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Old 04-04-2008, 10:35 AM   #1
heartmountain
Breeding 101

Introduction To Bearded Dragon Breeding:
This was put together with the help of several people, special shout out to Judy for correcting the grammar on it. By writing this I am in NO way encouraging or condoning irresponsible (backyard) breeding. Breeding beardies is a HUGE commitment of time and money, your chances of making that money back are slim to none let alone making a profit. Keep that in mind.

The Bearded Dragons
The first thing you're going to need is a male and a female.
For information on sexing your bearded dragon go here.

Your female must be at least 18 months old and 350 grams before you even consider breeding her. They are capable of breeding earlier but this can have disastorous consequences to your female at present or years to come. These are the MINIMUMS! Your female should be in top physical health for her age and size. If you are overly attached to your dragons I do not recommend breeding them as serious injury and even death can occur.

Diet:
Prior to breeding and continuing through the season your female will need a special diet in order to minimize the physical stress on her body. The Eggs will take priority even if she has to draw the nutrients and minerals from her own bones and reserves. For this reason you should alter her diet to 50% greens and 50% protein(insects), calcium dust daily and vitamin dust 3 times a week. DO NOT feed pinkies this is an old way of adding weight and is DANGEROUS. A safer alternative is to feed a few super worms or wax worms daily or even every other day, this will put the weight on almost the same as pinkies without the risks.

Burmation:
It is not necessary to burmate your dragons prior to breeding, they have no set breeding season that needs triggered. If however you get a reluctant male that just won�t do it a short burmation period should kick his hormones in.

Breeding Cycle:
I introduce my females to my males enclosure, there�s really no set reason for this it just works better for me. Put them together for 1 week, separate for 1 week, back together for another week and separate for GOOD. During their time together you�re going to see a lot of displaying and what looks like fighting. This is normal and as long as no serious injuries happen don�t worry about it. this is the ONLY time your dragons should even see each other, beyond this they should each have their OWN enclosure.

Gestation:
Gestation is 20-30 days. Re-fertilization from retained sperm can occur in 20-30 day intervals for up to 1 year from 1 breeding. At about 10 days you may be able to feel little marble bumps in her stomach(doing this in a bath helps). When she gets close to lay time she may go off food for several days, become restless, pace and dig constantly. This is the time, if you haven�t already move her to a lay box.

Lay Box:
This should be a separate enclosure from her regular tank. A large Rubbermaid tub works well.(about $10.00 at walmart) Cut a hole in about 1/2 of the lid for a clamp light to fit through. Dump a 50lb bag of dirt in(no chemicals) moisten the dirt but not muddy. Pile the dirt on the opposite end of the light about 12-18 inches deep. Put the lid on, point the light at the mound and add your girl. Laying can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days. She should dig a hole, back into it, deposit her eggs and burry the hole. Leave her in there during the whole process. She does not need to eat or drink at this time. She doesn�t need any special lighting or her cage. If she is in there for several days you may want to take her out long enough to give her a bath, at the same time check the dirt and make sure it�s still moist.

After she lays do not disturb her until she is done burying the eggs. At this point take her out and put her in a bath while you carefully excavate the eggs. DO NOT turn the eggs, leave them in the same position they were laid and carefully transfer them to the egg containers.

Egg Containers:
The best thing I have found for eggs are plastic sandwich containers(glad ware,etc,). Drill about 5 holes in the lid the size of a pencil. Fill them 1/2 way with either perlite or vermiculite or a mix of the two. I�ve used the all and they all work well but I prefer perlite because it looks cleaner. If you are using perlite soak it in warm water for 15 minutes and then dump off the excess water. If you are using vermiculite add warm water and let it sit. Add a little at a time until you can pinch and get just a drop of water out when you squeeze it. Let it out and make depressions in the substrate with your finger and add the eggs. If you want to mark the tops at this time you can use a sharpie marker and draw a line on the top of the eggs. This lets you know if one rolls but personally I don�t do it. Gently set the lid on and place in the incubator. I don�t snap my lids down at this point I just rest them on there, it makes it easier if I need to get into them later. You need to snap them down before they start hatching.

