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 Thinking of breeding? read this!

edel is very experienced with dragons, and this is what she has to say about breeding:

Too many people are asking questions about breeding bearded dragons lately, so I will share what I know here:
1. The female should be no younger than 18 months old and weigh no less than 360 grams.
Breeding and laying are very stressful and take a lot out of her. You want to make sure that she is strong and healthy, and that she is old enough so as not to place the calcium intended for her little body into shelling eggs.
2. A female bearded dragon will store sperm and can lay fertile eggs every months for up to a year from one time being with a male.
Please keep them in separate enclosures. If the male is kept in the same cage, he will want to breed with the female all the time and this can cause a lot of stress and sometimes even death. Stress flares up parasites, parasites can cause many issues that can take her life.
3. Let’s say your female lays for only six months......this means you will have from 20 to 30 babies every sixty days, give or take a few days. Let’s think about this and we’ll say she lays 20 eggs every month.
The first clutch: 20 eggs....sixty days later, very luck and 20 babies hatch.
Never house more than three in a 20 long tank.....
20 babies
7 20 long tanks
7 UVB strips
7 fixtures for the UVB bulbs
7 fixtures and bulbs for heat
7+ basking areas and furniture
7 water bowls
7 food bowls
Paper towels for substrate and cleaning
This does not include the extra tanks to house the aggressive dragons....or the extra tanks for the ones that are sick and should not be kept with other dragons.
Babies need to be fed two to three times a day all the crickets they can eat. Never feeding anything bigger than the space between their eyes. (My last clutch of 10, at six weeks old, were eating over 2,000 crickets a week).
Offer a variety of greens as early as day one, chopped into bite sized pieces. They will eat the greens within a day or two.
A baby should never be sold or re homed until he is six weeks old and has gone through at least one shed.
Sixty days later your girl lays another clutch of 20. You still have 10 left from the earlier clutch that you were not able to sell. Remember they have to be separated and have their own enclosure before they are five months old or they can and will breed as early as that. However, at three months old, most of them will already have shown signs of aggression towards other dragons in the same tank, so they will have to be separated into their own tank anyway.
So, Three and a half months or so after the first clutch, you now have 20+ 20 long tanks to take care of.
Do not leave crickets in the tanks for they will bite on the dragons. Crickets are known to do very ugly and painful damage to bearded dragons and other reptiles because they were left in the tank. Every night, remove all the crickets from each tank before lights out.
3 feedings a day times 20+ tanks
2 cleanings a day, at least, replacing all the paper towels
Chopping of good dark green veggies every day....feed good and fresh veggies.
Better breed your own crickets or roaches
Removing all the crickets left in each tank
I am not trying to discourage you or telling you what you should or should not do. Breeding is a big responsibility and all I am saying is that you consider all and are ready. Breeding is not an easy thing and it is a lot of work. I considered myself ready, having all the materials, including all the tanks, fixtures, lighting.....a great vet to work with whom I can contact via phone or email at any time.....and a great and reputable breeder whom I could contact any time of day or night if needed. Even so.....I was not ready. It’s a big huge deal and if you are thinking about breeding, please please be ready and think of everything possible.
It is a great experience when everything goes well.....but it can be and will be heart breaking, because when breeding so many and taking care of so many, awful things will and can happen.
In my opinion, let’s rescue all the ones that have been thrown away.
But, if you want to breed please......


04/13/14  10:52am

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