I know I asked myself at least once can bearded dragons eat alfalfa sprouts? To me as a beardie owner that seems like a perfectly valid question.
The answer is a big YES. If you’ve never fed your bearded dragon some alfalfa sprouts, you’ll be surprised how much they can enjoy this unusual-looking grassy delight.
Not only does it help your pet keep its nutrition and health in check, but it can also have some other helpful characteristics that you didn’t know about (don’t worry, I found out about them relatively recently as well).
In order to better understand these additional helpful characteristics of alfalfa sprouts and to maybe pick up on some fun facts and ways to feed your beardie with it, keep reading and keep your eyes peeled!
Alfalfa Sprouts: A Must-have In Bearded Dragon Daily Diet
The first thing that caught my eye when researching this food was that a full cup of alfalfa sprouts has less than 8 calories (7,6 to be exact).
Knowing that beardies are not a big animal, thus needing much less daily calorie intake than most house pets, this was a huge discovery for me. Not only are alfalfa sprouts low in calories, but are rich in so many good things for your pet.
When I’ve dug a little deeper into alfalfa nutritional values, I found out that calories were the least impressive stat. This is what I found out:
|Vitamin A||8 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8,1 mg|
|Vitamin K||30,5 mcg|
It’s incredible what can be found in this food! I was amazed when I realized that none of these ingredients are harmful to bearded dragons.
|Vitamin A||Vitamin A has an amazing antioxidant property. Alongside this, it’s a fantastic addition to the day-to-day diet when talking about eyesight. The importance of eyesight can not be stressed enough for beardies, so keep that in mind when “making a menu” for your pet.|
|Vitamin C||Beardies aren’t prone to many diseases, but vitamin C helps boost their immune system to a whole nother level. Besides this, it’s also a great antioxidant. You all know vitamin C is a key component in everybody’s diet, even humans. This tells you how important this component is.|
|Vitamin K||In combination with calcium, this ingredient is a pure miracle! It binds the calcium to bones and helps keep your beardie strong. It also helps calcium get to teeth and skin, making them as strong as ever.|
|Phosphorus||This is maybe the most important ingredient of alfalfa sprouts. Not only does phosphorus help teeth and bone development, but also plays an important role in carbohydrate and protein usage in the body.|
|Calcium||I’ve already mentioned the fantastic combo of calcium and Vitamin K, but calcium as an independent ingredient is the most important for skin, bone, and tooth cell development and repairment.|
|Fiber||Fiber is a fantastic way to regulate your beardies stool. It helps prevent diarrhea and helps to keep a healthy tummy exactly as it should be. Just keep in mind that too much fiber can cause constipation, which is not pleasant to deal with at all.|
|Sugar||Sugar is the least found ingredient in this food. This is good when talking about bearded dragons because they don’t need that much sugar. The amount found in alfalfa sprouts is perfectly safe and shouldn’t be worried about.|
|Water||This truly amazed me. Almost 93% of this food is actually water. You all know our bearded dragons need to stay hydrated in order to stay healthy. Even if they don’t drink enough water for some reason, alfalfa sprouts will provide them with an astonishing amount of water.|
As you can see, all of the ingredients I’ve mentioned here have huge benefits to your pet, not only individually, but as a whole meal. Sometimes I have to serve my beardie multiple different veggies just to make sure it gets everything that it needs, but alfalfa sprouts seem like they contain everything on the checklist!
When you take into consideration all of the benefits that this food brings, one might think to themselves “Why am I hearing about this just now?”. This is exactly what I first thought when I found out about this amazing food.
It turns out many beardie parents have been implementing alfalfa sprouts in their pet’s diet for a long time. The idea just hasn’t occurred to me earlier!
So, if you’re wondering if someone has ever tried actually feeding their bearded dragons some alfalfa sprouts, the answer is absolutely positive.
Even I have been doing this for some time now, and I can tell you I haven’t seen my beardie this happy in a long time during feeding.
How To Feed Alfalfa Sprouts To Bearded Dragons?
Like with any other veggies or greens, you need to make sure you wash alfalfa sprouts as well as you can. By doing this you are making sure that no pesticides or insecticides get to your beardie during feeding time.
I like to wash them with warm water first for a good 30 seconds to a minute, and then I let some cold water run down the alfalfa sprouts.
If you’re washing a larger amount of these, you can also soak them in a big container and rub them with your hands. This eliminates everything that you don’t want your bearded dragon to eat.
After giving them a bath, you can then drain and rinse the sprouts with warm and then cold water before serving them to your pet. You should serve them alongside some other veggies like broccoli or clover.
I also like to chop them up into smaller pieces making it easier for my beardie to eat them. You can chop them into really small pieces, or you can just cut them in two just once and let your beardie devour them as they are.
Another thing I like to do is to sprinkle them throughout my pet’s cage and let it gather as it goes to its main meal. This is a fun little game that your beardie might enjoy.
Disadvantages To Alfalfa Sprouts
Bearded dragons need a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Unfortunately, alfalfa sprouts don’t have that ratio. This doesn’t make it any less good of food, it just means you shouldn’t feed it to your pet every single day.
You may ask yourself why is this ratio so important? It’s because calcium levels might be influenced by high phosphorus intake, and can lead to metabolic bone diseases.
To counter this, you can always add some foods that are rich in calcium (broccoli is my favorite). This will ensure you that no such thing will happen to your beloved pet and that serving alfalfa sprouts is as safe as possible.
I suggest (and this is what I do) to give this delicious garnish to your pet once every 6 to 8 days. This will keep you calm and not think about overfeeding them with it, and it’ll also give your beardie enough of everything alfalfa sprouts have to offer.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the water percentage in alfalfa sprouts. Even though 93% of water is an astonishing number, it can cause some problems when overused.
This much water can cause diarrhea very easily. Bearded dragons don’t usually eat water-rich foods. Bugs and other insects do have some water in them, but not as much as alfalfa sprouts.
This means their tummy isn’t used to these amounts of water, and that this food should ease its way into your beardie’s regular diet.
What I did when I first implemented this food in my pet’s regular diet is that I would give it to them every 10 or 12 days. After one cycle of that, I would give them alfalfa sprouts once every 9 days for two cycles, and then I would go on and do a regular 6 to 8 days cycle.
It’s pretty obvious that beardies in fact can eat alfalfa sprouts. The only thing to keep in mind is the Ca:P ratio and water contents of this food. If you give your bearded dragon a good space between alfalfa sprouts meals, there really shouldn’t be any problems.
As someone who’s witnessed its beardie eating this food for the first time, I suggest you visit your nearest supermarket and get your pet some alfalfa sprouts next time you serve it veggies. I guarantee you they will go crazy for it!