If you are reading this post, you might also be asking yourself whether or not bearded dragons can eat mice. However, if you have to search the internet, you might also notice that there is an ongoing debate on this topic.
Some bearded dragon owners argue that beardies can eat mice while others contend that mice or pinkies are not good for bearded dragons.
The conflicting information may have stemmed from the fact that bearded dragons are not created equal. As a result, the same food may have different impacts on them.
If you are a brand new to this, it is pretty confusing. You are not sure which advice should you take into consideration.
So, can bearded dragons eat mice or pinkies?
Well, technically, mice are not toxic to beardies. Therefore, bearded dragons can eat mice or pinkies. However, mice should not be part of the staple food because of their high fat and protein content. Offer them to your bearded dragons on an occasional basis.
Also, adult mice are not good especially for babies or young beardies because of their size. Remember that the size of the prey should be taken into consideration. Bearded dragons can choke or suffer from impaction if they eat big chunks of food.
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That said if you really want to feed mice to your beardies, offer them to your adult bearded dragons. If you can, try pinkies or baby mice and not the adult mice. This is because pinkies are smaller and easy to eat.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Mice Regularly?
As mentioned, mice are not poisonous to bearded dragons. The only reason why most bearded dragon owners don’t recommend it is because it is not healthy food.
In fact, I don’t feed my beardies with mice too. Not because mice are toxic to my reptiles but because of their high-fat content.
It is important to remember that in the wild, bearded dragons might eat any baby or smaller animals. That might include mice or pinkies.
However, it is also important to remember that bearded dragons in their natural habitat are free to roam. They have a lot of physical activities which help their body spend the fat they consume.
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In captivity, on the other hand, beardies are confined in their enclosure which prevents them to engage in physical activities. The lack of exercise makes them vulnerable to health issues.
Therefore, bearded dragons in captivity should not be given too many fatty foods because their bodies will not be able to consume it. Because mice or pinkies have high-fat content, they are not good as staple foods for beardies.
Another thing to consider is the size of the mice or pinkies. As mentioned a while ago, beardies can choke when given big sizes of foods. Hence, adult mice and pinkies should only be fed to adult bearded dragons.
To keep your bearded dragons safe from choking and other digestive problems, do not give them foods that are hard to swallow. But how do you know that the size of food is right for them?
Well, the quickest way to determine it is by considering the distance between the eyes of the beardies. The food should not be bigger than the space between the two eyes. The distance between the eyes is indicative of the size of the food your beardies can eat without having problems.
When to Feed Mice to Bearded Dragons?
Although mice or pinkies are not good staple foods for bearded dragons, there are times when feeding your beardies with these animals will help.
You read it right. There are instances wherein offering beardies with mice can be helpful to them. Below are the two main instances:
1. When a Female Bearded Dragon is Pregnant (Gravid)
Pregnancy requires a lot of energy. During this time, female beardies need foods that could supply the energy needed.
A pregnant female beardie may have extra activities such as looking for a perfect place to lay her eggs, digging, etc. These activities are energy-consuming.
This is a good time to feed your female beardy with mice or pinkies. Mice have nutrients that are helpful in keeping the gravid female healthy.
2. After A Beaded Dragon Recovers from a Disease
As you might already know, bearded dragons that have just recovered from physical diseases are usually weak. They had lost most of their energy when they were sick.
Thus, to speed up the recovery process, they need food that could replenish the lost energy. Mice are rich in fat and protein that could provide their needs to recover.
Can You Feed Bearded Dragons with Mice Too Often?
I have mentioned this at the beginning of this post that mice should only be offered to bearded dragons on an occasional basis. This is because mice have high protein and fat content. They don’t need much energy in their enclosure.
But what will happen when bearded dragons eat mice too often?
Feeding mice to bearded dragons too often will result in health issues. Some of the potential health problems are renal gout and fatty liver. These problems are caused by high protein and fats in mice.
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If you are feeding your beardies with foods that are fatty, it could make your beardies unhealthy. Remember that beardies in captivities don’t have enough physical activities. This means that their bodies do not spend energy as much as they used to in the wild.
To prevent this from happening, do not overfeed your beardies especially with fatty foods. Mice are not the only fatty animals. Worms also have high-fat content. So be careful.
Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragons with Mice Pinkies?
As mentioned, bearded dragons can eat mice pinkies. In fact, pinkies are better than adult mice. This is because pinkies or baby mice have lower fat content and have better calcium to phosphorous ratio.
Aside from the calcium and phosphorous ratio, pinkies mice also have some helpful nutrients for beardies. Below is a quick summary of what your bearded dragon can get from eating pinkies.
Per 100G, Pinkies have:
- 64 grams of protein
- 17 grams of fat
- 160mg of calcium
- 90mg of phosphorous
Can You Feed Bearded Dragons with Frozen Mice?
I don’t normally feed my beardies with dead animals especially frozen mice. But some bearded dragon owners do this. The only recommendation they have is to never feed the beardies with mice directly from the freezer.
When you this, make sure that you unfreeze the mice. The temperature should be around 86-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods that are too cold are not good for bearded dragons. They can in fact cause digestive problems.
Can You Feed Bearded Dragons with Hopper Mice?
Unfortunately, hopper mice are too big for bearded dragons. Remember that you should not feed beardies with foods bigger than the distance between their two eyes. Bearded dragons will not be able to swallow hopper mice.
Another reason why you should not feed hopper mice to your beardies is that these mice potentially bite the beardies. Hopper mice can potentially become a threat to the health of the beardies.
If you really want to feed your beardies with mice, choose the pinkies instead of the adult ones. This will ensure the safety of your beardies and also prevents them from consuming too much fat and protein.
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Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice
Mice are not toxic to bearded dragons. Therefore, beardies can eat mice. However, it is very important to note that mice have high fat and protein that are not good for beardies.
If you want to feed your bearded dragons with mice, make sure that it is only on an occasional basis.
If you can, I recommend pinkies instead of mice as a treat for bearded dragons. Pinkies are smaller and contain less amount of fat and protein. Therefore, they are safer to feed to beardies compared to their adult counterparts.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
What age can bearded dragons eat mice?
The ideal age for a bearded dragon to start eating a whole prey is at least 6 months old. At this age, your beardy will be approximately 10 inches in length. This means that you should never feed your beardies with mice when they are below six months. It could be dangerous for the bearded dragons.
How often can I feed my bearded dragon pinky mice?
Bearded dragons can eat mice or pinkies once or twice a month. As mentioned all throughout this post, mice are high in protein and fat content. This means that feeding your bearded dragons with mice often will make them fat and develop health problems.