Incubation:
I�ve heard all kinds of crazy "improvised" incubator ideas. Save yourself the headaches and just spend the $40.00 on a Hovabator still air model (no fan). If you decide later you that you want to build one have at it but this is no place to cut corners a decent thermostat will run you more than the Hovabator. I put my eggs in containers and place a cup of water in the middle (looks like a figure 5 on a dice). Set it at 83 degrees and use a decent thermometer, not the cheap one that comes with it. Incubation should take approximately 60 days at this temp. I don�t measure the humidity, but let the eggs tell you what to do. there should be condensation up the sides of the containers to the substrate line but not above, and not on the top. If there is you need to vent some off by propping the lid up for a little bit. Eggs should be plump and dry, if they are wet your humidity is to high and you need to vent some off, if they are dimpled the humidity is to low you need to add a LITTLE bit of water at a time directly to the substrate. DO NOT mist the eggs, there is a delicate air exchange that goes on through the shell of the egg. Misting them will block the pores and suffocate the developing baby.

Hatching:
A couple days before hatching the eggs may begin to sweat and dimple at the same time, this is normal. You will probably get a few that will come out a day or two early, the majority will hatch at about the same time and then a few may come out a couple days later. DO NOT help them out of the egg, some will come out pretty quick after they slice through the egg, some hang out in the egg for awhile. "Helping" will do more damage than good and if one or two die in the egg there is a reason for it. Once they are out of the egg transfer them to another sandwich container with damp paper towels on the bottom and leave them in the incubator for 24-48 hours or until their egg sack absorbs and they are up and moving around ok. At this point you can move them to their cages.

Hatchling Husbandry:
you will need several 20 gallon tanks or equivalent Rubbermaid containers. NO more than 5 babies per tank, the fewer the better, or you may end up with nips(babies will eat toes and tails of siblings) Lighting requirements are the same as adults, heat and uvb. Temps are a bit higher aim for 110-115 basking surface and 85 cool end. DO NOT use any form of loose substrate. Babies are very prone to impaction so stick with paper towel, newspaper, shelf liner, etc. (something easy to clean or change completely) They usually wont eat for a few days to a week, this is normal. They are living off of their egg sacks. I start offering finely chopped salad on day one and when they�re eating that pretty good I start offering bugs 3-5 time a day as many as they will eat in 15 minutes. No larger than the space between their eyes. Each baby can consume 100 plus crickets per day, they add up FAST. Calcium dust once a day and vitamin dust 3 times a week until they are juvies.

Selling:
If you are going to sell the babies the minimum is 6 week and 6 inches.

Inbreeding:
NEVER breed clutch mates (siblings)
 
Old 04-04-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
Valley Dragons
An oldy, but a goody!!

Jamie
 
Old 04-04-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
SlytherynHiss Exotics
I`m glad You posted this here, Sean.
 
Old 04-04-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
wyland2222
Wink Breeding 101

Hi Sean,
So glad to find you and to read what you wrote, great info, now just gotta learn my way around on here.
 
Old 04-08-2008, 11:15 PM   #5
Beardiepal
Very well composed

Very glad you posted Breeding 101 here...its a very good informative article about breeding beardies...thanks Sean, Take good care Beth
 
Old 04-11-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
GottaLuvHerps
woo hoo sticky!
 
Old 04-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #7
ninthof9
It's about time Sean!!

hey Sean,
It's so about time you posted this here. It's also nice to see so many old friends here on this forum...lol.
in case you don't recognise me, I was lil toad somewhere else.
Great to see you are still alive and kicking and that many have joined you here.
Dale
PS I said it before, somewhere else and i'll say it again here....this sticky is awesome.
 
Old 04-12-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
Beardiepal
I have to say to you all....

I have to say that when I found this post elsewhere and the person they call Heartmountain, there was a time when I thought if I read the Bearded Dragon Manual, then I thought I knew alot. I got into beardies when my son at the time was 11 years old and got beardies, two of them, Leo & Lucy, for good grades. He lost interest quickly and left mom to feed them and care for them. I didn't know I wasn't caring for them. Lucy began laying eggs, I threw them out, and felt highly inappropriate and guilty for my actions...researched, found Breeding beardies 101, found heartmountain, and he taught me, much to my dismay, and embarassment, but he taught me, the newbie, and has continued to help me with my beardies since. Breeding 101 is a classic, it is true blue, and it is reliable...Thanks Sean for getting this informative document here, Take care all, Beth
 
Old 04-18-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
dragongirl6
Beth was once a newbie? No way. Lol.

Hi Sean! Good to see you here.
 
Old 01-06-2012, 03:25 AM   #10
offroad537
Breeding dragons is not as easy has you think. i keep my male and female together and they only breed once. they been together for couple years.
 

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