If you have a female bearded dragon, it’s essential to know how often they lay eggs.
Knowing in advance how often you can expect your beardie to lay eggs will allow you to prepare as an owner and make sense of new and unusual behaviours.
In this post, we will take a look at how often bearded dragons lay eggs and what can affect how often they lay eggs as well as many other related questions that are important if you have an egg-laying female bearded dragon.
So how often do bearded dragons lay eggs? The average bearded dragon – kept under healthy conditions and given the proper diet and calcium supplementation – will lay four or five clutches of eggs each year. How those clutches space out depends on the individual beardie. Some come in bursts of two, and others produce eggs continuously.
Read On to Find Out…
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs? (More Information)
As one of the oviparous lizards, bearded dragons lay eggs. And once female bearded dragons reach the age of one year, they’re ready to start producing baby beardies – in theory.
On rare occasions, a female will begin making eggs as young as ten months, but they’re never viable as her body’s still too young.
The most successful breeding period lands between the ages of two and four years – for females. Male beardies, it turns out, have no problems becoming fathers at the tender age of 18 months.
Breeding bearded dragons too young (or too old) can lead to damaging health consequences – for the adults and the potential offspring. After all, producing eggs and offspring requires A LOT of energy and resources.
And the very young and very old don’t have much of either to offer up. So if you’re interested in breeding beardies, take your pairs’ age and health into careful consideration.
On average, female bearded dragons lay anywhere from four to six clutches of eggs every year.
Each female’s different in her egg-laying “technique,” though. Some beardies produce all of their eggs in two clutches spaced out over the year. Others lay in a continuous process that never seems to end.
What makes things so tricky? Female bearded dragons have two geminal beds in each ovary, for a total of four, and each one can remain active at the same time.
So while they’re laying one clutch, another can be forming in the wings. Oh, and females use sperm from a single mating to fertilize multiple germinal beds.
So a female doesn’t even need to see a male again to incubate a new set of eggs!
Your best bet is to make notes on a calendar when your bearded dragon starts laying eggs. A pattern will begin to emerge, and you’ll learn what’s normal for your particular lady beardie.
Have you ever wondered how fast the baby bearded dragon will grow once they have hatched?
You can find out exactly how fast bearded dragons grow in our easy to follow guide with charts and tables here…
Do Young or Old Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs More Often?
The magical age for bearded dragon reproduction falls between two to four years of age.
The body can draw on the most resources during this period – under ideal conditions. (Obviously, sickly bearded dragons won’t do well) As lady beardies start to age, the calcium reserves in her body start to drop.
She’ll lay fewer eggs as a result – even if you supply supplementation. Continuing to breed older bearded dragons will lead to bone malformations and a shortened lifespan.
You’re much better off letting your dignified, older ladies enjoy a quiet retirement without the headache of trying to lay eggs every year.
If you want to know how long bearded dragons live, we have researched and put together the ultimate guide on the life-span of captive bearded dragons!
What Can Affect How Often Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
Bearded dragons don’t follow set patterns or regular schedules when it comes to laying eggs.
The frequency depends on the resources within the female’s body and her hormone levels.
Until you’re able to pick out your lady beardie’s particular egg-laying habits, make sure you provide her with a consistent level of high-quality food and water.
Husbandry and good overall care are contributing factors that can affect how often bearded dragons lay eggs and how healthy they are.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if your beardie just ate insects and no greens?
How Long After Breeding Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
With such a dizzying laying schedule, it sounds almost impossible to predict when to search for eggs, doesn’t it? Yes and no.
If you have a mated pair, things go a little easier for planning that calendar, especially when you know how long bearded dragons lay eggs following breeding.
So how long after breeding do bearded dragons lay eggs? An average 4-6 weeks after a successful mating, a female bearded dragon will lay eggs. However, females have the ability to store sperm for up to a year. This means that females can give birth again within this one-year time frame without mating for a second time.
