Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
In this article, we will answer the question “‘Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?”, and what are the risks and benefits of feeding broccoli to bearded dragons?
Read on if you want to know how to feed broccoli to your beardie and what are the best veggies for baby bearded dragons.
Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Yes, you can feed broccoli to bearded dragons. But its amount should be limited to only 1 chopped floret once or twice a month. This is because broccoli is a rich source of phosphorus and oxalic acid.
The former weakens the bones of your beardie while the latter causes kidney stones in addition to depleting calcium from your beardie.
Why should bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Broccoli is filled with nutrients that are important to maintain and improve the health of your bearded friend. Broccoli, filled with Vitamin A and C, boosts immunity, vision and promotes reproductive health.
Vitamin K1 present in broccoli, known for blood clotting, is needed for the bones. Potassium is needed to maintain a fluid balance in your body. Besides, potassium improves kidney health and supports muscle function.
Fiber regulates the gut-health. Iron is needed by the blood cells to keep the bearded dragon oxygenated.
Manganese has anti-inflammatory properties. It also plays an important role in metabolism. Last but not the least, broccoli is packed with water, which is important for the hydration of your beardie.
Nutrition facts of broccoli
100g of broccoli provides the following nutrients
|Total lipid, fat||0.37 g|
|Carbohydrate, by the difference||6.64 g|
|Calcium, Ca||47 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Vitamin C||89.2 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.73 mg|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0 µg|
|Vitamin B6||0.175 mg|
|Vitamin A||31 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.78 mg|
|Vitamin K||101.6 µg|
Risks of feeding broccoli to bearded dragons
Bearded dragons should be fed veggies that have a 1:1 ratio or higher of calcium and phosphorus in the favor of calcium. Berate dragons need calcium more than they need phosphorus. Too much phosphorus does the opposite of providing health benefits.
Broccoli has a higher percentage of phosphorus than calcium. Therefore, it is not safe to feed broccoli to your bearded dragons every single day.
Phosphorus acts as an anti-nutrient by blocking the absorption of calcium from the intestine of your bearded friend. Long-term calcium malabsorption leads to calcium deficiency which is reflected in weak bones or Metabolic Bone Disease.
MBD makes the bones extremely brittle, and it may lead to paralysis or death. However, MBD can be avoided by taking sufficient calcium through diets or supplements and avoiding foods that deplete it.
The second risk of feeding broccoli to bearded dragons is its high oxalic acid content. The high oxalic acid content acts the same way as phosphorus, by binding with the calcium and depleting its reserves. Besides, eating this oxalic acid-rich vegetable may also lead to kidney stones in your bearded friend.
Can baby bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Only a 20% portion of a baby bearded dragon should come from a plant source so you should not be feeding it such problematic veggies. Instead, there is a variety of options you can choose from that are healthy for the bearded dragon.
So, the baby bearded dragon should be given veggies like acorn squash, bell pepper, butternut squash, cactus leaves, collard greens, mustard greens, and yellow squash, etc.
How to prepare broccoli?
Organic or inorganic, wash the broccoli thoroughly and cut it into small manageable pieces because it poses a threat as a choking hazard.
Cut the stem or stalk and set it aside. The green florets of the broccoli are to be fed to the beardie. Mix the chopped broccoli with other veggies to make the food bowl more wholesome and interesting for the berate dragon.
If you are dealing with frozen broccoli, let it thaw first. It is optional but soaking the broccoli after the washing step softens the veggie and makes it easy to chew for the beardie.
How much broccoli can a bearded dragon eat?
One single floret in a month is the safe frequency of feeding broccoli to your bearded friend. This helps keep a balance between the calcium and phosphorus levels in your bearded friend’s body.
In this article, we answered the question “‘Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?”, and what are the risks and benefits of feeding broccoli to bearded dragons?