Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles, and for good reason. They have big personalities and interesting behaviors, making them fun and entertaining. They are also widely available in pet stores due to their popularity and because happy, healthy bearded dragons are easy to breed, which means there is no shortage of beardies. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a bearded dragon that’s expecting, now is the time for you to get everything together to keep the eggs safe until your new babies hatch. Here are the things you need to know about incubating your bearded dragon eggs at home!
How to Incubate Bearded Dragon Eggs
1. Collect Supplies
To successfully incubate your bearded dragon’s eggs, you’ll need a box with a tight-fitting lid, a substrate that holds moisture well like vermiculite or perlite, a DIY or store-bought incubator, and tools for measuring temperature and humidity in your incubator. Chicken egg incubators can be used for this purpose, but you will need to make some adjustments to allow for substrate, monitor humidity, and prevent turning of the eggs.
2. Provide a Nest
Your female needs a safe place with soft substrate to lay her eggs. You may need to remove other beardies from the enclosure for safety and to reduce her stress. She will lay the eggs and likely bury or partially bury them in the substrate, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for this.
3. Prepare the Box and Incubator
Before the eggs are laid, go ahead and add the substrate to the box you’ll be using. The substrate will help maintain moisture and prevent the eggs from rolling. It’s extremely important that the eggs don’t roll! Check your incubator settings and ensure it can maintain a temperature between 80-85°F with 83-84°F being ideal. Humidity levels should be able to hold stead around 75%.
4. Remove the Eggs
Once the eggs are laid, it’s time to move them to your incubation box. It should be reiterated that it is extremely important that the eggs don’t turn, roll, or flip. Unlike fowl eggs that require frequent turning during incubation, bearded dragon eggs should not be turned at all during incubation. Turning or rolling the eggs can kill the developing fetuses. The eggs should be nestled into divot in the substrate to help keep them from rolling and to help them maintain temperature and humidity.
5. Add to Incubator
Double check your incubator settings and add the egg box to the incubator. Monitor the incubator closely for the first few hours to ensure it’s not getting too hot or cold. After you’re certain it’s running correctly, you can switch to monitoring the incubator settings a few times per day.
6. Monitor the Eggs
Peek in on the eggs daily. You want to make sure everything is looking healthy and safe. The substrate should not be molding or growing fungus and the eggs should not look moldy. If you notice an egg that looks like it may be rotting or might be becoming moldy, throw the egg out. Leaving a spoiling egg in with the healthy eggs can lead to more egg loss.
7. Watch for Babies
Bearded dragon eggs will usually hatch around 60 days after being laid, but it can be anywhere from 40-90 days, which is one of the reasons it’s so important to monitor the eggs closely.
- Should I Breed My Beardies? If you’re considering breeding your bearded dragons, there are a few things to consider beforehand. If your bearded dragons have any medical conditions or health issues, you should not breed them. Only healthy beardies should be bred to avoid passing on any health conditions. The other consideration is what you will do with the babies. They’ll need a safe place to live while they grow and unless you’re planning to keep approximately 20 bearded dragon babies. You may be able to give or sell them to friends or local pet stores but have a plan before you allow your bearded dragons to breed.
- What Do I Do Once the Babies Start Hatching? Once the eggs start hatching, it’s a good idea to leave the first few babies in the incubator for the first day. Oftentimes, the movement of the hatchlings will encourage the rest of the eggs to hatch. After the first day, you can move the hatchlings into their new enclosure. You should consider keeping them separate from the adults while they are still small to ensure they have space to grow and get enough to eat.
- What’s Next? After 6-8 weeks, your baby beardies should be ready to go to their new homes. If you plan to keep multiple babies, have a plan to split up the males and females as they age. Like most animals, bearded dragons will not differentiate family and will inbreed if allowed to.
Related Read: 100+ Best Bearded Dragon Names: Unique & Fitting Options
Incubating your bearded dragon’s eggs isn’t an easy process and requires a lot of monitoring on your part. If you’ll be away from home for 24 hours or longer, you’ll need someone who can monitor the incubation process and make adjustments as needed. The incubation process is rewarding and it’s an exciting experience to watch your new babies hatch, especially knowing that you played an important role in their development.
Featured Image Credit: bluedog studio, Shutterstock