Bearded Dragon Eggs (Laying Process, Caring and Hatching)

Bearded Dragon Eggs

If you own a young bearded dragon, you may be curious about their future breeding habits, Perhaps you wish to pair two up together or have heard about females laying eggs without a male present. Either way, it’s good to be prepared for the day your pet lizard brings bearded dragon eggs into the world.

Bearded Dragons lay eggs in groups called clutches. Typically, a female lays 15-35 eggs per clutch and can produce 1-3 clutches per mating season. In rare cases, they may lay up to 6 clutches. After mating, the female enters a gravid (pregnant) state, which lasts 20-40 days.

Female bearded dragons do not always require a male to mate with to produce eggs (and they produce a lot of them!), so it’s helpful to know how often eggs are laid, how they should look, how to care for them and more. The following answers some common queries about the eggs of bearded dragons.

Preparing for Egg-Laying

Providing Proper Nesting Materials

Your bearded dragon mama is going to need a suitable place to deposit her eggs. In the wild, females dig burrows in the sand to create a nest. Replicate those conditions at home by providing:

For digging, use a substrate like play sand, coconut fiber, or organic topsoil at least 6 inches deep. Ensure it’s loose, not compacted.

Use a 10-gallon plastic container filled with digging substrate as a nesting box. Place it in the cooler part of her habitat.

Provide hiding spots like bark, branches, rocks, or tunnels to help her feel secure while choosing a spot for egg-laying.

Include a dish of moss for nesting material. Some bearded dragons might also use shredded paper towels or sphagnum moss for their nests.

Creating a Suitable Lay Box

The nesting box is crucial for egg-laying. Ensure it meets these criteria:

The box should allow burrowing at least 8 inches deep, be filled with a humid substrate such as vermiculite, sphagnum moss, or coconut fiber, be located in a secluded yet accessible quiet corner, and be out of the way.

Maintain humidity levels of 60-80% in the lay box. Daily misting of the substrate can help achieve this.

Monitoring Temperature and Humidity Levels

Monitor the tank’s temperature and humidity closely in the weeks before egg laying. The ideal ranges are:

Maintain temperatures of 85-90°F on the warm side and 70-75°F on the cool side. Humidity should be between 60-80%.

Adjust heat lamps, under-tank heaters (UTH), and misting as needed to maintain these conditions and prevent complications. Use a thermometer/hygrometer for accurate monitoring.

Egg Laying Process

Choosing a Suitable Spot

Once a female dragon decides it’s gone time, she will begin seeking out the perfect spot to deposit her eggs. Watch for these signs:

  • Repeatedly entering and exiting the nesting box
  • Digging test burrows throughout the enclosure
  • Standing inside the nesting box motionless

She may spend hours, even days, meticulously surveying areas and test digging. This is all part of her natural process – be patient! Once she finds the spot, it will be showtime.

Digging and Laying Eggs

The birthing process can take 6-12 hours from start to finish. Here’s the play-by-play of what to expect:

  • Using her back legs, she will dig a tunnel at least 8 inches deep
  • Pausing periodically, she may leave and then return to the burrow
  • She will lie in the burrow on her side to deposit eggs
  • This involves straining hard to push eggs out of the vent
  • This is repeated every 30-60 minutes until the clutch is complete
  • Total number of eggs laid depends on the dragon’s age and size

Do not disturb or interfere with this process – she knows what she’s doing! Just keep an eye on her from a distance in case any issues arise.

Covering the Eggs

Once the last egg is laid, momma’s job still isn’t done! She will use her back legs to push sand or soil over the tunnel, completely covering and camouflaging the nest site. This protects the eggs from potential predators.

Though it may be tempting to dig them up immediately, leave the eggs undisturbed for at least 24 hours. Allow the female time to rest and recover before removing her eggs.

Caring for the Eggs

Now that the eggs are laid, it’s time for careful incubation, which is vital for the embryos’ healthy development and successful hatching. In the next 1-2 months, follow these steps to ensure proper care of the eggs until hatching day.

