How To Prevent Bearded Dragons From Breeding? [10 Ways]

If that’s the question you’ve been asking lately, we guess you’re not into breeding anymore or planning to stop a certain pair of beardies from breeding. Well, breeders usually don’t think about this much, as the more offspring their beardies give birth to, the more profit they make. But when it’s enough and need a break, how to stop that in the first place?

The easiest way of preventing bearded dragons from breeding is keeping the males and females separate from each other. Keeping the temperature low can also discourage them from mating, as they’ll be too busy keeping up with the temperature.

But what if you’re not in a position to try any of these? Well, we’ve got some more solutions for you. All you have to do is keep scrolling to get there.

Key Takeaways

  • Keeping the males and females separate is the best and most cost-efficient method to stop breeding.
  • It’s better to stop breeding when the age and health of the lizard are not suitable for breeding, or the previous success ratio is too poor. 
  • Bearded dragons with genetic defects should be avoided for breeding as they might produce offspring with similar or worse defects.
bearded dragon outside cage
Owner: Eleni Arvanitis Vroulos

When Should You Stop Your Bearded Dragon From Breeding?

Before getting into how to stop breeding, you need to know when you should stop breeding. After all, to do something, you need to have a reason first, right? Well, here are a few possible reasons for you to pull your beardie out of the breeding cycle.

1. Age And Health

Like any other animals out there, beardies too get old and face health issues with growing age. And the worst part? They become less fertile, and for any breeder, that’s bad news. So, if you’re seeing your beardies are getting too old for breeding, don’t hold back to stop them from the next mating session.

By the way, putting the younger dragons up for breeding can also be a risky move, especially when their age is below 12-18 months. The thing is too young beardies can’t give birth to healthy offspring. On top of that, it’s tough for them to keep up with the stress of pregnancy. So, if you’re feeling like you’ve put your beardie in breeding too early, you better stop it.

2. Genetics

The prime purpose of breeding bearded dragons is to get perfect offspring. But with a beardie that has genetic defects, that’s kind of impossible. In most cases, they pass the defect to their offspring. So, if you’ve just noticed that kind of defect in your beardie, you better keep it away from the breeding game.

And don’t forget that breeding should be focused on contributing to improving or at least maintaining the species’ genetic diversity. So, if you’ve beardies that come with close genetic relationships, don’t even think about inbreeding. Otherwise, you’ll be inviting a ton of health problems for the offspring.

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3. Success

Here, you might have two scenarios – one, you’ve had no success at all in breeding, and two, you’ve been too successful and now have no plan to breed the same pair. In both cases, you’re free to stop your beardie from breeding.

When you’re beardies are not being able to produce offspring, then probably one or both of them have some health issues that are stopping them from breeding. So, it’ll be wiser if you just let them rest and try breeding with any other pair.

On the contrary, when you’ve been breeding the same pair for a long time, let them be on themselves for a while. The constant pressure of reproducing can make bearded dragons sick, and we bet you don’t want that.

bearded dragon resting
Owner: Nancy Suzanne Huff

4. Breeding Season

Everything has its time, including breeding bearded dragons, and we call it the breeding season. For obvious reasons, breeding during this time got the maximum potential to have the best offspring, depending on the parents, though. For beardies, this season comes in warmer months.

So, if that season is gone, and you don’t want to put extra pressure on your bearded dragons, make them stop breeding for a while. This might save the best result for later.

5. Owner Expertise

Being an expert on something increases the chance of success of it. The same goes for breeding bearded dragons. As the profession of a breeder asks for specialized knowledge and resources, you need to make sure that you’ve got it all.

Yes, we’re talking about incubation, hatching, caring for hatchlings, and everything else. So, if you’re not an experienced player in the game, it’ll be better not to force your lizard to reproduce.

6. “Market Demand

The growth of every single business these days depends a lot on the market demand. Clearly, there will be a peak season and will also be an off-peak season. So, before keeping up with the breeding, make sure that there’s a demand for hatchlings out there.

If you’re seeing nothing like that, stop your bearded dragons from breeding. Otherwise, overbreeding will do nothing but give birth to some unwanted lizards that might later struggle for a home.

7. Ethical Considerations

You’re definitely bound to give your hatchlings a proper place to live. Otherwise, inconvenient housing not only will lead them to numerous health issues but will also make it tough for them to survive. So, keep this ethical aspect of breeding in consideration or you’ll be causing some unwanted impact on the overall population of captive beardies.

8. Resources

Breeding bearded dragons isn’t a cheap job and asks for your time, effort, and resources. So, if you don’t have these in the first place, don’t make your beardie go into an unwanted breeding cycle.

10 Ways To Stop Bearded Dragons From Breeding

Okay, now you know when to stop bearded dragons from breeding. So, time for the ‘how’ part. Well, this isn’t any rocket science, and all you have to do is start with –

1. Separating Males And Females

If you’re asking for the most effective way to stop your beardies from breeding, this is it. All you have to do is separate the enclosures of the males and females. That’s because putting them together will do nothing but push them towards mating, and you already know what happens after that.

By separating them, you’ll simply make the mating part impossible. And whenever you need to jump back into the breeding process, all you have to do is house them together once again.

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2. Lowering Temperatures

Temperature plays a very important role in the breeding of bearded dragons. Why they’ve chosen warmer seasons, breed says a lot about this. So, if you want them to demotivate from mating, we say try lowering the temperature.

This will make them focus more on adjusting to low temperatures than finding their next mate. But don’t make it too low. Otherwise, struggling too much with the temperature might cause serious health issues. You can try temperatures like 55°F to 60°F. But make sure your vet is approving this in the first place.

bearded dragon habitat
Owner: Ara Chouinard

3. Controlling Light Cycles

Do you know what helps the bearded dragons a ton in regulating their behavior and hormonal activities? The light cycles. Like lots of the other reptiles, they too detect day and night through the presence and absence of light.

