Animal lovers, even the most squeamish of them all, will find it very hard to say that a baby dragon is not sweet. However, the only thing to bear in mind is that these cute little pets bring a lot of responsibility. Hence, they will need the prescribed care and full attention in order for them to grow into a dragon that can be impressive.
Thus, while bearded dragons are, as a whole, quite easy to care for, young babies may present specific challenges to the neophyte reptile owner. However, these obstacles are easily overcome with
- proper preparation,
- attention to detail, and
- good husbandry
- bearded dragon eggs hatching.
- choosing a healthy baby dragon
- setting up a dragon habitat
- baby bearded dragon diet
- crowding bearded dragons up
- bearded dragons waving
- baby bearded dragon lighting and heat
- handling your baby dragon
- baby bearded dragon hydration
Bearded Dragon eggs Hatching
Eggs from the dragons hatch over a period of 1 to 3 days. Therefore, the eggs will collapse after becoming indented. Also, the baby bearded dragon creates a slit in the egg using an egg tooth which they have. And then, they are free from the cage of the eggs.
So, after hatching is over for nearly all the eggs, a few of the baby bearded dragons may still become trapped in their eggs. And they are not able to break free.
Meanwhile, they will need some extra help to break free from their eggs. For this reason,, you can cut a tiny slot on the top of the eggs. Most importantly, you have to ensure that you do not end up hurting the babies in the process.
Now, you help the baby bearded dragons in escaping the eggs on their own. However, if one of the babies is still carrying an egg sac, let it be.
Also, do not try to take it off as that may hurt the baby. Certainly, it will shake off the sac when it is ready to do so. Also, the babies will be around three to four inches long.
Choosing a Healthy Baby Dragon
When picking out a baby bearded dragon, there are several factors you’ll certainly want to consider. Generally, there’s no “best” place to get your bearded dragon from.
Also, you may be looking in a pet store or some kind of rescue shelter.
Your baby bearded dragon can come from anywhere. However, there’s a certain way it should look and act.
What to Look For in a Baby Bearded Dragon
- Certainly, healthy baby bearded dragons will be active and mobile. That is, they move easily around their enclosure. Likewise, they will have bright, clear eyes and energetic disposition.
- Also, they should look alert and attentive to their surroundings – nose and vent area should be clean and clear.
- Likewise, you shouldn’t pick out the smallest baby bearded dragon of the group.
- Particularly, “Runts” are more likely to have been picked on and have problems later in life.
- Also, breeders with good reputations only sell baby dragons that have a healthy appetite and a normal shedding schedule.
- Usually, these baby bearded dragons do not get put up for sale before reaching 4 weeks of age.
- However, if the breeder you’ve been talking to decides to wait to sell until their dragons are a little older. Then you have no reason to worry.
Setting up a Dragon Habitat
Putting together a proper setup for your bearded dragon is highly important. Hence, here are some factors that you will need to take into consideration:
Even for the youngest of dragons, the tank you’re setting up should be able to hold at least 20 gallons. So, if you decide you’d rather build your dragon enclosure, it will need to be at least 30 inches long.
However, you will need to upgrade the tanks of this size by the time your dragon reaches 6 months of age.
Also, if you would prefer to skip the upgrading step and spring for an adult-sized enclosure right from the start, there’s no harm in doing so.
The Substrate is the layer of material that you will lay on the floor of your terrarium under everything else in the tank.
There are many options out there, most experts agree that the safest materials are the substrates like:
- slate tile,
- sand mats and
- paper towels.
Likewise, you can find reptile carpets or cage liners in pet stores that simulate the grassy terrain a dragon may have encountered in the wild.
However, if you choose to select a cage liner, be sure to use one with a tight weave to avoid snagging your dragon’s claws. Particularly, this is because there have been incidents of dragons ripping their claws off trying to escape.
Therefore, the varieties of substrate listed above are relatively cheap. Also, easy to clean, making them good choices for new bearded dragon owners. Typically, substrates to stay away from would be anything they make out of many little pieces, such as sands, pebbles, or gravel.
