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Author:  Rick [ Fri May 16, 2008 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Brumation

I've posted this as a Sticky for those who notice their beardie slowing down in the winter!
I don’t have any degrees or anything so this is all based on common sense, personal experience, & asking questions, so if anyone wants to query something please go ahead.
OK - a quick geography lesson – I’m using Central NSW for the figures which I’ve taken from our Bureau of Meteorology. So, mean max. temp in Feb is 30 ~ 33 deg whilst mean min temp is 18~21 deg ( around the recommended basic temps for our viv’s). In Aug the figures are, mean max 15 ~ 18 deg with a mean min of 3 ~ 6 deg. Note even in summer night time temps can be quite cool.
As beardies don’t migrate and they obviously can’t get sufficient heat on a regular basis in the winter period, then the alternative is to slow down the metabolism by one method or another. The safest way being to get in hole under a bloody big rock and do nothing until something tells you it’s time to come out again – thus your basic brumation.
Now for the finer detail:-
No-one I know would try it on sub-adults (less than 12 months old) –they may slow down a bit over mid-winter but should still have temps & food maintained as they are still growing at an enormous rate.
Some adults don’t bother – they just keep on racing round all year, but others will show less interest in food & more in sleeping, so in mid-autumn start reducing temps over 4~6 weeks so that there is no heating on at all at the end of that period. Check that your bd had a good clear out of his bowel at the end of the 6 weeks as anything left in the gut can ferment/rot etc., turn off the last heating/lighting and a couple of days later put him in a cool place for the next 3 months. After around three months he will start to stir again, so reverse the process being ready for an eating binge. They don't lose weight (mine have lost around 5grams only) but they wake up really hungry. I use large boxes floored with paper kitty litter pellets as insulation, these are put into a cupboard in an unheated room. Water is provided as this is not full hibernation and occasionally on a good day one will get up for a short wander then back to bed DO NOT FEED AT THIS TIME as they will not be able to digest the food. Brumation assists with breeding but should not be used for this purpose only. It’s a natural thing and so, if/when your beardie shows signs of slowing down then follow the care sheet & let him/her have a rest.
It won't hurt if they don't brumate but it MAY shorten their life span if not offered the chance.
I think the bottom line is to do what your beardie wants. Ours actually start to slow down themselves, more sleeping, less interest in food! Once this happens then we start the above process. If your guys show no sign of slowing down then there is no need to follow this regime.
There is no solid evidence I’m aware of that it does or doesn't shorten the lifespan but taken as part of the whole husbandry thing you could expect it to have some effect somewhere.
The trouble with beardies is that there does not appear to be any single really in-depth study available and to compound that, the UK ones have been bred from a limited number exported from Australia in the 60's & 70's (unless you’ve got smuggled stock !) so over the last 30~40 years it is quite possible that some traits have either been bred out or reinforced to some extent.
For those interested in a closer look at the type of climate in which our beardies live, try this link to the Bureau of Meteorology and follow the “recent months observation” link. I’ll leave it to you to research townships within their territorial areas, but in general they are found west of the mountain range on the East coast, across to Alice Springs and from mid-Queensland down as far as some points on the eastern end of the Nullarbor.


Author:  Kathryn [ Fri May 16, 2008 8:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Rick thats really interesting. :D

Author:  Rick [ Fri May 16, 2008 11:01 am ]
Post subject: 

It's an important point that many people don't seem to be aware of. We've just settled our adults down for the next three months - gives us a chance to clean out all the tanks etc. and take a holiday. As some of you will already know finding someone to babysit dragons isn't always easy.


Author:  Webmaster [ Fri May 16, 2008 12:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've just realised as most of us are preparing for summer you're getting ready for winter! :oops:

Author:  Rick [ Fri May 16, 2008 12:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

You should try this from my perspective - I'm operating ten hours ahead of you, metric measurements, temps in C and seasons reversed. I moderate both an Australian and a UK site so at times I really have to think hard as to what I'm doing.

Rick :lol:

Author:  Webmaster [ Fri May 16, 2008 1:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hmm - well the UK is supposed to be metric and uses centigrade. Not that you'd think that from my posts! :lol: :lol:

By the way, we do have a neighbour of yours from New Zealand as a member, so you're not quite alone!

I like the global nature of this forum - beardie husbandary can't differ much from country to country, expect in the availability of food really. The only thing that really gets me is I cannot understand the size of a viv in gallons! :lol:

Author:  Kathryn [ Fri May 16, 2008 2:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

To us gallons means beer and barrels etc, not tanks :D

Author:  Emily&Uluru [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Brumation

Do beardies have too be warm in brumation? :?: :)

Author:  Rick [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brumation

No - it's a period when they've been cooled down and are dormant. Ours are currently in large boxes in a walk-in robe where the temp is pretty constantly below 16C, at the end of this month we'll bring them out and slowly over a number of weeks bring them back to low to mid 30's temps.


Author:  Emily&Uluru [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Will Uluru ever go in too brumation?:(

I do not want Uluru too ever go in to brumation cos I do not like it I hope Uluru will Never Ever Ever go in to brumation And do all beardies go in to bruation? :?:

Author:  Rick [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brumation

Some do and some don't. You have to consider the individual dragon, if he decides to sleep for the winter there's nothing you can do about it I'm afraid.


Author:  Emily&Uluru [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  :(

Awwwwww how sad :cry: :x but I do NOT ever want My LOVELY LOVELY *Uluru*too ever ever ever go in *BRUMATION*WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH WHY OH WHY OH WHY :( :cry: :oops: :evil: :twisted: :roll: :| :!: :?: :x :?

Author:  Webmaster [ Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brumation

Don't worry Emily - it's just a natural part of having a bearded dragon.

Author:  Emily&Uluru [ Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brumation

Awwwww No I was hopeing He did NOT go in to brumation :cry:

Author:  meina_kelly [ Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brumation

well dobby has started to put himself into brumation so gonna make sure he has a poo then leave him to it lol

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