Eggs are high in protein easy to source and prepare, so we understand why you may want to know if you can include this in their diet.
In the wild, bearded dragons get proteins from insects. To prevent malnutrition, you will need to find a good nutrient source for your bearded dragon in captivity. Are eggs a suitable source?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Eggs?
Yes, bearded dragons can feed on chicken eggs. However, this needs to be in moderation. The high protein content is one of the significant benefits of eggs, but sadly, it can be a significant hazard for your pet. Further, your bearded dragon is also likely to be getting proteins from other sources such as crickets and commercial foods.
High protein intake can make your lizard obese if fed in plenty. It might also cause heart failure or diabetes.
Your pet’s liver might also suffer illnesses such as fatty liver disease due to difficulty in filtering out excess amino acids. If not treated early, this might lead to liver failure.
In addition, these reptiles process food significantly differently from humans, and while eggs might be a significant part of your diet, they are not the best daily food for your bearded dragon.
Evidently, eggs will make a great source of protein for bearded dragons. But it would help if you struck a balance between giving it enough and giving it too much.
These recommendations might make you wonder; how should you feed bearded dragons eggs. Below is a detailed guide on making your pet’s feeding work easy without compromising your pet’s health.
How to Prepare Eggs for Bearded Dragons?
Giving your bearded dragon eggs takes a little more time and effort than with most vegetables and fruits. It is essential to ensure that you prepare the eggs effectively to protect the pet and ensure that it gets the optimal nutritional value.
1. Look for Quality Eggs
The first step is to find good eggs that are high quality. You can get these from the store, and the standard ones you will find suffice.
In terms of size, buy the bigger ones, as it will make it easier for you to monitor the amounts you are feeding eggs to your lizard and also avoid overfeeding.
Most pet bearded dragon owners prefer quail eggs to chicken eggs. Although smaller in size, the former has higher nutritional value than the chicken eggs.
Due to their small size, you can give your bearded dragon a whole quail egg instead of half.
2. Inspect the Eggs
If you can, visually inspect the eggs at the store. Where not possible, ensure to examine them every time before cooking.
It is worth noting that most of the eggs you will find in stores are thoroughly inspected, so you don’t have to worry a lot.
Look out for visible abnormalities, coloring, or debris. Do not take chances; throw it away and get another if an egg seems bad.
It is more suitable not to give your bearded dragon the eggs than put its health at risk.
3. Properly Cook The Eggs
It might surprise you, especially if you are a first-time bearded dragon pet owner, but these lizards shouldn’t be fed with raw eggs.
Most people assume that cooking all foods, such as nutrient-rich eggs, kills the nutrients. However, this is not the case with eggs.
Raw eggs potentially carry bacteria that might be a health hazard for your bearded dragon. In addition, raw eggs will be difficult for your pet to eat.
As such, it is best not to risk, and you should instead take your time to cook the eggs properly.
There are two ways of preparing eggs for your bearded dragon; hard-boiling them or making scrambled eggs.
Whichever option you choose, avoid seasoning the eggs or using oil, butter, or other flavorings. Keep them plain and simple; the eggs are safer for your bearded dragon that way.
Upon preparing the eggs, allow them to cool to around room temperature before feeding your pet. Irrespective of how much your pet likes the eggs, stick to no more than half an egg.
Chop it into tiny sizes for the bearded dragon to find it easy for their bite and swallow. The softness and rubber-like texture of the eggs makes it difficult for your bearded dragon to chew and avoid a choking hazard.
1. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are the easiest to prepare for your bearded dragon. Add them in boiling water and leave them for about 12 minutes to cook.
A well-cooked egg for a bearded dragon should be fully opaque in the egg whites and yolk.
Boiling the eggs kills any bacteria that could potentially harm the pet by affecting its digestive system.
In addition, hard-boiled eggs have a chewy texture that is more attractive to bearded dragons.
Do note that bearded dragons do not eat eggshells, so you will need to remove them before chopping the eggs. Examine the eggs for any shell pieces as they put your pet at risk of impaction.
2. Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are another way of effectively preparing eggs for your bearded dragon. However, unlike humans, you should not mix scrambled eggs with vegetables or ingredients such as cooking oil, salt, pepper, cheese, etc.
Such ingredients make it harder for the bearded dragon to digest, and some are also toxic.
Although scrambled eggs take a lot more time to prepare, they will add variety to the diet and prevent monotony.
Monotony might prevent the pet from eating well, leading to underweight problems or malnutrition.
If you opt to add the scrambled eggs to other greens in your pet’s meal, do not cook them together and instead add them when ready.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Yes, bearded dragons can safely eat scrambled eggs. It is one of the safe and efficient ways of feeding your bearded dragon with eggs.
However, as mentioned earlier, bearded dragons’ scrambled eggs should be kept simple and easy without additives.
Unlike humans, additives such as butter, salt, etc., in a scrambled egg might affect your pet’s digestive tract.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Have Scrambled Eggs?
While eggs are beneficial to bearded dragons, they should be given in moderation. In general, you should provide the pet half an egg once weekly. Any amount higher than this puts your pet at the risk of severe health problems.
The amount of proteins your pet will get from this amount and frequency is suitable for both juveniles and mature ones.
Moreover, it is more vital for juveniles because their diet comprises about 80% animal foods.
If you opt not to give your bearded dragon eggs weekly, it can make an excellent choice for a bi-monthly treat.
Even so, there are situations that might necessitate you to give your bearded dragon more eggs.
Here are some of the circumstances under which your vet may recommend that you give your pet more than half an egg weekly.
Calcium and protein malnutrition are some of the common challenges with captive bearded dragons. If your pet is underweight or malnourished, your vet might recommend that you give it more eggs to rectify this.