Maintaining Proper Humidity and Temperature

Creating an incubator that mimics the conditions inside momma’s burrow is vital. Bearded dragon eggs require:

  • Temperatures between 80-86°F. Use a thermometer probe to regularly monitor.
  • Humidity around 40-50%. Too wet can encourage mold growth.

This can be achieved through an incubator, but a simple setup works too:

  • Plastic shoebox with ventilation holes poked in the top
  • Substrate like vermiculite or perlite
  • Place a heating pad on low, with a thermostat
  • Monitor your incubator closely and make adjustments as needed.

Turning the Eggs Regularly

In nature, temperature variations in the burrow cause the eggs to shift positions naturally. Replicate this by:

  • Gently turn eggs 180 degrees at least twice weekly. This prevents them from sticking together or to the incubator surface.
  • Washing hands thoroughly first to prevent introducing bacteria. Be careful not to rotate too roughly.
  • Mark an X lightly in pencil on 1 side so you know the orientation.

Examining for Any Abnormalities or Cracks

Check eggs every few days for any signs of trouble like:

  • Cracks, dents, or punctures
  • Discoloration or odd markings
  • Condensation or wet spots
  • Collapsing sides

Discard any eggs that are moldy or infertile. Healthy embryos will show veins developing.

Do not open the incubator unless necessary to maintain stable conditions inside.


It’s the big day – the bearded dragon eggs are hatching after 60-80 days of incubation! Now, you’ll meet the baby dragons. Remember, being well-prepared for their hatching and care is essential.

Signs of Hatching

  • Darkening of egg color
  • Development of stress lines or cracks
  • Eggs appear dented as hatchlings squirm about
  • First pips when babies poke breathing holes
  • Hatching can take 24-48 hours from the first pips

The baby dragons use an egg tooth to break out of the shell. Resist the urge to assist – this process strengthens the muscles needed for feeding and mobility.

Care for Newborn Bearded Dragons

Once emerge from the egg, the 1.5-2-inch hatchlings will be exhausted. Provide:

  • Small habitat: A 10-20 gallon tank with paper towel substrate, hides, low branches, and a shallow water dish.
  • Proper heating: Basking area of 95°F, ambient temperature around 85°F. Use a low-wattage bulb.
  • Hydration: Mist the tank 2-3 times daily. Hatchlings are prone to dehydration.
  • Frequent small meals: Feed size-appropriate insects like pinhead crickets 3-5 times daily. Dust with calcium/vitamin D3 powder.
  • Minimal handling: Allow babies to adjust before too much direct handling.

How Often Do Female Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?

Upon reaching breeding age (around 12 months old), female bearded dragons will begin laying their first batch or ‘clutch’ of eggs. She will then rest for a few weeks before breeding again, and repeat this cycle up to 6 times throughout the year.

Female bearded dragons can also lay eggs without the need for a male, but these will be infertile (more on these later). Though rare, females can begin laying a clutch of unfertilized eggs as young as 10 months old which can leach a lot of calcium from her growing body, so you must help her replace it and retain their strength.

How Long Does It Take for a Bearded Dragon to Lay Eggs?

Females typically lay their eggs around 4 to 6 weeks after mating and the actual egg-laying process can take as little as 1 or 2 hours or sometimes days. If your bearded dragon is plump with eggs but struggling to lay her clutch when expected, she may be egg bound – this is a condition that causes the female to become too weak to lay eggs due to poor nutrition. If your female bearded dragon doesn’t lay her eggs within 45 days, you should consult a vet asap.

How Many Eggs Does a Bearded Dragon Lay?

Female bearded dragons can lay between 12 and 30 eggs in each clutch, though the average you should expect in each clutch is around 20 eggs. Bearded dragons will usually produce 3 to 6 clutches of eggs every year.

Signs of Bearded Dragon Laying Eggs

When they are preparing to lay eggs, pregnant or ‘gravid’ female bearded dragons will exhibit the following signs:

  • Increased lethargy
  • Spending more time under the heat lamp
  • Decreased appetite
  • More frequent bowel movements

After several weeks, her belly will begin to swell and she will display frantic behavior such as clawing and digging at the bedding in her enclosure to create a place to lay her eggs.

