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The number of eggs laid per season may vary from one Bearded dragon to another, while some females may not lay eggs at all.
Bearded dragons can only lay eggs when they reach sexual maturity, which can occur when they are around 8 to 18 months old.
If you are planning on breeding your Bearded dragon, experts recommend that the female should be at least 24 months old.
Breeding beardies who are younger may result in serious health complications or death in worst-case scenarios.
In addition to this, premature breeding can cause the lizard to become egg-bound. Consequently, you may have to take your beardie for surgery so that the eggs can be removed.
The procedure will not only cause pain to the beardie but is equally life-threatening. To avoid this, ensure that you give the female enough time to grow and mature.
Moreover, it’s not a must that you breed your Bearded dragon, so you can just let the female be if you don’t need the hatchlings.
In some cases, Bearded dragons mate on their own. This applies to scenarios where the females are kept in the same enclosure as males.
If you don’t want the beardies to mate, you should consider separating them. You can place the male and female close to each other but in separate vivariums.
And you don’t have to worry about them feeling lonely because Bearded dragons are solitary creatures.
Do Bearded Dragons Lay Infertile Eggs?
It is not uncommon for Bearded dragons to lay infertile eggs. In fact, female beardies can lay eggs even without mating with a male, but the only problem is that the eggs will be infertile. Such eggs cannot produce hatchlings due to the absence of male sperm.
As a beardie keeper, you should be able to differentiate a fertile egg from an infertile egg. That way, you will be able to care for the eggs as required.
In a nutshell, beardies lay fertilized eggs when they mate with males. On the other hand, infertility can be laid without the female Bearded dragon ever coming into contact with a male.
The fact that your Bearded dragon is laying eggs does not necessarily mean that the eggs are viable. If you want the female beardie to give you hatchlings, you should pair her with a sexually mature male. Like the females, male Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity when they are at least eighteen months old.
Once you have paired the male and the female, there are several things that you can do to encourage mating behavior.
For starters, ensure that the temperature inside the enclosure is at the correct levels. Beardies tend to be more active when the temperature is a bit high. Aim for temperatures between 77 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The basking spot should be around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The humidity levels should be between 30% and 40%. But most importantly, ensure that the female eats a varied diet that is equally rich in calcium.
Calcium is essential for the egg forming process since it is the compound used to make the shell. If your bearded dragon is laying infertile eggs when mating with a male, it may be suffering from MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease).
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Infertile Eggs?
When it comes to laying eggs, not all female beardies are the same. As you have seen, several factors will determine whether the eggs laid are fertile or infertile.
The frequency of laying infertile eggs may vary depending on the type of care that the female is getting, her age, and the presence of a male Bearded dragon.
This means that your female Bearded dragon may or may not lay infertile eggs during certain seasons. Beardies will lay several clutches of eggs regardless of whether they are fertile or not.
When Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
Female Beardies can start laying eggs when they are as young as ten months old. Nevertheless, the eggs laid during this period are infertile, meaning they are not viable.
Infertile Bearded dragon eggs are incapable of producing hatchlings. And as mentioned earlier, female beardies can become gravid even without mating with a male.
If you notice that your Bearded dragon has a clutch of eggs in its abdomen, but it has never come into contact with a male beardie, there is a high probability that the eggs are infertile.
However, female beardies are unique in that they can store sperm in their oviductal crypts for up to one year.
As such, your female Bearded dragon may lay fertile eggs by using sperms from the previous mating season. This shouldn’t worry you because it is common among sexually mature females.
And that is precisely why it is not advisable to buy a female Bearded dragon from regular folks. If you intend to keep a female beardie without it reproducing, it’s essential to buy from a reputable breeder.
Bearded dragons who have reached sexual maturity can be mated several times a year. After mating, the eggs can be laid at intervals for 1 to 3 days.
Female Bearded dragons can lay multiple clutches of eggs at a time, but the number may vary from beardie to beardie.
Proper husbandry and successful mating can significantly increase the chances of a beardie laying fertile eggs.
What To Do With Infertile Bearded Dragon Eggs
Before you decide what to do with beardie eggs, you need to check if they are fertile or not.
Infertile eggs often have deformed shells, but this technique is unreliable since humidity levels may cause the outside to appear wrinkly.
