Greens and hugely important to bearded dragons and many owners like to offer greens such as collard greens to their bearded dragon’s diet.
But can bearded dragons safely eat collard greens? Or should you be swapping them for a healthier option?
In this post, we will consider just how healthy collard greens really are by taking a close look at the benefits they offer as well as identifying any potential downsides overfeeding them too.
So can bearded dragons eat collard greens? Bearded dragons can safely eat collard greens. They offer high amounts of both calcium and fibre and well as provide generous levels of vitamins A, C & K. Collard greens are considered a staple food for bearded dragons and can be eaten on a regular basis.
Read On to Learn…
Collard Greens | Nutritional Info
Before you offer a new food to your bearded dragon it’s always best to take a look at the nutritional value of the food first.
This will help you to understand if the food is going to benefit your beardie as well as highlighting any possible health concerns if you overfeed it.
There are many nutrients that are important to bearded dragons but the main ones to look out for are calcium, protein, fat, sugar, phosphorus and fibre.
Later in the post, we will take a look at many of these key nutrients and you can always reference back to the table below to check them out if you need to.
Take a look at the nutritional value of collard greens below…
Nutritional Information For Collard Greens Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.61||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||5.42||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
|Vitamin A RAE||251||µg|
|vitamin A IU||5019||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens? (More Info)
Providing your bearded dragon with a diet that contains high-quality greens is essential to their overall health and well being.
With so many options available it’s often hard to know which ones are beneficial to your bearded dragon’s health and which ones aren’t.
Collard greens are certainly one of the greens that your bearded dragon can safely eat and many experts and reptile nutritionists often add collard greens to their list of top foods for beardies.
In fact, collard greens are widely accepted as a staple food for bearded dragons.
With this being said, it’s important to understand exactly what benefits collard greens offer as well as any potential concerts they might pose if they are overfed.
Let’s now take a look at the potential benefits and concerts of feeding your beardie collard greens…
Benefits Of Bearded Dragons Eating Collard Greens?
As we mentioned above, collard greens are considered a staple food for bearded dragons.
They offer a wonderful and diverse range of nutrients that will help your dragon to stay healthy.
Below are the main nutritional benefits of offering your bearded dragon collard greens…
Collard Greens Are High In Calcium
Calcium is a vital nutrient for bearded dragons and without sufficient amounts of calcium in their diet, your beardie would likely suffer from bone and muscle-related illnesses such as metabolic bone disease.
If you want to find out more about the role that calcium plays in the health of your bearded dragon then check out this post that shares all you need to know about calcium as a bearded dragons owner…
Collard greens offer an extremely high amount of calcium which makes them a great platform to your bearded dragon’s overall diet.
By looking at the table we provided above, you can see that collard greens contain 232mg of calcium per 100g.
This level of calcium is actually more than you would get from broccoli, asparagus and spinach combined per 100g of each.
Here’s the actual amount of calcium that broccoli, asparagus and spinach offer per 100g:
- Spinach – 99mg/per 100g
- Broccoli – 47mg/per 100g
- Asparagus – 24mg/per 100g
As you can see the total amount of calcium combined for 300g or these greens and veggies is 170mg.
And as we already know, collard greens offer a whopping 232mg of calcium for just 100g
The bottom line is that if you need to offer your bearded dragon some calcium-rich food into their diet then collard greens are one green that should be on your shopping list.
As a side note, it’s also highly important to provide your bearded dragon with a calcium supplement as only providing foods high in calcium alone isn’t enough in captivity.
The calcium supplement we highly recommend is Rep-Cal. You can see e exact Rep-Cal supplement we recommend below…
- Rep-Cal Ultrafine Powder Is An Excellent Source Of Calcium For All Reptiles And Amphibians
- Scientifically Formulated From 100-Percent Natural Oyster Shell Phosphorous-Free Calcium Carbonate With Vitamin D3 To Aid In Absorption Of Calcium
Last update on 2020-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Collard Greens Have a Good Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
As well as being high in calcium, it’s also important for greens and veggies to have a healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Phosphorus can actually stop the absorption of calcium in the body of bearded dragon if they consume too much, which means that a certain portion of the calcium they consume would be lost and not used.
A good healthy ratio is 1:1 or 2:1 with calcium being the more dominant nutrient.
If your beardie eats the odd food that has a poor ratio then it’s not going to really affect their health but if nearly all the greens you feed them have a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio then it could cause issues through a lack of calcium in their diet.
The good thing about collard greens is that they only contain approximately 25mg of phosphorus per 100g, which will allow much of the calcium to be absorbed and used.
Again, you can check this out by looking at the nutritional table we provided above if you like.
Collard Greens Are High In Fibre
Something that’s often overlooked in the longterm health of bearded dragons and other animals is the role of fibre.
Fibre plays a vital role in the health of bearded dragons by…
- Helping to maintain bowel health
- Keeping stools normal & regular
Collard greens offer a generous 4g of fibre 100g, which is considered high when you compare it to other similar greens.
For example, broccoli contains 2.6g of fibre per 100g so collard greens offer nearly twice as much fibre for the serving size.
At this point, you might be wondering if broccoli is safe to feed to your bearded dragon? And if so just how healthy is it for them?
Well, you can head over to our new post that shares all you need to know before offering your bearded dragon broccoli…
Collard Greens Are High In Other Vitamins & Minerals
As well as being an excellent source of calcium and fibre, collard greens also offer high amounts of other vitamins and minerals too.
Notably collard greens are high in vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A is best known for its role in eye health but it’s also important for maintaining healthy skin, teeth and bones.
Collards greens also are also high in vitamin C which is important for many roles throughout the body, including wound healing, the repair and growth of new tissue and skin.
