75% of pet reptiles in the
UK die within their first year.
In a small survey conducted here at BDW with 21 bearded dragons:
- 12 had a misting routine ranging between daily to once a week;
- 3 were misted occasionally if the weather was hot; and
- 9 were not provided a misting routine at all.
57% had a misting routine daily to once a week
14% misted their bearded dragons in hot weather
42% did not have a misting routine
Do I need to remove the eggs from the female?
Bearded Dragons do not have maternal or paternal instincts, they lay their eggs and leave them, their role as a parent ends there. Any eggs laid that are to be hatched are removed after laying and hatched separately. Hatchlings will be killed if left with either parent.
Body Condition Scoring
The same body condition scoring used for mammals, is also applied to reptiles. Scale ranges from 1 (emaciated) to 5 (obese) or 9 (grossly obese), depending on the scoring table used. Reptile considerations for body score include girth of the tail and palpability of the ribs.
Body scoring by scales is subjective but useful as a quick guide and for longer term monitoring of body condition.
Fat is not visible. Bones visible.
Limited fat. Ribs and pelvic bones visible.
Bone outline may be slightly visible.
- Mildly overweight
Bones may be slightly visible. Few millimeters of fat over ribs and tail.
No bones protrude, nor palpable. Base of tail very thick. Fat is interfering with normal movement including length of stride.
References and Further Reading
- Benn AL, McLelland DJ, Whittaker AL. A Review of Welfare Assessment Methods in Reptiles, and Preliminary Application of the Welfare Quality® Protocol to the Pygmy Blue-Tongue Skink, Tiliqua adelaidensis, Using Animal-Based Measures. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(1):27. Published 2019 Jan 17. doi:10.3390/ani9010027