Are you the proud pet parent to a bearded dragon?
Have you recently discovered your beardy is getting ready to lay eggs?
If this is the case, you might find yourself wondering if they’re going to hatch into little bearded dragons.
Here’s how to tell if bearded dragon eggs are fertile:
Use a process called candling (holding up a light to the egg) to see if there’s anything inside. All you’ll need is a small light and a dark room.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about beardies and their eggs.
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How to Tell if Bearded Dragon Eggs are Fertile by Candling
Once your dragon has laid her eggs, you’ll want to know soon whether you should continue to incubate them.
Bearded dragon eggs will take anywhere from 40 to 90 days to hatch, so if they aren’t fertile, you’ll want to dispose of them and not waste your time incubating.
One effective way is by candling.
Candling Some Bearded Dragon Eggs: Are They Fertile?Wonder how we know when our bearded dragon eggs are fertilized?
The process of briefly holding a small light up to an egg to determine if anything is inside.
If the egg is fertile, you will see a small embryo, which is a slightly pink dot with veins extending outward.
If the egg is infertile, you’ll be able to see straight through the egg as there will be nothing inside.
For best results, this technique should be performed in a dark/dim room.
While performing this technique, it’s best to handle the egg as gently as possible, so you don’t harm the growing embryo inside.
The frequency of handling should be kept to a minimum as well, as the constant motion can cause harm to the embryo.
Use a pen or pencil to lightly mark the egg on the top once it’s been laid, so you’ll know which way to replace it after handling.
For the first few days, avoid rotating the egg too much—this could cause the placenta to detach, and then you’ll be incubating an infertile egg.
What Should I Do if the Eggs aren’t Fertile?
Sometimes, even if your beardy has been around a male, you will find the eggs do not have embryos in them.
Even some female bearded dragons who have not been around males will lay eggs, much like many other reptiles, or even chickens.
If you find you have an infertile egg (or a few), the best thing to do is dispose of it as soon as you confirm it’s not going to hatch.
Any egg still unhatched past 90 days is most likely infertile, and you’ll want to dispose of it.
Signs Your Bearded Dragon Might be Nesting
If your bearded dragon is gravid, or about to lay eggs, you will notice a few tell-tale signs.
One of the first things you might notice is your beardy digging in her soil to ready a nesting area for the egg deposit.
You may also notice your beardy moving more slowly than she usually does, or lethargically while seeking out the heat lamp more frequently for quick naps.
You should also be able to notice her belly starting to expand as the eggs inside grow larger.
Eventually, you could even be able to see and feel the small marble-like eggs in your beardie’s abdomen.
Preparing for the Deposit
When your beardie has started to show nesting signs, you’ll know it’s time to prepare a proper place for her to lay the eggs.
You will want to make sure and maintain the temperature as precisely as possible for the eggs as they are sensitive to abrupt changes.
Place a small container in your beardie’s tank with some reptile dirt or vermiculite bedding, or set aside a completely different enclosure to incubate the eggs (the latter will help you regulate the temperature more precisely).
This will provide a soft spot for her to start digging out little spaces to drop the eggs in.
You will want to make sure the bedding is warmed prior to her laying the eggs, so they don’t lose heat after she lays.
Also, you’ll want to make sure the container is large enough since your beardy will lay about 20 eggs at a time.
Each “batch” of eggs laid is known as a clutch, and some beardies will lay up to 3 clutches each time she mates.
What Should I Do While the Eggs are Cookin’?
The incubation process isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” process.
It takes time and care to ensure the safety and growth of your bearded dragon eggs.
With a little time and attention, you’ll be playing with your beardy babies in no time!
As mentioned before, it will take up to 90 days for the fertile eggs to hatch.
During this time, you’ll need to make sure to do the following things to keep your eggs happy.
Keep the soil moist and humid by using a spray bottle or dropper to moisten the soil or bedding when it appears dry.
But be careful!
Direct the spray away from the eggs, because too much moisture on the eggs will cause them to mold.
Monitor the temperature daily in the incubator to make sure the eggs are warm enough.
If you choose to leave your eggs buried in the soil, there are tools to use to help monitor the environment as opposed to uncovering and covering your eggs every day.
A thermometer and hygrometer will be your best friend since they are placed in the nesting box with the eggs to monitor the conditions for you.
The last thing you’ll need to do is just be patient!
Your eggs will be hatching before you know it.
Hopefully, this has answered any questions you might have about determining whether your bearded dragon eggs are fertile.
With time and practice, you’ll be able to master these techniques and hatch baby beardies for years to come.