Bearded dragons mainly eat various insects and worms in their daily life. In the case of wild bearded dragons, they eat insects in huge quantities as they live in wild areas. But for a pet bearded dragon, the diet has a specific schedule. Not only insects, but owners also add veggies and fruits to their pet bearded dragon’s diet.
Nightcrawler is one of the well-known insects that wild animals eat. But can bearded dragons eat nightcrawlers? Is it safe for them? Your pet’s diet should not be the same as the wild one since you are there to guide them.
You may feed them various types of insects. But before serving any food to your beardie, you must be sure about safety. Now, what about nightcrawlers?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nightcrawlers?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat nightcrawlers. Nightcrawlers are mainly founded in Europe and Asia. It is protein-rich food for your beardie. But you should feed them the insects purchased from a well-known pet-food shop. Never provide nightcrawlers to your pet from your garden! After all, nightcrawlers are not as safe food as other insects for your beardie.
Notably, nightcrawlers belong to the earthworm family. Though, their size and appearance are different from each other.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nightcrawlers?
You can feed your beardie a maximum of 50 nightcrawlers per week. But if your pet is too young, you can provide 10 to 20 nightcrawlers per week.
It is fine to feed nightcrawlers to your pet once a week, which means you have to give a 4 to 5 days gap.
Bearded dragons require protein-rich meals in their everyday diet. Protein helps your beardie’s overall growth—especially young bearded dragons need four meals, including protein-rich foods.
Notably, you have to purchase the insect from a pet-friendly shop. Otherwise, your yard’s insects will harm your pet severely due to its contamination by pesticides and parasites.
3 Benefits of Nightcrawlers for Bearded Dragons
Nightcrawlers are like the other preferable insect-dish, such as crickets, butterworm, etc. If you can feed the insect to your beardie in a regulated way, your pet will be satisfied without compromising health.
1: Water Quantity Provides Moisture to Your Beardie
As nightcrawlers live in soil, they absorb much water from the land. Approximately the insect contains 70%-90% of water in it.
Though it depends on the environment where they live, in a wet area, earthworms can consume more water. The high water level helps your pet to get moisture and hydrates them for a long time.
2: Protein Aids in Overall Growth
As mentioned earlier, your beardie needs a good amount of protein for its overall growth, and nightcrawlers are a good source of protein. The insect consists of 60% protein which is adequate for bearded dragons.
3: Other Minerals Play Different Roles
Nightcrawlers contain various types of minerals. They live in the soil and get their food from the same soil; they absorb multiple minerals from the soil. As the insect is rich in minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, fat, carbs, etc., your bearded dragon will also get the same minerals from the insect.
Mentionable, nightcrawlers contain 16% of carbs, 7.8% of fat, and 2% of fat in them. All these minerals assist in various ways to your pet.
3 Risks of feeding nightcrawlers to Bearded Dragons
Nightcrawlers have some positive sides as a meal to your beardie. But it may cause several health issues. Though its risks are more dangerous, you will want to prohibit the food after being aware of it!
1: Nightcrawlers’s Size Cause Severe Health Complications
Your beardie always needs a small quantity and a small-sized meal, and the food pieces should be as small as the gap between their two eyes. But often, nightcrawlers are very long in size, and some are nearly 14 inches, which is terrible for your pet.
If your beardie swallows a whole long nightcrawler, they can get into trouble and might face constipation and other severe health issues. So, if you want to feed them the insect, be aware of its size. Otherwise, it is better to skip the food.
2: Pesticides Lead Your Pet to Various Diseases
One of the first things is to purchase well-bred nightcrawlers from the market. Garden insects are full of pesticides. If your beardie eats an insect from the garden, he consumes a large amount of pesticide along with the insect.
Even if you serve fruit or vegetables to your pet, washing is mandatory. Now, if the nightcrawlers consume pesticides themselves, there is no chance of safety! Your beardie will get harmed through pesticides and suffer from several diseases.
3: Parasite-Infested Nightcrawlers Cause Digestive Issues & Vitamin Absorption
Nightcrawlers consume several kinds of parasites like protozoa, nematodes, and Platyhelminthes. Parasites have always been a harmful compound for your pet.
If they consume the parasite-infested insect, they will get into several health issues like digestive problems, issues in vitamin absorption, unhealthy immune system, poor overall health, etc. So, you have two options: you should buy the insect from the market, or you can avoid the insect.
How to Feed nightcrawlers to Your Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons are like various kinds of insects. Though, in many cases, they don’t like the taste of the nightcrawlers. If your beardie shows interest in that insect, you can feed them in a proper path.
Purchase from a Reputed Shop
Most importantly, you must work a little hard to get a safe nightcrawler for your pet. You have purchased them from the pet shop instead of collecting them from your garden. If you know how to breed the nightcrawlers, you can go ahead. Otherwise, purchasing is the best option.
After getting the insects, you have to wash them in clean water. Do not feed your beardie without washing their food.
Serve in a Bowl
Then serve the insect in a beardie-friendly bowl. Your pet will eat them all if it finds them tasty.
Further, do remember to throw the insects if they remain after your pet’s eating. Do not keep the remaining insects in your pet’s territory, which harms your beard.
Before getting the assurance of the question, can bearded dragons eat nightcrawlers? You have to get the answer from your beardie itself. As they usually prefer something other than the taste of the insect for its slimy body and tasteless texture, they may not prefer it sometimes.
Additionally, your beardie can eat various insects with no risk. You can choose them instead of nightcrawlers only. You should research before adding new food to your little beardie’s diet!
Further, you can add some fruits and veggies to their diet. They consume small amounts but also need their required vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle.
Can baby bearded dragons eat nightcrawlers?
Yes, they can eat, but you must purchase the insect from a well-known pet-food shop.
Do bearded dragons like nightcrawlers?
Mostly they don’t like the taste.
Can bearded dragons eat Canadian nightcrawlers?
As Canadian nightcrawlers are much longer, they are not safe for your beardie.