Cauliflower is a famous vegetable, and many people consume it due to its health benefits. But can bearded dragons eat cauliflower?
The list of acceptable foods for bearded dragons is big, but at the same time, there are those foods that you should avoid because they are harmful.
While some foods are good for humans, they can be bad for beardies for various reasons. That’s why you need to know about cauliflower and its nutrition before feeding it to your lizard to determine its suitability.
Continue reading to know if bearded dragons should eat cauliflower or not, and more.
Nutritional Information of Cauliflower
When considering to offer cauliflower to your bearded dragon, the first thing to look for is its nutritional value.
In particular, check its protein, water, calcium and phosphorus ratio, fiber, sugar, vitamin, and energy content.
See the nutrients in cauliflower in the table below, according to the USDA Nutritional Database.
According to the data, cauliflower is nutritionally deficient, just like lettuce, and it lacks vitamin A. Additionally, this veggie contains a lot of water, which is useful for hydration.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower?
Every bearded dragon owner wants to know foods that can benefit their pets and which one to stay away from, and cauliflower is one primary example.
If you wonder whether cauliflower is good to feed your dragon, then here is the answer to your question. Yes, bearded dragons can eat cauliflower but only occasionally and in small quantities.
There are many reasons why cauliflower isn’t for bearded dragons to eat daily, and we are going to see that shortly. But if you go back to the table above, you will notice that cauliflower has little nutrients than many veggies that the beardies eat.
Always make sure to limit the amount of cauliflower you feed to allow your dragon to benefit from the minimal nutrients that this veggie provides. But more importantly, don’t feed cauliflower solely, but mix it with other healthy veggies like dandelion greens, etc.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower?
Providing a little bit of cauliflower to the beardies once in a while will not harm. Ideally, a few cauliflowers once a month is good for bearded dragons and will have a chance to enjoy the nutrients from this veggie.
Cauliflower is naturally high in goitrogenic compounds, which tend to suppress thyroid function. Excess cauliflower is famous for causing hypothyroidism or low metabolism in simple terms.
Hypothyroidism is a fatal condition and can cause lots of health complications in the beardies. Cauliflower is also high in phosphorus than calcium
Excess phosphorus binds to calcium, and the beardies are unable to absorb the latter mineral. Eventually, bearded dragons extract calcium from the bones.
You know that the bones need this mineral to be strong and healthy, so removing calcium results in many health problems such as metabolic bone disease. The high-water content in cauliflower can cause diarrhea if you feed them in abundance.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower Greens?
Are cauliflower greens more nutritious than the head? Are cauliflower greens safe for bearded dragons?
To get a genuine answer, let’s see the nutrients in cauliflower greens; check the data below.
Cauliflower greens contain more nutrients than cauliflower heads, which makes them ideal for feeding to bearded dragons. They are exceptionally high in calcium, vitamins, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for the beardies and have multiple roles in the body.
For instance, fiber helps bearded dragons to poop without difficulty and also enhances smooth digestion. Vitamin C is good for strong immunity, and vitamin A helps in vision. Cauliflower greens don’t have goitrogens like the head.
All these prove that bearded dragons can eat cauliflower greens but in moderation due to too much water.
What are other Vegetables Safe to Feed to Bearded Dragons Instead of Cauliflower?
Now you are aware that cauliflower has low nutritional value, and it’s not the best veggie to give your beloved lizard; thus, you need to look for other foods to feed.
Thanks to the fact that the beardies eat various vegetables and greens, you can always choose suitable foods, among many. Here are a couple of veggies and greens that are ideal for the beardies to eat.
- Dandelion greens
- Butternut squash
- Bell pepper
- Turnip greens
- Clover, etc.
How to Prepare Cauliflower for Bearded Dragons?
It is essential to know how to prepare and serve cauliflower to your pet to make sure you provide a healthy meal. Preparing cauliflower is pretty easy and straightforward; follow the steps below.
- Please choose the right cauliflower for your dragons, and by this, I mean you look for the cauliflower that is fresh and raw.
- Wash the plant to remove chemicals and dirt if any. Allow it to dry before slicing.
- Cut the cauliflower into small sizes, which your lizard will have no problem swallowing. Remember that the beardies cannot consume large-sized foods.
- Take about half of the floret and mix it with other greens and veggies to boost the diet’s nutrients.
- Provide the meal to your bearded dragon watch as it gobbles up the food. Remove any food that is remaining and keep it away from the enclosure.
I hope it is clear to you now that bearded dragons can eat cauliflower and cauliflower greens or leaves but occasionally. However, you shouldn’t look to offering this veggie but go for other vegetables that are more nutritious like cilantro, kale, etc.
Cauliflower has goitrogen, low calcium, and its ratio between Ca:P isn’t healthy for bearded dragons. Also, it has a lot of water and low nutritional value.