When it comes to bearded dragon eggs, there is a lot to understand. As the owner, you should be aware of how to incubate them and determine whether or not the eggs are viable (among other things).
At first, it could all seem a little scary.
But relax; it’s not quite as difficult as it appears. You’ll be OK as long as you spend a little amount of time learning the fundamental concepts underlying the egg-laying and development process.
When Do Bearded Dragons Start Laying Eggs?
Although this seems to be on the unusual side, several owners have mentioned their bearded dragons becoming pregnant with infertile eggs as young as 10 months old.
It appears that bearded dragons initially become gravid between the ages of 2-4.
It’s also vital to keep in mind that while many female dragons will do so, not all of them will ever deposit sterile eggs.
It is often encouraged to wait until the female is at least 2 years old before breeding, and the male should be at least 1 year but ideally 1.5 years old.
Breeding bearded dragons to young can have serious health repercussions later in life, especially in females.
A female that begins to reproduce before she has finished developing runs the danger of losing a significant amount of calcium from her body, which might hinder her growth and potentially limit her life span.
Signs That A Bearded Dragon Is Ready To Lay Eggs
Contrary to common perception, your female bearded dragon may lay eggs without the presence of a male. Bearded dragons are perfectly capable of producing sterile eggs, just as chickens. The egg-laying process may begin even after a brief time of contact with males.
There’s also a potential that your bearded dragon’s eggs may have been fertilized if she’d recently been around a male. Before being ready to produce eggs, females can store sperm for up to a year.
From the age of 10 months to several years into adulthood, this can occur.
In any event, there are a number of indications that your bearded dragon is prepared to lay eggs. A female is said to be gravid when she is growing eggs that she has not yet deposited.
As the eggs develop within a gravid mother, odd behaviors are frequently seen. They frequently feel drowsy and spend more time soaking up the heat from the bulb. You could notice the lizard eating less or going to the bathroom more frequently since the act of egg-laying wears the lizard out physically.
The eggs take around three weeks to mature within her. You’ll see her tummy expanding toward the end of this stage. You’ll be able to see and feel the eggs under her skin as she prepares to lay them.
Her actions will now become increasingly unpredictable. She’ll begin looking for a location to lay the eggs. She could start feverishly scratching at the enclosure’s corners or burrowing into the substrate.
She wants to prepare since her eggs are arriving soon.
Nutrition while laying eggs
If you don’t supply extra calcium supplements, the eggs will consume calcium from the dragon’s bones. Whether producing infertile or viable eggs, the dragon will require lots of calcium and energy.
Additionally, the dragon will become exhausted from all the excavating and egg-laying, so you’ll need to feed it more frequently with insects and plants as these are what the beardie will utilize to make the eggs. During this time, you should notice a noticeable rise in their hunger.
If your lizard stops eating for more than a few days, you should take it to the doctor for an x-ray and to monitor the situation. If the dragon doesn’t lay the eggs, it might become egg-bound, which could result in paralysis or even death. Therefore, make sure to watch out for this.
How To Tell If Bearded Dragon Eggs Are Fertile
After the first two weeks, you may start to tell if the eggs your bearded dragon lay are viable or not by using a flashlight to inspect.
Fertile eggs may be illuminated with a flashlight to reveal thin red veins that start to develop inside after the second week of incubation. You could even notice the developing form of an embryo if the eggs are at a more advanced stage of fertilization.
This process, known as candling, is frequently used to determine if bird and reptile eggs have been fertilized. As much handling as possible should be avoided when candleing the eggs to avoid damaging the developing embryos.
If the eggs seem yellow and damaged, they are generally not fertilized, but you may double-check by shining a flashlight through them. The egg should be taken from the tank if there is no visible form within, as this indicates that it is probably infertile.
As the little bearded dragon grows within, healthy, viable eggs will enlarge up to double their original size.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Infertile Eggs?
Each bearded dragon will have a completely different frequency of producing sterile eggs, as seen in the figure below.
During “mating season,” a dragon will often lay numerous clutches of sterile eggs, with an average of 20 eggs each clutch, give or take.
Some dragons will lay a clutch over a few days (or just one), rest for a few weeks, and then resume the process.
This may take several months to manifest.
Caring for the eggs
Only after mating with a male and fertilizing the eggs will a bearded dragon’s eggs begin to hatch. To assist identify whether eggs have been fertilized, a technique called candling is utilized.
Avoid disturbing the bearded dragon when she is producing eggs so that you may candle them; otherwise, she could just lay some of the clutch and keep the rest. Once a bearded dragon has done laying an egg, it usually buries it. Wait until she has buried the eggs before handling them if you plan to candle them.
Hold the egg carefully in your line of sight as you shine a flashlight through it, from the side that is furthest from you to the side that is closest to you, so the light is facing you and is filtered by the egg. If the egg has been fertilized, you may see a pinkish embryo inside the egg when you look through it.
