Most female bearded dragons will lay around four or five clutches of eggs each year. However, this can vary depending on the individual bearded dragon with some laying in short bursts, whereas others will lay eggs all year round.
Introduction to How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
If you are considering buying a bearded dragon, first of all, let us congratulate you on your wonderful choice of pet. These animals are gentle and docile and make excellent family pets, especially for those who wish to teach their children about safe handling of animals. However, there are some things to consider before adopting your new pet.
One of the main things to think about when bringing home a female bearded dragon is that she will lay eggs – but this won’t always mean that you will be faced with a host of baby beardies to take care of.
Knowing about the reproductive cycle of your bearded dragon and what to expect when taking on a female is important since this will help you better understand how to take care of her, especially when she is at her most vulnerable.
In this article, we will be looking at the frequency at which bearded dragons lay eggs as well as exploring some more interesting information on the reproduction of these incredible creatures.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
How often your bearded dragon lays eggs will be determined by the individual – much like other animals; however, there is a general pattern that you can expect to see.
In the main, female bearded dragons will lay around four to five clutches of eggs each year, but how she does this might be different from another female. There are some bearded dragons that have been known to lay eggs every month, whereas others might lay several clutches in close succession and then go months without laying at all. It is likely that over time, you will become familiar with your bearded dragon’s laying and the signs that she is about to start laying eggs.
How Long Does It Take For Females To Lay Eggs?
When your female bearded dragons start laying her eggs, this process will likely take place over the course of one or two days. Much like humans giving birth to babies, getting all of the eggs out is no mean feat and will take some time. Just be sure to keep your pet comfortable during this period.
Furthermore, the number of eggs you can expect from a single clutch may be far more than you might have first imagined. On average, a healthy female will produce between 15 and 50 eggs in one clutch. Although, even if they are fertile eggs, not all of the babies will survive, so it highly unlikely that you will be left with 50 baby beardies to feed and care for.
In some cases, female bearded dragons may experience egg binding. This is where she is unable to lay eggs that have become stuck in the oviduct, which is similar to the uterus that mammals have. If this happens, there can be complications for the animal, and she must be seen by a vet.
If treatment is not given, the condition could become life-threatening. One of the most interesting things about this condition is that whilst it is frequently observed in bearded dragons who live in captivity, it is never seen in the wild. Likely, this is because, in the wild, the dragons would always mate and produce fertile eggs.
How Old Are Bearded Dragons When They Start Laying Eggs?
As most people are aware, animals reach sexual maturity far sooner than their human counterparts so it should not come as a surprise that there have been reports of bearded dragons starting to lay eggs as early as nine or ten months of age. However, this is not common, but it is worth thinking about if your young female beardy starts showing signs of laying.
Many bearded dragons will start to lay infertile eggs at around one-year-old, but it is far more common to start seeing this at between two and four years. In contrast, male bearded dragons are known to be ready to mate at around 18 months old.
The correct term for a female who is ready to produce eggs is gravid, and you may hear this used a lot both in this article and when performing research about the mating of these reptiles.
It is important to keep in mind that if you have a bearded dragon who is laying eggs at a very young age, this could cause her to develop a calcium deficiency so offering a supplement in her diet is essential, and of course, be sure to involve your vet in any health concerns with your pet.
Can Females Lay Eggs Without A Male?
In short, female bearded dragons can, and do lay eggs even without a male present. However, it is highly unlikely that these eggs will be fertile and you will be greeted by dragon babies in a few week’s time.
Unless your female has mated with a male, she cannot possibly become pregnant with fertile eggs. However, these incredible creatures are full of surprises. If your female mated with a male some time ago and didn’t produce young, there is a chance that she may produce fertile eggs up to a year down the line.
The reason for this is that female bearded dragons have the ability to store sperm for as long as 12 months. So, don’t be surprised if you assumed your breeding attempts failed and a year later, your female lays fertile eggs. Similarly, if you rehome an older female, you should ask the previous owner whether she has been mated any time in the last 12 months to avoid any surprises!
In contrast, female bearded dragons will lay eggs whether they have been bred or not; this is very similar to the way in which a chicken will lay eggs without a rooster – how do you think we get one of our most valuable sources of protein? Beardies will lay these infertile eggs, but it is important that you remove them from the enclosure and dispose of them before they go bad, as this can create an entirely new set of problems.
How Do I Know If My Bearded Dragon Is Gravid?
When it comes to the time for laying eggs, there are several things that you can look out for in a female bearded dragon.
- The animal will visibly gain weight, particularly in the abdominal area. You will also notice that there are small lumps in her belly; these are the eggs. But it is incredibly important that when you are feeling for these, that you are as gentle as possible.
- Your female bearded dragon may have an appetite shift. In most cases, these animals will cut down on how much they eat or may stop eating altogether, the closer they get to lay their eggs.
- The closer she is to laying, the more tired your female will be so you may notice her appearing to be far more lethargic than usual.
- You may notice a change in her toileting with her urates taking on a different color, normally with a pinkish tinge.
- The female bearded dragon will bury her eggs in the ground in the wild, and so you may notice that she spends a lot of time digging during the days before she lays the eggs.
Tips For Caring For A Gravid Female
If your female beardie is gravid, she will need a good level of care, and this should begin with contacting your vet, who will be able to give you appropriate advice.
One of the most important things is to provide your female with somewhere safe to lay her eggs – this is the same whether the eggs will be fertile or not. Most experts recommend giving her at least 8 inches of a substrate to dig into. In some cases, you may decide to remove her from her normal enclosure to a special nesting enclosure – this is particularly important if the eggs will be fertile since the mother will not care for them once they have been laid.
Be sure to offer her a suitable diet that is made up of high levels of calcium which can be found in foods such as kelp, silkworms, and papaya.
Caring for a bearded dragon is a great responsibility, and one of the most important things to think about is that females will lay eggs, even if there is no male present.
For this reason, it is vital to understand how her behavior may change and the additional care she will need during her gravid stage. Females can become gravid from as young as 9 months, but this usually occurs after the age of two. Each animal is different, but in the main, most females will lay around four to five clutches of eggs in a year – this might be spaced out over several months or could be much closer together.