residue from the way they were stored.
Add A Calcium Supplement
You should make sure to add a calcium supplement to the earthworms. In most cases, you will sprinkle this over the top of the earthworm.
This will increase their nutritional value and make sure that your Bearded Dragon is getting enough calcium. This will enable them to build strong bones and protect them from disease.
Feeding Them To Juveniles
Before you feed them earthworms to a juvenile, you might want to consider slicing them into smaller pieces. This ensures that they won’t be a choking hazard. It will also make it easier for the juvenile to digest them.
When they are younger, the Bearded Dragon diet should consist primarily of fruit and vegetables. Generally, they will only need around 30 percent of their diet to be insects.
Remember, only a small fragment of the insect portion of their diet should be earthworms, due to the high moisture content.
Feeding Earthworms To Adults
For adults, you won’t need to cut the earthworm up. When given as part of a meal, you can mix the earthworms in the fruit and vegetables, so the Bearded Dragon needs to hunt them out.
Remember that these aren’t intended to be a staple part of the earthworm diet. Instead, feed it to them irregularly, as a treat. Adding earthworms to meals occasionally can be a great way to spice up their diet.
To make sure that your Bearded Dragon is kept healthy, you’ll want to make sure that you are keeping an eye on the nutritional information in their foods. This will ensure that they are getting a healthy mix of foods.
What Should You Be Looking For?
Before we look more specifically at earthworms, let’s look at the overall nutritional needs of your Bearded Dragon.
In general, you should be looking for foods that are low in fat. If the dietary mix is too high in fat, they could end up becoming overweight.
You should also make sure that you are giving them foods that are high in calcium. This is one of the most important nutrients, as many Bearded Dragons don’t get enough. This can cause them to develop weaker bones.
Nutritional Information Of Earthworms
Now that we know what you should look for, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional information of the earthworm.
- Moisture- 83 percent
- Protein- 10.5 percent
- Fat- 1.6 percent
- Calcium- 444mg/kg
As you can see, it is healthy for you to feed earthworms to your Bearded Dragon. However, the high moisture content could cause some potential problems.
Bearded Dragons originated in the Australian outback. This meant that there wasn’t much water available. As a result, they had to learn to conserve it. As a result, they developed a strong liver, which can absorb a lot of water from foods.
When too much high moisture food is provided, it has the potential to cause diarrhea. For this reason, earthworms shouldn’t be a staple food. When given as a treat (no more than once per week), they shouldn’t cause any issues.
Where To Get Earthworms From?
If you want to give earthworms to your Bearded Dragon, you should be careful about where you get them from. You shouldn’t give your Bearded Dragon’s earthworms that you found in your garden.
Don’t Feed Bearded Dragons Wild-Caught Earthworms
While this might seem like a great way of saving money, this can be very dangerous for Bearded Dragons. Most people will use some kind of pesticide in their gardens. If the earthworms have been sprayed with this, or have eaten a plant that has been sprayed with pesticide, it has the potential to make your Bearded Dragon very sick.
When using wild-caught earthworms, you have no idea where they have been or what they have eaten. This might expose your Bearded Dragon to the risk of parasites.
Buy Earthworms From A Pet Store Or Bait Stores
The best way to get earthworms is by buying them. The best place to buy them from is a trusted pet store. These worms will have been designed with the intention of having them fed to pets.
If you can, try to find earthworms that have been gut-fed. This means that they have been on a strict diet, filling them with nutrients that will keep your Bearded Dragon healthy.
You might also be able to find earthworms from a bait store. These have been bred to use as bait when fishing. This means that they won’t contain any pesticides or ingredients that could hurt the fish. However, you should make sure to double-check this.
If buying from a bait store, you should also make sure that you check that they don’t have any dye. This is used to make the earthworm more visible to fish in the water. But this can be harmful when fed to a Bearded Dragon.
Breeding Earthworms Yourself
A third potential option is breeding the earthworms yourself. This can be a great way to reduce the costs associated with feeding your Bearded Dragon. It can also have a few other benefits.
For example, you will be able to use them as a form of compost, reducing your impact on the environment.
You won’t need a very complex set-up to breed earthworms successfully. In most cases, they will be able to live happily in a Styrofoam box or other type of enclosure. You just need to make sure that the dirt is kept moist.
They also tend to reproduce very quickly. In most cases, the earthworm will be able to lay eggs every seven to ten days.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earthworms?
Both adult and juvenile Bearded Dragons can eat earthworms. However, due to their high moisture content, they should only be given as a treat, rather than a dietary staple. You should also make sure that you are only purchasing them from trusted suppliers, like a pet or bait store. This ensures that they won’t contain any pesticides which can potentially harm your Bearded Dragon.