Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs: Understanding the Reproduction of Bearded Dragons
Yes, bearded dragons lay eggs. Females can lay three to four eggs yearly, depending on age, health, and reproductive history. The number of eggs in a clutch can vary, usually around 20.
Bearded dragons typically lay their eggs in a shallow nest they dig in the substrate, and they will cover the eggs with sand or other materials to protect them. After laying the eggs, the female will not provide any other care for them, and the eggs will hatch after an incubation period of around 50 to 80 days.
Bearded Dragon Reproduction
Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity at around one year old, but it is recommended to wait until they are around 18 months of age before breeding them. Females can lay infertile eggs without ever being with a male, but it is important to note that egg-laying can be a physically demanding process for them.
Males may become territorial and aggressive during the breeding season, so monitoring their behavior and separating them if necessary is important. When bearded dragons are ready to mate, the male will display dominant behavior such as head bobbing and arm waving.
f the female is receptive, she will display submissive behavior, such as nodding and staying still. The male will then mount the female and use his spine to hold her in place during copulation.
Female bearded dragons will lay their eggs in a suitable nesting site, such as a shallow container filled with moist soil or sand. They may lay multiple clutches of eggs throughout the breeding season, with each clutch containing about 20 eggs.
It is important to provide a suitable nesting site and monitor the female during the egg-laying process to ensure she is healthy and not experiencing any complications. Infertile eggs can be safely discarded, but fertile eggs should be incubated at the appropriate temperature and humidity to ensure proper hatching.
Signs of Egg Laying in Bearded Dragons
A behavior change is one of the most noticeable signs that a female bearded dragon is preparing to lay eggs. They may become more lethargic and spend more time sleeping or lying under their heat lamp and may start digging in their enclosure, trying to create a suitable spot to lay their eggs.
Another sign of egg-laying is a noticeable increase in belly size because the female bearded dragon’s belly is filled with eggs. As the eggs develop, the belly will continue to grow larger.
It is important to note that not all female bearded dragons will exhibit these signs before laying eggs. However, some may only show noticeable changes in behavior or appearance once they are laying their eggs.
If you suspect that your bearded dragon is preparing to lay eggs, providing them with a suitable nesting area is important. This can be a container filled with a suitable substrate, such as sand or soil, moist enough to allow the bearded dragon to dig and lay her eggs. Please ensure the nesting area is large enough for the bearded dragon to move around comfortably in a quiet, low-traffic enclosure.
Monitoring your bearded dragon’s health during the egg-laying process is also important. If you notice any signs of distress or discomfort, such as lack of appetite, lethargy, or difficulty laying eggs, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
Common Egg Laying Problems in Bearded Dragons
While bearded dragons are generally good at laying their eggs without issues, some common problems can arise during the egg-laying process. Here are a few potential problems to be aware of:
- Egg Binding occurs when a female bearded dragon cannot lay her eggs. Symptoms of egg binding include lethargy, loss of appetite, and straining or digging without producing eggs. If you suspect your bearded dragon is egg-bound, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
- Soft-Shelled Eggs: Bearded dragons occasionally lay eggs with soft, thin shells. This can be caused by a lack of calcium in their diet or other underlying health issues. Soft-shelled eggs are more likely to break or be damaged during laying, which can be dangerous for the female. If your bearded dragon consistently lays soft-shelled eggs, adjusting its diet and seeking veterinary care is important.
- Egg Retention: Sometimes, female bearded dragons may retain their eggs longer than normal, leading to serious health problems. Symptoms of egg retention include lethargy, loss of appetite, and a distended abdomen. If you suspect your bearded dragon is experiencing egg retention, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
If you notice any of these problems or have concerns about your bearded dragon’s egg-laying process, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of your bearded dragon.
Caring for Bearded Dragons Eggs
Bearded dragon eggs must be incubated at a specific temperature and humidity level. The ideal temperature for incubating bearded dragon eggs is 84°F. The humidity level should be around 75%.
You can use an incubator or create a homemade incubation box as I do, using a plastic container with a lid, vermiculite or perlite, and a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity levels.
Candling is the process of shining a light through the egg to check for signs of development. You can use a flashlight or a special candling device to do this. Candling should be done after the eggs have been incubated for a few days.
The egg is fertile and developing if you see veins and a dark spot inside the egg. The egg may be infertile or unviable if you don’t see anything. Bearded dragon eggs typically hatch after about 50-80 days of incubation.
During this time, it’s important to maintain the temperature and humidity levels in the incubator. Once the eggs start to hatch, please do not disturb them. Instead, the baby bearded dragons independently absorb the yolk sac and emerge from the eggshell. Therefore, providing baby dragons with a warm and humid environment is important to prevent dehydration.
Once the baby bearded dragons have hatched, you can move them to a separate enclosure with appropriate heating and lighting. It’s important to provide a varied diet of insects and greens for the baby dragons to ensure they grow healthy and strong. You should also closely monitor their behavior and health to ensure they thrive.