The answer to this question is no. Bearded dragons should not eat chicken but if you want to feed them then they can eat chicken, but only in a very small amount on rare occasions. Bearded dragons are omnivores which means they can eat both meat and plant-based food too. Bearded dragons do not eat chicken in their natural habitats but can digest a very small nibble of chicken which can not harm them.
- 1 Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
- 2 Nutritional Value of Chicken
- 3 Why chicken is not good for bearded dragons?
- 4 Can Bearded Dragon Eat Raw Chicken?
- 5 Can Bearded Dragon Eat Cooked Chicken?
- 6 How Much Chicken Can a Bearded Dragon Eat?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
Chicken is not the part of bearded dragon’s diet but a small piece of chicken will not harm them. The reason behind this is bearded dragons cannot digest chicken except meat from insects. They can eat meat from the insects like grasshoppers, cockroaches, crickets, earthworms, and, spiders. If you feed chicken to your bearded dragon then it can be very harmful and have a bad effect on their health.
Nutritional Value of Chicken
Let’s take a look at the nutritional values of chicken:
- Calcium – 87mg
- Potassium – 365mg
- Fat – 12.56g
- Calories – 165J
- Proteins – 30g
- Iron – 0.90mg
- Water – 63g
- Sodium – 66mg
- Vitamin A – 44µg
From the table, it is clear that raw chicken has a very high quantity of fats and protein level which is not good for a bearded dragon’s health because breaded dragons do not have many physical activities and they cannot digest the fatty food.
Due to this bearded dragons will only become unhealthy and fat as a result their heavyweight will lead to many fatal diseases. Bearded dragons only need a small amount of protein and also chicken has a high amount of phosphorous than calcium.
Why chicken is not good for bearded dragons?
There are several reasons behind this question why we cannot feed chicken to the breaded dragons although they are omnivores and can eat meat. Bearded dragons have different requirements for nutrients that are not provided by chicken inappropriate amounts. Let us discuss the various facts why chicken is not a good choice for dragons.
1. Due to high phosphorus Content:
Chicken has a high amount of nutrients and proteins which is overall beneficial for humans but due to the presence of phosphorus contents in it, the breaded dragons are more prone to developing metabolic bone diseases (MBD) which can result in permanent paralysis and consequently lead to death. The intake of a huge amount of phosphorus can be too dangerous for bearded dragons.
Symptoms of metabolic bone disease (MBD) are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness in the body
- Lack of energy
- Swollen jaws and limbs
- Difficulty in movement
- Weak and broken bones
For healthy bones, it is mandatory to include calcium in their diet. Calcium plays an important role in keeping their bones, muscles, and tissues strong and healthy.
2. Dangerous Calcium to Phosphorous Ratio:
For bearded dragons, a portion of healthy food is considered which has calcium to phosphorous ratio is 2:1. Phosphorous is not good for the health of a bearded dragon and in chickens calcium to phosphorous ratio is 1:16 which is very dangerous for your pet. Bearded dragons require more amount of calcium than phosphorous but in the case of chicken phosphorous is far too high.
The calcium absorption will not take place and will be prevented by the high phosphorous present in it and it will try to pull the calcium from the dragon’s bones. If a bearded dragon eats chicken even once or twice a month, the overwhelming amount of oxygen will create a severe problem in its organs. So it is best to just avoid feeding chicken to the pet.
3. High Water Quantity:
A bearded dragon does not require excess water in its food diet because an excessive amount of water in its body will cause diarrhea. Chicken on the other hand contains lots of water content, which can make a bearded dragon ill. It will not be safe to feed bearded dragons a high water content food diet.
Can Bearded Dragon Eat Raw Chicken?
Raw chicken is as dangerous for beardies as it is for human beings. It is hard for a bearded dragon to digest chicken. Raw chicken can cause food poisoning due to salmonella, E Coli, and other bacterial contamination. Chicken contains unhealthy fats such as Omega 6 Fatty acids. These unhealthy fats can cause side effects on the skin as well as on internal organs. Thus, feeding your beardie with raw chicken is just not worth it.
Can Bearded Dragon Eat Cooked Chicken?
Not only raw chicken, but cooked chicken is also dangerous for beardies. When you cook the chicken, all of its necessary contents have vanished and some beardies might not enjoy eating it.
How Much Chicken Can a Bearded Dragon Eat?
As discussed above, feeding your bearded dragon with meat is not recommendable. It is not good for your beardie’s health. But if you want to feed your dragon with meat then it should be only a small amount every three months. If the bearded dragon is frequently fed with chicken then it will lead to severe health issues. As chicken contains a considerable amount of phosphorus.
So, your bearded dragon will be much more prone to metabolic bone disease (MBD). If the phosphorus intake increase then it will interfere the calcium absorption and it will consequently lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD).
A bearded dragon’s diet is very particular and choosy. They have a tiny digestive system as compared to human beings and other larger animals. Chicken does not contain any toxic elements for a bearded dragon but contains some nutrients which are too high in quantity and not safe. Due to this, chicken which is considered a healthy and highly nutritious food for other organisms is difficult for a bearded dragon to digest.
But as a pet owner, if you are highly determined to feed chicken to your breaded dragon as a treat, you should feed a small piece every 2-3 months only. But it isn’t necessary at all because the health of the bearded dragon is more important than a treat.