Bearded dragons are reptilians of the desert. They have a coarse coat and can live on less water for days. These reptilians love to eat insects and there can be many food choices that seem to be suitable, but in reality, they can be harmful as well! Can bearded dragons eat cockroaches? We all ask this question because the more careful you are, the better it can be for your bearded pet!
Bearded dragons rely on insects for protein. They fulfill their needs with crawlers and small insects, but will bearded dragons feed on cockroaches? What kind of insects are most suitable for them? Let’s find out!
CAN BEARDED DRAGONS EAT COCKROACHES
Bearded dragons can eat cockroaches regularly. They love the taste, and they are beneficial for them too. When you decide to keep a bearded dragon as your pet, you will always want to see it healthy, happy, and thriving. The most suitable diet for your dragon is to eat protein and calcium-rich foods. Since they fulfill their protein requirements with insects like cockroaches, you can add some calcium and protein-rich vegetables to their diet too!
Bearded dragons need protein for muscle development, and calcium ensures that they have a strong bone structure. They need both muscles, and bones to thrive and become healthy as adults. When you plan their diet, it has to be with care, as there are many foods that are not suitable for them.
As far as cockroaches are concerned, bearded dragons will enjoy these insects because they have a lot of calcium, and protein to offer. Moreover, there are many minerals and nutrients that this insect contains, and are good for bearded dragons. Also, read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas which is a great insect for bearded dragons.
A WORD OF CAUTION
When you feed cockroaches to your bearded pet, make sure that they are not the ones you catch in your house. Many of you might get disappointed after hearing this because you might have thought how nice it would be if your home could become roach-free and your bearded dragon pet will be happy too! It does not work like that!
Commercial cockroaches are kept in a clean environment, and they are also more balanced in terms of nutrients. They do not contain any harmful substances such as chemical spray residue on their skin. Home roaches live in the sewage pipeline or in moist and warm areas, and they do not get enough to eat.
Moreover, bearded dragons living in homes are more sensitive than the ones surviving the wilderness. Yes, you may have heard about a bearded dragon living off cockroaches in the wild, but that cannot happen in the home because a pet dragon is gentler, and does not have the gut or strong immunity to fight undesirable bacteria or food.
Another point of concern is that roaches bite! They can bite you while you feed them to your pet. However, they also bite their predators! If your bearded dragon comes close to a roach in the dish, thinking it is going to enjoy devouring it, there is a surprising turn, the roach can bite the bearded dragon. This makes it hard for bearded dragons to eat, and of course, the sting is bad too!
HOW MANY ROACHES ARE ENOUGH
Bearded dragons love roaches. Whether they are the darker cockroaches or Dubia roaches that have striped bellies. The dragon will love the taste and it can gorge on many of them in one day. However, how many roaches should you feed your dragon daily? The answer is simple, an adult dragon can consume as many as five roaches in a day. You can drop the number according to the age of your bearded pet. If you have a six-month-old dragon, a single roach might be sufficient for the day.
When you feed roaches to your dragon pet, the size of the insect matters. A full-grown big roach may be too hard to swallow and this factor is enough to make a desirable food choice, undesirable! Bearded dragons do not chew a lot and if they swallow a big roach, it may cause nausea and vomiting or if it manages to take it in completely, it may cause impaction.
Impaction is the congestion of the intestine due to indigested semi-solid food in the intestine. The clogging may cause extreme constipation and eventually bearded dragons become paralyzed in the lower body! You must avoid this risk by feeding small-sized roaches to your bearded pet so it can become a healthy and happy adult!
HOW TO FEED COCKROACHES TO BEARDED DRAGONS
You can serve smaller-sized cockroaches to bearded dragons. With the help of a tong, you can lift a roach from the can that you buy from the pet store. This roach will of course move, but trust your dragon to grab it faster. Many pet owners prefer dead insects, and we will recommend the same to new pet owners. It is easier and more manageable to feed dead roaches to bearded dragons. You may also like Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I give my bearded dragon cockroaches from the garden?
No, the cockroaches living in nature may not offer bearded pets all the essential nutrients. Moreover, there are many poisonous, and unfavorable chemicals around that the cockroach may have been exposed to! You might want to feed your pet clean, and safe insects bought from the pet shop.
What size cockroaches are best for bearded dragons?
You must give small-sized cockroaches to the bearded dragon because they are easy to swallow, and they are also softer because their skin is not as crunchy and tough as older roaches. Both size and texture will make the smaller roaches a more obvious choice!
Bearded dragons can eat cockroaches and they enjoy them a lot too. These insects provide many nutrients and are a good way to fulfill the daily protein requirement. When your bearded dragon enjoys its food, it becomes happier and more satisfied.
My name is Ashley, and I am an ardent bearded dragon owner. I have been writing about bearded dragons for the website for many months now, and each topic is close to my heart because it genuinely teaches me more as well. The enthusiasm of this team and the brilliance of the project make me write with more zeal.