How to Breed Bearded Dragons for Profit

Updated on August 21, 2017
tazzytamar profile image

Anna studied psychology, law, English, and animal welfare in college. She is a mother of two and aspires to become a vet some day.

Source

Do You Have the Space and Equipment?

Bearded dragons make excellent pets for the experienced and amateur reptile keeper. They are wonderful creatures, friendly, exciting to watch, and their laid-back personalities make them good pets for children.

Firstly, think about the space you have and what you will do with the young "beardies." Once you have incubated the eggs and they hatch, you may have as many as 40 (or more), babies to either find homes for, or buy new vivariums for. I know it seems like a lovely idea having a large number of baby dragons, but the fact is they grow extremely quickly and will be ready to breed before you know it - and inbreeding is NEVER a road you want to go down.

Try to have a plan about what to do with the babies even before they have hatched. If you have friends, family members or acquaintances who have said they want to buy a pair off you, make sure they mean it - the last thing you want is people backing out and you suddenly having 20 bearded dragons who all need proper feeding, care and attention from you.

When Can You Breed Bearded Dragons?

It is best to wait to until they are at least 18 months of age. If they are any younger, breeding may cause harm to your female, potentially with the result that she can never breed again, or she may even become egg-bound which (in some cases) can result in death or having to be put to sleep/be operated on by a vet.

The Eggs Are Small Enough To Fit On A Teaspoon

What Can I Do?

Actually, as the owner, you can do a lot to help encourage mating behaviour! To encourage them to mate, you can try turning the heating up by just a couple of degrees gradually over a week or so and keeping their light on for longer hours, which will make them think it is breeding season.

You will probably have noticed from keeping them for a long period of time that males, from a very early age, bob their heads to the female. When the male actually wants to breed, this head-bobbing will become much faster and the bobs will be much more noticeable and defined. It always used to give me the giggles when our bearded dragon did the head-bobbing.

Bearded Dragon breeding can be quite daunting and watching the courting can make you want to rescue the poor female, who before long, will be pounced on by the male and her neck will then be bitten to hold her still. This behaviour from the male has been known to actually tear the skin of the female, but as with all animals, what looks vicious to humans, is probably completely acceptable for the animal. Do not interfere, as if you discourage this behaviour they will not breed successfully.

If the male bearded dragon bites your female and you are worried that the wound will become infected, call your local vet and get some advice on what to do next. You can buy some great solutions for cleaning flesh wounds on pet lizards, but nobody could advise you better on which ones are safe than a vet.

Have You Ever Bred Bearded Dragons?

Were You Successful?

See results

What Happens Next?

Over the course of the next few weeks, the female will put on weight and her belly will change shape. Eventually it will look like she has a stomach full of marbles or round pebbles. These lumps are the eggs and when she is a few days off of laying them, she will stop eating and will start scurrying back and forth, digging in the sand in different areas. She will not settle on a spot for maybe a couple of days after she has started this behaviour.

Consequently, the male will need to have some high up branch or cover to hide in, else he get covered in sand. Unlike rodents or other mammals, the male and female do not need to be separated as they are such sociable animals, and the mother will lay her eggs, cover them over and then wander away, leaving them forever. Babies can live in the same vivarium as their parents when they hatch, providing there is enough room.

It is advisable that if you are worried about finding homes or finding space in your own home, you only hatch a small portion of the eggs, as this will prevent stress of unwanted animals in the future.

Usually, the first batch of eggs the female produces will be a yellow-white colour, and infertile. This is perfectly normal, and does not mean that either of your Dragons have fertility issues. However, usually some of the eggs will be white and fertile. Don't be alarmed if not all of the Dragons hatch in one day. It may take up to a week longer for some. Some may be early, too. Once a week has passed you can count all the unhatched eggs as infertile, and dispose of them.

When removing the eggs from the sand, they will be small, covered and fragile and personally, it is recommended using a paintbrush (clean of course), to uncover them, and then VERY softly and carefully remove them one by one with a teaspoon. This will prevent you accidentally breaking them, which is easy to do if you're nervous!