How Long Does It Take for a Bearded Dragon Egg to Hatch?

Once the eggs are laid, each one can take anywhere between 40 to 90 days to hatch. The rate at which they hatch can depend on the temperature and humidity the eggs are incubated in.

How Can You Tell If Bearded Dragon Eggs are Fertile?

Fertile bearded dragon eggs should be full and are normally white, whereas infertile eggs are smaller, yellow, and dented. If you want to be sure, a method known as ‘candling’ can help clear things up.

Making sure the room is darkly lit, gently hold a small light up to the egg – you will see the faint pink dot and veins of an embryo if it is fertile. You will see an empty yellowish hue with an infertile egg.

What Color are Bearded Dragon Eggs?

Healthy bearded dragon eggs are normally white in color, although some eggs can be clear or translucent in places which points to a lack of calcium in the mother’s diet. Eggs can turn darker as hatching time approaches.

Are Bearded Dragon Eggs Soft?

Yes, bearded dragon eggs have soft, delicate shells but are also firm to the touch. According to a 2013 issue of ‘The Reptile Times’ their eggs are soft and flexible because they are “designed to swell as the egg absorbs moisture from its surroundings.”

Why are My Bearded Dragon Eggs Yellow?

Yellow eggs likely indicate that the dragon eggs are infertile – this is especially the case if the egg is smaller than the others and fails the ‘candling’ test mentioned earlier. Don’t confuse yellow eggs with slight brown spotting on eggs as this simply can be due to staining from incubation soil.

How Big are Bearded Dragon Eggs?

Bearded dragon eggs are typically 3 to 4 cm in size (around 1.5 inches). Egg size can vary in each clutch though, so don’t be alarmed – they may just require longer to hatch. Always incubate smaller eggs until you have a clear sign that they are not developing properly such as a change in color or oozing.

How are Bearded Dragon Eggs Fertilized?

Eggs are fertilized when a healthy male bearded dragon lines up his hemipenis (pair of sexual organs made from similar erectile tissue to the human penis) with the female’s cloaca (her urinary and genital chamber).

Bearded dragon eggs can also be fertilized without the need for mating, as females can actually store up a male’s sperm from a previous mating encounter for up to a year!

Do Bearded Dragon Eggs Need to be Incubated?

Yes, for the best chance of survival, fertile bearded dragon eggs should be incubated to replicate their native warm habitat in the savannas and deserts of central Australia. You can buy specialized reptile incubators at your local pet store or use a plastic food container from home like a Tupperware box.

To incubate the eggs successfully just keep in mind 3 main factors – temperature, humidity, and turning the eggs several times per day (this is necessary to prevent the embryos from sticking to the inner shell).

What Temperature Should Bearded Dragon Eggs be Incubated at?

The bearded dragon eggs should be incubated at a constant temperature of between 82 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need a 100-watt heat lamp, a hygrometer to check the humidity levels, and a thermostat to monitor the temperature.

Do All Female Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?

No, many female bearded dragons never lay eggs at all and this is not always a cause for concern. Giving your female dragon the best care will help promote healthy development which makes it more likely that egg-laying can occur. If not, have them checked over by your local vet to determine possible causes and treatment options.

Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Eggs?

Yes, both male and female bearded dragons will sometimes try to eat their own eggs, as this is commonly observed in the wild. Females commonly eat their unfertilized eggs which provide health benefits for them, but you should make sure her fertile eggs are incubated as soon as they hatch to prevent her from eating these too!

Will a Male Bearded Dragon Eat the Female’s Eggs?

Yes, male bearded dragons may try to eat a female’s eggs, but they may not be very successful if the mother is fiercely protective of her clutch. Males have less of a biological reason for consuming the eggs, as it is the female who loses out on nutrients and calcium during the birthing process.

Are Bearded Dragon Eggs Edible?

Yes, all unfertilized reptile eggs are edible to humans, as long as they are gathered and stored in your refrigerator (at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below) soon after they are laid and cooked thoroughly. Bearded dragons can also eat their own unfertilized eggs and this will give the mother much-needed nutrients lost during egg-laying.

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