Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?

In this post we learn that bearded dragons can eat broccoli occasionally but shouldn’t have it too often – and we learn why that is

can bearded dragons eat broccoli featured image

A Little Bit Of Broccoli Is OK for Bearded Dragons

About 5 min reading time

Can bearded dragons eat Broccoli? Is Broccoli Good for Bearded Dragons? Yes, bearded dragons can eat spring greens occasionally. Broccoli is a vegetable that is actually in the cabbage family, which includes of course, cabbage, but also Spring Greens and Cauliflower. Unfortunately broccoli has considerably less calcium per 100g than Spring Greens / Collard Greens – although it does have more than Cauliflower.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli, but they shouldn’t do so regularly. We consider them an occasional vegetable for bearded dragons and they can have them every week or so. This is because Broccoli contains slightly less calcium (by weight) than phosphorous, which means that they’re not that great to help avoid Metabolic Bone Disease.

Advantages Of Broccoli For Bearded Dragons

  • Readily available
  • Long lasting
  • Easy to prepare

Disadvantages Of Broccoli For Bearded Dragons

  • Some goitrogenic effects
  • Not much calcium – poor calcium to phosphorous ratio

How Should I Feed Broccoli To A Bearded Dragon

Broccoli can be fed small portions weekly to bearded dragons as part of a balanced vegetable diet. One floret per week is plenty though because the calcium levels are quite low in broccoli and this is heavily counteracted by the larger amount of phosphorous by weight – and the fairly high levels of oxalic acid compound, which also serves to reduce calcium availability.

Calcium is an essential part of the bearded dragon diet and there are many vegetables, such as Collards which are far higher in calcium content. But bearded dragons do like Broccoli and the occasional floret here and there isn’t going to do any significant harm.

Broccoli for bearded dragons should be thoroughly washed in cold water, and then the florets can be cut into small pieces and added to a salad dish with other items for your bearded dragon to eat during the day. If you wish to use the stem to provide some hydrating greenery, we’d recommend grating it into longer, but much thinner slices using a cheese grater. This will reduce the hardness of the stem and make it easier to swallow and digest. But in general, the florets are probably a better alternative anyway, as they make less of a choking hazard when split into smaller pieces.

How Much Broccoli Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?

The short answer is, not very much. One small floret per week should be enough to keep your bearded dragon happy with their salad mix (after all, the same stuff is likely to become boring). But too much broccoli will reduce the amount of other, more calcium rich vegetables that your beardie is getting and that calcium is essential for good bone health and keeping the MBD demon away.

Nutritional Data For Broccoli For Bearded Dragons

Nutritional ItemContent
Water Content (%)90
Fat (%)0.34
Protein (%)2.57
Dietary Fibre (%)2.4
Calcium (mg/100g)46 (0.046%)
Potassium (mg/100g)303 (0.303%)
Phosphorous (mg/100g)67 (0.067%)
Vitamin A (ug/100g)8
Vitamin C (ug/100g)91.3
Oxalates (mg/100g)450 ( high )
Nutritional Data For Broccoli For Bearded Dragons [1][2]

Summary

So, can bearded dragons eat broccoli and is broccoli for bearded dragons OK? The answer is yes, broccoli is OK to be fed to bearded dragons in moderation. It can be fed occasionally, although should form part of a balanced diet so mixed with other vegetables too.

Too much broccoli though is not a good thing – it has insufficient calcium for a bearded dragons daily needs and contains too much phosphorous and oxalate. It can be useful as a hydration vegetable occasionally as it does have a fairly high water content.

Frequency: OCCASIONAL.

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 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747447/nutrients on February 28 2022.

2: Oxalate data sourced from Oxalate.org. Fetched from https://oxalate.org/ on February 28 2022.

Featured Image by Andrew Jones from Pixabay