Baby bearded dragons need protein sources for their speedy growth. So they love live feeders such as insects and worms.
However, not all insects and worms are safe for baby bearded dragons. Some can cause harm than good to them.
So, can baby bearded dragons eat mealworms?
No. Mealworms are not good for baby and juvenile bearded dragons. Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton that will potentially cause digestive problems such as impaction especially in young beardies.
Apart from the hard shell, mealworms have little nutritional value for bearded dragons. They are rich in fat and nothing more. Something that is not good for beardies.
Why Baby Bearded Dragons Should Not Eat Mealworms?
Bearded dragons are omnivores. What this means is that they eat both plants and live small animals such as insects and worms.
In fact, beardies can eat a variety of greens and live insects. These food sources are rich in protein and nutrients.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons eat more live feeders than greens such as fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, baby bearded dragons can not eat everything offered to them. If you are a beginner owner, you should pay attention to the foods your young beardy is eating. The wrong choice of food could potentially hurt or kill your reptile pet.
So why can’t baby bearded dragons eat mealworms?
Well, as mentioned earlier, mealworms are not the good source of protein that young bearded dragons need for their speedy growth. They contain mostly fat something that does not do any good for the beardy.
Aside from that, mealworms have hard shell that is difficult if not impossible to digest. Even adult bearded dragons will have difficulties in digesting mealworms. This is the reason why mealworms often cause digestive problems such as impaction.
For adult bearded dragons though, you can feed mealworms rarely. If you do, just make sure that you offer just a few. This is to minimize the potential risk.
Don’t make a mistake of making mealworms as your beardies’ staple food. I made the same mistake before that killed my first beardy (Sam). I had no idea what I was doing. The moment I realized the problem, it was too late. So please don’t commit the same mistake.
Instead of mealworms, there are healthier and nutritious worms you can feed to your bearded dragons as staple foods.
You can choose from the following:
- Phoenix worms
These worms are high in protein and low in fat. As you can see, these worms are perfect as staple foods for bearded dragons.
There are other worms you can give occasionally. Below are some of them:
- Wax worms
However, like mealworms, they are high in fat and little nutritional value for bearded dragons. If you choose these worms, make sure that they serve as a treat on an occasional basis.
Related Resource: Are Mealworms Bad for Bearded Dragons?
What Insects Are Good for Bearded Dragons?
Aside from worms, baby beardies love to eat live feeders too. Some of their most favorite insects are:
- Roaches especially roaches
While they need nutrients from fruits and vegetables, young bearded dragons don’t usually eat greens. This could be a challenge for owners.
However, there is a good and effective solution to this. The best technique is to gut-load the insects with greens before feeding them to your baby bearded dragons. This way your beardies will still consume nutrients from greens that they need.
Although young bearded dragons don’t consume as many greens as adults do, they should still be offered salad on a regular basis.
In choosing greens for baby bearded dragons, avoid those that have little or no nutritional value. Greens that are NOT good for beardies are lettuce, kale, or spinach.
Apart from having little nutritional value, these greens can also dangerous. Lettuce for instance is high in the water something that is not good for bearded dragons.
Kale or spinach, on the other hand, contains calcium. However, it also contains oxalates, the chemicals that prevent calcium absorption.
So choose healthy greens salad for your baby bearded dragons. Below is the list of healthy and safe greens for beardies.
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Dandelion greens
- Bok choy
These greens are healthy and safe for beardies. And the other cool thing about these greens is that they can also be fed to insects that you want to feed to your bearded dragons.
Things to Remember Before Feeding Live Insects and Greens to Baby Bearded Dragons
Choosing the right insects and greens to baby bearded dragons is just one step. The other important thing to take into consideration is the size of the foods that beardies will take.
First, when feeding insects, make sure that they are not bigger than the distance between the two eyes of the beardy. This is a sort of standard measurement in determining the right size of insects that baby bearded dragons can easily eat.
Bearded dragons especially the young ones can choke when eating large live feeders. As a rule of thumb, you should not feed beardies with food bigger than their mouth. Using the mentioned strategy will keep you guided along the way.
The second thing to remember is that when feeding greens to baby bearded dragons, make sure that you finely chopped the greens into small bite-size pieces. Again, the purpose of this is to allow the young beardies to consume the green without having any digestive issues later on.
Big chunks of greens could cause impaction which will in turn cause harm to your bearded dragons.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Mealworms?
Live mealworms are not good for bearded dragons. Dried mealworms are even worse. Personally, I haven’t tried feeding my beardies with dried mealworms. But my hunch is that dried mealworms are even worse to offer to bearded dragons.
Live mealworms already have a hard shell. Imagine if you dry them. Obviously, they will become harder something that could be risky for your bearded dragons’ health.
To keep your baby bearded dragons healthy, avoid feeding them with mealworms.
Final Thoughts on Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Mealworms
Baby bearded dragons can eat a variety of worms but not mealworms. This is because mealworms have a hard exoskeleton that could cause impaction to bearded dragons.
Furthermore, bearded dragons have little nutritional value for beardies. For these reasons, you should not feed your baby bearded dragons with mealworms.
Feed your baby bearded dragons with safe worms instead. Don’t forget that your bearded dragons also need greens to balance their diet.
I hope this helps. For more information about bearded dragons, feel free to read my guide here.
Thank you for reading!
How many mealworms should a bearded dragon eat daily?
You can feed 10-15 mealworms in a feeding. Although I don’t recommend mealworms for bearded dragons, they are not poisonous. Bearded dragons can actually eat mealworms on an occasional basis. But I don’t feed my baby bearded dragons with mealworms.
How many crickets does a baby bearded dragon eat a day?
There is no exact answer to this question. However, you can feed your baby and juvenile bearded dragons with 30-80 crickets in a day. While for adults they can eat 10-20 crickets in a day.