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.
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.
Ground chicken and turkey are also an option 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. Ground lean turkey dusted with calcium powder and mixed with different kinds of vegetables and fruits should be a stable in every tegu’s diet. Experts recommend providing a calcium supplement (free of phosphorus and vitamin D3) twice a week and a 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. The cooking process denatures protein.
Can tegu eat ground chicken / turkey?
Yes. You can mix the raw ground meat together with some veggies into a patty and dust it with calcium powder to make a healthy meal.
Can tegu eat chicken gizzards, hearts and liver?
Yes, you can feed all parts of the bird to your tegu. Gizzards, hearts and especially the liver are highly nutritious.
Can tegu eat chicken bones, necks and feet?
Yes! Tegu 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.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.