Insects like mealworms are a great source of protein for bearded dragons. Beardies need these insects to help them acquire a balanced and healthy diet.
But how many mealworms to feed a bearded dragon? If you are a beginner, you might ask the same question.
Well, the answer to this question depends on the age of the bearded dragons. But on average, you can feed your beardies five to six mealworms per feeding. But again this number may vary depending on the size of the reptile.
For juvenile or young bearded dragons, feed them fewer mealworms. And always choose the smaller ones.
It is very important to remember that mealworms have an exoskeleton. This external skeletal system is hard to digest if it can be digested at all. This is the reason why mealworms are not normally fed to a baby or juvenile bearded dragons.
Remember that hard foods can potentially cause impaction in beardies. Therefore, mealworms can be harmful if fed to young or baby beardies.
What I can recommend is to avoid feeding your baby beardie with mealworms. Save them for your adult bearded dragons.
Related Article: Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Mealworms? (You Should Know This)
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How Often to Give Mealworms to Bearded Dragons?
There is no exact number as to how frequently should beardies get mealworms. If you are feeding your beardies greens and vegetables, then you might feed mealworms sparingly.
In most cases, I feed my bearded dragons mealworm once every other day. If you have adult reptiles, it can be less often. This is because adult bearded dragons don’t need protein-rich foods as they used to when they were young.
You can give them healthy greens and fruits instead. More salad is perfect for adult beardies. They need fewer insects.
Although young bearded dragons need more protein for their speedy growth, do not give them mealworms too often. Better if you don’t feed them mealworms at all. This is to keep them healthy all the time.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cockroaches?
How to Feed Mealworms to Bearded Dragons?
Mealworms are some of the most favorite foods of bearded dragons. These worms can be a very good source of protein to balance the beardies’ diet.
But how are you going to feed mealworms to bearded dragons?
In this post, I shared some simple and basic steps you can follow.
Steps to Feeding Bearded Dragons with Mealworms
Below are the simple steps you can follow in feeding beardies mealworms.
Step 1. Buy live mealworms
The good thing about mealworms is that they are available in most pet stores. You can also buy them online. You can choose different sizes that will fit the size and age of beardies.
If you have a young or baby bearded dragon, choose small mealworms. As you know, small beardies should not eat large chunks of food. If they do, they will potentially choke or experience some issues such as choking and impaction.
You can keep the mealworms in storage if you want. But make sure that they are not dead when feeding to your beardies. Never feed your bearded dragons dead mealworms.
Step 2. Dust mealworms with calcium
Before feeding mealworms to bearded dragons, it is a good idea to sprinkle them with calcium dust. This will help beardies get the calcium they need for healthy bone. This is also great if you think that your reptile is consuming less calcium-rich foods.
Remember that bearded dragons need the right amount of calcium. The truth is no matter how balanced the beardies’ diet is; they normally don’t get the right amount of calcium they need. So adding calcium supplements in their diet is always a good idea.
Step 3. Feed your reptile by hand
The best way to feed mealworms to a bearded dragon is by using your fingers. Beardies would normally lick it to get the food. However, you need to be careful when you do this. Although beardies are not known to be aggressive, they can accidentally bite your fingers.
Feeding bearded dragons with your hand is also a great way to bond with your reptile. But if you are apprehensive, you can use tweezers to keep your finger safe.
The other option is to use a bowl or plate when feeding mealworms. You can place one to two worms on a shallow bowl. Or, you can place the worms on the plate to allow the beardies to get the prey easily.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice?
Things to Remember When Feeding Bearded Dragons with Mealworms
Feeding bearded dragons with mealworms is easy. However, there are a few things you need to remember when doing so. Below are some of the things you need to consider.
1. Avoid feeding young or baby bearded dragons with mealworms
I already mentioned this, but I want to reiterate it. Baby bearded dragons should not be fed mealworms. The main reason for this is because mealworms have a hard exoskeleton that could potentially cause several health issues.
Bearded dragons are safe with smaller insects such as crickets and tiny wax worms. Just wait until your baby beardie reaches the juvenile stage. That is the right time for beardies to eat mealworms.
2. Feed mealworms sparingly
Although mealworms are some of the most favorite protein sources of bearded dragons, they are not good as part of beardies regular diet. You can offer mealworms once every two days or once a week.
Adult bearded dragons eat mealworms even less. They don’t need much protein anymore. So instead of giving them insects, you can make fruits and greens salad.
Then, incorporate mealworms and other live insects into their food sparingly.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
Are Mealworms Really Good for Bearded Dragons?
Well, this depends on many factors. Mealworms can be good or bad to beardies depending on their size and age.
For instance, mealworms are not good for baby bearded dragons. This is because mealworms can cause intestinal blockage or impaction if ingested had exoskeleton of the beardies.
This is the reason why experts and many bearded dragon owners do not recommend feeding mealworms to baby beardies.
However, mealworms are indeed good for adult beardies. Adult bearded dragons have a stronger digestive system and could be able to handle even large mealworms.
But even then, beardies’ mealworm consumption should still be monitored and controlled.
Related Article: Are Mealworms Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Final Thoughts on How Many Mealworms to Feed a Bearded Dragon
This depends on the age and size of your beardies. The reason for this is that bearded dragons are prone to choking when consume large chunks of foods.
But generally, adult bearded dragons can be given five to six mealworms per feeding. Juvenile bearded dragons may get fewer.
But if possible, do not feed young beardies mealworms. This is the best way to keep your reptile safe from any health issues.
Keep in mind that bearded dragons are prone to impaction if ingested hard food. Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton structure in their body making them unsafe for small and young beardies. Prevention is the best way to keep your reptile healthy.
I hope this post gives you an idea of how you can keep your beardies safe. Thank you for reading.