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Is Chicken Good For Bearded Dragons? All You Need To Know

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Bearded dragons are fast becoming one of the most popular reptiles to be seen in homes around the world.

A great option as pets, these modern-day dinosaurs are good for those with young children, as well as adults who are looking for something different from your standard dog or cat for a pet.

Bearded dragon on top of leaves

With brilliant personalities and making good company, it’s always easy to form a bond between you and your lizard friend.

However, many people don’t think about the little things that are required to look after these reptiles properly.

Of course, every pet has a different diet. However, bearded dragons need to have a balanced diet to thrive and survive.

The question we’re going to answer today is whether bearded dragons can eat chicken or not and what their diet in the wild would consist of!

What Is A Bearded Dragon’s Usual Diet In The Wild?

The bearded dragon’s diet consists of insects, worms, fruit flies, crickets, mealworms, and other forms of small bugs.

They also like to nibble on grubs found in rotting wood, leaf litter, and similar places where they can find them.

It’s important to note that this diet is very rich in protein and minerals and will help keep your reptile healthy.

How Often Do I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

When it comes to feeding your bearded dragon, it’s best to avoid giving them too much food at once because if you do so, then you’ll likely end up with an overgrown belly.

Instead, feed your lizard twice daily, usually in the morning and evening.

This way, you won’t need to worry about the weight being put on during the day, as they’ll eat enough throughout the day to stay well-fed.

The Food You Can Give Your Bearded Dragon

As mentioned earlier, the type of food that you give your lizard depends on where they live and what they eat in the wild.

In some cases, they may even eat meat from other animals.

However, when it comes to keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy, it’s best to stick to their usual balanced diet because of the positive effect that it has on their well-being and their health.

It’s important to remember that whatever you feed your bearded dragon, they should never be given any bones or large pieces of meat.

If they do try to swallow such items, they could choke on them and die from internal injuries, which is the worst thing in the world for a pet owner to experience.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?

Plate of boiled chicken

The simple answer is no, not really. Although chicken is a common ingredient in most diets, it’s not recommended for bearded dragons because of their dietary needs.

They require a special kind of food that contains all the vitamins and nutrients that they need to stay fit and healthy.

For example, their diet should include features such as calcium, potassium, and iron.

These supplements are only available in certain types of foods, but they are worth trying out.

Although chicken is a key part of a lot of human diets throughout the world of culinary food and meals, it’s not as healthy for beardies and can often cause them to become quite sick.

Cooked chicken is less harmful than raw chicken. However, salmonella affects these reptiles in very similar ways to humans.

Chicken has very high phosphorus and fat levels compared to a bearded dragon’s usual diet, which means that the meat isn’t a viable option for your pet.

Beardies will often need to rely on the calcium absorption in their bodies to stay healthy, with the high phosphorus in chicken getting in the way of this process.

What Happens To Bearded Dragons With Calcium Deficiencies?

Beardies who don’t get enough calcium in their diets run the risk of developing skeletal deformities and other conditions.

The lack of calcium leads to poor bone density, which affects both the inside and outside of the body.

Some symptoms associated with a calcium deficiency include a weak immune system, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.

This can be caused when a beardie eats chicken, blocking their calcium absorption.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is having trouble absorbing calcium, then you’re better off supplementing its diet with calcium supplements.

You can use either calcium citrate or calcium carbonate, depending on which one gives your bearded dragon the best results.

On top of this, it’s always safe to contact a vet to make sure your reptile friend is healthy.

The Link Between Eating Chicken And Poor Bone Health In Beardies

As we’ve seen, eating too much chicken is bad news for your bearded dragon if they’re fed cooked meat rather than raw because they won’t be able to absorb the calcium they need to stay strong and healthy.

When they go into hibernation, they’ll also have difficulty digesting anything at all, so you must keep your bearded dragon well-supplied with fresh vegetables every day.

You might ask… Why would anyone want to put their bearded dragon through the stress of eating something like chicken?

Well, many people might not look into the usual diet of a bearded dragon and will assume that they can eat chicken.

Many animals for pets will be able to eat the meat because it’s relatively bland. However, it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value for many of them.

Calcium facilitates a lot of the growth and development we see in our bearded dragons, with bone strength and structure being integral to our reptile buddies’ thriving.

It comes as no surprise when we say that these creatures eating chicken can cause bone diseases that will see your beardie become quite ill.

Signs Of Calcium Deficiency In Bearded Dragons

Close-up of white bearded dragon

There are plenty of signs to watch out for if you suspect your bearded dragon may be suffering from a calcium deficiency.

If you notice any of these warning signs, then it’s important to have a vet check out your lizard buddy right away.

Your bearded dragon might appear to be lethargic and slow to move around.

They might even start acting more sluggish than usual, losing interest in their normal activities.

These changes could mean that your bearded dragon is struggling to maintain energy due to a lack of calcium and that they’re unable to breathe properly.

If you find yourself noticing an increase in droppings, along with a behavior change, then you should book an appointment with your vet.

Droppings are usually a good indication of what your dragon is eating and can often be a telling sign of their health and well-being.

Can Bearded Dragons Die From Eating Chicken?

The short answer here is yes. Several studies have shown that some reptiles have died from ingesting chicken.

Whether or not this was directly caused by the intake of the meat itself is unknown, but it does seem to be worth considering whether or not you’d prefer your bearded dragon to die from other causes instead.

Several factors come into play when looking at why certain species of reptiles fail to survive after consuming chicken.

One of the most common reasons that bearded dragons don’t make it past the first few days after eating chicken is that they simply aren’t absorbing enough calcium.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Chicken is something that you need to avoid feeding to your bearded dragon.

With problems in calcium and causing health problems, many beardies around the world suffer because their owners haven’t researched the dietary requirements that are involved when looking after a bearded dragon.

We recommend that you stick to a diet consisting of 100% fresh food, such as insects, vegetables, and fruits, while avoiding foods that contain additives and preservatives.

The best thing about keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy is knowing that they’re getting the nutrients that they need to thrive naturally.

You’ll see from your reptile’s behavior if they’re healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Raw Chicken?

No, you cannot feed your bearded dragon raw chicken. While it may sound tempting to do so initially, it could cause serious harm to your lizard.

For one, your bearded dragon needs a balanced diet, and raw chicken isn’t going to give them anything close to what they require in terms of nutrients and vitamins.

How Often Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons generally eat once every day.

It’s important to remember that the less frequently you feed your bearded dragon, the longer it will take for them to digest the food.

As a result, it might take longer for them to finish their meal.

What Is A Bearded Dragon’s Diet?

Beards are omnivores, meaning that they eat both non-meat entities and small animals.

They will usually have a diet consisting of insects like crickets accompanied by mealworms and other small life forms.

On top of this, they have been known to enjoy some fresh fruit and vegetables from time to time.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.