If you are willing to keep a bearded dragon as a pet and are worried about the question: “How to breed bearded dragons.” It will be a treat for you to know that this blog is specifically for your convenience. All the tips and tricks for the proper care and breeding of bearded dragons are discussed here with full experimented facts and data.
The bearded dragon is named based on its appearance; that's much like a dragon. It's covered with an armor of spiny reptilian scales. It includes a "beard" of spikes under its chin that puffs up depending on its mood and surroundings.
When we talk about the number of species of this dragon, we come to know about eight species. All of which are indiscriminately called “beardies.” Their characteristics indicate that they tend to be gentle, inquisitive, and active during the day.
Bearded dragons have accommodating personalities, modest sizes, and charming appearances, all of which make them very common to keep as pets. They can be kept as pets throughout the year. It is easy to keep them as pets. Proper knowledge and know-how of the process to successfully keep them as pets is mandatory. All the products for the care of bearded dragons, like bearded dragon tanks, are easily available at REPTIZOO.
Following are the steps that must be followed to make sure that your bearded dragon can live a peaceful and healthy life in a proper environment and habitat.
- Gender determination of the BeardedDragon
Various traits can be used to discriminate the gender of both male and female dragons.
Some of them include the following:-
- Head: The male bearded dragon’s head is larger than that of a female.
- Abdominal girth: Abdominal girth of the male will be small, and he will have bigger pores in his anal region.
- Hemipenile bulges: You must take a look at the hemiphenile bulges. The proper way to do this is to hold your bearded dragon on his back in your hand and gently bend his tail toward his back at a 90-degree angle. Two hemipenile bulges on either side of the tail will be the sign of a male; one center side bulge or no bulge at all shows a female.
- Maintaining the Temperature
They typically prefer to live in warm deserts, arid areas, subtropical woodlands, savannas, and scrublands. Hence, a warm habitat is crucial for the survival of bearded dragons. They're cold-blooded (animals that cannot maintain their internal body temperature with the change in the external environment) and depend upon external heat sources to raise their body temperature, which varies according to the temperature of their environment and surroundings.
They bask in the sunlight to keep themselves warm and can burrow underground to protect themselves from extreme heat. To provide artificial warmth in the bearded dragon tank, reptile UVB light must be used to maintain the temperature.
For heating any bearded dragon tank, one light bulb of 100 watts each must be used to keep the tank warm. The importance of UVB light lies in the fact that it protects the bearded dragon from hypocalcemia.
- Make sure that their temperature is optimum, and keep checking the temperature. It should be at 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and the mid-70s at night.
- To provide a proper basking spot, place a basking light (available at your local pet store) outside of the cage to provide a focal basking spot in the cage at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Suitable Bearded Dragon Habitat
Bearded dragon habitat with all the necessities for the living of the dragon is essential for making them mate properly. The enclosure should be large enough to comfortably accommodate two adult bearded dragons. The enclosure is termed a breaded dragon tank. The size of the tank must be carefully determined as it highly affects the comfort of the dragon.
The bearded dragon tank for the fully grown dragon should range from 75-gallon to 120 gallons. The bearded dragon tanks at REPTIZOO are certified and verified terrariums. They are highly recommended by experts.
Bearded dragon habitat includes a forest-like environment, and it will be beneficial to make them comfortable. This will provoke them to more breeding. Place branches and rocks in the enclosure. The artificial branches will give your bearded dragons something to climb on, and they will feel like a tree.
Rocks will provide the proper source for the dragons to hide from each other and take rest when needed. All these facilities will collectively make a bearded dragon tank. Thus, the bearded dragon tank is the best-bearded dragon habitat. A few bearded dragon tanks that are easily available in the market are:-
- Glass aquariums
- Melamine cages and PVC cages
- Sufficient and Proper Diet
Bearded dragons are not choosy in their eating habits. They have quite strong jaws and are omnivores. They can clench and smash hard-shelled insects like beetles in their teeth. As they can eat both plants and animals, they’ll also go for leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, and the occasional small lizard, rat, or rodent as per their need. Instead of all this, the female dragon will specifically need a daily supplement that contains calcium and vitamin D.