With bearded dragons, retained sperm is a very common and very normal thing, and you will often find that your female dragon lays another batch of eggs as large as the first. If you decide to hatch these as well, proceed as you did with the others. The eggs may be laid as late as four weeks or more after the first batch has been laid. Again, this is perfectly normal, and you shouldn't panic, but if you are worried or sense that the female is not her usual self simply call your vet or even a local reptile store for advice.

How Can I Incubate The Eggs?

You can buy or rent or even hand-make your incubator. If you make one, the cost of it can be as low as $40, although the hatch rate of the eggs is generally lower. And you of course, will have more input for example, checking the humidity of the incubator. If you choose to hand-make your incubator, you should seek advice from reptile shops or aquatic shops, where they will often tell you where to get the materials most cheaply.

Personally, a favourite substrate to put the eggs in is damp - but not wet - vermiculite. Once you have set the eggs in the incubator, you should keep the temperature at a constant, steady 84 degrees Fahrenheit which is around 28 degrees Celsius.

Once incubated, the eggs will take around 72 days to fully form and hatch; reptile eggs often take this long, because they are slower developers, maybe because they are more intricately designed than, for example, a chicken (chicken eggs take just 21 days).

Rare Morphs

Source

The New Babies

Once the babies have hatched do not move them straight away, allow them to start scurrying around and dry off. Once they look like they are happy enough, remove them carefully and move them to a vivarium - which you should already have set up. Within a couple of days you will find that most of the batch has hatched and it will be time to start feeding them.

The babies will grow extraordinarily fast into large adults, feeding on small pieces of cut fruit and vegetables. Moving on to crickets and locusts once they are big enough. They will enjoy curly kale, grated carrot and other vegetables with high levels of calcium from the first few days of their lives. Crickets are also a favourite since they have such high levels of protein. This writer would also recommend mealworms, dusted with a calcium powder.

Be prepared to find out that breeders across the globe all say one thing the same: there is little, if any money in breeding bearded dragons unless you have rare colour morphs. And the people who do make money from this are doing it on a massive scale, selling to pet shops. You have to buy lots of vivariums of significant sizes. Not all will find homes and by the time they are six months of age they will need the same size vivarium as their parents to be truly happy. If you want to do it regardless, put an advert up long before the eggs hatch, so you know how many homes you will realistically have.

Are You Going To Have A Go?

To Breed Or Not To Breed?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Did You Find This Useful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Wilkie Effy Larney Major 

      3 months ago

      Very interesting indeed. We have three Bearded Dragons,one 19 months old the other two around 9 months old. Two nod their heads one waves his or her front legs while the nodding is going on. The two younger ones are in together, and the older one is on it's own. How do I know for certain what sex these are please. I took the older one to the vet 5 months to find out what sex it is and did NOT get what I wanted just a huge! bill!, so I am none the wiser!. Best regards from Wilkie Major.

    • profile image

      Sophiya 

      5 months ago

      Do you need a license to breed bearded dragons?

    • profile image

      Terryann24 

      6 months ago

      I want to breed my beardies, but also want to be sure I am properly prepared.

    • profile image

      kailey 

      10 months ago

      what age do the babys have to be I have two berdies and was wondering

    • profile image

      Idk 

      12 months ago

      Don't the parents eat the babies

    • profile image

      Bee 

      12 months ago

      So much wrong here... Research elsewhere. Don't ever house babies with adults! Deadly consequences!

    • profile image

      Terryann Schappert 

      13 months ago

      The article was very well written and informative. Beardies really do make great pets and it's great when you can find well written articles concerning them. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      16 months ago

      Bearded dragons should not be housed together. Also, feeding meal worms can cause impaction in hound dragons. Small super worms or dubia are much better for them.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      We can't stand lizards, neither the giant nor minitiature but this hub is well done, voted up

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)