Even the most squeamish animal lover will find it difficult to say that a bearded baby dragon is not cute!
Remember that these cute little pets bring responsibility.
They need full attention and prescribed care for them to grow into an impressive dragon.
Baby Bearded Dragon Habits And Biology
A baby bearded dragon is perhaps the perfect lizard pet. As they have become popular for petting, there has been a demand for these lizards. Since these are a naturally reproductive species, it has not been any trouble for the breeders to keep up with the demand and satisfy the many people looking for these reptiles as they are in massive supply.
While baby bearded dragons are quite easy to care for, the new babies present some tasks that the owner must do. These obstacles are easily overcome if the owner is prepared and has good animal husbandry.
A Fun Fact: Bearded dragons come from the desert of Australia. Australia does not legally allow exporting its wildlife to other countries. This means that any pet bearded dragons being sold by breeders in the U.S. or U.K. legally must have been born there. So — this had led some to believe that the original bearded dragons that were sold, then bred were smuggled out of Australia illegally!
Choosing a Baby Bearded Dragon
When purchasing a baby bearded dragon, choose an animal that is well-bred and healthy. This is a simple yet vital aspect of rearing bearded dragons successfully. While a dealer will not intentionally sell an unsuitable baby, it helps to know how to spot a healthy or unhealthy baby bearded dragon. The animal should respond to physical stimuli. Some baby dragons will calmly sit on the palm of your hand. That is fine.
The baby bearded dragon should keep its eyes wide open. The eyes should be of equal size and should not show signs of any infection such as mucous, crusts, etc. Closely examine the nails and mouth. If the baby dragons are well-fed, they will have a rounded-out appearance. They should have a plump appearance without showing any visible bones around the hip and back.
If choosing from a large selection, first look at the ones larger and more active. These are the “alpha” animals and would be a great choice. Once these have been taken out of the group, the smaller ones will quickly increase in size and catch up to others in the group that are more dominant.
Make sure the animal you want is not missing any parts, toes, tail tip, or fingers. It is quite common for baby bearded dragons to have a nipped toe or a damaged tail because of a cage mate while being housed in communal habitats. These injuries are very minor typically and heal fast with no lasting problems. But if you have a choice, the animal with no wounds is the better choice.
Hatchlings are born weighing just four grams and 3″ in length. During their first two months of life, the hatchlings can grow 1″ to 1.5” in a week. They will also gain 5 to 35 grams during the first two months. You need to weigh the babies weekly to ensure they are within the normal range.
The coloration of baby bearded dragons is different from the adults and can range from earthy tones of reddish-brown and gray to yellow and orange. The adult’s natural skin color ranges from tan to gray to brick red, enabling them to blend in with the natural soil on which they live.
The baby bearded dragon’s head is triangular shaped and contains rows of spikes resembling thorns. Under their head, they have rows of spiked scales, that when puffed up, resembles a beard. These scales turn darker when breeding.
Sexual Dimorphism and Reproductive Traits
Bearded dragons show sexual dimorphism, meaning that the difference between the sexes is noticeable. Males have darker beards and a thicker tail base compared to females.
Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity and begin breeding between eight and eighteen months. The female generally lays 20 eggs at a time. The eggs will hatch in 55-75 days. Unmated females can also lay eggs. A female bearded dragon living alone can lay eggs.
Why? It’s possible she has recently spent time near a male dragon. Or because it is not unusual, without ever being with a mate, for female bearded dragons and some other types of animals to lay infertile eggs.
Eggs from the bearded dragons hatch over one to three days—the eggs collapse after becoming indented. A slit created in the egg by the babies frees them from the eggs. After all the hatching is over, a few babies may still be trapped in their eggs and cannot break free. They need help. You can carefully cut a tiny slit on the top of the eggs ensuring that you do not hurt the babies in the process.
If one of the babies is carrying an egg sac, do not take it off as it could injure the baby. It shakes off the sac when it is ready. The babies will be approximately three to four inches long.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dirt?
Yes. Baby bearded dragons eat dirt for the calcium. They can feel if they need more, and by eating dirt, they balance their minerals.
Owners should ensure that their bearded dragons get enough dirt or calcium at all times.
What Do Baby Bearded Dragons Eat?
You need to be quite careful when feeding your baby dragon to avoid overfeeding. Overfeeding baby bearded dragons puts additional pressure on their small lizard nerves, resulting in paralysis of the rear legs or even death. Baby lizards will eat a lot and need quite a bit of food but in tiny and frequent meals. They enjoy freshly molted mealworms, wax worms, and crickets.
