As a beginner bearded dragon owner, it can be difficult to predict whether your pets have reached maturity. You would expect them to lay a clutch of fertile eggs once they have mated successfully. You can learn about bearded dragon eggs in this article and how to take care of them during the incubation period.
The inland bearded dragons are rapidly growing popular as pets in North American households. They have rapidly risen from obscurity, as nowadays almost every reptile enthusiast knows about them. Their reserved personalities and controlled temperament have made them highly preferred pets for families.
In addition to being friendly, these exotic lizards are believed to reproduce and thrive abundantly in captivity. You can easily raise new hatchlings towards the end of each reproductive cycle by having a few breeders. As long as you have the right combination of male and female specimens, you can trigger reproduction. Many people even find it difficult to prevent them from reproducing in household terrariums.
You might even find relevant books about the breeding and egg-laying of bearded dragons. Most of the literature available is subjective, and it might not be applied in each scenario. So, ending up with healthy hatchlings might be achieved by figuring out things on your own.
You have to ensure to provide dark and private space to the gravid female when she is carrying eggs. This would help you regulate the proper nutrition of the nursing mother and her new babies.
Bearded Dragon eggs
Some reptile enthusiasts prefer owning just one specimen while others love raising a bunch of animals together. The more females you have in the terrarium, the more chances you have of discovering eggs in the tank.
Even if you don’t have any male bearded dragons in the enclosure, your females might still lay infertile eggs. This is very common for female birds and reptiles to lay eggs without mating with any potential male counterpart. In most cases, these eggs would not develop into hatchlings. When a young female is going through puberty, she might lay several batches of infertile eggs.
You can expect a typical clutch to contain anywhere from 15 to 25 eggs. This figure can vary depending upon the size of the female and the amount of sperm retained. During successful mating sessions, your female beardie might be able to store a higher quantity of sperm cells. During any given month, they would produce several batches until they end up with a fertile batch.
Their eggs would take up to 8 weeks to be fully hatched, and during that time you need to provide optimal heating. Before setting up a suitable nesting spot, you first need to ensure whether the eggs are fertile. It would be a waste of time to incubate infertile eggs that don’t develop into healthy hatchlings.
Candling Bearded Dragon eggs
We have all ended up with bad hatches in the past and it only discourages us to carry out the next nestling arrangements. Candling is an easy method of discovering the current status of the embryo without any collateral damages. It was initially performed by holding a small candle against the eggshell. Now the same method is carried out by using a powerful light torch that reveals the entrails of the egg.
Candling not only gives us a better understanding of the embryo development but it also decreases the chances of ending up with rotten eggs. You would be able to spot non-viable eggs so that you can get rid of them before it’s too late.
You would notice a distinct air-sac forming at one end of the egg. This air sac would become bigger in size as the incubation days start closing in. Eggs would also be reduced in their original weight because of the evaporation process.
PRO TIP: To get maximum results from candling, you will need to take the eggs in a dark room. Hold a powerful light source right behind the egg to reveal the inside material. A healthy egg should contain a complex network of blood vessels, as it shows that the embryo is getting optimal nutrition. The healthy egg would also give a light pink glow in the darker, revealing the blood content.
During the candling process, you would notice a yellow hue if the egg is infertile. The vascular system would also be less visible in impotent eggs. Some eggs might take a few days to become fully developed, so you should give it some time.
Fertile Bearded Dragon eggs
In order to ensure that your incubating eggs successfully reach the hatching phase, you need to check their fertility. If you notice spider-web-like veins around the embryo, then this can be a good sign. You should keep track of the development of an embryo throughout the incubation process.
You might want to adjust the humidity and temperature of the incubator to protect the embryonic development. If the humidity is too low, then this can cause the air sac to become compressed in size. Some embryos would take time to be fully developed, and you should not compare their pace.
In a dry atmosphere, the egg can start sagging towards one end. By readjusting the moisture settings, you would be able to end up with swollen eggs once again. Fertile eggs should also become double their size once they undergo embryonic development.
