Mice are small rodents often found in human-made structures, compounds, grasslands, or forests. They are nutritious prey to many animals, but can bearded dragons eat them?
Bearded dragons tend to eat a variety of foods owing to the fact that they are omnivores. Some foods are common, while others are rarely talked about, and it is a big list. Since mice are excellent foods for various pets, you might be wondering if they are suitable for the beardies.
Here, we’ll explore mice’s nutritional aspects, which will help us determine if mice are suitable for bearded dragons and how often to feed them.
What Is the Nutritional Value of Mice?
It is essential to figure out the nutrients in mice to be confident that you are feeding your lizard’s right food. Check its protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, moisture, and fiber content and see if they are within the range recommended for bearded dragons.
|Nutrients/100g||Pinkies mice (1-2 days old)||Fuzzy mice (7-10 days old)|
|Fat, g||25 to 30||32|
As you can see from this table, mice are exceedingly high in protein, fat, and calcium. There is an increase in fat in the body as the mice continue to grow while protein content tends to decrease.
The trend indicates that adult mice will have the highest fat content and low amount of calcium and protein.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice?
Bearded dragons can eat mice, but you need to be cautious about how often you feed them and in what proportion. The high-fat content in these prey needs to be considered make since bearded dragons don’t do well with fatty foods.
However, if you limit these feeders’ intake, there is nothing to worry about your dragons becoming obese or sick. The lizard will benefit from the protein in the mouse, which has tremendous impacts on the body.
Denying the beardies protein foods is close to starving and killing them. And this explains why if you aren’t comfortable feeding your lizard protein foods like insects, worms, mice, etc., then you shouldn’t own it in the first place.
Feeding greens and veggies or sticking to one kind of feeder insect alone won’t help your pet nutritionally. A variety of protein and mineral source foods makes the beardies’ diet healthy and nutritionally balanced.
How often can bearded dragons eat mice?
Although mice add a substantial amount of calcium and protein to a bearded dragon’s diet, they aren’t ideal for bearded dragons to eat every day. The primary reason you would want to feed mice less frequently is their high-fat levels.
Fatty foods become a challenge when dealing with bearded dragons because these reptiles are prone to obesity and will gain weight over a short period. Not only that, too much fat exposes bearded dragons to health issues such as fatty liver disease, diarrhea, etc.
I know you don’t want your pet to reach such a stage, and that is why you need to control the consumption of all fatty foods, including mice, mealworms, etc. Moreover, too much mice are likely to throw off the beardies’ diet and cause bowel issues such as digestive problems, gait problems, etc.
Therefore, you need to be pretty careful about how often you feed mice to your bearded dragons. Ideally, it would be much safer for the beardies to eat mice once or twice a week and in limited amounts.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Adult Mice?
As far as the beardies go, it is essential to consider the mice’s age and size to feed them. Adult mice carry a lot of fat, and we have seen how dangerous fat can be to bearded dragons.
Adult mice also tend to be pretty aggressive and will always try to escape predators as much as possible. They are famous for biting and will indeed bite the dragon when you feed them as live prey.
Also, adult mice are too big for bearded dragons to swallow and will end up causing impaction. Yes, bearded dragons can eat adult mice, but you shouldn’t feed it to them, since they aren’t safe for beardies.
Instead, you should stick to feeding pinkies mice or the fuzzies because they are nutritious and come in small sizes that are manageable by bearded dragons. The pinkies are also low in fat, making them an excellent option for your lizard friend, and they don’t bite.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Mice?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat frozen mice, but it requires you to thaw them first before feeding. Frozen mice are becoming popular day-in-day-out as many dragon owners are afraid of what live mice feeders can do.
Although the pinkies mice cannot bite their predators, don’t be shocked to see a fuzzy mouse biting your lizard. To prevent these feeders’ injuries, many people would opt for frozen mice.
Always make sure to thaw the mice in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes and leave them to dry before feeding.
How to Prepare Mice for Bearded Dragons?
Sometimes it is necessary to kill the fuzzies and make pieces to make it more appealing for the bearded dragon, but make sure to do it humanely. Even if they are prey, mice are animals, and they feel pain the way you and I do.
Your aim isn’t for your beardie to eat just any food but a quality meal. The way you kill the mice affects the quality of its meat and this is something to consider for your pet’s sake.
Also, bearded dragons will not eat something larger than the size of their eyes, which varies depending on the size of your dragon. Therefore, cutting the mice into small manageable sizes would be necessary.
Then, provide the food on the salad bowl, and you can choose to mix it with other insect feeders, then serve it to the dragon.
Now you are confident that you can feed mice to your beloved dragon without exposing them to any health concerns. The beardies can eat mice when alive or frozen, but you should avoid adult mice since they have more fat and are prone to cause injuries.
Even the pinkies and fuzzy mice are relatively high in fat, so it is crucial to feed them these only occasionally.