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Many people keep bearded dragons as pets, and one of the things that you may be wondering what is Bearded Dragon Brumation and how to know if your bearded dragon is ready to brumate. In this article we will discuss different types of dormancy along with details about a Bearded Dragon ready to begin to brumate.

Types of Dormancy in Reptiles

It is the period of time when the bodily functions, growth, or development of an organism is momentarily slowed or stopped (dormancy). As a result, these creatures are able to conserve energy because their metabolism will be at a minimum.

There are two kinds of dormancy: one that occurs before an unpleasant event occurs (predictive), and one that occurs afterward (consequential).

There are four main types of dormancy that organisms experience: hibernation, brumation, aestivation and diapause. Below is a brief overview of each.

Hibernation

Hibernation is a state where an animal’s metabolic rate is slowed and its body temperature drops significantly. This usually occurs during cold weather when food is scarce.

Brumation is very similar to hibernation; however, the main difference is that brumation takes place in a warm environment. Bearded dragons will go into brumation when the temperature outside

Diapause

Dormancy in the form of predicted dormancy, known as diapause, occurs when organisms delay development due to regular adverse environmental conditions that occur.

There are a wide variety of animals that are able to fall into a state of dormancy. These include land snails, insects, some reptiles, and amphibians such as North American tortoises.

Unfavorable seasons, such as autumn or spring, might halt the development of insect eggs or pupas. To guarantee that their kids are born at the right time of year, several mammals postpone the attachment of their embryos to their uterus.

Aestivation

Aestivation is a state of dormancy that is very similar to hibernation; however, the main difference is that aestivation takes place in a dry and hot environment.

Organisms will go into aestivation when the environment does not allow them to hibernate or brumate. For example, if an animal’s normal habitat floods

Brumation in Bearded Dragons

When bearded dragons reach sexual maturity, typically around 18 to 24 months old, they will start to go through a brumation process. This is a type of dormancy that allows them to lower their body temperature and conserve energy.

Bearded Dragon Sleeping

Bearded dragons will usually begin to brumate in the fall when the temperatures start to drop and will continue throughout the winter months. They will usually stop brumating in the spring when the temperatures start to rise again.

Do bearded dragons brumate or hibernate?

Bearded dragons do not hibernate; they brumate. Hibernation is a state where an animal’s metabolic rate is slowed and its body temperature drops significantly. This usually occurs during cold weather when food is scarce. Brumation, on the other hand, is very similar to hibernation; however, the main difference is that brumation takes place in a warm environment.

How can I tell if a bearded dragon is ready to brumate?

A narrow temperature range is tolerable to beardies. When the temperature drops below 60–70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and the daytime temperature falls below 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit, they begin to slow down.

To help you figure out how to best support this, they’ll show you a few telltale indicators.

Brumation is a natural survival strategy because of the difficulties they face when the weather changes drastically, as one can see in the winter. They’re unable to eat, digest, regulate their body temperature, and a slew of other necessities. All of this is being done in order to save energy!

Do Pet Bearded Dragons Brumate?

It’s a good idea to allow your bearded dragon to go through its natural dormancy, even if it doesn’t brumate while in your care due to the fact that most pet owners will keep them in ideal habitat along with heating (temperature) and food (including UV light) circumstances.

In other words, aim to give them an experience similar to what they’d have if they were in the wild by letting them brumate like their wild counterparts. In addition, if you want to reset their biological clock to breeding, you can provoke this behavior or cause it to occur on its own accord. Immediately following a period of slumber, bearded dragons begin mating.

When Does A Baby or Juvenile Bearded Dragons Brumate?

Babies and Juveniles almost never do. At least a year and a half old, is most common age for most bearded dragons to to brumate. In chilly surroundings, they may, on the other hand, slow down, eat less, and spend more time sleeping.

Baby Bearded Dragon Brumation

Because it’s a natural inclination, it can happen even before the beardie reaches the age of a year.

Does A Bearded Dragon Brumate in the Summer or Winter?

They can brumate at any moment while in captivity. They brumate in the wild in Australia from June to August, which is the southern hemisphere’s winter.

From November through February, however, is when brumation typically occurs in the northern hemisphere (Europe and the United States).

How Long Does A Bearded Dragon Brumate?