A female bearded dragon carrying eggs is referred to as gravid. And they’re pretty easy to spot. You’ll see the following signs:
- Weight gain
- A rounder belly with hard, marble-like protrusions on palpation
- A pinkish tinge to her urates
- Changes in her bowel movements
- Decreases in activity (especially as she gets close to laying the eggs)
- Digging behavior
- Refusal to eat (the final few days before laying)
Of course, if the mating WASN’T successful, you may not see any eggs laid.
Your best bet is to mark the calendar and start watching your lady beardie – just in case.
Preparing Your Bearded Dragon to Lay Eggs
As soon as you spot a gravid female, you need to increase her calcium supplementation.
Calcium’s a critical part of any beardie’s diet, but low calcium could prove fatal to a female bearded dragon.
We have just created a new post that shares exactly why calcium is so important for bearded dragons…
We always recommend supplementing your bearded dragon’s diet with a calcium supplement.
The one we recommend is Rep-Cal as it’s great quality and trusted by owners throughout the world.
You can check out the exact Rep-Cal supplement we suggest you provide your beardie over at Amazon below…
- Rep-Cal Ultrafine Powder Is An Excellent Source Of Calcium For All Reptiles And Amphibians
- Scientifically Formulated From 100-Percent Natural Oyster Shell Phosphorous-Free Calcium Carbonate With Vitamin D3 To Aid In Absorption Of Calcium
Last update on 2021-03-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Egg production naturally pulls calcium from the beardie’s skeletal system. Without outside supplementation, it leaves the female susceptible to osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.
This could mean:
- Broken toes, tails, or even limbs
- Swelling or deformation of the lower jaw
The damage doesn’t end there, though. Without enough calcium in the development process, the eggs fail to form a strong shell.
They end up with cracks, leading to internal infections for your lady beardie. Or, worse, the gravid female may not be able to lay them at ALL, causing her to become egg bound.
A little extra calcium goes a long way to keeping ALL of the beardies safe and sound.
Do All Female Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs Every Year?
If your female bearded dragon never found herself exposed to a male (and never has been), they may not lay clutches of eggs.
A lady beardie can skip the egg-laying process altogether. In the absence of the correct hormones (i.e., no male influence), her reproductive system stays dormant.
However, this ISN’T always a guarantee (more on this in a minute).
Can Bearded Dragons Lay Infertile Eggs?
You have a female bearded dragon that’s under a year old. Or perhaps you adopted a lady beardie with no history of ever encountering a male.
Yet you definitely stumbled upon eggs in the enclosure.
So, can bearded dragons lay infertile eggs? It’s entirely possible for bearded dragons to lay infertile or unfertilized eggs. Females can lay infertile eggs multiple times throughout their lives. It’s a regular occurrence and nothing you need to be concerned with, though make sure you dispose of the eggs before they rot.
Gravid females look the same, whether they’re carrying fertilized eggs or infertile eggs.
And they need the same boost of calcium to prevent complications. You’ll know which clutch you’re dealing with once the eggs appear.
It’s easy to tell unfertilized eggs from viable, healthy eggs. Any time you have infertile eggs, you’ll see a dented, yellowish tinge to the shell.
How to Check for Infertile Eggs
If you have a mated pair and want to know whether a breeding was successful, leave the eggs alone for one to two weeks.
You can then candle them to check for fertility.
- Put on a pair of gloves and gently lift the egg.
- Hold it at the end of a flashlight.
- A pink embryo or red veins indicate a happy fertile egg.
- A yellow tint with nothing inside means an infertile egg.
How Many Eggs Can Bearded Dragons Lay in a Fertile Clutch?
Every bearded dragon is different (as you’ve probably guessed by now). So if you’re standing outside the enclosure, watching your lady beardie start to scratch in preparation for oviposition (laying of eggs), you’d probably like to know how long you need to stand there.
How many eggs do bearded dragons lay in a fertile clutch? On average, female bearded dragons produce twenty eggs. This is often spread out over two to four clutches, depending on the individual. She may not lay all of her eggs at one time, so be prepared to check the chosen nest repeatedly over weeks, if not months.
