Mealworms, the larvae of beetles, have now become a popular food among reptile owners as they are quite cheap and easy to grow. This might have made you give your bearded dragon some of these famous worms as well. But, how many mealworms to feed a bearded dragon? You might have thought. Don’t worry as this post is all about mealworms and we’ll cover everything there is to know about feeding mealworms to your pet beardie!
Answering our question, an adult bearded dragon should only be given five to six mealworms once or twice a week. While they can be beneficial for a bearded dragon’s diet, their high content of fats could still make your beardie sick.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mealworms?
Yes, adult bearded dragons can eat mealworms without any problem, but they should only be given as a treat.
Your beardie might love eating mealworms since bearded dragons generally love the taste of mealworms. This is more of a reason to use it only as an occasional treat since your beardie might get addicted to mealworms, which isn’t healthy as it contains high fats.
However, your beardie might find it difficult to digest the worm because it has a tough chitin shell around it.
It would be best to dust mealworms with some calcium or vitamins before feeding them to the reptile, to add some nutrients
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Mealworms?
NO, you should never feed a baby bearded dragon with mealworms, not even small worms. Not even as a treat. This is because mealworms have a tough outer shell made of chitin, even adult mealworms will take some time in digesting it, so how would a baby do it? Any bearded dragon younger than five months should NOT be fed mealworms!
Feeding a juvenile bearded dragon with one or two mealworms once a week would be fine, but make sure it has no difficulties in eating or digesting them.
How Many Mealworms Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
Like I said before in the beginning, five to six mealworms once or twice a week would be fine, but not more than that. This quantity will work for adult bearded dragons.
For juvenile bearded dragons, two to three worms once a week will be more than enough. That should also not be giant mealworms, since they will be difficult to digest. Stick with small worms to avoid digestive problems.
And do not feed any, not even small mealworms to baby bearded dragons. This can make them very sick.
How To Feed Mealworms To Bearded Dragons
When feeding your pet bearded dragon with mealworms, always make sure to dust it with powdered calcium, vitamins, and other nutrient components to make them more healthy.
You can also mix the worms with green food. This way, your bearded dragon might eat some vegetables while trying to eat the mealworm. Live mealworms would be the best option in this case.
As to how to feed them, you can either feed them by hand, which can increase the bond between you too. You can even use tweezers in case you don’t want to touch the worm or want to protect yourself from unexpected dragon bites.
The other option would be putting the worms into a bowl and allowing them to eat from it. You can also add other insects or some vegetables into them like mentioned above.
Are Mealworms Good For Bearded Dragons?
While mealworms contain a lot of proteins and moisture, which are good for dragons, I wouldn’t say that mealworms are very healthy either. They contain very high amounts of fat that can make your beardie overweight and sick.
Mealworms have a nutrient composition of:
- Moisture Content – 62%
- Calcium – 13.3%
- Fat – 13%
- Protein – 20%
Feeding your bearded dragon a variety of feeder insects like goliath worms, super worms, wax worms, roaches, insects, and other live insects to form a staple diet. Dusting your beardie’s food with vitamins and calcium can also be a great option.
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In conclusion, adult bearded dragons can eat five to six mealworms once or twice a week and juvenile bearded dragons can eat two to three per week. Baby bearded dragons should not be given any mealworms, not even small ones.
Bearded dragons should only be fed with mealworms as an occasional treat and should not be used as the main food source.
Can bearded dragons eat dead mealworms?
No, DO NOT ever feed your bearded dragons dead mealworms. Dead mealworms can attract bacteria and parasites to it, which will then pass into your bearded dragon when it eats them. But of course, if these dead mealworms are store-bought canned mealworms, they would be OK. But still, their nutritional values would be less than live ones.
Can bearded dragons eat dried mealworms?
It is OK to feed your beardie with dried mealworms since they are canned after their nutrients are preserved. However, only feed bearded dragons with dried mealworms as a treat and in small quantities.
Can bearded dragons eat freeze-dried mealworms?
Feeding your bearded dragon with freeze-dried mealworms would be okay. These mealworms are taken through a dehydration process before packing to save their nutritional values. However, it’s best to stick to live mealworms, and only give them freeze-dried ones as a treat and in absence of live food.
Can I feed my bearded dragons only mealworms?
No, you cannot. Mealworms contain high-fat content and can be harmful if you solely rely on them as your pet’s food. Always feed your bearded dragon with a variety of different insects and worms and only use mealworms as a treat.