A recommendation to give the pet more eggs will be suitable in cases of vitamins, proteins, and fat malnourishment.
They will offer a great source of proteins and other vital nutrients that will help bridge the gap.
They are ideal all-round nutrition makes them ideal, and you can also mix them with other foods to entice your bearded dragon to eat better.
Signs of malnourishment in bearded dragons include loose skin because of dehydration, sunken eyes, a big head relative to the body, visible pelvic bone, and ribs.
Consult a vet to get professional help and advice in case of such signs.
2. Juveniles and Babies
Babies and juvenile bearded dragons need more proteins than adults. It is no wonder that about 80% of their diet comprises animal protein. The high protein intake supports their high growth needs as their body, organs, and organ systems mature.
Your vet might recommend giving baby bearded dragons more than half an egg weekly if they feel that the bearded dragons is not getting sufficient from the diet.
Eggs also make an ideal protein alternative to other protein sources such as insects. The variety ensures that your bearded dragon is not choosy while killing diet monotony.
In addition, eggs are a less addictive high-protein food for a bearded dragon compared to super worms and mealworms.
As the babies grow, gradually reduce the egg size to the recommended half an egg weekly and replace them with plants and vegetables.
As the babies mature, they need fewer proteins. The gradual process will make diet transition easier since you need to feed them with less meat and more plants to avoid obesity.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Egg Shells?
No, bearded dragons should not be given eggshells, and there are good reasons for this. While the shells are loaded with calcium that is vital to these lizards, they put them at risk of impaction. Eggshells are sharp, and they might cut your pet’s digestive tract or get stuck in it.
In addition, they might carry bacteria that might not go away by simple washing. Thus, it would be best not to let bearded dragons eat eggshells; the mineral benefits are not worth the risk.
Should you decide to use egg shells as a source of calcium for your bearded dragon, boil them to remove germs, then thoroughly grind them.
You should ensure that the ground eggshells appear powder-like with no pieces that might hurt your pet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Egg Yolks?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat egg yolks are long as they are not raw. Egg yolks are nutritious and will benefit your pet. However, these yolks carry the highest portion of calories in an egg, which can lead to weight gain if your bearded dragon consumes too much of it.
Nutritional Value of an Egg
Eggs are not only tasty but also have tons of nutritional benefits. A single egg caries 5 g fat, 1.6g unsaturated fats, and 7 g of proteins. It also has iron, carotenoids, minerals, and vitamins. Let us have an in-depth look at this.
1. Low calories
Unlike the common belief that eggs are high in calories, one egg contains about 75 calories only. This is great because it means that they will hardly cause excessive caloric intake.
2. Rich in Vitamins & Minerals
Eggs are packed with a variety of vitamins, including A, D, E, B2, B6, B5, B12, as well as Vitamin K.
These vitamins are essential in helping your bearded dragon maintain an ideal immune system, vision, reproductive health, and achieve perfect growth progress, among other vital body functions.
Further, eggs have minerals such as folate, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc.
They all play vital roles in various body functions and support the growth and development needs of the different body systems in the lizard’s body.
3. Packed With Antioxidants
Eggs have antioxidants that aid in preventing cell damage resulting from toxic free radicals. Some of the major antioxidants in eggs are zeaxanthin and lutein.
The list of the significant nutritional benefits of eggs would not be complete without having proteins in it. Eggs are rich in high-quality proteins.
These proteins are vital in supporting the overall growth needs of your bearded dragon and improving the immune system while maintaining organ and muscle function.
However, they should be limited to adults who may not need them as much as their babies do since their body organs and systems are already mature.
All in all, proteins are necessary for all bearded dragons for energy, boosting the immune system, and effective functioning of their muscles and organs.
Diet of a Bearded Dragon
As mentioned earlier, beardies feed on an omnivorous diet. It means that bearded dragons eat a mix of herbivorous foods, i.e., plants, and a carnivorous diet, too, i.e., meat. In the wild, they consume insects, vegetables, and fruits.
Their younger ones are more carnivorous and feed on an about 80% meat diet and 20% plants. On the other hand, adult bearded dragons consume more plants than meat.
Most of their body organs have already formed and matured, and thus their protein needs are significantly lower. The ratio of meat to plants for the mature lizards is around 1:5.
In general, a bearded dragon’s diet should comprise 50% plant-based foods and 50% animal-based foods.
However, the recommendation is expected to vary based on the age and maturity of the lizard and any exceptional circumstances.
These include an underlying illness or a mineral/vitamin deficit you are trying to cover. If in doubt, first discuss with your vet.
Bearded dragon pet owners often feed them bananas, kiwi, guava, apples, apricots, mangoes, melons, papaya, grapes, figs, raspberries, pears, plums, watermelon, strawberries, dates, and figs, among other fruits.
However, it would help to exercise extreme caution with fruits, limiting them to minimal quantities. This is because most fruits are either high in sugar or acidic, giving your pet digestive challenges.
Your bearded dragon can eat eggs, and it will benefit from the high nutritional value of this animal protein. It is, therefore, good for you to proceed and include eggs in the diet.
However, too many eggs can potentially harm the pet, whether baby beardies or adult bearded dragons. It is best to stick to the recommended amount of half an egg weekly.
It would be best if you never feed your bearded dragon with raw eggs or eggshells. They put it at risk of bacterial infections and impaction, respectively.
Prepare the eggs by hard boiling them or scrambling, then chop them into tiny-bite size pieces.
We hope this has been informative in helping you know whether you can feed eggs and how to effectively feed your bearded dragon to keep it healthy and thriving.