Bearded dragons are omnivorous and chomp on any food they come across. Despite their curious nature, they sometimes withdraw from the usual mealworm and insect diet.
We recommend supplementing the beardie’s diet with sweet treats such as fruits and succulent vegetables. However, not all vegetables are ideal for the beardy.
Many owners ask us if they can feed their bearded dragons with yams. Yes, bearded dragons can feed on yams and similar foods such as west potato vines.
Beardies may look scruffy on the outside but have sensitive guts. It is important to understand how to feed your beardie on a food plan consisting of yams.
How To Prepare Yams?
After harvesting yams from your farm or buying them at the market, you must check for discolored spots and potential pests that may hide inside the yam.
After a thorough inspection, wash your yams and cut them to the beardie’s bite-size.
We recommend cutting pieces not larger than the bearded dragon’s eye size.
Beardie’s natural disposition is eating raw food. However, you may want to boil or steam the yams before feeding your beardy.
Boiling kills bacteria and softens the yam’s tough texture. While feeding your beardie, you can garnish with calcium and vitamin supplements powder for a great taste.
Some owners chop the yam’s leaves and use them as vegetable treats to supplement the beardie’s diet.
Steaming the yams is the best option as it kills all the bacteria and creates a yummy affair for your bearded dragon.
What types of yams to feed bearded dragons?
Bearded dragons prefer organically grown food. However, that does not limit you to source organic grown yams for your beardie.
Chemically grown and genetically modified yams can be a good alternative. Most manufactures include the processing procedure and additives on the yam packaging labels.
The best yams to buy are the ones that lean towards organically grown yams as can be. Too many chemicals and preservatives spoil the originality of yams.
Remember, beardies are naturally wild animals and prefer their food organic and raw.
Do not fret if you don’t understand the preservatives and how they affect your beardie. Generally, any yam you can eat, your beardie can eat as well.
Can bearded dragons eat sweet potatoes with their skin?
Bearded dragons can eat yams with their skin. However, we recommend peeling them to remove dirt and unseen toxins that may attach to the skin of the yam.
Although if you grow your own yams, you can get creative with the peels and make a puree of yam skins or store them to use later as a roughage diet.
How often do you feed your bearded dragon on yams?
Bearded dragons have a liking for insects and worms. Yams are a suitable substitute for vegetables and fruits. The frequency of feeding your dragon varies with the age of the beardie.
The general rule is to feed your young dragons on 20% vegetables, your juvenile dragons on 40% vegetables, and mature bearded dragons should have 60% of their diet consisting of greens.
For yams, the same rule applies. However, little adjustments are imperative to avert gastrointestinal complications.
Feed your bearded dragon once a week on yams despite the age while applying the 20-40-60 rule. Your feeding mechanism and time can be different as long as you keep track of when you feed them and allow adequate intervals before the next meal.
A great way to ensure your beardie obtains all the nutrients is gut loading. Gut loading is a practice of a renowned beardie owner.
When it’s yam feeding time, fill your beardie’s gut with yams before adding a blend of mealworms and insects. The gut loading technique stimulates optimum growth and spurs good health.
Benefits of yams to your bearded dragon
Yams are the few foods that give your bearded dragon multi-benefits and improves its health and growth. Yams contain antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium.
Calcium helps the beardie’s bones grow strongly, while potassium enhances its cognitive abilities and improves impulse relay. The rich fiber content in yams significantly improves digestion and prevents gut traction and constipation in bearded dragons.
A significant benefit many owners overlook is yam’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Yams’ antioxidants manage chronic inflammation.
Your beardie eats almost all kinds of insects, and some may contain toxins. Grind dried yams into a fine powder and feed your dragon with little amounts of water.
You will be surprised how greatly yams are a natural home remedy for inflammation in the gut. Yams are starchy foods that pack more calories than their sweet potato cousins.
A meal of yams in the morning will provide enough energy for the day.
Beardies are wild by nature and will eat a variety of foods. You should incorporate yams into your feeding plans and diets.
Take care not to overfeed them and use the correct yam preparation procedure stated above.
Importantly, constantly consult with your vet about foods to feed your bearded dragon.
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