It has been known to brumate for several weeks, as have other brumate reptiles. The precise moment will be determined by a number of variables, including their age, gender, environment, and country of origin.

From late autumn to early spring, the average length of time is anywhere from a few weeks to as long as four months. However, it is impossible to accurately estimate the exact time.

In captivity, there is no set time for a Bearded Dragon to brumate, it can last from a few weeks to several months.

Signs of Breaded Dragon Brumation

There are a few signs that can indicate your bearded dragon is getting ready to brumate. These include, but are not limited to:

– Decreased activity, including less time spent eating and playing

– Deeper sleep

– Appetite decreases

– Will “hibernate” in their basking spot instead of basking

– May stop pooping

– Will not tolerate being handled as much

– Skin may become duller or paler

– Loss of weight is possible if they don’t eat at all during brumation

Brumation is a normal, healthy process for bearded dragons and usually happens in the late autumn or early winter. As you can imagine, these symptoms are often concerning to first time owners as the symptoms are the same that are exhibited when they under stress or injured. Consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts.

Tips to Encourage Bearded Dragon Brumation

If your bearded dragon is showing signs of entering brumation, decrease the temperature by a few degrees in their environment over a period of several days. You can also try misting them with cool water.

A safe substrate for digging and burrowing can also be provided. Any kind of substrate will do. Avoid a damp one because it can cause respiratory issues. A dry one, on the other hand, can lead to dehydration.

Bearded Dragon Sleeping

If they don’t already have a bearded dragon hide, provide them with a cave or rock.

Progressively reduce the hours of your UV lighting and basking lights from 12-14 hours to 8-10 hours. Once you’ve reached the 8-10-hour mark, start cutting back by 30 minutes at a time.

Does A Bearded Dragon Need Food and Water While In Brumation?

Before turning off the heat and lighting, progressively decrease the amount of food provided. On the final one to two weeks, provide no food at all. Do this so that they have time to digest and cleanse their bowels.

Once the heat and UV light sources have been turned off, don’t give them anything to eat. They won’t be able to break it down without heat. Your goal during the entire duration of brumation is to avoid having food in their stomach, which could cause illness. Just before brumation, try giving yourself a stomach massage to help you get rid of the last of your feces.

However, make sure they have access to healthy drinking water, as they will only drink it intermittently. Make sure your pets have clean, fresh water in their water bowls at all times. Alternatively, they could become dehydrated.

Are There Benefits of A Bearded Dragon Brumation?

Yes. It’s true. Additionally, it aids in resetting the biological breeding clock of these pets. Male beardies are more likely to produce sperm in colder temperatures as they sleep. Females will begin ovulating as soon as the weather warms up again.

Males will begin searching for a mate within a few weeks of waking up from brumation, and copulation will follow.

Waking Up from Brumation

After brumation is done, most beardies will wake up and begin to explore their cages. Alternatively, you may simulate waking up by gradually bringing their terrarium temperature, UV light, and food back to their ideal levels.

You may want to bathe them to rehydrate them further. Just to be safe, give your beardies a few extra days of adjustment time before returning them to their regular schedule.

What to Feed After Bearded Dragon Brumation?

Keep them well-hydrated and feed them a variety of foods, such as roaches, crickets, mealworms, and other live feeder insects as well as green vegetables, fruit, herbs, and other safe plants and flowers.

Their normal selves will emerge after a few days. Feed the bearded dragon as usual, but don’t forget to add calcium, vitamin D3, and multivitamins to the diet.

Finally, after a few weeks, they will resume their normal activity levels and show most of their other natural behaviors.

Causes for Concern

Brumation may be an indication of a more serious problem if it occurs under ideal conditions, such as during the summer or when the bearded dragon is younger than one year old. For example, they may be suffering from a weakened immune system or be otherwise unwell. During brumation, bearded dragons that are weak or unwell may perish.

Malnutrition, particularly a deficiency in vitamins and minerals like calcium, infections, and a lack of UV light are also potential reasons. Make sure to learn about common bearded dragon health issues.

Conclusion

Bearded Dragon Brumation is a natural process that beardies will undergo as they get older. It helps them to rest and recuperate, preparing them for the next breeding cycle. By understanding the process and providing the necessary care, you can ensure that your pet has a healthy and safe brumation experience.

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