These substrates carry with them a significant risk of gut impaction. Or, the ingestion of objects by your dragon that leads to the blockage of their intestinal tract. And, if you not immediately treat your dragon, these blockages can be fatal.
Likewise, since young dragons are eager and less careful when eating, substrates made of smaller pieces can often come up with their food, causing such impaction problems.
Therefore, some bearded dragon owners claim that calcium-based sands like Vita-Sand are a healthy alternative. As this kind of sand will be metabolized if your dragon swallows it. Thus, allowing it to more easily pass through the dragon’s system.
Nevertheless, there are still some who worry that the risk is still there. However, it’s up to you as the pet owner to decide if options like Vita-Sand are safe enough for your baby bearded dragon.
Giving for baby bearded dragon a few fun accessories is a great way to keep them entertained and healthy.
Likewise, it can be beneficial to give their tanks elevated spots like plants or other structures that they can climb on or hide in.
Particularly, rock outcrops, Habba Huts, grapevine, and cork rounds as climbing structures are the suggestions of experienced owners of baby bearded dragons.
Also, your baby dragon might enjoy sheltering in an Exo Terra Cave. Or, even a homemade cave, provided that the shelter is nice and sturdy. Generally, this is to ensure that it won’t collapse and injure your baby dragon.
Baby Bearded Dragon Diet
You need to be very careful on how you feed these baby dragons so that you don’t end up overfeeding them.
Consequently, overfeeding the baby dragons will put more pressure on the small lizard nerves. Also, it will result in paralysis of the rear legs and can even lead to a possible death.
Usually, the baby dragons will eat a lot and will need quite a bit of food but in the form of very small frequent meals. Thus, some of the things that are good foods are
- fresh molted mealworms,
- crickets and
- wax worms.
Also, you can give a try to the Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Crickets. Typically, the insects need to be gut loaded and then coated with vitamin and some mineral powder multiple times in a week.
Remember, you should coat a layer of calcium powder every day on the insects. Importantly, you should make sure that you introduce them to some vegetables a couple of times a day.
Particularly, you need to chop the vegetables and give them in small quantities.
Further, in baby bearded dragon diet, ensure you do not take a very large number of crickets. This is because they can overrun the tank and are very notorious at biting.
Likewise, insects are very tasty, nevertheless, they do not alone have all the nutrients which will suffice the needs of a bearded dragon that is growing. Most times, you will need to provide them with calcium supplements.
Likewise, you need to start feeding them with grass as soon as possible. Thus, this is not just for nutritional purposes, but also for hydrating reasons. Also, it is very important that the vegetables are cut into pieces that are bite-sized.
Particularly, quality pallets are very good to offer the bearded dragons at the initial stages.
Crowding Baby Bearded Dragons up
You should know that bearded dragons are not a very social species. Although, they are very warm and good natured as companions and love to be and enjoy human company, the same does not hold true when it comes to the other dragons.
Generally, they have a tendency to become territorial as they grow in age and are likely to pick on to the smaller ones in the pack. For these reasons, you would not like to keep more than 3 of the same sized baby dragons in the same enclosure.
Likewise, you should avoid keeping large bearded dragons along with the smaller ones.
Baby Bearded Dragons waving
Baby bearded dragons portray some amazing behavior. Interestingly, they do not vocalize to each other, rather, they communicate using their bodies.
Generally, they wave their arms when they are submissive and it is a typical behavior for bearded dragons. For example, a smaller baby bearded dragon may wave as a sign of submission when a human or a large dragon approaches it.
On the other hand, sometimes they do head bob and sometimes they just do a wave. Typically, this is an aggressive sign that says I am bigger than you.
Therefore, the faster the bobbing of the head, the more the bearded dragon is getting aggressive.
Further, the beard of the bearded dragon turns into black color as they get more aggressive. And, when that happens it will also get puffed up.
