All You Need to Know About Bearded Dragon Hatching

Bearded dragon hatching

Bearded dragon hatching is a crucial and delicate process. The female bearded dragon lays her eggs in a warm, sandy environment, and then nature takes its course. To ensure a successful hatching, it is essential to replicate the natural conditions in which these lizards thrive. This includes providing the right amount of heat, humidity, and a suitable terrarium setup.

Bearded Dragon Eggs

Bearded dragons are oviparous reptiles, which means they lay eggs rather than giving live birth. The female bearded dragon will lay a clutch of eggs, typically burying them in a secure location to protect them. These eggs are oval-shaped and have a leathery shell, allowing the developing hatchling to breathe.

Incubation Period

Once the eggs are laid, the incubation period begins. This is the time it takes for the baby bearded dragons to develop and hatch from the eggs. The incubation period can vary depending on several factors, including temperature and humidity levels.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and Humidity

Proper temperature and humidity levels are crucial during the incubation period. The temperature should be maintained around 85-90°F (29-32°C) within the incubator. This ensures the optimal conditions for the embryonic development of the baby bearded dragons. Additionally, the humidity should be kept at around 70-80% to prevent the eggs from drying out.

Hatching Process

Arrival of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Arrival of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Once the baby bearded dragons have successfully hatched, they will begin to explore their surroundings. It’s crucial to have a properly set up terrarium ready for their arrival. The terrarium should have appropriate heating and lighting to ensure their well-being.

Initial Care and Feeding

Feeding the newly hatched bearded dragons is an important aspect of their care. They require a diet of small insects, such as pinhead crickets or micro mealworms. It’s essential to provide a variety of suitable food options to ensure they receive proper nutrition.

Creating the Ideal Habitat

Proper habitat setup is crucial for the well-being of the baby bearded dragons. The terrarium should have a thermal gradient, allowing them to regulate their body temperature. It should also include hiding spots and suitable substrate for them to dig and burrow.

Important note: If you have any concerns or questions regarding the hatching process or the care of bearded dragon hatchlings, it is always advisable to consult with a reptile veterinarian or an experienced lizard breeder.

How Do Bearded Dragons Hatch from Eggs?

It all starts with a female bearded dragon laying her eggs. She will dig a hole in the substrate, usually in a sandy area of her terrarium, and carefully deposit her eggs. Bearded dragon eggs are soft-shelled and leathery, making them easier for the baby dragons to break through when it’s time to hatch.

After the eggs are laid, the incubation period begins. The eggs must be kept in a controlled environment with the right temperature and humidity levels for the babies to develop properly. This is where a reptile egg incubator comes in handy, as it provides a stable and consistent environment for the eggs.

When it’s time to hatch, the baby dragons will use an egg tooth to break through the soft shell. This egg tooth is a small, specialized tooth located on the tip of their snout. The baby dragons will push and wiggle their way out of the eggs, eventually emerging into the world.

After hatching, the baby dragons are usually weak and exhausted. They need to rest and regain their strength before they can fully explore their new surroundings. It is essential to provide them with a warm and humid environment, similar to the incubator, to support their recovery.

The Incubation Period for Bearded Dragon Eggs

What is Incubation?

What is Incubation?

Incubation is the process of providing optimal conditions of temperature and humidity for an egg to develop and hatch. It is a crucial period in the life cycle of a reptile, including bearded dragons.

Bearded dragon eggs need specific conditions to hatch successfully. This includes maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels in a controlled environment.

Duration of the Incubation Period

The incubation period for bearded dragon eggs typically lasts between 60 to 90 days. However, some variations may exist depending on factors such as temperature, genetics, and incubation techniques.

The temperature at which the eggs are incubated plays a significant role in determining the sex of the hatchlings. Higher temperatures tend to produce more males, while lower temperatures result in more females.

Temperature and Humidity

When incubating bearded dragon eggs, it is essential to maintain a steady temperature range between 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees Celsius). Fluctuations in temperature can negatively impact embryo development and may lead to deformities or failed hatching.

The humidity level during incubation should be kept around 70 to 80 percent. Adequate humidity helps prevent the eggs from drying out and ensures the proper development of the embryos.

