Plant materials should make up part of the bearded dragon’s diet, especially for adult dragons that tend to be more herbivorous than their younger self that is mostly carnivorous. Given that cloves are easily available and easy to grow, I decided to research whether beardies can eat them.
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Can bearded dragons eat clover?
Bearded dragons can eat clover/shamrocks. However, the bearded dragons should not have clovers that have been collected from the wild as they may contain chemicals. Clovers are low in fiber and a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals for bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons can eat all types of clovers, these include white clover, Red Clover, Alsike Clover, and Crimson Clover. However, when white clover is wind and frost it can develop cyanogenic compounds that are harmful to bearded dragons.
On the other hand, Red Clover, Alsike Clover, and Crimson Clover can have photoactive compounds that can be harmful to most animals.
As a result, only aim to feed the bearded dragon clovers that you have grown organically from your own garden to avoid contamination.
Can Bearded dragons have clover?
As we have stated above clovers or shamrocks are perfectly safe for bearded dragons as long as they have been grown organically and they are fed sparingly together with other plants and vegetable materials plus insects and fruits.
Remember the diet of your bearded dragon is determined by their age. Young bearded dragons are more carnivorous and need more insects compared to adult bearded dragons which will lean more towards the plant materials as herbivores.
Clovers are some of the plants that you will expect bearded dragons to come across in their natural habitat. Especially during the rainy season when most weeds grow.
In most backyards, you will find clovers growing invasively especially if you water your backyard or during the rainy season.
These clovers are not good to feed to your bearded dragon as we will explain later.
Nutritional value of clovers
Clovers are packed with the following nutrients that are beneficial to bearded dragons
Benefits of Feeding clovers to bearded dragons
As we have stated above clovers should only be part of a balanced diet and not a staple food. The first rule of achieving a balanced diet for any reptile or animal is feeding a variety of food.
Below let us dive into the benefits of feeding cloves to bearded dragons.
Keeping your bearded dragon hydrated is very important. Despite the fact that bearded dragons come from the desert where it can be close to impossible to get water.
They still need water. Therefore, always ensure that they have easy access to clean, fresh, and chlorine-free water on a daily basis.
Feeding them plant materials that are safe and have a high water content is also another easy trick to keep them hydrated.
You can mist the clovers with water before feeding them to bearded dragons to increase the chances of hydration especially for bearded dragons that do not drink water easily.
Proteins play a very important role in the growth and development of bearded dragons, especially during their young age.
Feeding your bearded dragon the right diet right from the beginning will help it to grow healthy, extend its life span, and promote vibrant colors.
A young bearded dragon will need more proteins which is why their main diet is mainly insects that have a high protein content such as super worms, Dubia roaches, and crickets, earthworms, hornworms among others.
At this stage animal protein is more important than plant protein, However, this does not mean that bearded dragons cannot eat plant proteins.
In fact plants, vegetables and fruits must be part of the diet of your bearded dragons. Young bearded dragon are constantly growing and need protein to sustain their growth and development.
About 20-30% of their diet should be made of greens and fruits while the rest should be made of insects.
At this stage clovers or shamrock can serve as a good addition to your bearded dragon green material.
Like proteins, minerals are very important in the growth and development of bearded dragons. At a young age, bearded dragons will need a lot of minerals in their body, most specifically calcium and phosphorus.
Another category of bearded dragons that needs a lot of calcium and phosphorus in their diet is the laying dragons since eggs shells are made of calcium.
Clovers have a considerably high level of calcium and phosphorus and Magnesium.
However, a point to note here is the fact that calcium and phosphorus affect each other negatively. When calcium is high it affects the absorption of calcium negatively and vice versa.
Therefore, most experts recommend feeding foods that have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 to allow for maximum absorption of calcium.
If bearded dragons are not fed enough calcium in the diet they will suffer from a metabolic bone disease that is fatal and can even lead to the death of the dragon.
This disease affects both young and mature bearded dragons alike.
Therefore, always ensure that your bearded dragon gets enough minerals in its diet.
Magnesium on the other hand which is also found in clovers facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and the regulation of the health of the dragon’s muscle.
How to feed clovers to bearded dragons
As stated earlier you should always feed plant materials that have been grown organically to avoid poisoning your bearded dragon.
This means that you should not let your bearded dragon wander into your backyard and eat the clovers that have invaded your grass or flowers.
Most people spray their backyards to kill weeds, additionally, your neighbor might have sprayed their backyard and the wind brew the chemicals to your backyard hence contaminating plants in your yard.
Additionally, never feed your bearded dragon plants materials that you have collected from the wild including insects.
Most of these insects may be carrying microorganisms that will harm your pet.
Plants acquired from the wild may also have some chemicals.
If you want to feed clovers to your bearded dragon grow them yourselves so that you can be sure that no chemicals were used.
You can set aside a portion of your backyard that is invested with clovers and other weeds that bearded dragons like to eat and fence it well to prevent contamination.
Follow these steps when feeding clovers to bearded dragons.
- Thoroughly wash clovers to remove dirt
- You can air dry them to remove excess water
- Mix them with other weeds that are safe for your bearded dragon
- You can dust them with minerals such as calcium and vitamins such as vitamin D
- Remember to remove the uneaten food at the end of the day
Another way of feeding clovers to the bearded dragons is by feeding them to insects that you will later feed to your bearded dragons such as crickets and grasshoppers or hornworms.
To increase the nutrient load you can dust them with supplements before feeding them to insects.
What weeds can bearded dragons eat?
Apart from clovers bearded dragons can also eat the following weeds hawkweeds, stink weed, horny goat weed, bind weed, blanket weed, bugle, cape pond weed, chickweed, and duck weed. Bearded dragon should have these weeds moderately.
While clovers are safe for your pet reptile, make sure you feed organically grown clovers to avoid poisoning your dragon. Never, let your bearded dragon wander in the backyard in search of food. They might end up eating contaminated plant materials that may kill them. Lastly, clovers should be part of a balanced diet rather than a staple diet.