This is to make sure that her eggs are fully calcified and that there lies no deficiency in the nourishment of the baby. This will also protect the female dragon from deficiency of calcium after laying eggs full of calcium.
Multivitamin tablets are mandatory for proper health and to remove any deficiency. The deficiency of minerals or vitamins can affect the baby. These supplements must be given weeks before breeding. This is to make sure to remove any deficiency in the mother and the baby.
- Proper Visits to the Veterinarian
Optimal conditions before breeding are the key to successful intercourse. The veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination of both the male and female dragons and will let you know the health of the dragons. He will tell you whether they need some treatment or if they are healthy enough for intercourse. There lies a virus among the dragon called "adenovirus ."This virus is very contagious and causes harmful diseases for the dragon and the egg.
The test for this test must be negative; otherwise, it can transfer from mother to baby. A bearded dragon with having virus may not be shedding it at the time of the test; this can cause a false negative result. That's why repeated test for the virus before breeding is necessary.
The age, length, and weight of the dragon must be appropriate for successful breeding. The male should be at least 18 months old, and the female should be at least 24 months old. They should both be at least 18 inches in length from snout to tail. The female should weigh at least 350 grams.
- Prepare Your Bearded Dragons for Brumation
Brumation is a state of sluggishness, inactivity, or torpor displayed by reptiles (such as snakes or lizards) during the winter or extended periods of low temperature. Brumation is hibernation for cold-blooded animals. Dragons rely on this process to regulate their body temperature. This can be artificially done for the dragons in their cage.
This can be done by decreasing the temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Decrease their exposure to light: 10 hours of light and 14 hours of darkness. Brumation should be continued for two to three months continuously. This will cause dragons to eat less and hide more during brumation. Their basking will also be reduced
- Observation of the Courtship Behavior
The manifestation of the typical courtship behavior is very prominent between both the sexes of the dragons before the breeding process. The visible signs include twitching their tails as a courtship behavior. Male dragons may also stomp their feet and chase their female dragon around the enclosure. Both the male and female will start bobbing their heads.
- Observation of the Mating behavior
The mating process of bearded dragons generally takes a few minutes and is not time taking. The appropriate process of mating includes the male climbing up the back of the female. He bites her neck to keep her in his grip until mating is done. Then the cloacal region of the male will be pressed against the female. The male fluid will be ejaculated into the female, and then the male will leave the female slowly by leaving her neck.
- Continuation of Supplements After Mating
After mating, the supplements of the female must not be discontinued. It must be given on the same previous daily routine, just like before the mating process. Vitamin D and other supplements will help her fight against the deficiency of certain important minerals and vitamins. The proper exercise of the female must be done to help her lay her eggs. Females must be hydrated well to increase their immunity, strength, and fertility.
- Keep them together for at least one Week
Both dragons must stay together for about a week after mating. After this week, put both of them in their separate cages for one week. After completion of this one week, put them together for another week for another mating session. This must be done several times to ensure successful mating.
11: Let the Female Lay Her Eggs
The behavior of the female dragon will change before laying the eggs. She will look a bit anxious. She will roam the entire cage and start digging in her cage. The visual representation will clearly show that her belly is full of eggs.
The outlines of the eggs will be quite visible and will look like small marbles. These are the signs that she is all ready to lay her eggs. Now, keep the lay box close to her so she can lay her eggs. The process of egg-laying will complete after about four to six weeks.
12: Proper Care of The Eggs
Maintain the incubator temperature at 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets hot to bear within the incubator, it can be harmful to the embryo inside the egg and cause its death. So, maintenance of the temperature is necessary.
The incubator's humidity must be maintained at around 80. Check the temperature daily and the humidity about twice a week. Now, lift the eggs with a spoon gently and, keeping them in the same orientation, put them in the incubator. They are so fragile when laid. So, proper care must be taken.
Breeding your bearded dragons is the only way to keep yourself surrounded by your old bearded dragon and its little pogonas. But certain things must be kept in mind before allowing your adult bearded dragon to mate with a female dragon. Carefully consider and implement the above-mentioned factors and take good care of your bearded dragon habitat.