Creating an Incubator

To maintain the optimal temperature and humidity levels for bearded dragon eggs, many reptile breeders use an incubator. An incubator provides a stable and controlled environment for the eggs to develop.

Monitoring the Incubation

During the incubation period, it is essential to monitor the temperature and humidity levels regularly. This can be done using a reliable thermometer and hygrometer.

The Excitement of Hatching

It is crucial not to interfere with the hatching process during this stage. The baby bearded dragons rely on their own strength to break free from the eggshells, which helps develop their muscles and prepare them for life outside the egg.

Once hatched, the baby bearded dragons will need time to adjust and dry off. They might appear weak or tired initially, but they will gradually gain strength and become more active.


The incubation period for bearded dragon eggs is an exciting time for reptile enthusiasts. By providing proper temperature and humidity levels, monitoring the incubator regularly, and letting the hatching process unfold naturally, you can increase the chances of successfully hatching healthy baby bearded dragons.

Remember, each hatching experience is unique, and it’s essential to be patient and observant throughout the incubation process. It’s a rewarding experience to witness these fascinating creatures come into the world and embark on their journey as bearded dragons.

Importance of Proper Temperature and Humidity

Humidity is another critical factor to consider during the incubation period. Bearded dragon eggs require a moderate level of humidity to prevent them from drying out. The recommended humidity level for bearded dragon eggs is around 70-80%. This can be achieved by misting the eggs with water on a regular basis or by using a moisture-retaining substrate.

Proper temperature and humidity levels are essential for the development of the embryos inside the eggs. If the conditions are too hot or too cold, the eggs may not hatch or the baby dragons may experience developmental issues. Similarly, if the humidity levels are too low, the eggs may become dehydrated, leading to failed hatching attempts.

In addition to providing the right temperature and humidity, it is also important to ensure proper ventilation in the incubator or nesting area. Sufficient airflow helps prevent the buildup of moisture, which can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria or fungus. It is recommended to use an incubator or a separate hatching container that allows for adequate airflow while maintaining the desired temperature and humidity levels.

Why Do Some Eggs Fail to Hatch?

Heat plays a crucial role in the incubation and hatching of bearded dragon eggs. If the temperature is too low or too high, it can negatively impact the development of the embryo inside the egg. The optimal incubation temperature for bearded dragon eggs is around 84 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 31 degrees Celsius). Deviations from this range can result in the failure to hatch.

Another important factor is humidity. Bearded dragon eggs require a moderately high humidity level of around 60% to 80%. Insufficient humidity can cause the eggshell to become too dry and hard, making it difficult for the baby lizard to break through. On the other hand, excessive humidity can lead to bacterial or fungal growth, which can harm the developing embryo.

Furthermore, the quality and condition of the eggs play a role in hatching success. Eggs that are cracked, damaged, or contaminated are more likely to fail to hatch. It is essential to handle the eggs with care and ensure they are free from any external factors that could impact their viability.

In some cases, genetics may also contribute to the failure of eggs to hatch. If the bearded dragon parents carry genetic abnormalities or health issues, there is a higher chance of their offspring having developmental problems. Genetic factors can interfere with the proper formation and growth of the embryo, leading to unsuccessful hatching.

Lastly, improper incubation techniques or inadequate monitoring can contribute to failed hatching. Incorrect temperature settings, inconsistent humidity levels, or lack of regular monitoring can disrupt the incubation process and prevent successful hatching. Therefore, it is crucial to follow proper protocols and closely monitor the eggs throughout the incubation period.

What to Expect During the Hatching Process

The first thing you need to know is that the hatching process can take some time. It is not uncommon for bearded dragon eggs to take anywhere from 50 to 80 days to hatch. The exact length of time can vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity levels.

During this period, it is essential to maintain the proper temperature and humidity levels in the incubator or terrarium. The temperature should be around 85 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 31 degrees Celsius), and the humidity should be between 70 to 80 percent. These conditions will help ensure a successful hatching process and minimize the risk of complications.

Once the baby bearded dragons have fully hatched and absorbed the yolk sac, they can be gently transferred to a separate terrarium. This terrarium should be appropriately set up with the necessary heat and UVB lighting to provide a suitable environment for the hatchlings.

