Upland cress is safe for bearded dragons to ingest. Even so, we only advocate it as an infrequent green because of its high oxalate level.
Oxalates are calcium-binding chemical molecules in the body. Any disturbance with calcium uptake levels in a bearded dragon can cause a calcium deficit. This would eventually lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD).
What Is Upland Cress?
Upland cress plants go by various names. Among them are the following: black wood cress, Bermuda cress, American cress, bank cress, land cress, scurvy cress, early yellowrocket, belle Isle cress, dryland cress, creasy greens, and many more.
In the southeastern states, this plant is known as Creasy greens, Highland creasy, and Creasy salad.
In that area, growing upland cress could be frequently observed thriving as a weed. Though having a similar growth pattern and taste, upland cress has a greater tangy, peppery flavor.
Its edibles are often fancied for their high calcium, iron, and vitamins-content.
The upland cress is cultivated for its sharp-tasting edible leaves. These are tiny and square, in form, with a minor serration along the leaf margins.
Unlike watercress, cultivating upland cress is relatively easy. All you need is a hydroponic or, at the very minimum, a very wet climate, so proceed with care.
This could result in the growth of bacteria, which could lead to disease in either you or your beardie.
Rather, cultivate upland cress at home in a very wet compost, which is enclosed inside a deep tray of water, replenished on a routine basis. It is also a good idea to flush the compost pots with fresh water regularly.
How Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Upland cress?
Upland cress should be kept refrigerated till it is time to eat it. Even then, they only survive two to three days (at most) before drying out or becoming mushy and unpleasant if placed in a plastic bag.
Whenever we feed upland cress to our bearded dragons, we cut off the greater white, hollow, fibrous stems at the base but keep the leaves connected to the shorter stems so that they look like ‘bunches.’
This gives our beardies just about enough substance to appreciate them without making them excessively fibrous and huge.
Upland cress could be included in a mixed vegetable diet daily. We recommend putting it on a plate with the rest of the vegetables you are feeding and place in the vivarium all day.
Keep in mind, however, that if not served promptly, upland cress may dry out and become very unappealing in a matter of hours.
We dust the upland cress or other veggies with a nice quality calcium supplement to guarantee our bearded dragon gets adequate calcium through the week.
However, do not over dust, as this will make the vegetables’ flavor chalky, and you will have a hard time convincing your dragon to consume them.
You could also sprinkle a few drops of water to the upland cress to assist it last longer before drying and becoming inedible.
What Regular Greens Are Best For Bearded Dragons?
Your bearded dragon requires a steady supply of leafy greens to maintain optimal health and nutritional balance. Greens that are excellent for a bearded dragon’s routine diet include, but are not limited to:
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
Nonetheless, deciding on how to feed greens to your beardie while maintaining a balanced diet can be tricky.
You must understand how much of each vegetable your bearded dragon should eat based on their age, whether you can serve it cooked or raw, frozen or canned, etc.
To begin with, beardies should consume a varied number of greens based on their age, from a baby beardie to an adult.
Typically, an adult beardie should consume 80% veggies and 20% feeder insects (crickets), whereas a baby beardie should be fed 20% greens and 80% feeder insects.
While you could feed your beardie cooked vegetables, we suggest raw, fresh ones because they are more nutritious and natural.
Before serving, chop or grate the greens to make consumption easier for your beardie. You could also dust your vegetable mix with multivitamin and calcium supplements.
If your beardie has a feeding bowl, she will not scatter the chopped vegetables as she wanders around.
Constantly pick up any that are strewn about, as unpicked bits can decay and spread germs. Also, do not let them consume leftovers; instead, use a shallow bowl.
So, can bearded dragons eat upland cress, and is upland cress for beardies OK? Yes, as a periodic salad addition, beardies can definitely consume upland cress.
It has an excellent calcium content and features a tangy taste, which beardies love.
Upland cress is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and has high water content.
Nevertheless, it possesses higher quantities of oxalates, which tie to calcium and prevent it from being absorbed.
Bearded dragons require careful attention with their diets, including reducing calcium-binding components whilst alternating greens provide diversity.
Ensure you keep track of your beardie’s diet to guarantee that you strike a healthy balance.
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