Can bearded dragons eat dead crickets?

image of bearded dragon, dead crickets and a text saying: can bearded dragons eat dead crickets?

One of the most common types of insects among beardies are the crickets. Whether you are a novice or an experienced dragon owner, you must be comfortable with insects. Unlike money-hungry people eating crickets on reality tv shows, dragons enjoy eating them, especially if they are alive.  But how often should you serve them live crickets and can they eat dead ones? 

Can beardies eat dead crickets?

Bearded dragons cannot eat dead crickets. When crickets die, they lose moisture which contains many healthy nutrients. While they can eat them they have no nutrient value so they need to eat live bugs.

If the beardie consumes a dead cricket, it will not affect its health. The only exceptions are the pre-killed dried and canned crickets. These are safe and can be helpful for your dragon during an emergency.

How many crickets should you feed your bearded dragon?

Baby bearded dragons are between 0 and 3 months. They need frequent daily feeding for their health. Hence, it is vital to feed your baby dragon with as many live crickets as possible with each of its 5 daily feeding sessions.

How to Feed Baby Bearded Dragon

A diet chart illustrates the health, size, and age of baby bearded dragons. The approximate number of crickets a baby beardie should eat each day is between 25 and 80. As it grows older, the number of crickets eaten should be reduced as they begin to change to greens in their foods.

How Many Crickets Can Young Adult and Adult bearded dragons Consume?

image of bearded dragon and dead crickets

A young adult dragon is between4 months to a year. Essentially, its diet should consist of half greens and half insects. They need two servings of approximately five minutes daily even if their main diet is only crickets and greens.

An adult bearded dragon on the other hand requires more greens than dead crickets. Up to 75% of its daily diet should consist of vegetables and fruits, and the rest of insects. At this stage, offer them 10 live crickets daily depending on their size.

Benefits of Crickets to Bearded Dragons

Large crickets are easily digestible because they do not have too much uric acid which can cause kidney problems. They are rich in protein which helps beardies to grow. The low calcium and fat content create abundant space to accommodate valuable nutrients for your bearded dragon.

Dangers of feeding Bearded Dragons with Crickets

Crickets are good for bearded dragons unless you serve them dead crickets by hiding them in vegetables. Because beardies eat wild insects,  it is better to feed them dead bugs instead of other food items. House crickets have all the nutrients that beardies can handle. They have balanced uric acid and they are easy to digest.

What Nutrients Are Found In Crickets


How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat crickets?

You can give your beardie crickets each day as a treat. Try new things and have various foods and insects. Again, dragons may lack appetite after eating crickets for too long. Hence, it pays to mix up their diet which prevents certain health problems.

My Bearded Dragon is not Interested in Crickets Anymore

 Bearded dragons and pets as a whole are notoriously picky eaters and may refuse to eat the insects that they once enjoyed. When your lizard suddenly refuses to eat crickets, it may be a sign of sickness. 

Your bearded dragon may also wean itself off crickets. When your bearded dragon suddenly refuses to eat these feeder crickets, it may be due to a preference for more appetizing food.

A bearded dragon also prefers common worms like wax worms and butter worms. While these are equally delicious, they may not be as nutritious as crickets. Hence its advisable to serve worms to your beardie only as treats and in bits. 

Final Thoughts

Your bearded dragon can consume crickets to keep them fit and healthy. However, do not serve  it dead crickets. They have no nutritional value. 

Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:

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I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.