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The development of Bearded Dragon Hatchlings
Bearded dragon hatchlings grow very fast - from hatching to adult they grow 4000 x their birth weight. To support this rapid rate of growth they need to eat copious amounts of food.
By cleaning the vivariums out evey day, and moving the hatchlings to a container whilst I did so meant they quickly lost their fear of being handled. When they eventually went to their new owners most reported that they settled down quickly.
Bearded dragon skin does not grow, so as they start getting bigger the process of shedding begins. Juvenile bearded dragons will go through many sheds until they reach adulthood. Adult bearded dragons still shed, but a lot less frequently.
At three weeks most of the hatchlings had completed their first shed. The pictures below show there was already a range of colours developing. A couple are still a bit ragged needing to complete the shedding process.
The hatchlings are eating small to medium size crickets, and also vegetables. I found they enjoyed curly kale. Getting them used to eating green food at this stage helps them to continue to enjoy it whilst junvenile. Adult bearded dragons are 80% vegetarian - hatchlings and juveniles should be fed 20% green food.
The first two pictures below are of Shrek and Fiona - the parents. The last picture is of Stumpy, the hatchling born without back feet who I kept (and who lived until he was nearly 5, despite his deformities).
Click on a picture to enlarge the image.
And then at 7 weeks
By seven weeks of age their colours really started to show. Here are a selection of the prettiest! Mind you, they could all be pretty, but would change their colour seemingly for no reason at all. Which made it harder when they started to be sold - when the buyers turned up they were all a drab grey!
Once the bearded dragons were 8 weeks old they began to go to their new homes which is an ideal age. When they are taken to a new home it often takes up to two weeks for them to settle in and start eating properly. If they are adopted before 8 weeks they may not have sufficient fat reserves to survie this settling in period.
Being tiny in relation to the adults hatchlings are born with an innate sense of survival - t's not unusual for a hatchling just out of the egg to hiss at you.
It would be impossible to put hatchlings into the same vivarium as the adults - even the mother bearded dragon has no maternal instinct and would simply see the youngsters as food.
In the wild hatchlings are at risk for any larger reptile, some mammals and birds.