The egg incubation period is defined as the time it takes for eggs to hatch. It is also a time where Bearded dragon breeders need to make sure that the eggs are managed correctly.
Under ideal conditions, Bearded dragon eggs can take anything between 50 and 80 days to hatch/incubate (the average is 62 days). Factors affecting ideal incubation conditions are temperature, humidity, pre-incubation management, and the incubation substrate. Also, see Bearded dragon breeding for more information.
The incubation temperature is probably the most important factor determining how long Bearded dragon eggs will take to hatch. The ideal average temperature used by many breeders is 29 °C / 84 °F. Higher average incubation temperatures will lead to shorter incubation periods and lower temperatures will lead to longer incubation periods. Average temperatures above 32 °C / 90 °F degrees can quickly kill developing embryos. Also, see Bearded dragon egg incubation temperatures and Bearded dragon temperatures for additional information.
Ideal incubation humidity
It is generally accepted that Bearded dragon eggs should be incubated in a high average humidity. Although not always easy to maintain without proper management, the average egg incubation humidity should be around 70 – 80%. Average humidities between 40 and 50% are also acceptable. When the incubation humidity is constantly too low (i.e. <40%), eggs will run the risk of drying out and will start to shrink and collapse – causing embryos to die. Humidities above 85% are also undesirable and will lead to an increase in mold and bacterial growth. Also, see correct humidity for Bearded dragons for additional information.
Ideal incubation substrates
The ideal substrate to use for Bearded dragon egg incubation is one that is clean and able to retain moisture. The most popular substrates used for incubating Bearded dragon eggs are moist vermiculite and perlite. Both these substrates are clean and retain their moisture well. Also, see Bearded dragon substrates for more information.
Ideal pre-incubation period
Damage eggs will take longer to incubate or not hatch at all. Before transferring the eggs to the incubator, the incubator should already be set up to reach the desired temperature and humidity and the eggs should have been deposited into an egg-laying container. Also, see Bearded dragon breeding for more information.
Management during the incubation period
The eggs and the incubator should be monitored during the entire incubation process. The incubator temperature and humidity should be measured using a thermometer and hygrometer and should be recorded. Any deviations from the required ranges should be rectified immediately to prevent the embryos from dying. Bad/infected eggs should be removed and discarded as they appear.
Bearded Dragon Egg Laying Cycle:
Bearded dragons have an interesting egg-laying cycle that begins once they reach sexual maturity. When a female bearded dragon successfully mates with a male during the breeding season, she will become pregnant and start preparing to lay her eggs.
During this stage, the female will build a nest near rocks or tree roots that can provide protection for her eggs.
Bearded dragon pregnancy can last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, and at the end of it, you should expect your female bearded dragon to lay eggs. During this time period, look out for unusual behaviors such as tiredness, erratic behavior, and more frequent bowel movements.
Bearded dragons have an egg-laying cycle that begins with the female of the species preparing to lay her eggs. She will present signs of exhaustion during the process, so it’s important to provide her with a good diet with increased protein, calcium supplements, and vitamins. This will help her with her physical exertion from laying eggs.
During this time, your beardie can lay anywhere from 15 to 30 eggs in a single clutch and can lay up to 4 clutches each breeding season.
After laying their eggs, your female may bury them in the substrate or dig the box you provided in their enclosure. Providing her with an area to bury her eggs is essential as it will help keep them humid and warm enough for proper incubation.
When hatching bearded dragons, it is important to understand their egg laying cycle. After the female bearded dragon lays her eggs in a nest/dig box, the incubation period begins. Within two months, the embryos in the bearded dragons’ eggs will have fully formed.
Once they have reached full development, the baby bearded dragons will start hatching out of their eggs at different paces and you mustn’t try to rush or help in the process as you might accidentally harm them.
Be sure to monitor your bearded dragon’s eggs closely and provide gentle encouragement when needed during their egg laying cycle. You can be prepared for hatching by having an incubator available that maintains optimal temperatures for your beardie’s young ones.
When Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
Bearded dragons can start to lay unfertilized eggs as early as 9-10 months of age, but this is rare. The norm is that female bearded dragons won’t begin laying eggs until they have reached sexual maturity, which usually happens between the ages of 2-4 years old.
Beginning to lay eggs while still young can put a strain on a beardie’s body, draining their calcium resources and causing issues like metabolic bone disease and reducing the lifespan.
It’s important that female bearded dragons have enough calcium, vitamin D3, and multivitamins even when they’re young in order to support their bodies while they are developing.
Their fertility will depend on if they have mated with a male beardie or not. Once mature, most bearded dragons become gravid (able to make or lay eggs) during their first years of sexual maturity.
How To Tell If Bearded Dragon Eggs Are Fertile
If you have a bearded dragon that has laid eggs, it can be difficult to tell if they are fertile or not. Fortunately, there is a way to do this with relative accuracy using a technique called candling.
Candling involves shining a flashlight against the eggs and looking for signs of internal growth, such as thin red veins in the egg from the second week of incubation. During advanced stages of fertilization, it is sometimes possible to see the shape of an embryo developing inside the egg.
When candling your eggs, it is important to be very gentle and not handle them too much, as this could damage any growing embryos within them.
Unfertilized eggs tend to look a bit dented and yellowish, so if that’s what you’re seeing, it’s likely they’re not fertile. However, use a flashlight to be sure.