This means even fertile eggs may appear somewhat deformed depending on the humidity levels inside the enclosure.
Fertile vs. Infertile Bearded Dragon Eggs
The most effective technique that can help you differentiate infertile eggs from fertile eggs is the candling method.
This method is so reliable that it is used in embryology when studying the growth of embryos inside the eggs of birds and reptiles. All you need is a bright source of light, preferably a small flashlight.
The Magicfly Bright Cool LED Light Egg Candler is one of the highly-rated candling flashlights on Amazon, so you can consider adding it to your candling kit.
Place the light source behind the egg and observe the inner parts through the shell.
Fertile Bearded dragon eggs often have blood vessels running through them. You may also see a reddish/pinkish dot—this is the embryo. Infertile eggs will appear yellowing with no distinctive features when placed against a light source.
Also, ensure that the light source produces a steady beam of light because this will allow you to see all the features with minimal strain.
When candling, you need to be cautious when handling the eggs to avoid causing any damage to the internal structures.
Plus, female beardies can lay fertile and infertile eggs, so you need to be extra keen during the candling process.
The infertile eggs can be disposed of since they are not viable. To avoid disposing of the fertile eggs, ensure that you double-check each egg for the embryo or blood vessels.
Bearded Dragon Egg Care
Now that you have separated the fertile eggs from the infertile batch, it’s time to take care of the former so that they can hatch successfully.
Caring for Bearded dragon eggs is very easy, so you won’t experience any problem provided that you follow the rules to the letter. You can do this by giving the female Bearded dragon a comfortable place to lay her eggs.
The beardie should not lay the eggs inside the enclosure, especially when there is no loose substrate.
You should consider placing a nesting box inside the enclosure since this will make the Bearded dragon even more comfortable.
The nesting box should have enough substrate so that the lizard can dig and bury her eggs. This behavior is common among lizards and other reptiles.
Ensure that you use a substrate that is pet-safe. In addition to this, you should increase the humidity levels by moistening the substrate.
Spraying bottles are highly preferred when moistening the substrate as they allow you to apply just the right amount of water.
From there, you can warm up the substrate using a heat lamp or heat mat. Either can do; you have to ensure that you keep the temperature favorable.
Once you get your first set of eggs, you should move the eggs into an incubator. Incubators provide the perfect conditions for the eggs to hatch.
However, you can also leave the eggs inside the nesting box, but this may require a lot of work, and there is also a high chance that some of the eggs may get moldy.
Before moving the eggs into the incubator, you need to remove them from the nesting box. You can place them inside small containers with moistened incubation medium.
Most beardie parents use vermiculite as the incubation medium due to its good moisture-holding properties.
To prevent the eggs from rolling over, ensure that you create a small hole for each egg before placing it in the incubation medium.
You should avoid spraying the eggs directly when moistening the incubation medium because this can cause mold to grow on the shells.
You should keep the humidity levels at 75% to avoid any complications. It would be best if you kept the temperature of the incubator from 80°F to 85°F.
These conditions are essential for the embryo’s growth, so the incubator should operate within the recommended levels at all times.
With the right conditions, Bearded dragon eggs can hatch anywhere between 50 and 90 days. A healthy hatchling will take 24-36 hours to come out of the egg.
Hatchlings should come out of the egg independently, so you should never pull the little beardies from the egg.
Additionally, you should leave the hatchlings inside the incubator for up to 24 hours for safety purposes.
Other Commonly Asked Questions About Female Bearded Dragons
Do female bearded dragons have femoral pores?
Femoral pores are the tiny black dots found on the underside of your beardies hind legs.
Female beardies have femoral pores, but they are not as conspicuous as those found on male Bearded dragons.
The femoral pores secrete a waxy medium that beardies use when marking their territory.
Do female Bearded dragons have periods?
Female Bearded dragons don’t have periods. However, they ovulate several times a year when their hormone levels are high.
They may also lay eggs regardless of whether they have mated with a male or not.
If you keep a female Bearded dragon, you should expect to see some eggs after your beardie has reached sexual maturity.
Female beardies can lay fertile or infertile eggs depending on certain factors. The only way in which a female can lay fertile eggs is through mating with a male.
Always remember to treat your bearded dragon with care during this period, as it can be a stressful time. You should also handle the eggs with caution and incubate them if you believe they are fertile.