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 dragon eggs are round and white when healthy or yellow and deflated when infertile, and females can begin laying them as early as 10 to 12 months old. Their native Australian climate is ideal for raising their offspring but in captivity, owners must take care to incubate the eggs properly to ensure their survival.
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.
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.