Also, feed them some vegetables at least once every couple of days. The vegetables should be chopped and given to them in very small quantities. Bearded dragons love lettuce, especially Bibb lettuce. Babies and juveniles need to be fed primarily very small insects, such as crickets, two to three times daily.
Here are some products sold on Amazon for baby bearded dragons that other purchasers have rated five stars for an excellent product.
- For aquatic frogs, lizards, turtles, and other small exotic pets
- Precise amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and nutrients to support good health and vitality
- Scientifically formulated to digest easily
- Feed up to twice a day, but no more than your baby bearded dragon can consume within a few minutes.
- An enriched vitamin formula providing essential proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals
- Blended with mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers that have been freeze-dried for maximum nutrition and flavor
- An easy and convenient way to feed your pet naturally without having to deal with live prey
- Store in a cool, dry place for optimal freshness
- Crickets are the main food source for reptiles and amphibians. Their level of nutrition makes them an excellent food source for your bearded dragons and other small exotics.
- Live crickets are harder to keep, odorous, and loud. Our freeze-drying method ensures the same value nutritionally as a live cricket but with easier handling, convenience, and extended shelf life.
- Our crickets are fed leafy greens, vegetable matter, and fruits.
- Pets love our dried crickets. Some are picky eaters, however. Work them slowly into your pet’s diet, rehydrate them in water to make them more appealing.
Foods Baby Bearded Dragons Should Avoid
Never offer your baby bearded dragon prey food that is bigger than its head. Offering insects that are too big can cause serious injury or be fatal to your baby bearded dragon. They have an enormous appetite and will try to eat prey that is too large.
Here are five foods you need to avoid feeding your dragon.
- Beet tops
- Fireflies — never feed your bearded dragon fireflies!
Tips on Feeding Your Baby Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons can grow very fat. To make sure they are growing correctly and to lessen the risk of nipping off each other’s digits and tails, the baby bearded dragons need to be fed frequently.
The appetites of the animals will vary. While growing, a bearded dragon will eat three times a day, consuming as many crickets as he can in fifteen minutes.
1. Do bearded dragons make good pets?
Absolutely, as they are friendly and easily handled, which makes for a terrific pet choice if you like being hands-on. There are some aspects of their lifestyle and personality easy for a new owner to manage, such as their sleep schedule, diet, and habitation.
2. Do bearded dragons bite?
Although very rare, they will sometimes bite. This will usually happen if you are finger-feeding since your pet cannot tell food from your fingers.
They may also bite if they are fearful for their lives. If you have purchased your pet from a good breeder, and you treat it well, you can learn to spot it when it feels anxious. If you pay attention, you can avoid being bitten. But even if you are, don’t worry; the bites are harmless.
3. How long is a bearded dragon’s lifespan?
The bearded dragon’s lifespan can vary depending on how well it is cared for. If your dragon is well cared for, it can live up to 15 years.
4. How much does a bearded dragon cost?
The price of a pet bearded dragon can vary depending on the breeder, the morph, and where you live. In the U.S., the average cost can be anywhere from $60 to $100. But bearded dragons with unusual morphs can cost from $250 to $400 or more.
5. How big are bearded dragons when they hatch?
They are tiny when first hatched — typically three or four inches. However, they grow rapidly over the next five months at a rate of two to three inches per month. After that, they grow about one to two inches per month for the next six months.
6. How big will my dragon get?
Most full-grown bearded dragons get 20 to 24 inches long, weighing from around one pound to one and a half pounds, depending on how they are cared for.
A larger enclosure will enable your pet to grow longer.
7. How big of a tank should I get for my bearded dragon?
When setting up the best habitat, your pet’s needs will change as they age and grow larger. There are specifically designed enclosures for keeping reptiles. A baby bearded dragon needs a 20 or 40-gallon tank.
8. Are bearded dragons poisonous?
Bearded dragons do not produce venom, nor do they have toxic saliva. However, they do carry a lot of bacteria that cause Salmonella.
That is why it is essential to wash your hands after handling your pet, be diligent in cleaning the enclosure, and bathing your pet when needed.
9. Can bearded dragons swim?
No. If you are bathing your pet, filling its water dish, or letting it swim for fun, avoid placing it in water higher than its elbows and knees. They are not mobile in deep water.
10. Are bearded dragons smart?
Absolutely. They are not the most intelligent reptiles, but they are quite astute. Because of this, they get along well with people and other dragons.
Bearded dragons make adorable pets — they are cute as babies and remain cute for life — and they do not wake you up at night to be let out!