Can Bearded Dragons Eat Endive / Chicory / Escarole?
Can bearded dragons eat Endive? Is Endive for bearded dragons OK? How about Chicory, is chicory OK for bearded dragons? And can bearded dragons eat Escarole?
Chicory, Endive and Escarole are all from the same family of leafy green vegetables and are of very similar nutrient quality, so we’ve combined them into this one article. Yes, bearded dragons can eat Endive, Chicory or Escarole regularly.
What Is Endive For Bearded Dragons?
Endive is a leafy green vegetable belonging to the Cichorium family. The Cichorium family includes a number of other bitter-leafy vegetables such as Chicory and Escarole. The various members of the family share very similar nutritional qualities but can look quite different.
For example, Curly Endive (Chicorium endiva) has narrow green outer leaves and is often called Chicory in the USA. However, to confuse everyone, what is known as Chicory in Europe is a different member of the Cichorium family – which is Chicorium intybus.
Escarole is a broad leafed Endive which has pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties of Endive.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Endive?
Yes, Endive, chicory and Escarole are all perfectly fine for bearded dragons as part of a mixed vegetable diet. They contain minimal Phosphorous, manageable potassium and some calcium though their calcium levels are not huge. Importantly though, according to St Joseph’s Healthcare of Hamilton, Canada data, there’s very minimal oxalate content in Endive as you can see from the table at the end.
There’s minimal Vitamin A or C in Endive either, which perhaps sounds like Endive shouldn’t be recommended for bearded dragons. However, it’s worth remembering that excess Vitamin C can be broken down to form Oxalates which will reduce the absorption of calcium.
It’s fair to say from the nutritional information of Endive that there’s not much in it for bearded dragons. But there’s nothing harmful in it either. So it’s not going to be something that you would want to feed on its own – but as part of a mixed vegetable diet that can have it whenever they, or you, want.
Advantages Of Endive For Bearded Dragons
Disadvantages Of Endive For Bearded Dragons
How Should I Feed Endive To A Bearded Dragon
Chicory or Escarole or Endive can be fed to bearded dragons regularly. They should be washed and placed in a dish which is then dusted with calcium to improve the calcium intake for your bearded dragon.
These leafy green vegetables aren’t really useful on their own, but to bulk out a salad dish and provide some additional tangy flavour they work well. Depending on the type of Endive you may need to cut/shred the foliage a little to make it easier to eat. The fine leaf Endive however is almost herb like in appearance so you won’t need to do much with it.
How Much Endive Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?
You can feed as much Endive / Chicory / Escarole as your bearded dragon will eat. They’ll not over indulge on vegetables or leafy greens. Indeed, you’ll likely have the opposite problem whereby you can’t get them to eat enough.
You can feed Endive every day as part of a mixed salad balanced diet.
Nutritional Data For Endive For Bearded Dragons
|Water Content (%)||Not Listed at Source|
|Dietary Fibre (%)||3.1|
|Calcium (mg/100g)||52 (0.052%)|
|Potassium (mg/100g)||314 (0.314%)|
|Vitamin A (ug/100g)||108|
|Vitamin C (ug/100g)||6.5|
Can I Grow My Own Endive?
Endive seeds are available online and they produce fast growing plants with fine, lacey looking leaves if you opt for the fine leafed Endive. The broad leafed Endive of course will produce plants that are broad in nature.
You can choose from a variety of endive seeds to suit whichever version of Endive you prefer to grow.
To summarise, Endive is good for bearded dragons to eat, although it doesn’t provide much in the way of the more traditional nutrients such as calcium, it does provide good levels of Vitamin K and Folic Acid. As part of a balanced vegetable diet, Endive can be fed daily to bearded dragons.
For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’
1: US Department of Agriculture, fetched on 1st February 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103104/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
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