As bearded dragons are not nocturnal animals, they mate during the daylight. So, if you’re cutting that short, we mean their exposure to daylight and provide only a few hours; it’ll discourage their mating behavior. But keeping too dark can be risky as well. So, try to let them have a natural light cycle.

4. Avoiding Overfeeding

Do you know what comes after overfeeding? Overweight. And when a bearded dragon is stuck with overweight, it’s more into breeding behaviors. So, the best thing you can do is keep them in shape with a balanced diet.

But along with that, you need to take care of the portion sizes and feeding frequency as well. So, try to feed them with a variety of vegetables that won’t add up to their weight. You can try occasional fruits as well. But don’t forget the insects as they need calcium and vitamins too.

5. Limiting Exposure To Mating Stimuli

You’ve got no idea how easily beardies can be triggered for mating, especially by visual cues and scents. Yes, we’re talking about visual cues and scents that work as signs of breeding readiness in other beardies. So, along with keeping them separate from other dragons, make sure they’re not being exposed to images or scents that will ultimately trigger their mating instincts.

6. Providing Adequate Space

Are keeping your beardies in a cramped living condition? Well, if yes, then you’re triggering stress in them, which ultimately encourages breeding behaviors. As they’re territorial animals, they need a certain sized area to rule over.

So, it’ll be better if you can get them a spacious area where they can establish their territory and feel less attracted about finding out their next mate.

7. Remove Nesting Materials

Once the beardies are ready to lay eggs, you’ll see them digging and creating nests every now and then. But would it have been possible if there were no nesting materials at all? No, right?

Well, if you can simply get rid of substrates that encourage them in digging and egg-laying behaviors, this can eventually affect their breeding behavior too. So, all you can or should do is cover the enclosure with substrates that are not conducive to digging and help them with the nesting behavior.

8. Regular Handling

We know what you’re thinking. This isn’t something bearded dragons are a fan of. But still, if you can manage to interact with them on a regular basis, which includes handling, can take down their stress and eventually discourage their mating behavior. Plus, with gentle and regular interaction, it’ll be easier for you to establish trust and make them feel more relaxed.

9. Veterinary Advice

Have you already tried everything we’ve mentioned above? Well, then, it’s time for you to have some advice from your vet. So, if you’re really finding it challenging to stop your beardies from breeding, let your vet assess the situation and come up with a solution.

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10. Spaying/Neutering

Let’s call it the last resort. We know most of the breeders don’t want to snatch their lizard’s ability to give birth. But when you’re asking for a long-term solution to stop your beardie from breeding, spaying or neutering can be a more convenient option.

However, we don’t suggest doing anything like this before discussing it with a qualified reptile veterinarian. After all, procedures like this can lead to health risks and even ask for specialized care for better and faster recovery.

bearded dragon with skull decor in habitat
Owner: Ara Chouinard

What Kind Of Effect Might A Bearded Dragon Encounter After Stopping Breeding?

You’re probably thinking stopping a beardie from breeding is going to drop some major health issues on the lizard. Well, that’s not always the case. Actually, to a certain extent, it benefits the lizard. It usually starts with –

1. Reduced Reproductive Stress

Not for the males, but for females, the breeding process brings in a pile of physical and emotional stress. After all, the whole egg-producing and laying process pushes the health of a bearded dragon to its edge. So, when you’re stopping the breeding, you’re getting rid of the chances of those physical and mental stresses.

2. Prevention Of Reproductive Complications

Struggling with reproductive complications such as egg binding is nothing new for bearded dragons. Egg binding indicates an issue where the egg gets stuck inside the reptile. But if you simply skip the breeding part, you won’t have to deal with these kinds of complications or get into potential medical interventions.

3. Improved Longevity

The whole breeding process puts so much pressure on the lizard’s body that it cuts short the animal’s lifespan to a certain extent. After all, the kind of energy and nutrition their body needs for reproduction, nothing much remains for their basic activity and well-being. But if you stop breeding in the first place, it might improve their longevity.

4. Hormonal Balance

It’s breeding that can disrupt the hormonal imbalance of a bearded dragon more than anything, whether it’s male or female. So, if you’re stopping the breeding, it won’t take much time for their hormones to stabilize and even improve.

5. Reduced Aggression

Beardies are by birth territorial animals. But do you know when their territorial aggression goes to a whole other level? When they’re into breeding. So, once you stop that, you won’t see them breaking out with aggression too often.

6. Prevention Of Overpopulation

The uncontrolled breeding process will get you nothing but a pile of bearded dragon offspring. And if you couldn’t manage to get them proper home, you’ll simply contribute in the overpopulation of these lizards. So, when you’re stopping the breeding, not only you’ll able to contribute to responsible pet ownership but also reduce the extra strain on the available resources.

How Much Does It Cost To Stop Bearded Dragons From Breeding?

Stopping beardies from breeding is not going to cost you a hand and a leg for sure. But still, if you’re asking for an estimation on this, here it is. But remember, the cost is going to depend on the specific needs and of course, the health of your lizard.

MethodCost
Separating male and female bearded dragonsFree (if you have separate enclosures)
Controlling temperature and lighting$20 to $100 or more for additional lamps
Providing a balanced diet$10 to $50 or more per month for specialized food
Removing nesting materialsFree
Consulting with a veterinarian$50 to $200 or more for consultation and treatments

Before We Go…

Well, here goes the stopping part. But what if you’re planning to just get started? Well, let’s start with the first thing you need – a license. But how are you going to get that? Don’t worry; we’ve got that part covered too in our blog Do You Need A License To Breed Bearded Dragons?

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

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