This guide is not meant to encourage you to breed Bearded Dragons. In truth, these reptiles are overbred. As a result, a lot of Bearded Dragons end up suffering from a lack of good homes to go to. Overall, breeding these reptiles is very expensive, time consuming, and requires a lot of space. If you still plan to breed them, then please be responsible and live up to your actions. In other words, do your best to give them the best care possible until you are able to find them new homes. Thank you.
Determine the Sex
Before you can make cute little Bearded Dragon babies, you're going to need a male and a female Bearded Dragon. In order to check the sex of your Bearded Dragons, grab one dragon at a time and lay it on a flat surface such as a table. Once your Bearded Dragon is on the table, gently lift its tail and lower your head to check for the sex. If it is a female, there will be one horizontal bump just above the vent (their opening). If it is a male, there will be two symmetrical vertical bumps just above the vent. Refer to the image below for an example of how to check.
A female Bearded Dragon's health and growth is put at risk if forced to reproduce at an early age. With this in mind, I suggest that the female Bearded Dragon be at least two years old. As for the male, he should be around 2 years old as well, but he can be younger (close to one year).
The male and female Bearded Dragon should have a decent amount of weight on them. For both the male and female, I recommend a weight of at least 400 grams if not more. .
It is very important that the overall health of your male and female Bearded Dragon is in good standing; I recommend taking both the male and female to a vet for a checkup to be 100% positive that your Bearded Dragons (especially the female) are healthy enough to breed.
Allowing the Male to Mate with the Female
If everything checks out health wise, it is now time to prepare your Bearded Dragons for mating. For starters, always keep the male and female separated until it is time to mate. Once it is time, place the male and female together within the same enclosure and watch them closely. If they look like they are going to fight instead of mate, then separate them immediately and try again another day or week.
If the male is ready to mate, then he will do a few things. First, he will see her and start to aggressively bob his head while also stomping his feet (this gets the attention of the female). After that, the male should run towards the back of the female. Soon after, he should attempt to get on her back and bite her on the back of the neck in order to hold her down while he flips up her tail so that he can mate. Once the deed is done, separate the male and female immediately.
A Gravid Female
After your Bearded Dragons successfully mate, the gravid period will last around 4-6 weeks. Once a week or two passes, you should be able to feel the eggs in the female's stomach. Of course, be gentle when touching. If she still hasn't laid eggs after 4-6 weeks, then I would go to a vet as soon as possible for a checkup on her eggs to make sure that she is not egg bound which would be fatal for the female Bearded Dragon.
Anyways, while you wait 4-6 weeks for her eggs to develop inside of her, you should give her more calcium than usual since the developing eggs will take a lot from her body. Aside from proper supplementation, continue to feed her well and keep her hydrated. Keep in mind, she may be less active than usual and she should also gain weight as a result of the developing eggs within her.
Once she is ready to lay eggs, she should start to constantly dig within her enclosure. At this time, you should have a lay box ready for her. I recommend using a dark rubbermaid tote that is large enough for her to dig down and turn around in. For the substrate, use eco-earth since this is a great substrate for her digging needs. Finally, make sure she still has her heat lamp overhead so that her body remains warm rather than cold. Once you place her into this lay box, give her some privacy and allow her to do her thing. From my experience, my female Bearded Dragon Daisy only took a few hours (each clutch) to lay all of her eggs.
Multiple Clutches of Eggs
Be aware, after just one successful mating, a female Bearded Dragon will lay more than once clutch of eggs. Furthermore, each clutch should have around 20-30 eggs. With that said, be ready to take care of a ton of little Bearded Dragon babies. After each clutch is laid, it is your duty to get the female Bearded Dragon re-energized. To clarify, make sure you feed her well and hydrate her. Basically, you want to fatten her up again so you may want to consider offering her some fatty treats such as waxworms, butterworms, or even a pinkie mouse if she is up to the challenge. Aside from treats, just make sure she has a good overall diet.
Allowing the Male to Mate with the Female
Once the female Bearded Dragon is done laying her clutch of eggs, she will bury the eggs. After she is done burying the eggs, you can remove her from the lay box and place her back into her enclosure. At a later time, you may want to consider giving her a warm bath. Before you retrieve the eggs, you should have a few tupperware containers ready for the eggs to be placed in. Also, make sure the containers have vermiculite as the substrate and make sure the lids have a few thumbtack sized holes in them for ventilation. Once you have the tupperware containers ready, go ahead and CAREFULLY dig up the eggs. As soon as you find the eggs, pick them up as you found them (avoid turning the eggs too much) and place them one by one into the containers. Use your thumb to make a little imprint in the substrate and then place the eggs into that imprint so the eggs doesn't move around too much when moving the containers. Long story short, refer to the image below for an example.
Once you retrieve all of the eggs and place them into the small containers, they should go into an incubator immediately. An incubator is required so that you can provide the right type of environment for the eggs to thrive. The temperature of the incubator should be around 80-85F while the humidity should be around 75% at all times! It is a good idea to have the incubator temp and humidity set before having to put the eggs in there. On a side note, I recommend doing some further research and finding a trustworthy incubator for the job. When I had to take care of Bearded Dragon eggs, I was on a strict budget and had no problems with using the Reptibator by Zoo Med. Although, I do know that there are much more expensive and more effective incubators available out there. If you are planning to be a serious breeder, then you may want to invest in a professional grade incubator. Otherwise, if you just need something for just a one time thing, then again, I had no issues with the Reptibator.
Please note, Bearded Dragon Owners is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Checking the Eggs Daily
Once the eggs are inside of the incubator, the waiting game begins. It will take around 40-90 days for the eggs to develop and hatch. Although, during this time, I recommend that you check on the eggs and the incubator at least once per day. In short, healthy eggs should look nice, round, and white as seen in some of the images here. In addition, they should have a nice leathery type feel to. When you check on the eggs, you are checking to make sure that none of them are going bad. For example, an egg might develop mold and infect other eggs if humidity is too high. In addition, some eggs might just be infertile. If you find any bad eggs, they should be discarded (if not quarantined to its own container) immediately so that they do not put the healthy eggs at risk. With that said, infertile eggs may appear small, deflated, or yellow. Furthermore, the eggs may be oozing fluid.
Baby Bearded Dragons
The eggs will take up to 40-90 days to hatch. Once an egg is ready to hatch, you will notice that it is "sweating". In other words, you will see tiny little drops of water on the egg itself. After this, you will notice that the egg is starting to deflate. Eventually, you should notice a tear in the egg caused by the baby Bearded Dragon within it. Once the baby Bearded Dragon cuts open a bit of the egg, the Bearded Dragon should stick its head out. Sometime after, it will eventually push itself completely out of the egg. Overall, have patience and never help a dragon get out of an egg because doing so can be harmful. Once a baby Bearded Dragon is finally out of the egg, I recommend leaving that Bearded Dragon within its small container within the incubator for at least one day before removing it and placing it into an enclosure. If you do this, it will allow the baby Bearded Dragon to fully soak up its egg sac which offers nutrients to it.