What’s The Verdict? Yea-Or-Nay For Mice In Beardie’s Diet.
Can bearded dragons eat mice? The short answer is: Yes, bearded dragons can eat mice, but the bigger question is: Should they?
As a beardie owner, it is understandable that you want to know whether it is safe to feed young animals to your lizard friend. This article will explore the yea-or-nay of feeding mice to bearded dragons.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Mice?
Mice are high in protein, fat, and calcium. Baby mice, known as pinkies, are incredibly high in protein. Read more to find out what nutritional value mice have in your bearded dragon’s diet.
Nutritional information for 100g of pinky mice
|Nutrient||Pinkies Mice||Fuzzy Mice|
Can bearded dragons eat mice? From the table, it is clear that mice are rich in fats and proteins. Fuzzies have more fat than pinkies, and even as the growth continues, the fat levels increase.
Also, proteins decrease with age as more fat develops when pinkies grow.
Benefits Of Feeding Mice To Bearded Dragons
Benefits of feeding pinkies to beardies is that it does offer some variety in the food that you feed your bearded dragon, rather than keep feeding the same feeder insect and vegetable diet. Feeding the same food over again can result in your beardie getting bored and going off the food.
Pregnant bearded dragons need to consume more fat than other bearded dragons. Pinkies can be a good source of additional fat.
Even so, if you have a beardie suffering from malnutrition, a pinkie could be an excellent way to get some fat into them.
Risks Of Feeding Mice To Bearded Dragons
The high-fat content means that a healthy bearded dragon with a balanced diet should not be fed mice. Bearded dragons are prone to obesity, and if your beardie has a good diet consisting of feeder insects and green vegetables, he will have adequate fat levels in his diet already.
There is always the danger of impaction when feeding mice to your bearded dragon. Impaction occurs when a semi-solid mass blocks the digestive tract. It can prevent mobility to the extent that your lizard’s back legs appear paralyzed. If left untreated, impaction can lead to death.
Feeding Mice Pinkies To Your Bearded Dragon
It’s common to buy frozen pinkie mice from a pet shop. You can choose the size and age that suits your needs and ensure that the mice are kept frozen until required.
You can feed one pinky every few weeks or once a month, as long as you monitor fat and other nutrient levels.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fuzzy Mice?
Once mice reach approximately one week in age, it is called fuzzies. At this stage, their bones started developing, and their nutritional information has changed drastically.
Fuzzy mice shouldn’t be included in the proper nutritious diet of a bearded dragon.
These tiny rodents are too large and bony and will significantly increase the risk of impaction.
If you are looking for feeder mice as a temporary food source, you should only purchase pinky mice.
What about Adult Mice As A Meal For Bearded Dragons?
Adult mice are much too large to feed to your adult bearded dragon.
The problem with adult mice is that they are covered in fur. Bearded dragons develop gastrointestinal problems making it difficult to swallow and digest them. Never feed adult mice to bearded dragons.
Live vs. Frozen Mice To Your Bearded Dragon.
It can be disastrous to feed live rodents to captive-bred bearded dragons, who haven’t gained the same instincts as their wild counterpart.
Live rodents can be very aggressive and injure or fatally harm your pet beardie. Live food can also carry diseases that frozen ones would not have since the low-temperature pause or prevents pathogens or harmful diseases.
When you decide it’s time to feed your bearded dragon mice pinkies, you’ll need to defrost and warm them up a little.
It needs to be between 86°F and 95°F. Food that is too cold or too warm can negatively impact a bearded dragon’s digestive system.
Avoid warming the pinkie in the microwave. It will create a real mess if it’s left a second too long. It can cause bacteria to start growing and will reduce nutritional value.
We recommend warming the pinkie up in a bowl of lukewarm water for 15 to 20 minutes. It should bring the mouse to a suitable temperature.
You might have to dangle the mouse in front of your bearded dragon to catch his attention.
How Often Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat Mice?
Even though mice add substantial amounts of calcium and protein to your bearded dragon’s diet, they aren’t ideal as a healthy and balanced diet. The reason you should feed mice less frequently is their high-fat levels. Too high-fat content in your beardie’s diet can cause obesity and digestive problems.
It would be ideal if your bearded dragon ate mice occasionally in limited amounts.
Preparing Mice For Bearded Dragons
Remember that mice are animals and can feel pain, so please kill it humanely. The way you kill the mice affects the quality of its meat.
Bearded dragons will not eat something larger than their eyes, and you might have to cut the mouse into smaller pieces.
Provide the food in a salad bowl and mix it with other insect feeders.
Serve it to your dragon.
Although it is true that bearded dragons can eat pinky mice, they should not be provided mice regularly. Some bearded dragon owners may want to feed pinkies to their beardies as a treat, but this is not recommended. If your bearded dragon is pregnant or recovering from an illness, feeding them mice is your choice.
Always remember to read about foods you want to introduce into your bearded dragon’s diet. Even the food that seems the most harmless can have nutritional risks.
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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