Andrew Asw Reptiles
Upcoming Bearded dragon hatchies for this season (2019/2020). Find us on Facebook
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Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
Hatchlings can initially be housed together and I would recommend a 2ft/ 60cm long enclosure as a minimum for 1-3 hatchlings. A smaller enclosure allows the hatchlings to locate their food easily.
Bearded Dragons grow quickly so a larger enclosure may be required in 2-3 months. A 4ft / 120cm long enclosure would be suitable for an adult Dragon.
Substrate and Furniture.
I use washed and screened play sand as a substrate for hatchlings and adults and have done for many years successfully. Other options include fake grass, marine carpet and newspaper or butchers paper. All substrates have their pros and cons so consider your own situation and needs when choosing. Remembering the goal is to provide a clean hygienic environment for your Bearded Dragons.
A rock or stack of pavers under the basking spot will give them a place to soak up the rays. Logs, rocks and hides will provide security and decoration.
Bearded dragons may be housed together as hatchlings as long as they are all around the same size. As they mature you will notice that 1 or 2 might grow quicker and act more dominant than the rest. This is not indicative of gender; some just grow at a faster rate.
I would recommend separating the smaller hatchlings at this stage for safety reasons and youíll find they will eventually catch up to the others. Female Bearded Dragons can continue to be housed together at similar sizes or once they have reached their full growth. Mature males on the other hand will fight during breeding season and will need to be separated once they reach maturity around 8-10 months old.
Heating & lighting
Bearded Dragons are reptiles that love the full sun so plenty of lighting is essential if your Beardies are to remain healthy. If kept in a fish tank use a normal fluro as lighting and have the heat globe at one end. The same set-up can be used in enclosed cabinets though you will need to play with wattages to get the correct temps.
I use Mercury Vapour globes (MV globes) to provide ultraviolet light. MV globes and standard ultraviolet globes are available from www.abdfreptilesupplies.com.au and these put out high levels of uva/uvb rays just like natural sunlight. Normal globes such as the spot tone types don't emit any uva so your dragon will not be
as active and will have a smaller appetite. With good UV,10.0 is what you need, efficient lighting and heat your Bearded Dragon will be happy, healthy and active.
During the night I turn off all heating and lighting.
Hatchling temps should range from 20-26 Deg C at the cool end to 28-32 Deg C at the hot end with a 35-40 Deg C basking spot. Adult temps should range from 20-28 Deg C at the cool end to 28-35 Deg C at the hot end
with a 35-42 Deg C basking spot.
I canít get through to people just how necessary natural sunlight is for healthy Bearded Dragons and I recommend a few hours of sun a day or every chance you get. They will grow twice as quick and eat a lot more if given plenty of sun. This also avoids the chance of your beardie developing any illnesses such as MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). This is a common problem in bearded dragons if not given enough UV and calcium.
The first signs of MBD are twitching legs along with loss of appetite and body weakening. Any signs of this and
you should take your beardy to your vet.
One way of achieving some sunlight time is to build or buy a suitable portable enclosure or an outdoor enclosure. Any enclosure will need to have water and some shade to escape the heat if needed. One cheap option is a large plastic tub with wire mesh inserted in the the lid. Cut away the centre of the lid, leaving the edges and locking mechanism intact. Cut wire mesh to suit the hole and hot glue it into place. Please, never
leave your dragons unattended outside.
Be cautious on hot days Ė direct sun can quickly overheat your Beardies and result in tragedy.
Food & Feeding
Bearded dragons live naturally on insects and plants. You can buy live insects (crickets and woodies) from your pet store or online.
Feed your dragon twice a day offering them fresh greens before the insects, this often helps them to get
started on greens and vegetables. For hatchlings, cut the vegetables and fruit into small pieces. Only feed them enough insects that they will consume in 5-10 mins.
Insects should be dusted with calcium powder every 2nd day and dusted with a vitamin powder once or twice a week. Do this before feeding to your Beardies. I only use Multical brand from Vetafarm as Iíve found this to
be the best product and is vitamins and calcium in one. There are many pellet forms of food available but I donít use them myself.
As Beardies grow they will eat more fruit and vegetables. Some suitable food items are fancy lettuces (NOT iceberg as it can cause diarrhoea), cabbage, bok choy, beans, peas, hibiscus and dandelion flowers, apple, orange, grapes etc.
A good rule of thumb is to not feed anything bigger than the width of their eyes/head. This will avoid any choking or compaction problems. I am feeding small-medium crickets and woodies (extra small-small crickets
for Pygmies) for now and you should stick to this size for at least another month.
Hatchlings will sometimes not drink from a bowl so misting them every day will keep them hydrated and will also help their shedding process. Good luck with your beardies, hope this helps
Brett Allen - www.brettixreptiles.com Edited by Andrew Marnoch- Asw Reptiles, with permission.
My details are- Andrew Marnoch
Boambee East 2452
Licence number AKL106757
I highly recommend all new beardy owners join the Australian Bearded Dragon Forum.
http://www.abdfreptilesupplies.com.au for all your reptile supplies.
License Number AKL106757