Are hard-boiled eggs healthy and safe for bearded dragons?
Do humans and bearded dragons get the same benefits from eating eggs?
You want to vary your pet’s protein sources.
Eggs are easier to buy and cheaper than live insects, you think.
But you also want to keep your pet healthy and happy.
In this post, we’ll look at hard-boiled eggs and their place in a beardy’s diet.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of additional protein for a bearded dragon. However, you should not feed adult eggs too often. Stick to once a week for any egg. Do not feed your beardie eggs if they are overweight or show symptoms of hepatic lipidosis.
Do Bearded Dragons Eat Eggs In The Wild?
As desert lizards, bearded dragons are opportunistic eaters and will generally eat anything they come across.
They are also omnivorous, meaning they eat a combination of animal proteins and plant matter.
Sometimes, their diets include the young or eggs of another animal.
Since eggs are one of their natural foods, feel confident in giving your beardie eggs to eat.
Benefits of Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein and contain these essential nutrients:
- Vitamin A: May be dangerous at high levels and cause vitamin A toxicity, be careful
- Vitamin D: Especially important, necessary for forming strong bones, calcium absorption, and preventing MBD
- Vitamin E: Great for muscle health
- Vitamin B12: Keeps nerves and blood cells healthy
- Magnesium: Keeps bones strong and immune systems healthy
It should be noted eggs are not the only food source appropriate for bearded dragons which contain these nutrients.
However, as an occasional source, these are a great additional treat.
Eggs provide another benefit: their shells are rich in calcium.
Boiling and pulverizing eggshells will provide your bearded dragon with an excellent calcium supplement.
Captive bearded dragons often suffer from calcium deficiencies, leading to metabolic bone disease if not addressed.
If they are not receiving enough minerals, they will sometimes eat their substrate, leading to digestive impaction and even death.
The calcium in ground eggshells may help prevent impaction in a bearded dragon.
If you plan on serving your bearded dragon eggshells, make sure to boil them to sanitize them first.
Then, grind them thoroughly to prevent digestive issues and impaction.
Why Can’t I Give My Bearded Dragon Eggs All The Time?
With the range of vitamins in eggs, you may be wondering why you should not replace your beardie’s feeder insects with chicken eggs.
If your beardie is a healthy adult, you should only be giving them egg once a week or so, no more than twice.
Although they are a great source of protein and provide other benefits, eggs are also high in fat.
An excess of egg in an adult may lead to excess weight gain and fatty liver disease.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease, or hepatic lipidosis, is a significant increase in fat in the liver.
It can affect all types of reptiles and is usually caused by overfeeding, though sometimes it results from compromised liver function unrelated to diet.
This metabolic dysfunction may be acute or chronic.
- Lethargy and weakness
- Potential regurgitation of food
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea in acute cases
If you see any of these symptoms, contact your reptile vet immediately.
They will be able to give an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Can I Tell If My Beardie Is Overweight?
A bearded dragon’s fat pads are usually located around the tail’s base, the jowls, the abdomen, and behind the arms.
If your beardie is overweight, you will not be able to feel their spine or ribs through their skin.
Contact your veterinarian for a diet and treatment plan if you think your bearded dragon might be overweight and do not feed them any eggs.
Obesity in captive reptiles may lead to several other health issues.
Here’s our post on bearded dragon fat pads to learn more on how these areas are an early indicator for potential health issues.
Are There Certain Situations Where A Beardie Should Eat More Eggs?
There are two situations where we encourage you to feed your bearded dragon more eggs.
Baby Bearded Dragons
Babies and juveniles have higher protein needs than adult bearded dragons.
Giving extra egg to a baby will help in their growth since this is the time in their lives when they need the most protein and fat.
Offering a bearded dragon a varied diet early on in their lives will also lead to them being less picky about what they eat.
Giving a different source of protein like an egg will mean they are not addicted to mealworms or superworms.
A varied diet will aid them throughout their life, as they transition to eating more vegetables.
As a bearded dragon ages, they naturally transition out of eating so much animal protein and eating more plant growth and vegetables.
As an owner, you should be facilitating this transition by offering more greens and fewer eggs and insects over a week’s worth of meals.
If you are caring for a malnourished or underweight bearded dragon, eggs are a great food and should be offered more than once a week.
The protein and fat may help them put on needed weight.
Since eggs are such a great source of vitamins, they will also help round out a bearded dragon’s nutrition.
If your bearded dragon refuses food, mix eggs with a different food source, which may entice them.
A malnourished beardie may have sunken eyes, a head which appears too big for its body, more visible ribs and pelvic bones, loose skin from dehydration, and small, unmoving muscles.
Call your veterinarian to determine the potential cause of this weight loss.
They will help you with a treatment plan.
As with any diet plan for your pet, make sure to consult your veterinarian on best practices.
While we do not recommend force-feeding, we acknowledge it may be necessary in some cases.
Make sure you talk to your veterinarian if force-feeding becomes necessary.
How Do I Feed Eggs To My Bearded Dragon?
Your bearded dragon can eat both egg yolks and egg whites, so don’t worry about separating these parts.
Duck eggs, chicken eggs, and quail eggs all provide the same vitamins and nutrients, just in different quantities.
A good rule of thumb is the bigger the egg, the less of it you should give.
Quail and chicken are generally considered the best.
If you are serving chicken eggs, which are most readily available, stick to half a serving at a time.
Whole quail eggs are fine since they are smaller.
Do not give your beardie raw egg.
It will be difficult for your pet to digest. Also, a raw egg is more likely to have bacteria in it than a cooked egg, which may make your bearded dragon sick.
Only offer eggs which are cooked and completely cooled.
Do not serve eggs cooked in extra fat like butter or oil or eggs you’ve added milk, cheese, or seasonings.
Your bearded dragon will not be able to digest these foods if you add these things since they cannot digest dairy products, and some seasonings may be toxic to them.
Boiling and poaching are perfect ways to cook eggs for a beardie since cooking an egg in the water adds no extra fat or ingredients.
If your bearded dragon prefers scrambled, make sure not to add milk, fat, or seasonings and cook them in the microwave instead of in a pan.
Once it has cooled, cut the cooked egg into small chunks before serving it to your pet.
A good size for a piece of an egg is no bigger than your beardie’s eyes or the distance between their eyes.
Eggs make a great addition to a beardie’s salad bowl with their greens.
Some bearded dragons will love eating eggs.
Some will not.
If your pet does not like eggs, and they are a healthy adult, do not force them to eat them.
If not necessary, being force-fed will stress out you and your pet.
We hope we have helped you answer whether a bearded dragon should be eating eggs.
A healthy adult bearded dragon should be getting eggs no more than two times a week, once a week preferred.
Though bird eggs are a great source of essential vitamins and high in protein, the high-fat content makes them an occasional staple, not a regular food.
If a beardie is overfed eggs, it could result in serious health concerns like hepatic lipidosis or obesity.
There are a couple of exceptions: if your bearded dragon is still a baby, or they are malnourished, feed them eggs more often.
Eggshell, if properly cleaned and ground, makes an excellent calcium supplement as well.
Make sure to cook and cool an egg before giving it to a beardie.
They cannot digest raw eggs.
Bearded dragons can eat quail, chicken, and duck eggs.