You must be surprised when you come to know that your pets eat their babies. According to hearsay, many bearded dragon owners remain curious to know about the cannibalistic nature of bearded dragons. So, a common question keeps hovering around the owners’ minds- do bearded dragons eat their babies?
In worst cases, bearded dragons eat their babies. Although bearded dragons are friendly towards their owners, they do not share any emotions with their children. Because of their solitary nature, bearded dragons often can not tolerate their babies in their tanks. Hence, there remains a possibility of causing harm or killing their babies.
You might have found this thing pretty weird. Thus, in this article, I shall clear up your confusion describing their cannibalistic nature, reason, other concerning issues, etc.
Are Bearded Dragons Cannibalistic?
The experienced bearded dragons’ owners always regard beardies as calm and docile reptiles. So, it is a bit shocking to know that this friendly pet can eat the akin bearded dragons.
The researchers found out that bearded dragons are not naturally cannibalistic. But, bearded dragons can kill other bearded dragons in several nerve-racking situations. In captivity, bearded dragons show brood cannibalism which means the parent beardies eat their offspring beardie.
Moreover, In captivity, bearded dragons can get involved in a fight over dominance, food, basking space, and so on. Eventually, these fights lead to cannibalizing or killing each other. If you are curious to know why your bearded dragons are fighting, you should click here.
Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Eggs?
Many bearded dragon owners shared their experiences of noticing their bearded dragons eat their eggs. Though this scenario is pretty unbelievable, eating your eggs is not uncommon for many wild animal populations.
Bearded dragons eat their eggs. If you do not remove the eggs after their hatching, the female bearded dragon may eat their eggs.
Generally, bearded dragons remain pretty hungry after laying a certain amount of clutches of eggs. So, if you do not provide the required amount of food for your beardie, she will end up eating her eggs. Due to a strong appetite after laying eggs, such a tragic incident can occur.
Moreover, the infertile eggs of bearded dragons are a good source of protein. Besides, bearded dragons can eat any type of eggs including both cooked or raw.
Are you keen to know which human food bearded dragons can eat besides eggs? Then, you should check safe human foods for bearded dragons.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Need Their Mom?
Bearded dragons do not have the sense of kin recognition. As a result, the parent bearded dragons often end up eating their babies under any circumstances.
Baby bearded dragons do not need their moms. The baby beardies do not get any motherly affections from the female bearded dragons.
As there are risks of killing each other, the bearded dragon owners often remove the baby beardies. The baby bearded dragons can grow up and eat on their own without the help of their mother.
When Can A Bearded Dragon Leave Its Mother?
You might be concerned about separating a baby beardie, after hearing about bearded dragon’s cannibalism.
A bearded dragon can leave its mother from the early phase of its life. You should remove the fertile eggs from the tank so that the mother bearded dragon can not eat the eggs. It is an emergency for their survival.
So, there is no parental bonding between bearded dragons. Conversely, there are risks of injuries or killing by their mother. Hence, it will be good for bearded dragons to leave their mother at an early stage of their life.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Babies?
It is pretty hard to answer why bearded dragons eat their babies. After researching a while, I have found out several probable reasons for this nature of bearded dragons. Let’s check them out.
1. No Kin Recognition
Bearded dragons can not recognize their offspring. Since the mother beardies can not distinguish between their own and other babies, they mistake the babies as foods. Moreover, there is a tendency in wild-life creatures to eat up others’ babies to reduce the competition.
So, although bearded dragons can recognize their owners, unfortunately, they can not recognize their eggs or babies. This lack of kin recognition leads to eating the own babies of bearded dragons. Hence, infanticide or brood cannibalism is common in bearded dragons.
2. Lack Of Emotional Connection
Bearded dragons do not receive any motherly affections after being born. Although bearded dragons are tameable and calm pets, they are aggressive towards other bearded dragons.
Since beardies can not recognize their babies, they feel no emotional connection or bonding. As a result, bearded dragons eat their babies thinking of them as their enemies.
Sometimes, the environmental condition forces bearded dragons to eat their babies. If you do not provide the required amount of food in captivity, the parent beardie will eat her babies to fulfill her hunger. Due to no kin recognition, they think of their babies as foods only.
Moreover, if the surrounding is not supportive of bearded dragons, there is a possibility of no survival of the newly born babies. So, bearded dragons may think to cut off the losses from the environment. It happens when there is a shortage of foods, extreme hot or cold weather, and so on.
However, a new mother-bearded dragon remains pretty hungry right after laying the eggs. So, to get back the energy of producing eggs, bearded dragons eat their sick babies in harsh conditions.
4. Solitary In Nature: Do Bearded Dragons Like To Live Alone?
You might have already known that bearded dragons are solitary. They do not like to share their space, food, or opportunities with any other pets, let alone their babies.
