Can Bearded Dragons Eat Acorn Squash? featured image
Bearded Dragon Vegetables

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Acorn Squash?

About 5 min reading time

Can bearded dragons eat Acorn Squash? Is Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons OK? Yes, bearded dragons can eat acorn squash regularly.

What Is Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons?

Acorn squash is a winter squash which is also known as pepper squash or Des Moines squash. It has a yellow-orange flesh inside and is generally green on the outside with ridges that run down its length. Some varieties do have an orange patch at the top or on the side.

As its name suggests its shape resembles that of an acorn. They generally weigh about 500g (1lb) to 1kg (2lb) and measure between 4 and 7 inches in length. Acorn squash does not keep very long in storage, becoming unusable after only a few weeks.

Of course, acorn squash is used in meals prepared for humans and is usually baked, sauteed or steamed. Acorn squash is more commonly found in the US compared to the UK. Indeed, it’s not one we’ve seen before, but our American friends say it’s nice.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Acorn Squash?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat acorn squash regularly but it’s worth remembering that it does have a lot more carbohydrate than the leafy greens. The additional sweetness of acorn squash compared to leafy greens can be tempting to bearded dragons though, and the yellowy colour of the flesh makes it stand out nicely in the vegetable dish.

Acorn squash is relatively low in calcium but high in Vitamin A. It’s not got a great deal of Vitamin C but equally it’s not overly high in Oxalate content either. So it’s a bit middle of the road.

Advantages Of Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons

  • Colourful and bright
  • Helps provide a good balance of carbohydrate when mixed
  • Good calcium to phosphorus ratio of almost 1:1
  • Good for gutloading insects

Disadvantages Of Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons

  • Will need dusting with supplement to provide sufficient calcium
  • Doesn’t keep as well as other squashes

How Should I Feed Acorn Squash To A Bearded Dragon?

Acorn squash, and other squashes such as butternut squash, can be fed to bearded dragons raw – although some people prefer to cook it. If fed raw it should be cut into manageable slices of approx. half a centimetre wide and up to five centimetres (2 inches) long. It should be cut less than half a centimetre thick. The shape can resemble that of chips (french fries to our American friends).

The slices can then be added to a salad dish of mixed leafy green vegetables to add some colour. The colour will likely be more attractive to your bearded dragon than the green is – and can be used to help tempt your bearded dragon into eating more vegetables – which can be a challenge.

The dish can be put into the vivarium a couple of hours after the basking light has come on, or a little earlier if necessary, and can be left in the vivarium throughout the day. The acorn squash will eventually dry out though and should be replaced when it’s no longer nice and fresh looking. Acorn squash will probably outlive the leafy greens though!

The acorn squash should be dusted with a good calcium supplement to help boost the amount of calcium your bearded dragon gets.

How Much Acorn Squash Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?

Acorn squash can be fed every day as part of a balanced mix vegetable diet for bearded dragons. Each salad dish will probably have 4 or 5 strips as mentioned above, but obviously if your bearded dragon eats it all and you think they want some more you can give them more. Adult bearded dragons should eat mostly vegetable material anyway, so there’s minimal risk of them becoming overweight from eating too many vegetables.

You should mix in other vegetables to give your dragon some variety, but there’s no upper limit on how much they can have.

Nutritional Data For Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons

Nutritional ItemContent
Water Content (%)87.78
Fat (%)0.1
Protein (%)0.8%
Dietary Fibre (%)1.5%
Calcium (mg/100g)33 (0.033%)
Potassium (mg/100g)347 (0.347%)
Phosphorous (mg/100g)36 (0.036%)
Vitamin A (ug/100g)18
Vitamin C (ug/100g)11
Oxalates (mg/100g)1.18
Nutritional Data For Acorn Squash For Bearded Dragons [1][2]

Can I Grow My Own Acorn Squash?

Acorn squash seeds are readily available from Amazon in the US, UK and Canada. Do bear in mind when ordering that you should only order from your own country as some countries have very strict rules about seeds being sent from overseas.

Acorn squash seeds grow in average soil and can be planted in the spring after the first frost and throughout the year so long as the last harvest will be before the first frost of the autumn/fall. The plants are compact bushes and can be suitable for smaller gardens. Each plant should produce somewhere around 6 to 8 squash that should weigh approx. 2lbs (just under 1kg) each.

Summary

So, can bearded dragons eat acorn squash and is acorn squash for bearded dragons OK? The answer is yes, acorn squash are an excellent fleshy vegetable for bearded dragons. They can be fed regularly, although should form part of a balanced diet so mixed with other vegetables too.

Acorn squash provides a good variation of colour and texture when combined with leafy greens – but on its own doesn’t provide a huge amount of calcium so should be dusted regularly.

Frequency: STAPLE.

For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’

References

1: US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central. Fetched on 6th February 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168472/nutrients

2: Oxalate data sourced from St Josephs Healthcare, Hamilton, Canada fetched on 1st February 2021 from https://www.stjoes.ca/patients-visitors/patient-education/patient-education-k-o/pd-9447-oxalate-in-food.pdf

Featured Image by Genevieve Belcher from Pixabay

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