It is best to touch fertilized eggs as little as possible. You don’t want to disrupt their delicate contents, so if you must handle them, treat them with utmost caution. If an egg does not have an embryo within it, it has probably not been fertilized. You can discard the egg to stop the beardie from devouring it.
Eggs can be kept in the laying box or transferred to an incubator to increase the likelihood that fertilized eggs will hatch. A thermometer and hygrometer should be used to monitor the incubator or box to make sure the temperature and humidity are between 80°F and 85°F.
If the substrate becomes too dry, it can be misted to enhance the humidity. Direct misting of the eggs is not advised since it may cause mold growth. As they incubate, fertilized eggs turn chalk-white and deflate right before hatching. The time it takes for fertilized eggs to hatch might range from 55 to 75 days.
How To Incubate Bearded Dragon Eggs
If your bearded dragon produces eggs, you must do all in your power to speed up the process. These lizards might face many difficulties throughout the birthing process.
Additionally, they could begin eating their eggs to replace some of the nutrients they lost while they were pregnant.
Here are some things you should do to incubate and care for the eggs, whether you’re on your first successful breeding effort or the eggs came as a surprise.
First things first, you need to offer your bearded dragon the tools to securely deposit the eggs. Provide A Place For The Female To Lay Her Eggs.
As we already explained, when the time comes, females will begin looking for a spot to lay their eggs. The ideal location to lay the eggs is not usually a regular cage.
Bearded dragons enjoy digging holes in which to bury their eggs. Most likely, her regular container doesn’t have enough depth for this.
Place The Eggs In An Incubation Box – You can keep the eggs in the nesting box, but you must monitor the conditions constantly to maintain safe humidity and temperature levels. Since this is no simple process, the majority of breeders will just utilize an incubator.
You must transfer the eggs to a different incubator box before putting them in the incubator. This can be a straightforward plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.
Put The Box In An Incubator – At this point, all that is left to do is transfer the incubator boxes that have been prepared to the incubation device. You must correctly set the machine first before proceeding.
The ideal range for temperatures is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A good average temperature to shoot for is 84 degrees. As long as the incubator stays within the allowed range, little changes here and there are acceptable.
Additionally, there should be a lot of humidity. Aim for around 75% of the total. To make sure the climate is steady, regularly check the temperature and humidity levels.
Watch The Eggs During Incubation – At this point, all you can do is watch the eggs develop while waiting. It might take 55 to 75 days for bearded dragon eggs to hatch. You need to watch the eggs carefully to make sure they are growing normally throughout this prolonged incubation time.
You must monitor the temperature, humidity, and mold in addition to these factors. Condensation on the incubation box lids can be removed by wiping. However, you must watch out that the eggs don’t get wetter than necessary.
When there is too much moisture present, mold can grow. Mold shouldn’t be a concern as long as humidity levels are maintained and moisture is cleaned up carefully.
After a week or two, you can look for an embryo if you’re unsure whether the eggs were fertilized. This straightforward procedure is called candling. You must, however, use extreme caution.
Be very cautious while touching the eggs since rough handling might destroy the embryo within. Lift the egg, and then flash a strong light from behind it.
Prepare For Hatching – The exciting phase is about to begin: hatching! The little bearded dragons within will be prepared to hatch from their eggs after around two months of growth. There isn’t much you can do to get ready other than to keep the incubation environment in place.
How To Incubate Bearded Dragon Eggs Without An Incubator
Even while caring for a bearded dragon’s eggs without an incubator can first seem difficult, it will be simple with little forward planning.
You may take care of your beardies’ eggs in your dig box or nest. To mimic incubator conditions, you only need to carefully regulate the temperature and humidity.
Bearded dragons don’t care for their eggs, so it’s best to return your lizard to its original container or to a different one after removing it from the nest. Placing your beardie in its cage is another technique to stop it from eating the eggs because it is not unusual for beardies to consume their own.
sanitize the bedding. – Cleaning the bedding will stop mold and germs from growing. Make sure the substrate is wet and clean, and take out any broken eggs to prevent rotting.
Maintain a high temperature. Eggs from bearded dragons need a temperature of 80 to 85 °F. You may aid to maintain this temperature for the whole incubation time by using an overhead lamp or an under-tank heater. Condensation should be removed since it might lead to mold growth on the eggs.
A 60-day waiting period may be necessary for your eggs to hatch. Even though the young dragons appear to be completely grown and healthy, you should never attempt to push or assist them in emerging from their eggs.
It could take some time for them to crack through their shell, and if you try to assist them, you risk damaging their umbilical chord.
It will take a few days before all of the bearded dragon eggs hatch. Baby bearded dragons will begin hatching from their eggs at various rates.
The first step in caring for your female bearded dragon before she becomes pregnant is to take good care of her. Make sure your beardie receives the right attention, including a balanced food, the right vitamins, and plenty of calcium so that it is physically ready for the taxing process of reproduction.
A healthy female bearded dragon will produce healthy eggs, so make sure she is in good health. To aid in the incubation phase and ensure proper egg development, a cozy cage with a dig box or nest at the right temperatures is also needed.