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, stick to one. Secondly, the number greater than one is a personal choice. However, you must keep in mind some key variables that are different with multiple beardies versus one.
By now you are 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. So each child can have a beardie; you can definitely buy more than one… but should you?
Bearded Dragons Are Solitary Among Their Own Species
Despite the many pictures online and even the one posted above of multiple bearded dragons in the same area, 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 could lead to one’s death.
So it is best if you do not house them together. This avoids many potential problems. Therefore, if you are willing to house two beardies in two separate vivariums (tanks), then by all means get two bearded dragons. One benefit is that each tank does not have to be as large as if you were housing them together.
But there are additional things to keep in mind. Please consider the following before getting multiple bearded dragons.
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.
Boys and Girls
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.
But I See So Many Pictures of Them Together?
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, it is still best to house one beardie to one vivarium. Period.
With Multiple Bearded Dragons Everything You Need Is Doubled or More
Think cost. If you’re a parent, two beardies means your expenses just doubled. Three triples, and so on.
With just two you need:
- two vivariums,
- two different places in your home to house the tanks.
- to spend more on live food which means more live bugs stored in your house (securely of course).
Strongly consider these factors when considering multiple bearded dragons.
Now what about three, four, five, or more? Do you have the:
- room for many?
- room for all those live insects?
Each additional bearded dragon added means 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. Unhappy eventually means getting rid of…and this deprives you of a wonderful relationship you could have had with just one.
Breeding – This May Not Be a Great Investment
This is another facet of having multiple bearded dragons.
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, not only for the female but also for the hatchlings. Usually death occurs for one or all. At best you are now faced with caring for sickly babies.
Proper Conditions Must be Met
You have to mirror nature’s conditions to stimulate breeding and this process is quite involved.
- The vivarium must be large enough for two, set up with proper barriers 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 her “new” normal behaviors and attitudes. These can be much different from her “before gravid” 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.
PLEASE NOTE: 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.
Multiple Bearded Dragons…More than Just a Few
So, typical clutch size is between 16 and 24 eggs. This means you have more than a few beardies…that is a lot of baby bearded dragons! As they grow older, you must house them separately.
Breeding Considerations After Hatching
When considering breeding, you must also factor in finding buyers for them.
Then, for those who do not sell, you must then find “free to good home” options. 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? How much time are you willing to invest in finding a good home? Do you have that kind of time available?
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 kitten. 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 BEFORE you begin breeding. Consider this is also time-consuming:
- 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 can find homes for baby beardies. But you must take this endeavor seriously and see it through to the end, should you decide to breed.
For more information about this, see Is Keeping Multiple Bearded Dragons a Good Idea?
Please keep in mind these important points when considering multiple bearded dragons:
- Bearded dragons prefer to be alone, specially males.
- Caution must be taken if you decide to introduce them. NEVER place two males together!
- 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.
- 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. Make sure you are earning enough to cover costs and your invested time and still make a profit.
As a beardie owner, you need reference guides. Learn as much as you can to successfully keep your beardie around for optimal time. It is such a rewarding experience! Responsibility and knowledge are key to successful Bearded Dragon management.
There are several excellent guides available. The list to the left provides you with several choices. They are a great investment for both you and your pet, taking the guess-work out of the equation.
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