Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nightcrawlers?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat nightcrawlers, but it is recommended to feed them store-bought ones rather than those from your garden, which may contain parasites and toxic pesticide residues.

Nightcrawlers are a type of earthworm that is part of the Clitellata, Oligochaeta, and phylum Annelid order of invertebrates.

In the wild, bearded dragons feed on a wide range of insects, including earthworms and nightcrawlers.

It is important to note that wild insects often have dangerous parasites attached to them, so it is best to buy them from an official breeder or pet store for fishing equipment shops.

What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Bearded Dragon Nightcrawlers?

Credit: istockphoto by Manoj pal

Feeding bearded dragons nightcrawlers can have several benefits.

Nightcrawlers are vitamin-rich and can provide a good nutritional balance for the lizard’s diet.

Feeding them live prey like nightcrawlers can help simulate predator imitation in the animal, which can be beneficial for their overall health and well-being.

Furthermore, nightcrawlers are an appropriate prey size for adult bearded dragons. These lizards have specific eating habits and require food that is easy to digest and appropriate in size. Nightcrawlers meet these requirements, making them a suitable option for feeding.

It is important to ensure that all feeding is done safely and appropriately to avoid any potential harm to the animal.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Feeding Bearded Dragon Nightcrawlers?

Feeding bearded dragons with nightcrawlers is a good source of environmental enrichment for the reptile.

However, it is important to consider the nutrition balance and safe handling when adding this type of food into their diet.

Nightcrawlers are high in protein, which is beneficial for the bearded dragon’s health. They also provide a raw diet benefit that can enhance their eating habits.

Despite the benefits, there are risks associated with feeding bearded dragons with nightcrawlers

The worms may carry parasites or bacteria that can cause harm to the reptile’s digestive system. Therefore, proper hygiene and safe handling of the nightcrawlers is essential to prevent any potential infection or illness.

How To Feed Them Nightcrawlers?

While it is possible for bearded dragons to eat nightcrawlers, there are certain considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure their health and safety.

Here are some tips on how to feed them nightcrawlers:

  • Sanitizing techniques: Before feeding nightcrawlers to your bearded dragon, make sure that they have been properly cleaned and sanitized. This can be done by washing them in warm water and then soaking them in a solution of white vinegar and water for about 10 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly before serving.
  • Portion sizes: Nightcrawlers should not make up the bulk of your bearded dragon’s diet. Offer them as an occasional treat or supplement, rather than a staple food source. A good rule of thumb is to offer one or two nightcrawlers per feeding session.
  • Nutritional value: Nightcrawlers are a good source of protein and can provide your bearded dragon with essential amino acids. However, they should not be relied upon as the sole source of nutrition.
  • Variety options: Bearded dragons thrive on a varied diet, so consider offering other insects, such as crickets or mealworms, along with the nightcrawlers.
  • Handling tips: When handling nightcrawlers, use tongs or tweezers to avoid getting bitten. Do not handle them with your bare hands as they may carry harmful bacteria.

By following these guidelines, you can safely incorporate nightcrawlers into your bearded dragon’s diet as part of a varied and balanced approach to feeding.

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Eat Nightcrawlers?

Bearded dragons can eat nightcrawlers, but the frequency of feeding depends on the age of the dragon.

Juvenile bearded dragons can eat worms up to twice a week, while adult bearded dragons should be fed worms once or twice a month.

It is important to avoid feeding bearded dragons with nightcrawlers collected from the backyard, as they may contain parasites that are harmful to humans and pets.

A good rule of thumb is to give your dragon only one nightcrawler about once a week, and remove it from the enclosure if it is not eaten that day to prevent it from becoming part of the dragon’s natural habitat.

How To Store Nightcrawlers For Feeding Them Later?

Storing nightcrawlers for future feeding requires proper sanitation and temperature control.

Maintaining the correct storing temperatures will ensure their longevity and quality for consumption.

Nightcrawlers should be stored in a cool, damp environment at around 50-55°F with a high level of humidity.

Sanitizing equipment before and after use is essential to prevent any contamination that may affect the health of your bearded dragon.

When purchasing nightcrawlers, it’s important to consider buying tips such as choosing those that are plump, active, and have no visible signs of damage or illness.

Incorporating diet variety into your meal planning will provide your pet with essential nutrients and prevent them from getting bored with their food.

Food ItemNutritional Value
NightcrawlersHigh in protein, calcium, and phosphorus
Greens (kale, collard greens)Rich in fiber, vitamins A & K
Fruits (berries, melons)High in antioxidants and Vitamin C