*feeding wild flowers/weeds and bugs*
This is something I posted in my Dragon group a couple of years ago. And I’ve have updated as needed within the group. So I thought I’d summarise on here;
So many spouting nonsense about never feeding such unless you want to kill your Bearded Dragon, Tortoise, Iguana (or any herbivores & folivores species)
So many of the native plants weeds and flowers are far more nutritious than anything we can buy in a shop/store.
“But you risk parasites, pesticides, and weed killers“.
For weeds and flowers. Its all about knowing your area.
If it’s your garden. You’ll know if it’s treated or not.
If you collect from a large area. These areas usually state via signage, if anything is treated. Due to dog walkers etc.
And incidentally. You never see birds. Deer. Fox. And a whole host of other animals dead around those areas. Cause they have little risk to such animals .
If you are concerned. Warm water and a little salt. Or, baking soda (prob the best option), and leave to soak for a while. And rinse. Easy.
Both safe ways of removing such from leaves and flowers.
*Side note – your store purchased salads and greens are covered in pesticides. Even the ‘organic’ .Many don’t wash before.serving to their reptiles. Are they dead……….
And as for wild bugs. Again, it’s about knowing the bugs local to you.
Due to having a world-wide membership here in BDN. I can’t speak for ALL bugs. I know those available to me here in the UK.
But again, research local bugs.
Post photos here. And we can all aid the identification process.
Regards the parasites worry.
A wild bug has a very large area to which to dine. And you probably have a bigger chance of a parasite issue in your own bug collection due to overcrowding, and poor gut-loading.
Also. Many fly. Moth, etc that are readily available worldwide don’t actually eat at all. They are drinkers. Nectar mainly.
So again. No real risk.
And I can tell you now. Personally. I’ve collected bugs and weeds/flowers since the 1980s. This was the only way to get variety back in the day.
This is something I’ve done ever since.
Have I ever had any direct ill effects with my reptiles over those 30+ years for doing such. Nope. Never.
And many of the long-term keepers I know whom have done the same. Have they ever had issues. Nope.
*If in doubt. Don’t feed.
*Post your photos if unsure. We can help.
*Check out files. We have wild feeding lists (for tortoise. But that’s all good for our dragons)
People panic way to much.
So come on all.
Open your minds, and your Reptiles WILL benefit.
*Edit for extra info*
First off, use The Tortoise Database.
The database is extensive. And can be a godsend. (also they have an app available of iPhone and Andriod)
And as many plants, weeds and flowers look the same. Use a plant ID app for your phone.
My personal choice is Plantnet. Its available on both Android or iOS.
You take a photo. And it will aid the I.D of the said plant/weed/flower.
If it’s deemed safe on Tortoise Table. It’s safe for your plant/weed/flower eating Reptile.
“Replicate. Emulate. Stimulate”
Published author of herpetoculture.
Featuring articles on many species within,
Practical Reptile Keeping magazine (some linked on site as .pdf files).
Canadian Hobbyist magazine.
Also, Reptile/Amphibian blog article writer for;
Northampton Reptile Centre
Exotic Direct (links on this site)
Public talker at Reptile meetings, for various organisations.
And founder of several huge Reptile and Amphibian related Facebook groups (links on this site)
Reptile Reports – “Lizard Personality of the year” 2016 – 2017