Recognizing Signs of Hatching

1. Pipping

2. Increased Movement

3. Egg Tooth Visibility

4. Increased Vocalization

All the Essential Steps to Prepare for the Arrival of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

  1. Create a Baby Bearded Dragon Terrarium: Start by setting up a spacious and secure terrarium. It should provide enough space for them to move around and explore. Make sure you have a secure lid to prevent any escape attempts.
  2. Adjust Temperature and Humidity: Bearded dragon eggs require specific temperature and humidity levels for successful hatching. Before the babies arrive, ensure that the terrarium is heated to the appropriate temperature range and that humidity levels are well-regulated.
  3. Provide Adequate Lighting: Bearded dragons need access to UVB lighting for proper growth and development. Install a UVB light source in the terrarium to mimic natural sunlight and ensure their well-being.
  4. Offer Hiding Places: Include various hiding spots, such as rocks, branches, and artificial caves, in the terrarium. This will give the hatchlings a sense of security and allow them to regulate their body temperature as needed.
  5. Set Up a Proper Feeding and Water Station: Prepare small shallow dishes for food and water. Bearded dragon babies have different dietary needs than adults, so ensure that their meals are appropriately sized and consist of a variety of vegetables, fruits, and protein sources.
  6. Introduce Substrate: Choose a suitable substrate for the terrarium floor. Avoid loose substrates that can be ingested by the hatchlings, potentially causing gastrointestinal issues. Safe options include reptile carpet, paper towels, or non-adhesive shelf liners.
  7. Monitor the Terrarium Environment: Use a reliable thermometer and hygrometer to keep track of the temperature and humidity levels inside the terrarium. Regularly checking these parameters will help ensure a comfortable and healthy environment for the hatchlings.
  8. Set Up a Separate Quarantine Enclosure: Consider preparing a separate enclosure for quarantine purposes. This is especially important if you have other reptiles in your collection. Quarantine helps protect both the new hatchlings and your existing pets from potential diseases or parasites.
  9. Ensure Proper Handling and Socialization: Bearded dragon hatchlings need to be handled gently and with care. Gradually introduce handling sessions to acclimate them to human interaction. This will help them become comfortable with you and reduce stress.

Initial Care and Feeding of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

First and foremost, a suitable terrarium should be prepared for the hatchlings. The size of the tank should be appropriate for the number of baby dragons and provide enough space for their movement. The terrarium should be equipped with heating and lighting systems to ensure the right temperature and UVB light exposure.

As for the feeding of the hatchlings, it is crucial to provide them with a proper diet. The young bearded dragons should be offered small insects such as pinhead crickets and small mealworms. These insects should be gut-loaded with nutritious food to ensure the hatchlings receive adequate nutrients.

Bearded dragon hatchlings should be fed multiple times a day to meet their high energy demands. The insects should be dusted with a calcium supplement to ensure the hatchlings receive enough calcium for their growing bones.

In addition to food and water, bearded dragon hatchlings also require a suitable environment for proper growth and development. The terrarium should have hiding spots, climbing branches, and basking areas to mimic their natural habitat.

Proper care and feeding during the early stages of a bearded dragon’s life are crucial for their overall health and well-being. Following these guidelines will help ensure that the hatchlings grow into healthy and thriving lizards.

Creating the Ideal Habitat for Hatchlings

An ideal temperature range for the terrarium is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a slight drop to 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. This temperature gradient allows the hatchlings to regulate their body temperature by moving to different areas of the terrarium.

In addition to temperature, humidity is also crucial for the health and well-being of bearded dragon hatchlings. The humidity level should be kept relatively low, around 30% to 40%, to prevent respiratory infections and other health issues.

Provide plenty of hiding spots and branches for the hatchlings to climb on. This helps them feel safe and secure, as well as provides opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation. It is also essential to include a shallow dish of water for the hatchlings to drink from and soak in.

In terms of lighting, bearded dragon hatchlings require a UVB light source to aid in Vitamin D synthesis and calcium absorption. This light should be on for 10 to 12 hours a day and placed within a few inches of the basking spot.

