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Bearded Dragons – Why One Is Enough
In 2006 we bought two bearded dragons. We did extensive research on their care and vivarium requirements and equipment, but missed any information on whether bearded dragons should be kept alone or in pairs or groups. Many of the books we refer to were written by breeders who talked about their setup with a number of beardies. So we entered it a bit blind, with little knowledge and made the decision to get a pair.
When we knew we wanted a boy and a girl, the breeder we contacted had two clutches of eggs from two pairs of dragonflies hatched at the same time. He chose accurately one of each group that would hopefully be male and female (although he pointed out that he did his best to make the sexes, but it could be wrong – a warning you should expect from but any experienced breeder). The two cubs were kept together in a separate vivarium, so they have been together since they were less than a week old.
The bearded dragons, named Shrek and Fiona, came to us at 5 weeks of age, and were immediately placed in a 5 foot vivarium where they appeared to be very happy. They communicate well, although sometimes they seem to treat each other as pieces of furniture – one lies on top of the other and seems to despise if they sit on top of the other! Although I prepared my son that if they turned out to be two men they would be separated, as they matured Fiona started waving arms, and Shrek started bobbing head. They were definitely male and female.
We continued to read about bearded dragons, and that’s when we learned about the dangers of keeping a male and a female together. Mating was not so much a possibility, but a certainty! And the warnings were there that they could breed too soon which causes problems for the females and egg laying, and that the male, once he started, would continue to breed with the female making his life a misery.
Well, sure enough, they did mate, but not until they were over a year old and both fully grown. So we counted a lot of luck. Seeing the eggs laid, watching them in the incubator and waiting for the babies to emerge was something that gave us great pleasure. We had two clutches from this first mating – 37 babies were born in total, and in 2008 the market was not yet flooded with too many cribs so we managed to sell them all to good homes and make enough to cover the cost of feed the children. and buy the set ups for them. Then I was worried about what would happen next, but Shrek and Fiona settled down, and the next crossover didn’t happen for another 18 months. Again, I mark this as another success. While I advise others not to get two bearded dragons, I thought it worked for us – probably because they had been together for a few days.
When the eggs hatched this time, and the babies grew, it was harder to sell the babies – the price dropped to the floor, and although we made enough to cover the food, and we would make a loss of property if we have won. do not already have the equipment to mount them. We ended up keeping the last grandchild until they were 4 months old just because it was so hard to find them new homes.
After that, Shrek and Fiona didn’t breed again, and I wondered why because there were so many warnings about breeding. I began to watch their behavior carefully. I noticed that Shrek would indeed start bobbing his head and indicate that he felt rather frisky, but Fiona – although much smaller (Shrek was a giant 700g!) She made her displeasure clear. They would circle each other, and then Fiona would dart at him, which sent him back. Then he would take refuge in a place where mating was impossible – on the hammock, draped over a rock or a branch. Shrek would give up and go and sulk. Then they would go back to being their own companions again. Fiona was obviously the boss.
In late 2011, Shrek developed a tumor, and died in the spring of 2012. When we had the same boyfriend for life, we worried how Fiona would behave, and even worried that she would lose. Although the vet put Shrek down, we let him die in the vivarium with Fiona – the anesthetic they use doesn’t work instantly on the reptiles. The vet agreed that taking him home to die was the best thing as most animals however react better when they understand that their companions have died, rather than just disappearing. But as there is not much research on the behavior of bearded dragons, he could not comment on what the long-lasting effect on Fiona would be.
So what happened? Well, Fiona didn’t mope. He does not stop eating. He began to look the best he had ever looked in his entire life with beautiful colors. He became more active in the vivarium, more active when running around the house. Inquisitive, and though it’s hard to tell, he seemed happy. It was definitely more relaxed.
I can only conclude that during the years they were together she tolerated Shrek’s presence, but is actually happier alone without him. That took us by surprise!
In the wild the bearded dragon lives alone – a male and female will only come together to breed. Although we tend to humanize our pets and believe that, like us, they will be happy if they live a solitary life in their vivarium, it would appear from our experiments that they prefer to live as they would in their natural habitat. Only him.
On the forum and website I have advised people to never buy a pair of bearded dragons as chances are they will get two males (that cannot be kept together), or a male and female from the same clutch that would result in inbreeding. sister too big Coupled with what even women can not guarantee do not fight. As it is almost impossible to sex a bearded dragon until adults – and even then even professionals can make mistakes – you really do not know what you are getting if you buy bearded dragons together.
But now I believe that it is wrong to keep two as in our experience one is obviously happier alone. The problem is that we tend to think of animals as having the same emotions as us, but bearded dragons are not small people – or even like some other pets.
Not much research has been done on the behavior of bearded dragons, and scientists and reptiles are learning more and more every day. They live longer in captivity the more we learn about them, and the more we keep them as close to nature as possible. If you are considering getting a bearded dragon please don’t get more than one – apart from the fact there is a good chance you will end up separating them which means either having space and money for another large vivarium, or having to separate. and what became a member of your family.
It’s sad to think that Fiona could have been trying to tell us something for years, and we just weren’t listening. We should respect their way of life in the wild, and not force a mate on them
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