Baby Bearded Dragon Light and Heat
Importantly, you should closely monitor the enclosure for rising and falling temperatures. Typically, baby bearded dragons can dehydrate very quickly due to rising temperatures if it results in too much of heat.
Hence, always make sure that the animals always have an accessible basking area that is warm. Also, ensure they have access to areas that are cool in the enclosure.
Particularly, adult dragons can be safely allowed to get comfortable with basking in temperatures that can go as high as one hundred and thirty degrees. And of course, they should be doing this only for a very short period of time as their mass gets to allow them to be warming up slowly.
However, baby dragons should not have more than ninety-five to a hundred degrees of temperature in their basking spots. Also, never try to guess a temperature that is what thermometers are for.
Likewise, when it comes to reptile use, never skimp on a good quality thermometer that is specifically designed for use with reptiles. Also, maintaining most desert dragons for a long time requires a full spectrum of light.
You need to provide your bearded dragon with ten to twelve hours of light that is full spectrum. Basically, you will need a specially designed bulb for these purposes.
Handling of the Baby Dragons
Typically, one of the pitfalls that happen to a lot of many first-time reptile owners is animals getting stressed because of over handling. Therefore, just as each individual, each reptile too has a varying tolerance to human contact.
Fortunately, bearded dragons are much more content in humans picking them up and to interact with on an ongoing basis. However, you should begin very slowly.
Thus, allowing the baby dragon enough time to adapt to both the human contact and its new surroundings. Likewise, do bear in mind that baby bearded dragons are just babies. That is, they have come to experience a lot of things for the first time.
Hence, they tend to be easily overwhelmed or even frightened. Therefore, it is for all these reasons that you should keep the handling to a minimum until the dragon has had enough time for settling in.
So, once the reptile starts feeding regularly and seems to be showing regular behavioral patterns, you can start handling them regularly. Literarily, it is always best to start slowly.
Thus, gently lift the baby dragon in your palm and allow it to sit. Do this without any restrictions, for a few minutes. Over a period of time, the baby dragon will begin to realize that human beings mean no harm to them.
And by the time they are one year old, they will be totally in their comfort zone while you hand feed them or when they are sitting on your shoulder.
Baby Bearded Dragon Hydration
One of the biggest problems which all the new parents of dragon face has to do with dehydration. Typically, you should pick the water bowls carefully.
Basically, they should be shallow, so as to ensure that you minimize or eliminate drowning. Also, you should change the water in the bowls daily, so that it does not go stale.
Also, if defecation occurs in any of the bowls, you should change it immediately, before it becomes a health hazard. Sometimes, you may notice that your baby dragon is not drinking water. In such cases, you can mist them with water, so they remain hydrated.
Although they come from the dry Australian deserts, bearded dragons can likewise suffer from dehydration. Generally, when babies are small, they tend to lose moisture very quickly in a dry and hot environment.
Basically, you need to expose them to water every day at room temperature in addition to providing them with a shallow water dish. Likewise, you need to expose the enclosure contents as well. And, you should direct some of the steam towards the dragon as well.
Now, this may disturb the dragon a little, to begin with. Nevertheless, they will soon come to terms with what is happening and will start enjoying these sessions.
Particularly, these steps are more important for the newly acquired dragons and those that are under four weeks of age. Therefore, after this point, you ought to still serve them water in this way a few times in a week. However, with time, it does become a lot less of a necessity.
Thus, as the baby bearded dragons grow up and start eating more and more of vegetables and matters that come from vegetables, they will need lesser help from you to keep properly hydrated.
Raising bearded dragons is by no means a difficult thing to do. Most especially, when you compare it to the work involved with keeping more advanced species. Basically, their care is straightforward and you can easily meet their needs.
Even so, it is very essential to not cut corners or skimp on proper supplies when initially setting them up.
Also, by doing a small amount of homework, familiarizing oneself with the basic husbandry needs of these animals. And also by taking note of the tips above, anyone can be successful in keeping baby dragons.