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Can tegus eat raw chicken?

Tegus can eat raw poultry including chicken and turkey. As a matter of fact, these are some of the healthiest proteins you can feed to your tegu because they are nutritious and low in fat, and it is best to feed them raw.

While you can feed cooked meats occasionally, the process of cooking denatures the quality of proteins and nutrients available to your lizard, whose stomach (unlike ours) is built to digest raw meat.

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Tegu and chicken
Tegu vs Chicken

Feeding poultry to your tegu

You can feed your tegu any parts of a chicken or turkey as long as it’s not processed or cured. If you buy a whole chicken, you can give your pet the heart, liver, and gizzards which are filled with nutrients.

You can even feed the carcass as long as you slice it up according to the size of your tegu (they’ll have no problem cracking the bones but may hurt themselves trying to swallow a large bird all at once).

Chicken necks, wings and feet can also be fed, as well as entire small chicks or quail birds.

Feeding tegus ground meat

Ground chicken and turkey are a valid option for tegus and many caretakers prefer to feed these regularly. Feeding ground meat has the benefit of allowing you to mix in veggies and supplements in your pet’s bowl to create a healthy meal, and also makes meal prepping easier.

Ground lean turkey dusted with calcium powder and mixed with different kinds of vegetables and fruits is one of the healthiest meals that should appear in every tegu’s diet.

Experts recommend providing a calcium supplement (free of phosphorus and vitamin D3) twice a week and a reptile multivitamin once a week.


You should not worry about your tegu contracting salmonella from eating raw chicken. As a matter of fact, most reptiles already carry salmonella in their body, and they do not get sick from it.

It is important however that you wash your hands carefully after feeding your tegu raw meats (especially poultry) and after handling your tegu, who may indirectly pass salmonella to you from its mouth or droppings.


Can tegu eat raw chicken?

Yes, and they should. Raw meat is preferred to cooked meat because nutrients are more easily available to your tegu. In fact, the cooking process denatures protein, so it is best to feed tegus chicken raw.

Can tegu eat ground chicken / turkey?

Yes. You can mix the raw ground meat into a patty together with some veggies and dust it with calcium powder to make a healthy meal. Ground chicken and especially turkey meat is one of the leanest proteins and healthiest options you can feed to a tegu on a regular basis.

Can tegu eat chicken gizzards, hearts and liver?

Yes, you can feed all parts of the bird to your tegu, including heart, gizzards and liver. Feeding these is actually recommended as they are highly nutritious and an important source of vitamins and minerals.

Can tegu eat chicken bones, necks and feet?

Yes! Tegus have strong jaws and sharp teeth which allow them to break through bone and munch on pretty much anything. Chicken carcass should be fed uncooked and cut to appropriate sizes to avoid injuries, but it’s otherwise a very healthy source of calcium. Same goes for chicken necks and feet.

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