Lastly, it is crucial to regularly clean and maintain the hatchlings’ habitat to prevent the buildup of feces and bacteria. Spot clean daily and perform a full cleaning of the terrarium every few weeks.

By providing the ideal habitat for bearded dragon hatchlings, you are setting them up for a healthy and thriving start to life. Keeping these factors in mind will ensure that your baby reptile grows into a strong and happy lizard.

Common Challenges in Raising Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Challenge Solution
Feeding Difficulties Bearded dragon hatchlings can be picky eaters, especially during the first few weeks. It is essential to provide a varied diet consisting of appropriately sized insects and leafy greens. Offer a variety of food options and monitor their feeding habits closely.
Proper Heating and Lighting Hatchlings require a specific temperature gradient to thrive. Ensure that the terrarium has a basking spot with a temperature of around 95-105°F (35-40°C) and a cooler area around 80°F (27°C). Use a heat lamp and UVB lighting to provide the necessary heat and light for their growth and development.
Hydration and Humidity
Handling and Socialization
Health Issues and Parasites Bearded dragon hatchlings are susceptible to various health issues and parasites. Regularly monitor their appetite, behavior, and physical appearance to detect any signs of illness. Seek veterinary assistance if you notice any abnormalities.
Proper Enclosure Size Ensure that the terrarium is appropriately sized to accommodate the growing hatchlings. A crowded enclosure can lead to stress and aggression among the dragons. A general rule of thumb is to provide at least 20 gallons of space per hatchling.

Health Issues and Concerns for Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

One common health issue in bearded dragon hatchlings is metabolic bone disease. This condition occurs when the reptile does not receive enough calcium or vitamin D3, leading to weakened bones and deformities. It is essential to provide a proper diet that includes calcium-rich foods and a source of UVB light for vitamin D3 synthesis.

Parasites, such as mites or worms, can also affect bearded dragon hatchlings. These parasites can be introduced through contaminated food or from the environment. Regular fecal examinations and deworming treatments are recommended to prevent and treat these infections. Additionally, proper hygiene and cleaning of the terrarium can help reduce the risk of parasite infestations.

Socialization and Handling of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

It is recommended to start handling bearded dragon hatchlings from an early age to familiarize them with human touch. Gently hold the hatchling in your hand, ensuring that you provide proper support and do not squeeze or drop them. This helps them get accustomed to the sensation of being held and helps build trust.

During the initial stages of handling, it is normal for hatchlings to exhibit signs of stress, such as puffing up their bodies or displaying defensive behaviors. However, with consistent and gentle handling, they will eventually become more relaxed and comfortable.

Interacting with bearded dragon hatchlings is not limited to handling alone. You can also provide them with environmental enrichment activities, such as introducing new items in their terrarium for exploration or gently introducing them to other gentle pets or humans under supervision.

Building a positive relationship with your bearded dragon hatchling through socialization and handling is not only important for their well-being but also for their future interactions as adults. A well-socialized and handled bearded dragon is more likely to be comfortable and friendly towards their owners and other humans.

From Hatchling to Juvenile: The Transition of Bearded Dragons

Creating the ideal habitat for hatchlings is also essential during this transition period. A small terrarium with a secure lid is necessary to prevent escape and protect the hatchlings from potential predators. The terrarium should be equipped with appropriate heating elements such as a heat lamp or under-tank heating pad to provide the necessary warmth for optimal growth and digestion.

Temperature and lighting play a crucial role in the development of bearded dragon hatchlings. A temperature gradient should be maintained, ranging from around 100°F (37°C) at the basking spot to around 80°F (26°C) at the cool end of the terrarium. This allows the hatchlings to thermoregulate and choose their preferred temperature zones.

UVB lighting is also essential for bearded dragon hatchlings. UVB rays help them synthesize vitamin D3, which is crucial for proper calcium absorption and strong bone development. The lighting should be provided for 10-12 hours a day, mimicking the natural daylight cycle.

It is crucial to closely monitor the health and behavior of bearded dragon hatchlings during this transition period. Any signs of illness or abnormalities should be addressed promptly by a reptile veterinarian. Regular check-ups and fecal examinations are important to ensure they are free from parasites and other health issues.

