Bearded dragons are fascinating and entertaining pets to keep, and what’s more fascinating is how they lay their eggs. Did you know that adult female bearded dragons can lay eggs without copulating? There’s a lot to know about how beardies lay eggs. From the preparatory to the post-laying stages, you must be ready for the situation to ensure that your pet lizard is safe throughout the ordeal.
Bearded dragons lay and bury their eggs in shallow warm sand for them to hatch and then walk away from the scene right after. Beardies do not sit around to defend or protect their clutch; in some cases, the new mom could turn around and eat the eggs! It’s safe to say that beardies don’t make the best moms.
In this article, we’ll be talking about how bearded dragons lay their eggs, what to expect, and how you can handle the situation. Let’s go!
A Quick Review Of Your Beardie’s Reproductive Cycle
Egg laying may easily be the most crucial aspect of your bearded dragon’s reproductive process. However, before your dragon gets to the egg-laying stage, the first step must be successful.
Bearded dragons require 3 – 4 weeks to successfully mate and for the female dragon to be gravid. The female and male beardie must be put in the same enclosure over some time where copulation will take place. It’s a rather stressful process that requires enough guidance to ensure it is smooth and safe.
After mating and if the female beardie is successfully fertilized, pregnancy lasts 4 – 6 weeks. During this period, you will notice your dragon grow fatter, especially around the belly area where the eggs are contained. Also, you will notice rather unfamiliar behaviors from your pregnant lizard like waving, digging, and scratching now and then.
The egg-laying procedure is a critical stage of a bearded dragon’s reproductive process. A separate box called a ‘lay box’ must be prepared for the pregnant beardie to lay her eggs safely (view on Amazon). This is because your pet must be comfortable enough to dig and lay, and also to prevent the mom from hurting her eggs. Once your beardie is ready to lay her eggs, it would take one week at most for the process to be over.
After your beardie has laid her eggs, she will be removed from the lay box and placed in her enclosure. Meanwhile, the eggs are extracted from the lay box and placed in an incubator for hatching (view on Amazon). This process usually takes 60 – 80 days before you start seeing baby beardies.
How To Prepare Your Bearded Dragon For Egg Laying
Several precautions come into play when your bearded dragon is due to lay her eggs. This is because, during this period, your pet is liable to life-threatening complications that could be avoided by following the right steps.
Ensure Your Bearded Dragon Is Due For Egg Laying
It could be a little tricky to identify if your pet is ready to lay her eggs. Sometimes, the dragon may simply be chunky around the belly area making it look heavily pregnant. If you have acquired or rescued a pregnant bearded dragon, the best way to tell if it’s due for egg-laying is by monitoring the dragon’s behavior.
Here are signs you can pick on:
- Visible egg prints around the belly area
- Seriously stiff or bloated belly
- Unusual aggression
- Decreased appetite
- Digging or scratching around the enclosure
- Arm waving
- Glass surfing (Laying on the glass and scratching against it)
Provide A Suitable Laying Space For Your Beardie
Once your pet is ready to lay, you must prepare a suitable place for the egg-laying process. A plastic lay box is just fine for the endeavor. All you have to do is fill the box two inches deep with potting soil (view on Amazon) and place your pet in it when due.
Feed Your Pregnant Bearded Dragon The Best Nutrition
Your pregnant beardie requires a proper adult diet including supplements like calcium and vitamin D to help her replenish her vitamin load. A lot of nutrients are taken out of the pregnant mom to formulate the eggs, and it would be a much safer ordeal for your beardie to stay healthy throughout.
Provide The Proper Lighting And Temperature For Your Beardie
Lighting and temperature are highly important factors in ensuring your pet beardie is healthy and happy, but it’s even more important when you’re dealing with pregnant dragons that are about to pop! There must be durable UVB rays to ensure that your beardie is getting the right amount of vitamin D to help reinforce her bones including the correct temperature to eliminate the chances of a respiratory disease.
4 Ways To Help Your Bearded Dragon Lay Her Eggs Safely
Setting your beardie up to lay her eggs is an entirely different process. Once the lay box is due, you can then proceed to place your pet inside it and wait for her to lay. Here’s how to go about it:
Place Your Beardie Inside The Lay Box From Dusk Till Dawn
Bearded dragons are fond of laying their eggs during the evenings and nights to reduce the chances of getting traced by predators. So, the likelihood of your dragon laying her eggs at noon is pretty low. Every evening, place your ready-to-pop bearded dragon in the lay box and wait till dawn before taking her out. This also ensures that your dragon is not risking the necessary UVB and heat from her regular enclosure as she lays her eggs.
Hydrate Both Beardie And Environment
It’s important to ensure that your dragon is properly hydrated during this process. Due to the decrease in appetite, most pregnant dragons may be dehydrated before, during, and after laying which may be quite uncomfortable for the dragon. Using a spray bottle, quickly mist your pet and the soil with a few spritzes of clean water before you give it privacy.
During the egg-laying process, your pet beardie is most likely stressed from the ordeal and would certainly not like to be handled, fondled, or prodded. Try not to hold or carry the dragon as this could cause pain, discomfort, or stress to it. Most especially, ensure you keep the dragon away from kids.
Be On The Lookout For Complications
A few things could go wrong when beardies lay eggs, and the worst of them all is egg binding. Egg binding is a situation where some or all of the eggs are unable to be laid by the beardie. The eggs bind to the ovarian duct blocking the passage and causing further complications. Is a seriously life-threatening crisis that requires immediate rectification to save the bearded dragon’s life.
The reason for egg binding in bearded dragons is as follows:
- Impaction from loose soil due to leaving the beardie in the lay box for too long
- Improper nutrition
- Abnormal eggs shape or size
How Do I Know My Bearded Dragon Is Egg Bound?
It may be a little tricky to tell you whether your bearded dragon is egg-bound, especially when you’re a newbie. The span of 60 – 80 days is the most likely period for your pet to get egg-bound. So, extra focus is required to ensure you don’t miss the signs. Here are major indicators that something has surely gone wrong:
- Gasping, heavy breathing, or mouth opening
- Darkening of the beards
- Inability to move or suddenly reduced mobility
- Awkward bending or writhing of the body
- Excessively swollen abdomen
If you notice any of the above-listed signs during the period when your beardie is supposed to lay, immediately rush it to the veterinary doctor for effective extraction. When your pet is egg-bound, every minute counts in keeping it alive.
How Many Eggs Do Bearded Dragons Lay?
Bearded dragons lay from 8 to 20 eggs in a clutch. Particularly, good nutrition and genes play a good part in determining how many eggs your bearded dragon can lay. The central bearded dragon lays the most eggs among the other species.
Is Egg-Laying Painful For My Bearded Dragon?
Birthing for any creature is not an enjoyable experience, including your bearded dragon. Depending on how large the eggs are, the situation can be quite painful for your pet. This is why it’s important to ensure that it’s properly hydrated.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs In A Year?
Bearded dragons can lay clutches of eggs 2 – 4 times a year regardless of whether or not they have mated. In a situation where mating has not taken place, your beardie will lay unfertilized eggs that you can dispose of immediately.
Is It Possible For Bearded Dragons Not To Lay Eggs?
A bearded dragon can be infertile. This could be due to several reasons related to its genetics. If you notice that after sexual maturity – which is 18+ months – that your beardie has not laid a clutch, refer to your veterinary doctor for professional and accurate analysis.