Care instructions for bearded dragons
1. Animal species Bearded viper ( Pogona vitticeps )
2. Full-grown size Up to 55 cm, most often 45-50 cm.
3. Expected life expectancy Approx. 10-15 years.
4. Recommended size and arrangement of facility or cage The terrarium must be made of a suitable material, eg glass or waterproof plate. The terrarium must have a size and layout that allows the animals to exhibit natural behavior. The terrarium size for a single bearded dragon should be a minimum of H60 x D60 x L125 cm. A height of 80 cm is recommended. However, other measures can also be used (depending on the number of animals and the size of the animal), as long as it supports the animal's natural movement needs. The terrarium can be furnished with large stones, branches or rock ledges that the animals can climb onto. The things must be placed so that the animals cannot burrow under them and be masted to death, and it is recommended to fix branches. Sand, digproof with clay, is recommended as a base layer, but other types of base layers can also be used. Be careful with very fine-grained sand, as it creates dust and can irritate the respiratory tract. It is recommended to create one heating area per animals. Fresh water and a bowl of lime must always be available. Faeces must be removed regularly.
5. Special care needs, including special requirements for temperature conditions The animals must have vitamin, calcium and mineral supplements specially adapted to reptiles. The temperature in the terrarium must vary between 26-27 °C at the cool end to 35-36 °C at the warm end - with a temperature of 40-43 °C under a heat spot. At night, the lights and heat are switched off, so that the temperature drops to around 20 °C – i.e. to normal room temperature. Bearded dragons follow the light to warm themselves, and therefore need a heat spot. Bottom heating in the form of a hot plate or heating stone is not recommended. Bearded dragons must have a high light intensity and a high amount of UV light. The terrarium must therefore be fully lit, and in combination with this, a UV light of at least 10.0 UVB must be installed. Be careful with over-spraying the terrarium, as too high humidity can cause fungal attacks and respiratory infections.
6. Stimulation and need for exercise The terrarium must be arranged so that the agam can exhibit as natural behavior as possible. Bearded dragons are described as benthic, but they also climb, and this should be accommodated with large, sturdy stones, branches and rock ledges. When feeding with varying feed items, a natural feed stimulus is ensured.
7. Feeding Adult bearded dragons' diet must consist of 80-90% greens, mainly leafy greens and 10-20% forage animals. Young and not fully grown animals eat a slightly larger amount of forage animals. Suitable fodder can be, for example, chervil, kale, savoy cabbage, Chinese cabbage, endive salad, basil, coriander, rocket, scallion, green salad (pretty much everything except iceberg), baby leaf mixtures and rapeseed. In addition, you can feed with, for example, sweet potatoes, turnips and squash. Feed items from nature, e.g. dandelions, pig's milk, plantain, foal's foot, shepherd's bag and collard greens, are also suitable. The vegetable bowl is mixed with vitamin and mineral powder especially for reptiles. Follow the dosage instructions. Feeders are various insects, such as cockroaches, Zophobas (giant mealworms), crickets and grasshoppers. Feed animals are shaken in lime just before feeding.
8. Social needs The animals are socially tolerant, and several bearded dragons of the same size can usually be kept together. You will often find them in the same place in the terrarium. However, they can be kept both individually and as a trio (2 females and a male). Two males must never be kept in the same terrarium. In addition, you must be aware of internal fights, as it can happen, they suddenly do not tolerate each other, internal fights can cause tails and toes to be bitten. Sometimes internal fighting can be a sign that the terrarium is simply not big enough. Adapt the terrarium size to the amount of individuals.
9. Reproduction, brood care and possible neutralization Bearded gamefish can reproduce all year round, but this typically happens from spring to late autumn. The female must have the opportunity to bury her eggs in a moist medium (e.g. vermiculite, perlite or sand). The parents provide no brood care and are cannibalistic. The young can fend for themselves from the time they hatch, and are kept separately in terrariums arranged like the adults.
10. Typical signs of illness and reduced well-being The healthy agame has clear eyes without any kind of plaster, without remnants of a previous change of male, and the animal must be alert. The gate must be clean and the agaman's stool must be firm. Typical signs of illness are refusal to eat and the agam appearing limp and inactive. Evaluate the conditions the animal is kept in and have a stool sample examined by a veterinarian to check for parasites. The symptomatic animal must be isolated from other animals. If parasites are suspected, all animals should be checked, as the risk of infection between animals is high.
End block These care instructions have been drawn up on the basis of information from the Nordic Herpetological Association ( www.nhf.dk ). The care instructions contain general information about the care of an animal species/animal group. Further information can be found in the library or on the above and other websites. The professional content of the care guide was approved by the Council regarding the keeping of special animals on 5 January 2014 in accordance with the executive order on commercial trade in animals.