Bearded dragons can eat earthworms, however many desire not to take action. And many house owners fear about utilizing worms they discover of their again yards.
As effectively being slightly unpalatable and disinteresting to bearded dragons, earth worms might harbour harmful pesticides or parasites of their intestine.
Fortunately we will suggest safer snacks and treats to your bearded dragon, that are simply as simple (if not simpler!) to seek out.
Are Earth Worms Safe For Bearded Dragons?
Lots of species of segmented worm are informally known as earth worms, and they’re discovered all around the world.
Earthworms themselves aren’t poisonous to bearded dragons.
However, earth worms from the again yard, or farmed in unknown circumstances, might need consumed pesticides that may make a bearded dragon sick.
They may also be contaminated with parasites, they usually could make your bearded dragon unwell too.
In addition, earth worms which might be overly massive in proportion to your bearded dragon could cause blockages and impaction of their digestive system.
Let’s have a look at earth worms for bearded dragons in additional element, and what treats make a great various.
Bearded Dragons And Earth Worms
Bearded dragons within the wild are omnivores.
The outcomes of analysis fluctuate, however round 10% to 50% of a wild grownup bearded dragon’s weight loss program consists of creepy crawlies together with termites, wasps, flies, dragonflies, crickets, moths and spiders.
The the rest comes from leafy vegetation. But grownup bearded dragons even often catch small mammals!
They are opportunistic predators. Which means they have a tendency to eat what they’ll, after they can, and their weight loss program modifications seasonally to mirror that.
It additionally explains why the composition of their weight loss program seems to fluctuate a lot from one examine to the subsequent!
Do Bearded Dragons In The Wild Eat Earth Worms?
Earth worms aren’t one thing wild bearded dragons of their native central Australia seem to eat very lots of.
Possibly as a result of different overground species are extra simply accessible, and earth worms merely aren’t that tasty to them as compared.
In captivity, one of the simplest ways to copy a bearded dragon’s pure weight loss program is by feeding quite a lot of bugs and leafy inexperienced greens, together with small items of cuttlefish or one other appropriate calcium complement.
You can supply earth worms to your bearded dragon as a part of a balanced weight loss program, however they’ve a number of drawbacks as we’ve seen.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Earth Worms?
The first drawback is that various bearded dragon house owners report their beardies discovering worms typically slightly unpalatable.
Earth worms secrete mucus via their pores and skin to scale back friction as their tunnel underground.
Lots of beardies don’t just like the style of the mucus – though it varies in accordance with the species of earth worm and the person dragon.
Some dragons may eat earth worms anyway (that hardwired intuition to eat what you’ll be able to, when you’ll be able to).
But others, who’ve discovered that one other meal is at all times simply across the nook, and by no means actually have time to get that hungry in between, may reject them.
Are Earth Worms Bad For Bearded Dragons?
The subsequent drawback is that earth worms can pose an arsenal of threats to bearded dragon well being.
Depending on the species, earth worms are made up of 70% to 90% water.
That’s much more than the laborious bodied bugs your bearded dragon has tailored to consuming, and should trigger abdomen upsets.
Bearded dragons aren’t afraid to tackle massive prey.
However, they’re additionally notoriously vulnerable to impaction – meals blockages of their intestine which they battle to expel as poop.
Large blockages may even begin to press on the spinal twine, inflicting ache and lack of sensation of their again legs.
Realistically, few earth worms are most likely large enough to overwhelm an grownup beardie, however it’s one thing to pay attention to.
Many vets advise in opposition to feeding your bearded dragon something you’ve discovered your self within the again yard.
Part of the rationale for that is the chance of contamination with chemical compounds used for killing pests, feeding crops, and so forth.
These could possibly be current within the soil nonetheless within the worm’s intestine, or they could possibly be absorbed into the worms’ physique.
The threat posed by chemical contamination will increase if beardies eat plenty of earthworms from the identical place, as a result of the toxins might construct as much as harmful ranges.
Earth worms can carry many sorts of parasite, together with
- Protozoa (single celled organisms)
- Platyhelminths (smaller worms)
- Nematodes (even smaller worms)
And bearded dragons which ingest them can find yourself contaminated by the parasite too.