Infertile Bearded Dragon eggs
Infertile eggs can be easily spotted with their distinct yellowish shade and smaller dimensions. They would also be shallower in terms of embryo density, as it would die off in the early development stage. As soon as you spot an infertile batch, you can easily predict that the egg-laying cycle has come to an end.
As long as the environment is peaceful for the female bearded dragon, she would continue laying batches even if she doesn’t interact with any male beardie. Sometimes infertile eggs can even be reabsorbed by the dragon to pull out nutrition for the body.
Bearded Dragon laying eggs without mating
Just like chickens, female beardies can lay eggs without even mating with a male bearded dragon. This is part of their natural reproduction cycle, and a female would lay several clutches in a month. These eggs would be infertile, and you should dispose of them as soon as you spot them.
The female bearded dragons can store sperm fluid in their bodies during the breeding season. This allows them to become gravid multiple times without having to mate each time. You should keep track of the health of the breeder males so that they can produce healthy offspring.
Bearded Dragon laying eggs
When the female bearded dragon becomes about 2 years old they are fully prepared to produce eggs. Before this age, it is not advised to breed your females, as it might have dangerous consequences on their wellbeing. Females that become gravid at a young age are more likely to suffer from stunted growth. They might also lose a high amount of calcium, which can affect their natural lifespan.
They would start laying eggs after about 4 to 5 weeks of mating. Gravid females would become docile, as they would gain several pounds during this period. You might also be able to notice oval protrusions from their bellies.
As soon as the eggs start swelling the females would be less inclined to eat in the following days. They would perform complete fasting during the final days before laying eggs.
She will start burrowing in the warm corners of the vivarium. Make sure to install up to 10 inches of substrate material in various spots. This would encourage burrowing behavior. As soon as she digs a proper burrow, she would start sitting in the same spot for several hours. Make sure to maintain the depth of the substrate, so that the female can test the best portion for egg-laying purposes.
It would take her up to 30 minutes to lay all the eggs of a single clutch. Once she is done, it might take her about 2 more weeks to be prepared for the next clutch. She would likely dig the hole in the same spot for her next clutches.
The female would spend a few hours after evening time in the laying chamber. If you notice that she isn’t laying any eggs, then you can put her back in the tank.
Incubating the Bearded Dragon eggs
Once the eggs have been properly unearthed, you can place them in an incubator. Freshly laid eggs can naturally retain their original shape, and you can change their position without damaging them. The orientation of eggs can still play a significant role in ensuring that they go through proper development. Some breeders even mark their eggs with a pencil , as this helps them maintain the same position.
You should set the temperature of about 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep it stable. Keep track of the temperature with the help of an accurate digital thermometer. Proper calibration is important, as it prevents the embryo from becoming overheated.
Whether you are using a heating pad or a light bulb to provide warmth, make sure that thoroughly emits heat. Operating light bulbs might appear expensive, but it is the most preferred method of keeping the eggs warm.
You would also need to keep track of preferable moisture in the incubator. The eggs can easily dry out if it is too dry. Make sure to regularly mist the soil, so that the eggs stay moist throughout the incubation period. You would also need to use vermiculite, as these minerals are efficient at removing mold growth.
This the best bedding option to support growing eggs, as it can easily retain water. It can release moisture in a gradual manner so that the eggs get proper hydration while they are heated. The sterile nature of this medium makes it perfect at blocking any potential fungal growth. The alkaline pH levels of these minerals create a suitable environment for the eggs to thrive.
The incubation period can last anywhere from 40 to 80 days, as long as the eggs are fertile. You should handle eggs with care, as it can possibly detach the embryo inside the structure.
Bearded Dragon eggs hatching
After about 60 days, the eggs would be ready to welcome new hatchlings into the world. You should also be prepared to notice deflation in eggs a day before the hatching occurs. You would also notice tiny water droplets all over the egg when it is ready to tear open.
