If you own an exotic pet like a bearded dragon, it can be difficult to know what you can and cannot feed them. There are a number of foods we consume in our diets that we may consider giving but want to check ahead of time to ensure it is safe or even advisable. Eggs are a prime example. Can you offer these? I decided to do some research to find out for good.
So, can bearded dragons eat eggs? Bearded dragons can eat eggs, but should only do so in moderation. For adult bearded dragons, it is generally recommended to offer a small serving of egg once per week at most. Babies and younger beardies can typically consume more as they have higher protein requirements than older dragons, but again this should not exceed 2 times per week. Eggs can provide many nutrients for your reptile, however are too high in protein and fat to be a staple in their diet. Eggs can be offered from ducks, chickens and quails but the larger the egg, the less that should be served.
While feeding eggs to your bearded dragon can be done; there are a lot of considerations you need to take into account.
Let us now take a look at the most common questions of the topic to ensure you know exactly if you should offer this food, how, when and in what kind of quantity.
Should Bearded Dragons Eat Eggs?
Bearded dragons are omnivorous; and according to research, do best on a diet of 50% plant matter and 50% animal based foods.
In their natural habitat, food is generally scarce, so they are known to accept a wide vareity of different foods.
Additionally, younger bearded dragons are more carnivorous; consuming more protein than their elder counterparts who typically have more of a preference to plant based foods.
So where does this leave eggs?
Well, firstly we know that your bearded dragon will likely consume them if offered. But does this mean you should?
It is perfectly safe, and can even be advantageous to offer small amounts of egg. This is because eggs can help your beardie meet some of their protein requirements and also provide a range of vitamins and minerals that will support their health.
However, you should only look to offer eggs sparingly. They should never become a staple in the diet.
Generally, it is advised to never offer eggs to an adult beardie more than once per week, although due to their carnivorous nature and additional requirement for protein, baby and younger bearded dragons can look to consume eggs 1-2x per week.
You should only offer cooked eggs; that have been prepared via poaching, boiling or microwaving. Never cook them in added fats (oils/butter), nor add condiments, milk or seasonings. You will want to cut them into manageable sized chunks and also let them cool before offering them.
There are also a variety of eggs available although quail and chicken eggs are most preferable. Going further, you should look to offer organic eggs from grass-fed chickens as these are more nutritious.
Quail eggs are excellent because they are small yet still very nutritious; it saves having to worry about serving sizes and the risk of offering too much. With chicken eggs you have to be more careful, and it is best to stick to half an egg per serving.
When first introducing your bearded dragons to eggs, look to offer a small amount and see how they react and respond.
Typically, most bearded dragons will enjoy consuming eggs, but not all will. Some will not take to them and may even ignore them altogether. Never force a food upon your beardie.
It is also important that you do not give them an entire egg in one sitting, especially if they have not tried this food before.
While eggs are very nutritious (which we will explain in further detail in the section below), they are very high in protein. Protein in excess is bad for bearded dragons and can easily lead to weight gain. So it is something you need to be aware of an an owner of this reptile.
Taking it one step further, there is actually an ideal time when a bearded dragon would do very well to consume eggs; if they were malnourished.
During this time, the nutrients found in an egg added to the protein will help to support your dragon during this time. It may even help them to put on needed weight. If your beardie is not eating much, if anything at all, then mixing some egg with more appetizing food can be a good solution.
Nutritional Value of Eggs
Eggs are perhaps some of the most nutritious food sources when eaten in appropriate amounts. This is true for both us humans and for bearded dragons.
While we must be wary of the protein and fat content, the wide variety of nutrients and minerals do make this a food that we do want to offer infrequently.
This is because they can provide a lot of necessary vitamins and minerals that bearded dragons need to thrive. The most important ones being:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin D in particular is very important for bearded dragons. This vitamin, along with calcium, is essential to promote strong bones and prevent deformations. As you can imagine, this is why we place a UVB light in their enclosure – to help them acquire the Vitamin D they no longer can obtain from the sun.
Let us now take a look at some of the different eggs you can look to feed your beardie, along with their nutritional profile:
|Per Egg||Quail Egg (9g)||Chicken Egg (50g)|
|Energy||14 calories||71 calories|
|Protein||1.17 g||6.2 g|
|Fat||0.99 g||4.76 g|
|Vitamin A||48.9 IU||270 IU|
|Vitamin D||4.95 IU||41 IU|
|Vitamin E||0.097 mg||0.525 mg|
|Vitamin B-12||0.142 µg||0.445 µg|
|Calcium||5.76 mg||28 mg|
As you can imagine, a bearded dragons requirements for such vitamins and minerals is much lower than ours, as humans.