Bearded dragons with a excessive parasitic burden are likely to turn out to be typically unwell-looking, inactive, and vulnerable to sickness.
Shortly we’ll have a look at what to do in case your beardie has discovered and scoffed an earth worm within the backyard, however first let’s see if they’ve any redeeming qualities.
Are Earth Worms Good For Bearded Dragons?
Besides all of the water and risk of nasties, what else is inside an earth worm?
The remainder of them is 65–73% protein, plus fatty acids and a stunning wealth of nurtrients.
Earth worms are a wealthy supply of amino acids, fatty acids, calcium and iron.
In some international locations, they’re even a staple a part of the human weight loss program!
Bearded dragons want loads of protein and calcium of their weight loss program to stay wholesome.
So occasional safely farmed, accurately sized, earth worms, in case your beardie likes them, could make a decent contribution to their weight loss program.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms From My Garden?
To keep away from the dangers described above, we don’t suggest this.
It’s far safer to purchase worms from a good reptile meals supplier.
These worms are farmed away from chemical compounds, and ought to be free from parasites.
My Bearded Dragon Ate Earth Worms, What Should I Do?
If your bearded dragon ate an earth worm, what do you have to do?
If you’ve got cause to imagine they have been contaminated in any manner (for instance, they have been present in an space just lately handled with pesticides, weed killer or fertilizers) name your vet for recommendation.
If your beardie has stunned you by consuming a number of worms in a single go (for instance worms stored as fishing bait or in a wormery to compost meals), additionally name your vet for recommendation.
Since earth worms aren’t inherently harmful, in most different instances, it might be sufficient to simply maintain and eye on them for any modifications in habits, or indicators of misery.
Small quantities of ‘clean’ earth worm are secure for bearded dragons to eat.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms
The quantity of bugs grownup bearded dragons devour within the wild is disputed.
But researchers and vets agree that as children they want two or three insect meals a day, comprising round 60% of their weight loss program.
This energy-rich weight loss program is necessary for sustaining a speedy interval of progress.
However, child bearded dragons are additionally prone to extreme, and even deadly, gastric issues in the event that they attempt to eat stay prey which is just too massive for them.
A rule of thumb child bearded dragons mother and father usually function by is “nothing bigger than the space between their eyes”.
Which normally means, the itty-bittiest of crickets, the tiniest of wax worms, and fruit flies.
Larger worms, together with earth worms, are finest saved till they’re older.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms Every Day?
Safely farmed earth worms carefully aren’t a threat to your beardie’s well being.
But bearded dragons thrive finest on quite a lot of insect meals, served three or 4 occasions every week.
Rather than providing worms at each stay meal, attempt to supply a spread of prey meals, and barely extra sparingly than every single day.
So what are you able to supply as an alternative?
Rather than worms, ask your native pet retailer what bugs they inventory for bearded dragons.
Popular prey meals treats for beardies embrace
- meal worms
- and dubia roaches.
Since the majority of your beardie’s weight loss program ought to be vegetable matter, why not supply fruit treats alongside their inexperienced veg and salad as a deal with?
Great choices embrace
- bell peppers
- and grapes.
Finally, some beardies house owners supply their grownup bearded dragons even bigger complete prey, together with smaller lizards and defrosted child mice from the pet retailer.
These are solely treats for birthdays, thanks giving, and very good habits although!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms Summary
In the wild bearded dragons eat many sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies.
Small earthworms which have been safely farmed so their free from chemical compounds and parasites are secure to supply your grownup bearded dragon carefully.
But, realistically, most beardies don’t like them very a lot.
Is yours an exception? Let us know within the feedback field down under!
Oonincx, The weight loss program of free‐roaming Australian Central Bearded Dragons, Zoobiology, 2015.
Rowland, Veterinary care of bearded dragons, In Practice, 2014.
Paoletti et al, Nutrient content material of earthworms consumed by Ye’Kuana Amerindians of the Alto Orinoco of Venezuela, The Royal Society, 2003.
Roots, The Water Relations Of Earthworms, University College London, 1955.