In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What greens can bearded dragons eat?” and provide information on tips to keep in mind while choosing greens for bearded dragons as well as leafy veggies that can be occasionally fed to them.
What greens can bearded dragons eat?
Bearded dragons can eat collard greens. Collard greens are a good source of calcium. Apart from this, it also contains vitamin C, vitamins A, and vitamin K. Vitamin E, folate, and fiber.
Choose greens that are high in nutritional value. This would be the most important thing to look for in greens.
The next thing to look for would be calcium content. Greens that contain high levels of calcium need to be included in the bearded dragon’s diet.
The calcium to phosphorus ratio needs to be looked into before choosing greens. This is because phosphorus is a competitive factor that prevents calcium absorption.
Calcium deficiency can also increase the risk of developing a metabolic disease in bearded dragons.
Oxalates are interfering factors that prevent calcium absorption. Foods high in oxalates can block calcium absorption and increase the chance of developing metabolic diseases too. Check for levels of goitrogens in greens. High levels of goitrogens can result in thyroid problems
What are some other leafy greens that can be given to bearded dragons?
- A cactus pad can contain high levels of calcium. It also contains Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. However, cacti contain thorns. You would need to remove those thorns by removing the outer portion of the cactus.
Once that has been done, cut the cactus into smaller pieces and feed them to bearded dragons.
- Dandelion leaves have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2.8 to 1 which makes them a good option. It is rich in vitamin A and calcium. One of the best methods to incorporate them into a bearded dragon’s diet would be to add them to salads.
Make sure to go for leaves that do not contain pesticides. If dandelion leaves were organically grown in your garden, it would be better to feed them with it.
Dandelion leaves contain oxalates. To ensure that your bearded dragon gets enough calcium, combine dandelion leaves with other greens that are low in calcium like collard greens.
- Escaroles are bitter and crispy. These crispy leaves contain good amounts of calcium. Escaroles contain oxalates, so you can combine them with leaves that contain high levels of calcium.
- Mustard greens are one of the favorite foods of bearded dragons. This is because mustard greens have a unique peppery flavor.
Apart from this, nutrients present in mustard greens include Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A. However, mustard greens also have moderate amounts of oxalates and goitrogens.
You can mix mustard greens with cactus pads or collard greens to ensure that bearded dragons get enough calcium.
- Turnip greens have a spicy flavor but it contains oxalates. However, it contains good amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, and Vitamin C. Turnip greens can be mixed with leaves that have higher calcium.
What are some greens that can be occasionally fed to bearded dragons?
- Bok choy can be given as an occasional treat to bearded dragons. Though bok choy is rich in Vitamin C and A, it contains high levels of goitrogens too.
- Basil can be occasionally given to bearded dragons. You can mix it with other greens and feed it to them. Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
- Cabbage greens are not usually given to bearded dragons as they are goitrogenic similar to bok choy.
However, cabbage can improve the texture of salads to which they are added. Cabbage greens are crunchy as well as contain fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin C.
- Celery leaves can be fed to bearded dragons too. Chopping celery thoroughly before feeding them is important as it can get stuck inside the throat of bearded dragons. Celery leaves contain Vitamin C and antioxidants which can be very beneficial for them.
- Kale is a superfood not just for humans but for bearded dragons too! This is because kale contains manganese, Vitamins A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Kale is lower in oxalate values too.
However, kales have higher goitrogen levels. This makes it unsuitable to be given on a daily basis.
- Cilantro is higher in oxalates but it contains Vitamin C, A, K, potassium, calcium, manganese, and antioxidants. Cilantro has antimicrobial properties too.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What greens can bearded dragons eat?” and provided information on tips to keep in mind while choosing greens for bearded dragons as well as leafy veggies that can be occasionally fed to them.