Since beardies like to live alone, they fight for small reasons, even with their babies. If they turn aggressive, their fights may lead to killing the baby bearded dragons.
5. Eliminating Enemies
Unlike a human, bearded dragons do not reserve any love or emotions for their babies. This lack of emotions makes them consider their babies as enemies. Hence, bearded dragons can not tolerate others in their tank. For purpose of eliminating enemies, bearded dragons may eat their babies.
Bearded dragons are pretty instinctual. Instead of showing affection and love, bearded dragons fight for their survival. For this, they don’t hesitate to kill their babies. So, instinct is another reason for bearded dragons for eating their babies.
Do Bearded Dragons Care For Their Babies?
Bearded dragons do not care for their babies.
Although many animals share an emotional bond between parents and offspring, bearded dragons do not share such a bond. Thus, bearded dragons do not care for their babies after giving birth to them. In addition, if bearded dragons encounter their babies, they may hurt or eat them.
Will Bearded Dragons Eat Each Other?
In captivity, each bearded dragon tries to establish its dominance and territory over another bearded dragon. As a result, the stronger beardie may start attacking or fighting with the weaker bearded dragon.
If the situation turns worse, bearded dragons will kill the other beardie. So, it will be possible for bearded dragons to eat each other even if they have cohabited well before.
Thus, you should separate the bearded dragons as early as possible. The sooner, the better.
Can You Put 2 Baby Bearded Dragons Together?
Some bearded dragon owners often put several baby bearded dragons together by considering it safe. But, the risk of putting several baby beardies together is as same as keeping a baby beardie with an elder beardie.
As bearded dragons are solitary reptiles, they do not want any competition from an early stage of their life. So, you can not put two baby bearded dragons together.
Moreover, a baby-bearded dragon can mistake the small toe or tail of another baby beardie as moving prey. So, the baby beardie can bite the other baby beardie accidentally. As a result, this can lead to terrible fighting.
Eventually, the baby bearded dragons may end up injuring or killing each other.
Can You Put A Baby Bearded Dragon With An Elder One?
As a beginner, you might think of keeping two bearded dragons together for their accompany. It is pretty natural to think of putting a baby beardie with its mother. But, you are going to make a horrible mistake by taking such a decision.
You should not put a baby-bearded dragon with an elder one under any circumstances. An elder bearded dragon will try to take control of the entire tank. As a result, the elder one will snatch away the foods, basking space, water, and so on.
Thus, the baby-bearded dragon is bound to fall sick and weak. Moreover, older bearded dragon tends to bully and attack the younger one.
An adult bearded dragon usually needs 40-55 gallons of space. If you put more than one bearded dragon in a small tank, there will be fighting over everything.
Since these beardies do not recognize any of their own akin, they’ll attack their babies too. In the worst-case scenario, the baby-bearded dragon will get injured and even die.
How Do You Keep A Baby Bearded Dragon Alive?
If you get a female bearded dragon, you’ll soon get both fertile and infertile eggs of bearded dragons. Since bearded dragons tend to eat their eggs, you should remove the eggs as early as possible.
Not to mention that the infertile eggs are of no use. But, you have to take care of the fertile eggs to ensure getting a healthy baby bearded dragon.
Separating The Baby Bearded Dragon
To keep your baby bearded dragon alive, you can separate and incubate the fertile eggs. Make sure that the eggs are kept in a moist environment.
Otherwise, if a baby beardie is born in the female beardie’s tank, you should remove the baby soon. It is the very first rule of keeping your baby bearded dragon alive.
Choosing A Perfect Tank
For baby bearded dragons, you should choose tanks of at least 40 gallons. But, you need to upgrade the enclosure gradually as your baby-bearded dragon grows up. If you want to know more about bearded dragon’s tank, you can click here.
Heat And Lighting
Besides, you should provide UV light to their enclosure to help them process calcium. Moreover, bearded dragons of all ages require a basking space in their tank. So, you can fit lighting and create a basking spot of 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit heat.
Diet And Hydration
Although you should create a dry environment mimicking the natural habitat, you must ensure keeping them hydrated. If you do not want your beardie to become dehydrated, you should keep water sources for them.
After setting up a sturdy enclosure, you should take a look at the diet of your baby beardie. Do not forget that the diet of a baby-bearded dragon consists of 80% of insects and 20% of vegetation.
Moreover, you can feed safe human food to your baby bearded dragon, including cucumber, papaya, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, etc. You can also check out what human foods you can feed your baby bearded dragon.
Lastly, if you notice any abnormalities or health issues, you should not delay taking your baby bearded dragon to a vet.
As parent bearded dragons do not show parental affection to their babies, the owner must save the baby-bearded dragon. I hope this article has enlightened you to know that bearded dragons eat their babies. Undoubtedly, the significance of separating the babies is a life-saving step.