Proper care and attention during the transition from hatchling to juvenile stage will set the foundation for a healthy and thriving bearded dragon. With the right diet, habitat, and veterinary care, these fascinating reptiles will continue to grow and develop into majestic adult dragons, bringing joy and companionship to their human caretakers for many years to come.

The Impact of Heat on Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Heat plays a crucial role in the development of bearded dragon hatchlings. The temperature at which the eggs are incubated can influence the sex ratio of the hatchlings. This is because bearded dragons are one of the reptile species that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD).

Research has shown that eggs incubated at higher temperatures tend to produce more males, while eggs incubated at lower temperatures result in more females. This phenomenon is due to specific enzymes that are only active at certain temperatures, influencing the sexual differentiation of the embryos.

Determining the Sex of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Once the bearded dragon eggs have successfully hatched, determining their sex requires a closer examination. It is essential to wait until the hatchlings are a bit older and have developed their secondary sexual characteristics.

Generally, male bearded dragons have larger heads, larger femoral pores on the undersides of their thighs, and a more pronounced beard. Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, tend to have smaller heads, smaller or no femoral pores, and a less prominent beard.

Creating the Ideal Environment for Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

To ensure the healthy development and proper sexual differentiation of bearded dragon hatchlings, it is crucial to create an ideal environment within the terrarium. Maintaining a consistent temperature gradient ranging from around 80°F to 90°F (27°C to 32°C) is essential.

This can be achieved by using heat lamps, ceramic heat emitters, or other heat sources. It is also important to provide a UVB light source to ensure the hatchlings receive sufficient ultraviolet radiation for their overall growth and calcium metabolism.

Monitoring and Care for Bearded Dragon Hatchlings

Regular monitoring and proper care for bearded dragon hatchlings are essential for their overall health and development. This includes providing them with a proper diet consisting of appropriately sized live insects, such as crickets and mealworms, as well as providing fresh water and a shallow dish for soaking.

Additionally, it is essential to provide adequate hiding spots and enrichments within the terrarium to ensure the hatchlings feel secure and stimulated. Regular veterinary check-ups are also recommended to address any potential health concerns and ensure the hatchlings’ well-being.


Reproductive Behavior of Adult Bearded Dragons

Reproductive Behavior of Adult Bearded Dragons

Mating Season

Bearded dragons have a specific mating season that typically occurs during the warmer months. This is when their hormone levels rise, and both males and females show signs of increased activity and aggression. Male bearded dragons develop a deeper coloration and display a head-bobbing behavior to attract females and assert dominance.

Courtship Rituals

During the mating season, male bearded dragons engage in elaborate courtship rituals to attract females. These rituals involve head-bobbing, arm-waving, and even puffing out their beard to display dominance. The males also perform push-ups to demonstrate their strength and agility. If the female is receptive, she will respond by bobbing her head and displaying submissive behaviors.

Once the male has successfully courted the female, mating occurs. The male bearded dragon mounts the female from the back and uses his spiny tail to gently hold her in place. Copulation can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.


After mating, female bearded dragons become gravid (pregnant) and develop eggs within their body. The gravid females show signs of increased appetite and belly size. Around 4-6 weeks after mating, the female will seek out a suitable nesting site in her terrarium to lay her eggs.

Egg Incubation

Once the female lays her eggs, it is crucial to remove them carefully without rotating or jostling them. The eggs should be placed in an incubator with a stable temperature and humidity level. The ideal temperature for incubation is around 82-84°F (28-29°C) with a humidity level of 80-85%. It is essential to monitor the eggs closely during the incubation period, which usually lasts for around 50-60 days.

The incubation temperature plays a vital role in determining the sex of the hatchlings. Warmer temperatures tend to produce more females, while cooler temperatures lead to more males.

Hatching Process

Once the baby bearded dragons have hatched, it is crucial to provide them with the appropriate care and environment. These hatchlings are delicate and need a smaller and less crowded terrarium with proper heating and lighting. Owners should ensure that they have a proper diet of small insects, such as crickets and mealworms, to support their growth and development.