Can bearded dragons eat corn? I asked this question a decade ago when I was just at the beginning of my journey as a beardie owner. If you are reading this post, there is a pretty good chance that you are in that same situation too.
The truth is that bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits and greens. These foods are essential to them. Unfortunately, not all fruits and greens are safe for them.
So, can bearded dragons eat corn at all?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat corn but on an occasional basis only. This is because their digestive systems are not designed or evolved to dissolve grains and the carbohydrates that corn contains. In addition, corn is high in phosphorus and water.
As a rule of thumb, never feed bearded dragons with foods that have a disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorus. Corn does not have this requirement.
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Why Corn Should Not Be Part of the Staple Foods for Bearded Dragons?
To have better understating as to whether corn is safe or harmful to bearded dragons, let’s take a look at the nutritional content of corn.
The table below summarizes what your beardies can get from eating corn.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
As you can see, corn is high in water. And as you know, watery foods are not good for bearded dragons. They can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea in your beardies.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cereal?
The second reason why corn should not be part of the staple food for beardies is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. The ideal is 1:2. This means that when you choose food for beardies, it should be in this ratio.
Corn contains a 1:45 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This is clearly a disproportionation. In short, not good as regular food for bearded dragons.
I do not personally feed my beardies with corn. But if you really give them a nibble, it will be fine.
Always remember that feeding them with corn on a regular basis may result in health issues.
Captive reptiles should be given a balanced diet. They should get a good amount of greens, fruits, and live animals.
The ratio in each food mixture should depend on the bearded dragons’ age. For instance, baby or juvenile beardies should consume about 80% live animals (insects or worms) and 20% greens (fruits and vegetables).
While the adult bearded dragons should have an opposite mixture of food. They should instead have 80% of fruits and vegetables and only 20% of insects and other protein-rich foods.
The reason for this is that young bearded dragons need more protein for their speedy growth. The adult ones, on the other hand, need more nutrients from greens than from live animals.
Observing the appropriate food consumption in your beardy should begin with understanding what your beardy should eat.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ham?
Incorrect diet (e.g. feeding beardies with food high in phosphorus) will result in health issues. One of the consequences is a metabolic bone disease. A serious condition wherein a beardy will eventually develop fragile and unhealthy bones.
Can You Feed Corn to Bearded Dragons?
Yes, but only on an occasional basis in an extremely small amount. As mentioned, corn contains constituents that beardies are not used to consume.
Although corn is healthy for humans, it is not good for bearded dragons. Their digestive system did not evolve to digest grains.
Corn is an example of a food that is healthy for humans but should not be given to reptiles on a regular basis.
You have to be careful as a bearded dragon owner. There are other foods similar to this that could potentially harm your beardies.
Aside from watery foods, you should also avoid feeding your bearded dragons with foods that contain oxalic acid.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rose Petals?
Oxalic acid is a substance that binds with calcium which in turn prevents calcium absorption. When this happens, the body or the reptile will have a lack of calcium which in turn causes health issues.
The most common result is a metabolic bone disease. This condition is serious for bearded dragons. It can change their behaviors. Trust me, you don’t want your beardies to suffer from this disease.
So be careful in feeding your beardies. Not because food is healthy for us does not mean it is the same for reptiles.
How Often Can You Feed Bearded Dragons with Corn?
Because corn, as mentioned is not healthy for bearded dragons, you can only offer it once a month in an extremely small amount.
Always take the safety of your beardies into consideration. My first beardy (Sam) died due to the recklessness on my part. Do not make the same mistake.
Also, do not feed your beardies with greens you picked in the wild. Those vegetables may have chemicals or pesticides that could potentially harm the overall health of your reptile.
Bearded dragons can eat corn on an occasional basis. It should not be part of the regular food for beardies.
This is because corn contains nutrients that are not suitable for bearded dragons. First, beardies’ are not accustomed to grain food. As a result, their digestive system may not be able to digest corn.
Second, corn is high in water content. As you might already know, watery foods can cause digestive issues in bearded dragons.
Third, corn contains a disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorus. This is another indication that beardies should not eat corn often.
If you want to give your beardies corn, make sure that it is in a small amount only. A nibble can do but not more than that.