You’ve got bearded dragon eggs – now what?!
Bearded dragons are amazing, cute, and fascinating creatures that can make wonderful pets. They don’t take up a lot of space so they can be good for those in apartments or other smaller accommodations.
If you choose to have a female, then it’s important to learn what to do when she lays eggs.
Contrary to some beliefs, a female bearded dragon can lay eggs without having a male around, although such eggs will be infertile. Unfertilized eggs will also usually be smaller than average.
However, if your female bearded dragon has been in contact with a male in the past 12 months, it is quite possible that her eggs will be fertilized.
Signs Your Bearded Dragon Is Ready To Lay Eggs
Pregnant females often start behaving strangely as the eggs grow inside them.
Often, they become sluggish and spend more time lazing under the heat lamp. The entire egg-growing process can overwhelm the lizard, so you may also notice a change in her feeding pattern.
It takes approximately three weeks for the eggs to develop fully inside her.
At the latter part of this stage, you will see her belly ballooning a little, and when the time comes to lay the eggs, you will be able to feel and see them under her skin.
During this point, her behavior may become quite erratic. She will begin to hunt for a place to lay her eggs and may start clawing at the corners of the terrarium or digging into the floor in a frenzied fashion.
It’s not something everyone is expecting when buying a bearded dragon!
Handling Bearded Dragon Eggs
You must go out of your way to ensure the egg-laying process is as comfortable as possible for your bearded dragon.
It’s understandably common for lizards to feel uncomfortable during the birthing process, and no doubt they will appreciate any help you can give them to make them feel more at ease.
So as to avoid any concern or shock, it’s also worth noting that bearded dragons are known to eat their own eggs as a way of replenishing some of the nutrients lost when they were pregnant.
Whether the eggs came as a surprise or you are on your first breeding attempt, here are some handy tips on how to handle newly-laid bearded dragon eggs.
Preparing For Her To Lay Eggs
Bearded dragons love to dig a hole to hide their eggs in.
Chances are, the enclosure where she stays is not deep enough to do this. In which case it is best to create a nesting box or place for her to feel that she is securely able to hide her eggs away.
Fill a plastic container with around 5-6 inches of substrate.
Petsvills.com advises that you can use vermiculite or reptile dirt. It’s also important to ensure the substrate is moist, which will increase the humidity levels of the terrarium.
Top tip: Never soak the substrate. Soaking will only cause mold issues.
Place the nesting box or container into her enclosure.
Ensure that your reptile thermostat is working properly to keep the box warm. Also, ensure that you provide her with adequate fresh water and food.
When your bearded dragon has laid her eggs, remove her from the enclosure.
1. Place the eggs into a box
Before putting the eggs into the incubator, move them to a clean, separate box. This can be a basic plastic container with a snugly fitting lid.
Line the base of the box with two or three inches of the incubation substrate. Then arrange the eggs 2-3 centimeters apart from each other.
This provides adequate room for growth since fertile eggs continue to develop after being laid.
2. Place the box in the incubator
Before you move the box containing the eggs to the incubator, make sure the machine is set correctly.
The temperature should be maintained at between 82 and 86 °F maximum.
Monitor Eggs Carefully During Incubation
Be patient and monitor the eggs in the incubator regularly as they develop.
Typically, bearded dragon eggs take around three months to hatch, but it can be anywhere from 50 – 80 days.
During this period, you should ensure that the eggs are developing correctly and the humidity and temperature levels are reading as they should.
Additionally, you will need to watch out for mold.
Wipe away any condensation you see on the incubation box lids.
It’s important that the excess moisture doesn’t come into contact with the eggs, although they may appear to have small droplets of water on their surface, which is normal.
Hatching Bearded Dragon Eggs
After about 60 days, you will start to see little heads beginning to emerge from the eggs!
No matter how tempting it is, don’t do anything to disrupt the hatching dragons. A healthy bearded dragon will hatch in its own time.
Hatchlings will begin to eat roughly 72 hours after hatching, after which, consider feeding them two or three times per day.
It is recommended to offer small bits of chopped vegetables, greens, and fruits, as well as small crickets.
Bearded Dragon Laying Eggs
So long as you carefully follow the guidelines outlined above, the breeding process should be wondrous and easy and will become second nature to you.
However, if you are concerned about any aspect of the process, consult with a vet or a reputable bearded dragon breeder near you.
Bearded dragons are a good pet to have in small apartments or other dwellings, and you can usually manage to have a few extra in the family.
And, if you’ve never considered it, find out more about exotic pet insurance here.