As bearded dragons are shedding reptiles, skin health is extremely important and vitamin C will help with the quality of your beardies skin.
Another nutrient that collard greens are abundant in is vitamin K. The main roles of vitamin K in the body is to also help with wound healing and bone health.
Are There Any Concerns to Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?
While collard greens are largely considered one of the best overall greens you can feed to your bearded dragon, they do have a potential downside that’s not often talked about.
Collard greens are quite high in a substance called ‘oxalates’ or ‘oxalic acid’.
Oxalates are a natural norming compound that’s found in some greens. The oxalates help to protect greens from the damage that the sun can cause them.
The caveat to this is that oxalates can also prevent calcium from being absorbed in much the same way as too much phosphorus would.
Each plant or variety of greens will contain different amounts of oxalates. Collard greens are actually known to be quite high is oxalates with around 450mg per 100g accounting to studies.
This doesn’t mean that you should take collard greens off of your bearded dragon’s menu, however, it does mean that you need to diversify the greens you add to your beardies salad bowl (basically not just feed collard greens and nothing else)
Keeping a healthy balance of different greens that are high in calcium along with small amounts of fruit on occasion is good to make sure you are providing the dragon with the best diet possible.
There are lots of other options to feed your beardie and one of them is turnip greens.
You can see exactly why we recommend feeding your bearded dragon turnip greens and how often you should add turnip greens to the salad bowl here…
Do Bearded Dragons Like Eating Collard Greens?
All bearded dragons have different personalities and that’s part of the reason why we love them so much.
Their unique personalities also mean that they also have differing thoughts on what foods they like.
In our experience, beardies on the whole love collard greens, which makes it even easier to add these wonderful greens to the salad bowl as they will usually be both eaten and enjoyed.
Here’s a video on YouTube that shows a bearded dragon eating both apples and collard greens and he seemingly prefers the collard greens!
Check out the video here…
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?
Baby bearded dragons are growing at an unbelievable rate in the first few months of their life.
The fuel this growth they require high amounts of protein from good quality insects.
Baby beardies also need to be offered foods that are high in calcium to support their growth.
It’s really important to choose greens that will give baby bearded dragons lots of nutrition as they will generally be eating around 70-80% insects and only 20-30% greens.
For this reason, collard greens make a great choice to feed to a growing beardie due to the fact they provide large amounts of calcium.
At this point, you may be wondering if bearded dragons need to eat greens at all? Or if they can survive and be healthy by just eat insects?
As always, we recommend feeding your baby beardie a variety of calcium-rich greens and not just sticking to one kind but collard greens should certainly be considered.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?
Now that we’ve established that collard greens are great to feed to your beardie at any age, it’s now time to see how often you should be thinking about adding them to the salad bowl.
Bearded dragons can eat collard greens on a daily basis as they are widely considered a staple food for beardies.
As we have mentioned a number of times in this post already, even though collards are fine to feed regularly to your bearded dragon, diversity is the key to the long term health of your dragon.
How Should You Prepare & Serve Collard Greens?
As well as providing good quality greens such as collard greens, it’s also important that you serve them correctly too.
The good news in that most greens, including collard greens, are really easy to prepare and serve.
Here’s a short and to the point guide that shares how we recommend you serve collard greens to your bearded dragon…
Go Organic – Although it’s not always possible, we highly recommend going for an organic option if there’s one available.
Bearded dragons can become really sick if they eat foods that are laced with pesticides and herbicides so paying the premium for an organic option is advised is you can get one.
Always Wash – No matter how clean the greens and veggies look that you are adding to your beardie salad bowl, you should always wash them thoroughly.
You never know what nasties are lurking in greens or where they’ve been so giving them a wash is always recommended.
Don’t Cook – Although it can sometimes be tempting to cook greens and veggies for your dragon, the truth is that most of them really don’t need it.
Cooking collard greens is really just an extra step that’s not needed as well as potentially reducing the nutritional value as well.
Chop Them Up – One thing we do recommend doing is chopping up the collard greens into manageable pieces.
This will make it easier for your beardie to eat and make the likelihood of them actually eating the greens much higher.
Time to Serve – Once you’ve completed all of these simple steps, all that’s left to do is serve them to your bearded dragon in their salad bowl.
4 Other Healthy Greens Reptile Experts Recommend
You’ve probably heard us mention numerous time in this post that offering a variety of healthy greens and veggies is essential to the health of your bearded dragon.
For this reason, we have created a list of 4 other great greens and veggies you can offer your beardie as well as collard greens.
The 4 greens are recommended not just by us but by vets and experts too so you can be sure they are an overall great option to add to the salad bowl on a regular basis.
The 4 alternatives to collard greens we have chosen are…
- Grape Leaves
- Dandelion Greens
- Turnip Greens
So you can see which of these greens you would like to add to your bearded dragon’s diet, we have added them to a table along with collard greens so you can see the nutritional value of each side by side.
Check out the nutritional data for these greens below…
Nutritional Information Of Healthy Bearded Dragon Foods Per 100g
|Name||Dandelions||Grape Leaves||Turnip Greens||Watercress||Collards|
|Water||85.6 g||72.32g||89.67 g||95.11 g||89.62 g|
|Energy||45 kcal||93 kcal||32 kcal||11 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||5.6 g||1.5 g||2.3 g||3.02|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||2.12 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||0.61 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2||17.31 g||7.13 g||1.29 g||5.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||11 g||3.2 g||0.5 g||4 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||6.3 g||0.81 g||0.2g||0.46 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||363 mg||190 mg||120 mg||232 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||42 mg||60 mg||25 mg|