When fertile and in good health, an egg can swell up to almost twice its size with a small bearded dragon developing inside!
How To Incubate Bearded Dragon Eggs Without An Incubator
Although it may appear complicated, you can incubate bearded dragon eggs without an incubator. All you need is the proper preparation and a dig box or nest to keep their eggs safe.
To replicate the conditions of an incubator, all you need to do is create an environment where temperature and humidity can be precisely regulated.
1. Remove your lizard from the nest.
You’ll want to make sure that you put your bearded dragon back in its original enclosure or a separate enclosure. Bearded dragons don’t provide any care for their eggs, so it’s better for the eggs if they aren’t left unattended.
It’s quite common for bearded dragons to eat their own eggs, so placing them back in their cage can help discourage that behavior.
2. Clean the bedding.
If you’re looking to incubate bearded dragon eggs without an incubator, the best way is to make sure their bedding and surrounding environment is always kept clean.
Cleaning the bedding regularly will prevent the appearance of mold and bacteria near the eggs and keep them safe from any potential health risks. Also, make sure to remove any broken eggs from their enclosure to avoid getting them rotten.
3. Keep the temperature high.
Bearded dragon eggs require a consistent temperature of 80-85˚F during the entire incubation period in order to hatch. If you don’t have an incubator, you can still keep your eggs at the right temperature by using an overhead lamp or an under-tank heater.
It’s important to make sure that the temperature remains constant and wipe away any condensation as it can cause mold growth on the eggs.
If you’re hatching bearded dragon eggs without an incubator, you need to be patient and wait. Depending on the species of a bearded dragon, waiting for your eggs to hatch could take up to 60 days. During this time, it’s important that you don’t try to help or force the baby dragons out of their eggs. Breaking through their eggshell can take some time and if you intervene during this process, you may end up damaging their umbilical cord and causing potential problems with development.
What To Do If The Female Is Egg Bound
If you notice that your female bearded dragon is unable to lay her eggs, then she may be egg bound. Egg binding can happen due to a lack of exercise and proper nutrition, which is why it’s important to make sure your beardie is getting all the nutrients she needs.
If your female beardie doesn’t lay her eggs within 45-60 days, you should take her to the vet immediately. The vet will run some tests to diagnose the problem and determine what treatments need to be done.
Treatment options range from antibiotics and dietary changes, to in extreme cases surgery or egg removal through non-surgical methods. It’s important not to ignore this problem as it can have serious consequences for your female beardie, including a shorter life expectancy if she survives.
How To Care For Your Bearded Dragon During The Egg Laying Process
A key factor in helping your bearded dragon care for themselves during the egg-laying process is to provide them with supplementary calcium.
The process of creating eggs takes calcium from a reptile’s calcium reserves, as it consists of that mineral.
If there isn’t enough calcium present in their diet, your beardie may start suffering from hypocalcemia which can weaken and even deform their bones, as well as put them at risk for metabolic bone disease.
Calcium supplementation can help keep their eggs thick and healthy while also protecting against any health problems related to a deficiency. Make Sure Your Beardie Gets Extra Calories & Protein
Another important consideration is your pet’s caloric and protein intake while they’re going through the egg-laying process. Make sure you offer an increased intake of both these vitamins in order to give them more energy than usual to make it through this period.
Insect feeders like wax worms should be dusted with calcium supplements or gut loaded 24 hours before being fed to your dragon for added nutrition.
When to see a vet?
If your bearded dragon appears to be pregnant but has not laid eggs after 45-60 days, it may have a condition called dystocia. This is fairly common in reptiles.
Without proper medical attention, the eggs could remain inside your pet for too long and result in sepsis, which can be life-threatening.
If you get veterinary help in the early stages of dystocia, surgical procedures can often be replaced by hormonal treatments that are less invasive and damaging to your pet’s body.
So if you notice any signs that could indicate bodily pain or difficulty laying eggs in your pet bearded dragon, don’t hesitate and make sure you act fast! Seeing a vet promptly will help protect the health of your pet while also potentially saving money on medical costs.
Can Female Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs Without A Male?
The answer is yes. Female bearded dragons can lay eggs without a male by a process called ovulation, which is very similar to the menstrual cycle of mammals.
The egg formation and laying process in this species of reptiles are, in fact, mirrored in female menstruation for mammals. Although the eggs laid by the female are not fertilized and thus infertile, they typically appear similar to regular eggs but slightly yellowish in color and more fragile.
In certain scenarios, female bearded dragons can store sperm from past matings within their reproductive system for up to a year.
To determine whether an egg has been fertilized or not, it’s recommended that you handle it with the help of a flashlight before discarding it as unfertilized eggs must be removed from the tank quickly before they rot.
How Many Eggs Do Bearded Dragons Lay?
Bearded dragons lay eggs in clutches of 15-30 eggs, although the number can vary depending on the female and her reproductive health. Female bearded dragons usually lay 2 to 3 clutches per breeding season, but some may lay up to 4 clutches.
Bearded dragon egg incubation is a vital part of successful breeding and understanding the intricacies of the process will facilitate a more successful outcome.
Take the time to set up the proper temperature and humidity, check on your eggs regularly, and understand the environmental factors and changes that may occur throughout the incubation period.
With patience and dedication, you should be able to keep your eggs healthy until they hatch. Good luck!