Multiple Bearded Dragons and How Many?
This is an excellent question and any pet owner should ask themselves this if they’re considering keeping multiple bearded dragons. The answer to this question is two-fold. It is a good idea given certain considerations; otherwise no. Secondly, the number to keep greater than one is a personal choice dependent on different variables. So you’re probably wondering what this means.
If you’re a parent getting a pet for your child, then you’re probably only going to get one beardie. But what if you have two or more children and each insists on having their own beardie? Unlike a dog which an entire family looks after, a bearded dragon is much smaller and you can definitely buy two… but should you?
Bearded Dragons Are Solitary Among Their Own Species
The most important fact to bear in mind is that bearded dragons are creatures who do not like the company of other bearded dragons. In the wild, they do not socialize and even males and females just mate and go their separate ways. So, keeping more than one beardie in a tank is definitely NOT a great idea. Note that two females may or may not get along. I strongly recommend to house each separately. NEVER house two grown males together. They are territorial. Fighting is certain and possibly leading to one’s death.
However, if you are housing two beardies in two separate vivariums (tanks), then by all means get two bearded dragons. Also, by separately housing the dragons, each tank does not have to be as large as if you were housing them together. Still I highly recommend you do not do house them together. By housing separately, you avoid many potential problems.
Bearded Dragon One-on-One Introductions
Since they may or may not get along, err on the side of caution when introducing them. Never introduce two grown males, Again, males are territorial and fighting is certain. Do not even let them interact outside of their tanks.
If you have a boy and a girl, and if you do not want babies, you must keep them apart.
If you have two females, they may or may not get along. It is strictly up to them—do not force the “best friends (BFFs)” scenario. I know there are plenty of pictures everywhere you look showing two or more beardies together. Some of these are babies who all (males and females) get along most of the time; others are probably female beardies who have been together since they were little and are used to each other. However, I still strongly recommend housing one beardie to one vivarium. Period.
Everything You Need Is Doubled
Think cost. If you’re a parent, two beardies means your expenses just doubled. You’ll need two vivariums, two different places in your home to house the tanks. You must spend more on live food which means more live bugs stored in your house (securely of course). Strongly consider these factors when considering more than one bearded dragon.
Now what about three, four, five, or more. Do you have the room for many? Do you have the room for all those live insects? Do you have the funds? Do you have the time? Each additional bearded dragon added means more funds, more time, more maintenance, and more, more, more. Please keep this in mind. One happy relationship with a bearded dragon is worth far more than many scattered unhappy ones.
Breeding – This May Not Be a Great Investment
If you are planning on breeding beardies, you have to consider many other things.
Bearded dragons must be of proper age to breed. The female must be 2 years of age and the male 1.5 years. Breeding too young causes health issues.
You have to mirror nature’s conditions to stimulate breeding and this process is quite involved.
The vivarium must be large enough for two with proper barriers setup to ensure the female does not become stressed by the male’s advances.
Bearded dragons lay eggs. Once the female becomes gravid (carrying eggs) you need to know what are now her normal behaviors and attitudes. These can be much different from her “normal” behaviors.
Once she is ready to lay her eggs, you must provide the proper environment. When she is ready, the female bearded dragon digs a burrow in which she lays her eggs. So you need about 8 inches of moist, sandy soil in a separate container from her vivarium.
Note that she may exhibit signs of being ready to lay her eggs, but the actual process may take from one day to several before she actually does. During this time you must place her in the container for a few hours. If after this time she has not laid her eggs, you must return her to the vivarium and try again the next day. Repeat until she actually lays her eggs.
Once she lays her eggs, she buries them. You must carefully dig them up and place them in an incubator. The incubator must be thermostatically controlled.
You have special conditions in which the eggs are placed to hatch. You must carefully watch the eggs. There are precautions to take to ensure hatching is successful. Hatching can take 24 to 36 hours to complete and must be carefully observed. Once hatched you have special conditions for housing these 4-inch lizards. And a typical clutch (eggs from one female) can be from 16 to 24 eggs.
The above is a very brief synopsis. For a more detailed explanation about this , refer to REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY OF BEARDED DRAGONS IN CAPTIVITY By Jonathan Rheins. This article goes into more detail about breeding bearded dragons.
So, typical clutch size is between 16 and 24 eggs. That means you are going to have more than a few beardies. As they grow older, you must house them separately. When considering breeding, you must also factor in finding buyers for them. Those who do not sell, you must then find homes. And the hard truth is that beardies are not everyone’s cup of tea. Check out the local pet stores. How many do they have in stock?
Finding people who properly look after a beardie as a pet is not as easy as finding someone who is willing to take in an adorable puppy or a fluffy white bunny. Some people do not like the appearance of these lizards and even if bearded dragons are docile by nature, folks have the misconception that they are fierce.
Make sure you have enough people interested in beardies who are willing to buy the dragons BEFORE you begin breeding. This means advertising, promoting sales, and if you are more than just a breeding mill, taking precautions to ensure the buyers are going to properly take care of their new pet. This is not impossible to do. After all, these precautions are taken for dogs, cats, bunnies, and other various pets, so it can be done with bearded dragons as well. With some effort, you will not be stuck with beardies that you can’t find homes for. But you must take this endeavor seriously and see it through to the end should you decide to breed.
Bearded dragons prefer to be alone, especially males.
Even females are happiest when housed in solitary.
These traits do not make them unfriendly or less sociable. This is just their nature. We should respect that they do not need companionship from other beardies. Just let them live naturally.
Caution must be taken if you decide to introduce them. NEVER place two males together!
As you increase the numbers of bearded dragons you own, the costs increase—two doubles your costs, three triples, four quadruples, and so on.
Breeding must be planned carefully with a good deal of time and effort made to ensure you sell them to good homes.
Breeding produces many and is a costly endeavor.
To become much more knowledgeable about bearded dragon’s nature and how they interact among themselves, I recommend you buy a guide about bearded dragons. There are several excellent ones available online. They’ll make a great investment for both you and your pet. Two of the best detailed guides I use are:
|eBook – PDF||The Bearded Dragon Guide|
|The Bearded Dragon Manual provides the essential information all devoted bearded dragon owners need to meet the demands of these beautiful, naturally tame reptiles. Since reptiles are cold-blooded creatures, most humans don’t instinctively understand their requirements the way they understand the needs of a cat or dog. Herp expert Philippe de Vosjoli and his team of veterinarians and authors seek to make keepers confident in their ability to properly care for their bearded dragons through this most informative book. Easy to understand with many colorful pictures to illustrate what they are talking about.|
As a quick reference (24 pages) and another point of view, check out the Bearded Dragons : A Guide From A Veterinarian On Caring For Your Bearded Dragon How To Make Your Dragon Live For 12 Years Or More. If you are looking for detailed information about Bearded Dragons, then consider one of the above choices.