Bearded Dragons are reptiles and also omnivorous, meaning, they feed on insects and vegetables. Therefore, they can eat cockroaches provided they are bred and harvested for bearded dragon consumption.
However, you should avoid feeding them wild cockroaches because they carry chemicals, parasites, and bacteria in their body making them health-hazardous for consumption.
In fact, they prefer cockroaches to other insects because they are flavorsome, their exoskeleton is less fibrous and easy to digest than most other insects. Thus, they find it appetizing and easy to feed on cockroaches.
Cockroaches are a favorite source of meal for your beardy especially when they are still younger because they have nutrients that are essential for their growth.
Hence, its nutritional value is more beneficial to the bearded dragon with minimal downside than other insects.
Below are the nutritional benefits your beardy gets from feeding on cockroaches, they include:
When caring for Bearded Dragons we are recommended to feed them a high protein ratio diet with lower fat content especially when they are still babies and in the juvenile growth stage.
At this stage, they need at least 80% protein and 20% Vegetables to enhance their rapid growth and development.
Unlike crickets, mealworms earthworms, locusts, and butterwort with too much fat, cockroaches would be the best source of protein because they have a high relative protein to fat content.
Besides protein, cockroaches are also a great source of essential minerals like Calcium which is vital for strengthening the bones.
The calcium content in cockroaches is about 2% which is also rare to find in most insects.
Vitamin A and D
The other benefit your beardy gains from feeding on cockroaches is that they also have Vitamin A and D.
These vitamins are essential for the absorption of nutrients and minerals in the body thereby promoting healthy growth.
Cockroaches are also gut loaded, meaning you do not need to force-feed your beardy to fill their gastrointestinal tract.
When your beardy is gut-loaded you can skip feeding your beardy with too much protein or insect up to three days.
This is vital because it increases calcium availability in the body and minimizes the risks of becoming obese.
How to feed your bearded dragon with Cockroaches
Now you understand the significance of feeding your beardy with roaches; however, while feeding them on roaches it depends on your Beardie’s age and size and the size of the cockroach.
While feeding your beardy you should consider the guide below.
Younger Bearded Dragons
As mentioned above that baby and juvenile bearded dragons require a high protein ratio to enhance their rapid growth and development.
Therefore, you should offer them more cockroaches to eat across multiple feeding to demand their daily protein ration demand.
About 50 appropriate-sized cockroaches are enough to meet their protein ratio daily demand.
While feeding baby and juvenile beardies ensure you feed them with appropriately sized cockroaches that are not larger than the space between their eyes.
Adult Bearded Dragon
For adults, you do not need to feed them too much protein because they have fully grown and developed, and overfeeding them with protein will further increase risks for diabetes.
Therefore, you should feed them 3-5 cockroaches every 3-days.
What to do and to avoid while feeding your Beardy with Cockroaches
- When feeding your Beardy with cockroaches, always ensure the size of the roaches is closely aligned to their age, size, and weight to prevent them from getting choked or suffering from impaction.
- Do not feed your beardy with wild cockroaches because they carry infections, bacteria, chemicals, and parasites.
- Always offer them live and fresh cockroaches and remove dead cockroaches and remains from the enclosure that your beardy does not eat. In addition, do not serve them dead roaches if it is among the live ones.
- You can feed adult beardy with 80% vegetables and 20% protein.
- Give one roach at a time to avoid overfeeding your beardie and while feeding them offer them in front of the beardy’s mouth. • Offer adult Beardies with roaches after every three days and the younger ones on daily basis.• Always observe the beardies while eating. When roaches hungry or wander freely in the tank they can bite your pet. This can potentially cause injury and skin irritation.
- What temperature is extreme and unsafe to keep cockroaches for harvesting?
Despite loving warm and dark habitats, you should avoid keeping them in a place that is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period.
- How long do domesticated bearded dragons live?
A domesticated bearded dragon can live until they are 6-10 years; however, it depends on the tank condition, exercise, care, and proper diet.
Bearded dragons are fun-loving, playful, and very active pets during the day than the night. This is why you should take the advantage of feeding them during the daytime.
You can easily interact and make them play around by chasing the roaches. This will keep them active and flexible like in their natural habitat.
By doing this is a great way of reducing the risks of becoming overweight which is unhealthy.
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