Chicken is tasty and nutritious, which makes them ideal for many recipes. While you’re eating a delicious chicken, you may be wondering if you can give your bearded dragon some. After all, bearded dragons are omnivores, and they don’t just eat plants, but meat as well.
Can bearded dragons eat chickens? No, bearded dragons cannot eat chickens. Chickens aren’t food that’s safe for them to eat. Due to its phosphorus content, it poses a risk to your bearded dragons to developing metabolic bone disease (MBD). However, you can feed them chickens, but in small amounts, once or twice per month.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
Chickens are packed with nutrition, especially protein. Along with all the nutrition, chickens also have phosphorus. This mineral is bad for the bearded dragon when there’s too much of it.
When there is too much phosphorus in their diet, it put the bearded dragons at risk of developing metabolic bone disease. This disease is common among reptiles that are kept in captivity, which includes bearded dragons. Metabolic bone disease is a major health concern as it can result in permanent paralysis or even death.
The reason why a high amount of phosphorus is dangerous is the incorrect calcium-phosphorus ratio. In their diet, the calcium-phosphorus ratio should be 1.5 to 2 to 1.
Calcium is an important nutrient for bearded dragons. They need it to digest their food, keep their bones strong, muscle development, and repair tissues. If the bearded dragon doesn’t get enough calcium in their diet, they will start to develop metabolic bone disease.
Some of the symptoms of MBD includes the following:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Lack of appetite
- Lethargy and weakness
- Swollen and misshapen limbs and jaws
- Paralysis or difficulty moving around
If there is too much phosphorus in their diet, like those in chickens, it will cause the body not to absorb calcium. If the body is not able to get any calcium from the food, it will start to absorb calcium from its bones.
Chickens have a dangerous calcium to phosphorus ratio: 1 to 16.7. This means the calcium will never make it into the bearded dragon’s bloodstream.
Health Benefits of Chickens for Bearded Dragons
While chickens are bad for bearded dragons in large amount, they can benefit from some of the nutrients if it’s given to them in moderation.
Some of the nutrients chicken have are calcium, phosphorus, protein, fat, sugar, fiber, and water. If any of these nutrients are too high in their diet, bearded dragons are negatively affected.
Bearded dragons need plenty of calcium in their diet. Chicken is a good source of calcium. However, chickens have too high of phosphorous, which prevents calcium from being absorbed by the body.
These reptiles are omnivorous, which means they can eat chicken. If they have a small amount of it once in a while, they should be fine.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Chicken?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat raw chicken. The best part to feed them is the breast where it’s soft and easy for them to digest.
If you’re planning to feed the raw chicken, make sure that it’s fresh and stored in the fridge. Chicken meat attracts harmful bacteria if it’s kept at room temperature for a long time. These bacteria can cause your bearded dragons to become sick.
Raw chickens should be fed to them in small amounts. This means just a piece about the size of your thumb.
How Often To Feed Chickens To Bearded Dragons?
Chickens should be fed to them in moderation. This means for an adult bearded dragon, you can feed them once or twice per month.
Again, chickens have too much phosphorus, which will prevent calcium from being absorbed by the body.
If you have some leftovers and want to give your bearded dragons some chickens as a treat, that’s fine. Just avoid feeding them too often, and you should not have to worry about your bearded dragons having any health issues.
Alternatives to Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Chicken
Insects are great for bearded dragons. It provides them many essential nutrients that the beardie needs. This includes calcium, protein, and iron. The most popular types of insects to feed them are crickets, grasshoppers, Dubia roaches, and beetles.
Fruits make a great treat for bearded dragons. Most fruits contain a high amount of sugar content. In large amounts, it can cause harm to your beardie. It will lead to obesity, heart problems, and liver damage. To prevent any health issues, it’s best to feed fruits to your bearded dragons in moderation.
Vegetables are an important source of food for bearded dragons. In the wild, this is what their primary food source is and should be the same for those in captivity. Leafy greens vegetables are the best for bearded dragons and can be fed to them daily.
Bearded dragons are omnivores and will eat chickens if given to them. However, it’s best to not let them eat it due to the disproportional phosphorous to calcium ratio. Due to the high amount of phosphorous, it will lead to metabolic bone disease.
Dan got started with his first reptile, which was a green iguana, at the age of 10. From there, he has raised many different species of reptiles. Besides caring for reptiles, he enjoys woodworking, playing basketball, and spending free time with my 4 wonderful kids.