Therefore, when you compare the nutrients in the table above, its important to consider that more is not necessarily better or even required by a beardie. Equally, eggs will not be the only sources of these nutrients and they will obtain them from other foods.
Quail Eggs, if available, therefore are preferable – being lower in calories, fat and protein while simultaneously offering all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that chicken eggs can provide.
Either type of egg can be healthy, with appropriate serving sizes and serving schedules as discussed above and below:
|Serving Frequency||Quail Egg||Chicken Egg (Medium 50g)|
|Baby/Juveniles||One Egg (9g) 2-3x per week.||Half an Egg (25g) 1-2x per week|
|Adults||One Egg (9g), 1-2x per week||1/3rd/Half an Egg (17g/25g) 1x per week/2 weeks.|
Risks Of Bearded Dragons Eating Too Many Eggs
Like with most foods; more is not always better. While some egg in your bearded dragons diet can lead to improved health – and as we can see they are very nutritious, too much can cause issues.
As the table documents above, eggs are naturally high in protein. While some is required in the diet; too much can result in excess weight gain, fatty liver disease along with other health complications.
That being said, its very important to consider the age of your beardie.
Baby/young/juvenile bearded dragons do require more protein and therefore naturally are more carnivorous in their appetite.
This is why you will often see recommendations to offer them crickets, cockroaches, mealworms and other insects more frequent;y during this stage of their lives.
Yet, as a bearded dragon ages, their requirements and resulting preferences for animal based foods declines. They move into a more herbivorous diet – doing best on more greens such as dandelion, collard greens, parsley, watercress and clover.
As an owner, you need to follow this natural tendency and preference. Your vet will help you to transition your beardies diet over the course of their lives and at appropriate times. Generally, this happens slowly.
How To Offer Eggs To your Bearded Dragon
So with the above information in mind, if you did want to offer some egg to your bearded dragon, how would you go about doing so?
There are actually a couple of ways to prepare them, but first and foremost, you should never:
- Offer Eggs Raw
- Cook them in fat such as oil or butter.
- Add seasonings, sauces or spices
Poaching or gently boiling is recommended, along with whisking the egg plain in a bowl and then microwaving it for a minute or two.
Make sure you let the egg cool. You can then cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces and mix it in to your beardies regular diet and salad bowl of dandelion, mustard greens etc.
Hard-boiled eggs are also an option and how some owners prepare them for their beardies.
Remember, never offer raw egg to your beardie as it can be a challenge for them to digest. Again, be sure to cut the egg into bite-size chunks to ensure they do not choke.
Bearded dragons can eat eggs. In fact, there are a lot of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in eggs that they can benefit from.
However, due to the high protein and fat content, eggs should be offered sparingly.
Baby, young and juvenile beardies can consume eggs more frequently as they adhere to a more carnivorous diet, but adults less so as their dietary requirements and need transition over to a more herbivorous one.
Both quail and chicken eggs can be excellent choices; when given in appropriate serving sizes. Poaching, boiling or microwaving eggs are the best ways to prepare them. Never feed eggs raw, too hot, fried in fat or seasoned.
From there, your beardie can enjoy eggs from time to time and benefit from the many vitamins and minerals they contain – like Vitamin D.
Can bearded dragons eat scrambled eggs? Bearded dragons can eat scrambled eggs so long as butter, milk and seasonings have not been added. Scrambled egg should be offered plain, and once it has had a chance to cool.
Can bearded dragons eat eggshells? Bearded dragons can consume egg shells and can greatly benefits from the high amounts of calcium they contain. However, egg shells need to be boiled (to eliminate germs) and completely grounded to prevent digestive issues and upset. Getting calcium through eggshells is a great way to supplement your beardies diet with much required calcium.
Can bearded dragons eat egg yolk? Bearded dragons can eat egg yolks so long as they are poached, boiled or have been cooked in the microwave. Egg yolks contain many of the nutrients of an egg so are good to feed. However, you need to be careful with how much egg yolk you offer as this is equally the most calorie dense part of the egg with all of the fat content. Weight gain and other issues can arise with too much consumption of egg yolk.
Can bearded dragons eat raw eggs? It is not advised to offer raw eggs to a bearded dragon. Raw eggs can carry bacteria and germs which can cause digestive upset and other issues. Cooking the egg, via poaching, boiling or microwaving will kill off any bacteria and germs making them more safe.