Bearded dragons can eat a lot of stuff. They can eat plastic if it looks green and attractive. While bearded dragons may have a variety of options to choose from, the majority of the foodstuffs are rather dangerous for them to consume. Several green foods that may be healthy can contain toxins or chemicals that can even lead to your pet’s demise. So, you must be sure of what you feed your dragon and just how safe it is for its consumption.
Bearded Dragons can eat turnip greens and they do make a nutritious meal for them. They contain several nutritional benefits that are necessary for your bearded dragon’s well-being. The best part of turnip greens is that they are staple veggies, so your dragon can eat them every day!
In this article, we’ll be reviewing turnip greens, their nutritional values, and the benefits they pose for your bearded dragon. Let’s go!
Are Turnip Greens Good For Bearded Dragons?
Turnip greens are good for bearded dragons to consume as they contain several nutrients that are profitable for your pet’s health. In addition, they can be fed to your dragon every day.
The following is the nutrient content of turnip greens per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- Calories: 32
- Protein: 2.7 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6.2 grams
- Fiber: 3.2 grams
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
- Vitamin A: 6740 IU
- Vitamin C: 30 mg
- Vitamin K: 592.4 mcg
- Vitamin E: 1.17 mg
- Thiamin (B1): 0.07 mg
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.08 mg
- Niacin (B3): 0.5 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.15 mg
- Folate (B9): 194 mcg
- Pantothenic (B5): 0.25 mg
- Calcium: 190 mg
- Iron: 1.5 mg
- Magnesium: 47 mg
- Phosphorus: 46 mg
- Potassium: 389 mg
- Sodium: 22 mg
- Zinc: 0.39 mg
- Copper: 0.14 mg
- Manganese: 0.48 mg
- Selenium: 0.2 mcg
Another reason why turnip greens are a great match for your bearded dragon is the convenient calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Turnips are known for their high level of calcium and low phosphorus which is the best for pets like bearded dragons that need a substantial amount of daily calcium to maintain their healthy bones.
When calcium is greater than phosphorus, it prevents the shortage of calcium by phosphorus binding which could deplete your beardie’s bone health. In this case, the ratio measures 4.1:1 which is a jackpot for your pet.
6 Benefits Of Turnip Greens For Bearded Dragons
The nutritional content of turnip greens may be reassuring to see, but you still need to understand the roles the vegetable play and how much value they have in your pet’s diet, as explained below:
1. Turnip Greens Are Staples
There are honestly only a few staples that bearded dragons can eat, and turnip greens (though they are seasonal veggies) are highly recommended as one of them. If your pet enjoys turnip greens, it’s a bonus on your end because you relax knowing your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs from one vegetable alone. However, you must never feed it turnip greens solely as your beardie can get tired of it and simply eat less and less.
2. Turnip Greens Are Good For Your Pet’s Immune System
Turnip greens contain several vitamins that help to protect your beardie from getting easily infected by diseases. It helps to boost the immune system thereby encouraging the antibodies to tackle foreign substances like bacteria from infecting your pet. Without a healthy amount of vitamins, your dragon will be susceptible to falling ill and healing much more slowly than it should.
3. Turnip Greens Are Great For Your Pet’s Eyesight
Just like us, beardies require vitamin A to maintain good eyesight over time. Turnip greens have a good amount of vitamin A that is particularly interested in taking care of the retina which is more centered around receiving light. Vitamin A is essential in keeping the value of your pet’s eyesight intact over time.
4. Turnip Greens Aid Blood Clotting
Turnip greens contain vitamin K, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium which specifically aid in the clotting of blood and the formation of platelets. Through detailed steps of biochemical reactions, they assist in providing the enzymes with the proper tools to activate blood clotting in times of injury. Consuming vegetables with low levels of these vitamins can and will deter your bearded dragon’s ability to heal easily from accidental cuts leading to infections and other complications.
5. Turnip Greens Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
In tune with the vegetable’s clotting properties, turnip greens assist heavily in anti-inflammation. When your pet gets an injury, its immune system triggers enzymes that inflate the area to keep the contamination contained. In many cases, this escalates to house more bacteria against the initial plan. Anti-inflammatory agents like vitamin C, Vitamin K, and flavonoids help to contain the inflammation causing the area to heal much faster than it is put out to, saving your beardie from a lot of pain and further infection.
6. Turnip Greens Are Low In Oxalates
Oxalates are dangerous for bearded dragons in high amounts. They bind to calcium forming calcium oxalates that deplete your beardie’s calcium usage and lead to kidney stones. High amounts of oxalates can lead to metabolic bone disease in beardies as the calcium they need to build strong bones is short by the oxalates. Thankfully, turnip greens have low oxalate sparing your pet from the possibility of metabolic bone disease.
How To Prepare And Feed Your Bearded Dragon Turnip Greens
Turnip greens are easy to prepare for beardies. Mostly, it entails washing it properly so that your pet doesn’t ingest pesticides or other chemicals that will be harmful to its health. Here’s what to do:
Wash The Greens Properly
You must wash the turnip greens properly to remove chemicals that may be lingering on them from the farmhouse. These chemicals may be easily degraded by your complex digestive system, but your bearded dragon will have trouble breaking them down leading to several health complications.
Cut Into Bite Sizes
The greens must be cut into pieces your beardie can chew. Bearded dragons don’t have the best set of teeth, so they need to chomp on pieces they can swallow without choking. A rule of thumb is for each piece of turnip green to fit between your dragon’s eyes. That way, no matter the size of your pet, you’d be feeding it the correct bite size.
Make Your Special Beardie Salad
Bearded dragons enjoy a variety. After preparing your turnip greens, you should mix up a salad of complementary items like occasional greens and fruit to encourage your pet’s appetite. You must also consider the amount of protein your dragon needs. For a complete diet, your pet requires several greens and protein according to its age requirements.
The table below shows the amount of protein and greens in a diet depending on your pet’s age:
|Fraction in Percent (Bugs & Veggies)
|Number of Insects
|0 to 2 months (Baby dragon)
|25 – 50/day
|3 to 6 months (Juvenile)
|25 – 50/day
|7 to 9 months (Pre-Adult)
|10 to 18+ months (Adult)
Should I Feed Cooked Turnip Greens To My Beardie?
Turnip greens should be fed to beardies in the same way they would eat them in the wild – raw! Cooking the greens would only deplete the nutrients, which goes against the initial plan of feeding your pet a nutritious staple vegetable. Only feed your bearded dragon raw and nicely cut turnip greens.
Even More Staple Vegetables To Feed Your Beardie
There are several other vegetables that your bearded dragon can eat daily. This allows you to turn them into a salad for your beardie to enjoy the variety.
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Butternut squash
- Collard greens
- Cactus pad
Each of these plants contains several nutrients that your pet can benefit from and will have distinct flavors and aromas that your beardie will enjoy. It’s important to introduce a variety of food items for your bearded dragon to aid with mental stimulation. Ensure that you take note of the amount and percentage of the vegetables so that you provide your pet with the complete nutrient package for its age.