Originally Posted by tlegg424
I am new to beardies about a month into caring for them.I've two females about five years old.Everything I have researched tends to agree with itself on multiple sites except tomatoes some say not to feed them some say to.I have been feeding them tomatoes and have not seen any ill effects as of yet and they both seem to love them but will there be any fall-out in the future.
Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your first month with Beardies!
Stick around this site and learn something about them, especially their dietary needs and concerns.
Generally, acidic fruits (citrus) and veggies (tomatoes) are to be avoided.
The conflict in care sheets may be based on differences in quantities and frequency of exposure. One person may have fed a small amount of tomato once and didn't kill their beardie that time, so it meets their approval, other people may have seen negative effects from feeding larger quantities daily over time and know better...
I personally think chocolate is good for me <grin>, but I only have about an ounce a month. Someone eating large quantities of chocolate daily may see different and possibly detrimental results.
There is a risk anytime we feed something that is unavailable in their natural habitat, and if we look at a lot of the care sheets, many of them are far less "science" than simply reports on trial and error. There is not much scientific data, both on exactly what a BD's nutritional needs are, and what is contained in certain foods that specifically affect BDs.
There are enough great foods available that are well known
to be safe and healthy for beardies that I cannot see a benefit in trying something that is questionable or that someone else has seen cause problems. Why risk it - what possible benefit is there in giving them something that may sicken or kill them? Make it easy on yourself: Just find the foods that the care sheets agree on, and just skip the rest, unless you'd like to be posting "RIP" or in the "ER" forum at some point.
Just to nip any questions about thier diet they eat romaine, greens, grapes, apples, carrots, tomatoes, superworms, isopods, earwigs, crickets, earthworms, and green anoles.
Feel free to "nip", but please verify your information prior to passing it as fact.
Respectfully, with two beardies and one month of experience under your belt, I'd suggest doing much more reading here than writing at first. There are MANY people here with more Bearded Dragon knowledge and experience in their little finger
than you and I have in total between us.
Looking at your foods list, I see some errors and your dietary recommendations are definitely not safe for all Bearded Dragons, and maybe not even your own.
Some foods, even though they are safe to eat in themselves, will interfere with the animal's ability to absorb certain nutrients it needs. Kale is an example. Very nutritious, but if fed in larger quantities, it can interfere with calcium uptake, and you will learn that BDs have difficulty getting and metabolizing enough calcium. This is why all the talk here about UVB and dusting food with calcium supplements, and why feeding much of the wrong stuff can be a serious problem.
I would suggest NOT feeding Romaine or ANY type of lettuce. No, it probably won't kill your beardie today, so it may find it way to your list, but nutritional value is extremely low and there are excess quantities of water that can cause digestive problems. Because your captive BDs diet is largely artificial, it is important to feed the proper foods that will make the most of what they eat and not waste time/space/energy digesting stuff with no nutrition.
"Greens" is a nonsensical term in this context. "Greens" covers a very wide variety of foods, and not every type of "green" is good. Kale is good on occasion, for example, but contains oxylates and shouldn't be fed as a staple. Collard, Turnip & Mustard greens are all good, as are Chard and Bok Choy.
Tomatoes do NOT belong on the list at all, and yet as strongly as you seem to feel about feeding tomatoes to bearded dragons, I get the impression that you may live on or near a tomato farm. Good luck with that.
Superworms are to be fed only to the larger BDs, since smaller BDs cannot always digest them thoroughly enough to avoid impaction and an intestinal blockage, and potential death. This may not apply to your larger beardies, but it DOES apply to someone with a smaller lizard that might read that blanket statement you've made above. One superworm fed to a lizard too small to handle it can be fatal, so this advice seems irresponsible to pass along and potentially destructive to me.
While certain isopods, earwigs and other invertebrates may be safe to eat, if they are harvested from the wild, they carry very real risks of parasites and even pesticides, not to mention what unusual foods may be in their gut or bacteria the lizard may not be equipped to handle.
Do you know that lightning bugs are almost instantly fatal to BDs?
I know nothing about feeding earthworms to BDs, but have never seen it recommended. It could be that the dirt that is contained in a worm's gut that will accumulate in the BDs digestive tract and induce impaction. If we're talking about wild caught worms, it could be the presence of bacteria or the risk of pesticides or pollutants from the soil.
Feeding anoles to BDs is frowned upon, generally considered unacceptable and is inappropriate to recommend here. First, the concept is offensive to the many people who keep anoles as pets. They might consider that recommendation similar to a suggestion to simply feed your cats to your dog, or just feed your BDs to your monitors & gators. The second reason, and possibly more important, is that BDs do not always digest bone well and the anole represents a very high bone to nutrition ratio, so there is risk of impaction with no health benefits to the BD to offset this risk. Finally, AFAIK, ALL anoles available to the pet trade are wild caught. This means they may or may not have harmful internal and external parasites and that they may or may not have dangerous food items in their guts.
I would strongly recommend finding out more about your new lizards prior to giving dangerous or inappropriate advice here that a less experienced owner might use to injure or kill their pet.