BDO's Pinky Feeding Debate
by Cameo Hall
It seems that pinkie feeding to Bearded Dragons has become an ever increasing debate in the community. I don't really understand why, because Bearded Dragons have been eating pinkies since I got into this hobby 16 years ago. I use to feed them once a month as treats to my dragons back in the day. They both lived long healthy lives of 10 plus years. Since there so many things to feed as treats nowadays I don't feed them as often. Only to my gravid females who have just laid eggs. Bottom line there is NOTHING wrong with feeding your ADULT dragon a 1-3 day old pinky as a treat.
The younger the pinky the less fat it will have. Pinkies under 3 days old haven't developed bones yet either, so they are much safer to feed without risking impaction. Make sure you are feeding appropriate size pinkies as well. No bigger than the space between your dragons eyes. There is a big difference between a 1 day old pinky and a 3 day old pinky. On average it's a 6% fat vs 36% fat difference, so it's best to feed them as young as possible. The fat content in them is less than wax worms still though.
The reason you don't want to feed a pinky as more than just a treat is because high levels of animal proteins and fat can lead to long term health issues for your Bearded Dragon. You can compare a pinky to a fast food restaurant cheeseburger. We all know what can happen if you eat fast food every day as a staple. It's not good right? I t can shorten your dragon's life span and cause fatty liver disease. NEVER feed a pinky that has fur! My personal recommendation would be to only feed pinkies once or twice a month as treats and only to adult dragons a year and older. A variety of foods is always best to keep your dragon as healthy as possible.