Baby beardies have pointy snouts that help them emerge from the hard eggshells on their own. First, their nose will come out of the egg followed by their tiny heads. They might also have egg yolk attached to their head, and you should not remove it.
It can even take some hatchlings about 30 hours to fully come out of the shell. You should never assist them in this natural process, and allow them to emerge out on their own. You should also leave the neonates in the incubator for up to a day. Their activity would stimulate other hatchlings to wake up as well. They should not be brought out in the open environment directly, as they need some time to adjust.
Some beginner reptile enthusiasts might be worried about the wellbeing of the neonates if they all don’t hatch out at the same time, but you should give them up to three days. Once you place them in the vivarium, make sure that the indoor temperature is similar to that of the incubator. This would help them retain warmth when they are still a few days old.
How long does it take for Bearded Dragon eggs to hatch?
It can take anywhere from 50 to 70 days for the eggs to be ready to be hatched once they are properly incubated. The time duration of incubation can be increased by cooling the indoor temperature of the incubator box. Most of the eggs would hatch in a single day, and neonate dragons would start emerging out at similar timing.
You would notice a pink-colored soft flesh attached to their bellies when they hatch out. You should not confuse it for an injury as it is a natural thing to have. It would go away on its own, as it would be reabsorbed by the newborn dragon for nutrition purposes.
How Many Eggs Do Bearded Dragons Lay?
Pogona vitticeps females generally lay about 20 eggs in a single clutch. This number can be reduced for the species living in the arid lands. Some females even produce around 30 eggs in a single clutch. While others just lay about 15 eggs in a single session.
This amount would vary from one female to another. Once your female beardie has successfully produced a clutch for the first time, you would have a better idea for the upcoming egg-laying sessions.
How can I help my female beardie lay her eggs?
Your little lady can go through a stressful mental phase when she becomes gravid for the first time. You need to make all the arrangements that take out the stress factor from the environment. This would help you lay eggs in a relaxed manner without rushing anything.
If you notice your female beardie struggling to lay eggs, then you should refrain from giving them a massage. No matter how tempted you might get, you should let her handle it on her own. Handling her during this crucial phase can potentially rupture the eggs inside her belly. It can even cause her internal trauma if you keep on disturbing her.
You provide them with optimal heating and hydration, as that would help them overcome all difficulties. An egg bound female should also be regularly monitored to ensure that she remains healthy. You should contact your vet if you notice any irregular behavior.
Can you eat bearded dragon eggs?
Before you make yourself an omelet from your bearded dragon’s egg, you should take heed to this thought that it can actually contain lots of harmful bacteria and parasites. Normally poultry eggs don’t contain hazardous elements because chickens don’t carry bacteria or other microorganisms on their feather.
Furthermore, it would only offer you a bite-size meal, which is not worth the hassle. So, it might be better to stock up on those poultry eggs rather than eating your beardie’s tiny eggs.
How do you hatch a bearded dragon egg without an incubator?
If you don’t have an incubator, then you can setup a DIY incubation system by purchasing a plastic box. Try placing some wet vermiculite on the base of the container and disperse it evenly. Make sure to dig in some sand so that you can hide the eggs under it. You would also have to purchase a heat mat, as room temperature can sometimes be unfavorable for eggs.
How to tell if bearded dragon eggs are dead?
Normally, it is better to wait for about 2 weeks before assessing the fertility of bearded dragons’ eggs. To see whether the eggs are dead or not, you would have to take them in a dark room. You would have to perform the candling process, which involves placing eggs in front of a light source. You can use a bulb or torch for this process.
To check whether the embryo isn’t dead, place an egg in front of the light source. If you see noticeable veins, then it is a fertile egg. Infertile eggs also lose their pinkish glow, as the flow of blood that passes through them stops.
How to tell if bearded dragon eggs are fertile?
Candling is the most reliable method of inspecting the fertility of your bearded dragon’s eggs. After placing the egg in front of a bulb, you would be able to notice a pinkish glow emanating from the shell. You would also be able to spot blood vessels in the eggshell.