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04 Jul '17

The Nutritional Value of Superworms for your Pets

The Nutritional Value of Superworms is a hotly debated topic on the world of herpetologists.  Some reasons are that the fat content is too much.  But for an egg-laying mother, those fat additional fat reserves will come in handy.  And their calcium to phosphorus ratio is not in tune with the actual needs for many reptiles.  But overall, no matter where you find superworms for sale, they are inevitably a nice supplement to a bearded dragon's diet.  

Calcium is an important nutrient in every bearded dragon's diet.  But when there's too much phosphorus in their diet, it can extinguish the benefits and nutritional need for that calcium.  Phosphorus is a critical mineral in your diet, and your bearded dragon's diet.  However, as with anything, too much of anything can be bad.  

Too much phosphorus can cause cardiovascular disease.  And because phosphorus is so plentiful among most feeder insects, it's vital to sometimes supplement those feeders with calcium dust, or by gut loading them with some high calcium supplements.  

And this is one of the reasons why superworms have a notorious reputation.  Their calcium to phosphorus ratio is terrible.  They have a high phosphorus content, but very little calcium.  So it's critical that you don't give your bearded dragon or leopard gecko a superworm only diet.  These superworms should be treated like a dessert, or a treat.  Certainly not a main stable.  

But superworms have good value too

Yes, you have to offer superworms in moderation.  But you should consider adding superworms to their diet for some specific reasons.  And those reasons involve their fat content.  

Superworms are very fatty.  And just like with humans, you don't want your pets getting too much fat, or else they start to get lethargic and reduce their mobility.  But fat reserves become very handy when female reptiles are hosting eggs.  

Another excellent source in superworms is their protein content.  Protein is one of the most important nutrients for growing reptiles and amphibians.  It's a major building block for muscles and organs.  A diet that lacks in protein can cause muscle atrophy, as well as improperly working organs.  So although superworms aren't supporting the calcium that reptiles need, they do offer enough protein to justify supplemental feedings.  

And then one of the most commonly over looked vitamins is fiber.  The benefits of fiber are pretty well known.  But most fiber intake is a result from fruits.  And it can be difficult getting an adequate supply of fruit.  Or even getting your bearded dragon to enjoy some fruit salad.  So superworms are a great way to get that fiber into their diet.

Overall, although a diet built solely on superworms isn't good for any animal, they do offer enough vitamins and minerals that they shouldn't be neglected from any diet.  And although they are lacking in calcium, it's easy to gut load them with calcium supplements.  Or, you could even sprinkle them with calcium dust, so that your bearded dragon gets the appropriate phosphate to calcium ration in their diet.  

 

 


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