Again, there’s a lot of variation between individual beardies. Some produce small clutches, in the range of just twelve or fifteen eggs.
This isn’t as common, but if you have a little lady, that’s all her body may be able to produce.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, some bearded dragons produce egg clutches into the 30s and a clutch of 35 has been recorded. Still not common, but if your lady lays throughout the year, consider keeping a tally.
How Many Eggs Can Bearded Dragons Lay in an Infertile Clutch?
You know what to expect from a fertile clutch, but what happens when you have a lone female?
Is there a different number of eggs to expect when your female dragon’s laying an infertile clutch? Female bearded dragons on average lay the twenty eggs in an infertile clutch. You can see a slight variation in this number depending on the individual, but there’s no difference between the number of eggs based on whether they’re fertile or infertile.
It sounds counterintuitive, but egg production requires the same amount of resources, whether or not there’s a tiny beardie embryo inside or not.
This is why it’s crucial to provide your female bearded dragon with the proper diet, plenty of water, and necessary misting at all times.
Even if she’s never laid any eggs in the past, it IS possible she’ll do so at any point in her life. You want to make sure you have adequate preparations.
How Long Does it Take a Bearded Dragon to Lay a Full Clutch of Eggs?
Your bearded dragon has started digging in a corner. Thanks to your careful notes (and research), you have a rough idea of how many eggs to expect.
So, how long does it take a bearded dragon to finish laying a clutch of eggs? Healthy, uncomplicated oviposition can take several hours. But, every bearded dragon is different. Some females take several days to finish laying a clutch of eggs. Others can take weeks or even months to stop laying eggs!
It sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it? There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to bearded dragon reproduction.
Your best bet is to remain vigilant and know when “a long time” is morphing into “trouble.”
Oviposition in the Bearded Dragon
When your bearded dragon is ready to lay her eggs, you’ll start seeing cues:
- Excess time spent under the heat lamp
- Repeated digging
- A three-day fast
Once she finishes laying, her body should return to a normal shape. If you’re not seeing your usual lady beardie (and you haven’t found the eggs in the digging box), then it’s time to start some investigation.
A bearded dragon 45 days past her “due date” is almost always egg bound.
Complications of Egg-Laying in Bearded Dragons
In addition to the concerns of plummeting calcium levels, egg-laying in female bearded dragons presents other problems.
Oviposition itself is exhausting. If you have a smaller lady beardie known to pass large eggs or many eggs, the process will drain her. You need to stay on-hand to provide nourishing food and water.
The longer the condition persists, the more danger your beardie’s in. You need to get her to a veterinarian as soon as you can so they can intervene. Treatment varies from infusions of fluids all the way to surgical intervention.
What Lay Box Substrate Do We Recommend for a Bearded Dragon?
You want your bearded dragon to feel as comfortable during her oviposition as possible. You also want to make it easy for YOU to find the eggs.
Choosing the proper substrate goes a long way to solving both problems. Adding a lay box with the appropriate substrate will give your lady beardie the best place to lay her eggs. It will also give you an easy way to access and remove the eggs for proper incubation.
The following make the best substrates for lay boxes:
If you want the best option, go for vermiculite. Vermiculite is mica exposed to high temperatures, allowing it to expand into a soft, spongy texture.
It holds onto water, but it resists mold, making it the perfect substrate to include in your bearded dragon enclosure. Your lady beardie will love digging through it, and it’ll cradle those eggs delicately.
Best of all, you can continue to use it throughout the incubation process!
Bearded dragons may present a bit of a challenge when it comes to eggs. You’ll need to keep a calendar and figure out the pattern your lady beardie has decided to follow.
However, you know, on average, you can expect around 20 eggs four to five times a year. It’s a start, at least!
And with the candling process, you’ll know when you have infertile eggs and when you have baby beardies on the way!
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