As a bearded dragon owner, you can spend so much time being concerned with what your pet can and cannot eat—and worrying about an appropriate and healthy diet.
Today, we’ll talk about mice.
There seems to be a long list of creatures that will enjoy eating these small rodents. After all, mice can be found in abundance and are nutritious for most animals. Reptiles, including snakes and larger lizards, are known to prey heavily on mice.
But can bearded dragons eat mice? Should you feed your pet mice?
There’s so much conflicting information about whether bearded dragons should eat mice or whether mice are safe to consume.
In this article, we’ll explore this, the nutritional value of mice, and much more about beardies and mice.
Can bearded dragons eat mice?
Being omnivores, bearded dragons can eat a variety of plants, insects, and other small creatures. Can they eat mice?
Well, technically, mice are not poisonous to beardies. But just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. So, the million-dollar question is, should they eat mice?
Mice contain a high fat and protein content. Protein is essential, especially for young bearded dragons, to help them grow faster. However, fatty foods can cause health problems such as obesity if fed too often. As a result, mice should not be part of a bearded dragon’s main diet.
If you decide to offer mice to your beardies, adult mice may not be the best option, especially for young beardies, because of their size.
When can bearded dragons eat mice?
Although mice are not a good food option, there are some rare instances where they might come in handy.
- During pregnancy: pregnant beardies need a lot of energy and extra protein. The protein boost is essential for unborn baby beardies.
- After an illness or disease: if your beardie is recovering, he might have lost some energy. So, to rejuvenate them faster and speed up the recovery process, you can add some pieces of mice to their food.
Can bearded dragons eat pinkies?
The simplest answer is, yes, bearded dragons can eat pinky mice. Pinky mice are also known as newborn mice or feeder mice. They are between 0-5 days old.
Pinkies are small and have not started to grow any fur yet. They are covered with pink skin, hence the name. They also lack most bones.
So, they are considered safe to feed your beardie.
Pinky mice have lower fat content and a better calcium to phosphorus ratio than adult mice, making them an ideal snack.
Here is a chart containing the nutritional value of pinky mice per 100 grams.
Calcium to Phosphorus ratio
You should not feed mice to young bearded dragons at all.
Can bearded dragons eat fuzzy mice?
Fuzzy mice are a bit older than pinkies. Unfortunately, at this stage, they are too large for bearded dragons. Keep in mind that when feeding beardies anything, you should always monitor the size.
But how can you determine the correct food size for your beardies? Well, the size should not be wider than the space between their eyes.
Another reason why you should not offer fuzzy mice is that their bones and fur have developed. Fur can cause gastrointestinal issues if swallowed, while bones can be hard to digest, which can lead to impaction.
Impaction occurs when a hard mass blocks the digestive system. It can threaten the health of bearded dragons and, if left unchecked or untreated, could cause death.
Per 100g, fuzzy mice contain:
Calcium to Phosphorus ratio
Can bearded dragons eat frozen mice?
Absolutely! As long as you do it the right way.
Frozen mice are becoming more popular than live mice. However, you need to defrost them before offering them to your beardie.
Frozen mice should be avoided for two reasons:
- Bearded dragons should not eat foods at extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold) as this could cause digestive problems.
- Frozen mice can be tough to chew on.
At what age can bearded dragons eat mice?
Bearded dragons should start feeding on mice after 6 months or when their length is more than 10 inches. At this age, their digestive systems can digest mice.
How often can bearded dragons eat mice?
Even though mice can add extra calcium and protein to your bearded dragon’s diet, your pet should not eat them daily. Due to their high protein and fat content, mice can cause health issues such as renal gout, diarrhea, fatty liver, and obesity.
Therefore, bearded dragons should eat mice occasionally. Ideally, it would be safer for beardies to eat mice once a month in limited amounts.
Again, remember that they can only eat pinkie mice.
Do bearded dragons eat mice in the wild?
We know they can, but do they? In the wild, bearded dragons roam freely and can eat whatever they want whenever. Since they mainly feed on small animals and vegetation, they can eat mice if an opportunity presents itself.
However, since they are very active in the wild, their bodies can quickly use up the excess fat they consume.
When you have a clear understanding of what you can and cannot feed your beardies, you will raise a very healthy and happy creature. The primary sources of food for bearded dragons are insects and vegetation. So, can they eat mice?
Mice are not poisonous to bearded dragons. So, beardies can eat mice when alive or frozen. But, keep in mind that mice have high levels of fat and protein that may be harmful to them if fed too often. Bearded dragons should eat mice occasionally; we recommend once a month.
If you insist on feeding mice to your beardies, you should only offer pinkie mice (0-5 days old). They are small and are the healthiest option compared to older or adult mice. They contain less fat and protein.