Monday, July 1, 2013

The Latest Addition - Another Bearded Dragon

Got an email a couple of days ago, forwarded to me from a couple of friends, who like me are Long Island Herpetological Society  members. Seems that someone was looking to adopt out a male bearded dragon. Seems I was thought of as a likely candidate to accept it since I already have two females and kind of have been looking for a male to join them. I knew where I could buy one or three adult males but I figured why bother with one for sale and why pay the expense when I knew that sooner or later one would wind up showing up, needing a home, and being offered for free. As it was, I also was not looking to hurry up the inevitable events that would result by adding a male to the enclosure with two females already in it.

I contacted the lady about the male bearded dragon yesterday and arranged to pick it up today. When I got there today, the woman recognized me immediately and I thought she kind of looked familiar. As it turned out, I had already met the lady and her family; they had come to visit the LIHS exhibit at Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation Day at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium on June 1. When they were there, they had paid a lot of attention to my bearded dragons that I had on display. Her husband and daughter were home (son was at day camp) and we had a nice talk. Then I left with Seamus or Shamus - I hope I remember the name right.

Once at home, I put him into the tank with the two females and all I could think was that they are going to need a bigger enclosure for the three of them. No problem, I have one on hand that is big enough for them all. I decided that it would be best to keep them all fairly calm until they were used to one another and I figured feeding them would do the trick. I gave them a good amount of Blaptica dubia but only the females ate. For some reason, maybe because he was in a new home, or maybe something else, Seamus did not even look at those delectable six legged, inch and a half long, roaches. It certainly was not because he was ill or anything like that. He was obviously well kept by the people who gave him to me regardless of him missing a couple of inches of his tail (an injury that was preexisting relative to them getting him).

Anyway, all three remained calm in the BD tank. They all sat around taking turns under the heat lamps. Every now and again one would move and another would take its choice place under one of the bulbs. It went on like that for hours, I got him at about 1100, had him in the tank by 1230 or so, and nothing changed much until just a few minutes ago, at about ten after 7. That's when I noticed the male bobbing his head while displaying his beard and that was coal black and spread as wide as he could spread it. It wasn't long after that display that he did one of the inevitable things. He mounted one of the females and mated with her. She did not object. Now another seemingly inevitable event is almost sure to take place. In about 4 to 6 weeks, as I understand it - if the mating was successful - another inevitable will take place - she will lay eggs. Time will tell if the mating was successful. Of course, him having done it once does not mean it will end there. He will likely continue to mate with both females as long as they are together and so long as the gals do not rebuff his advances.

The reason I was in no great hurry to get my females a male was because of the inevitable breeding and all that comes it. The first time I bred bearded dragons, my female laid 26 eggs. I think almost all of them hatched and maybe it actually was all of them. Anyway, a lot of them hatched out. That meant I had to take care of and feed a lot of babies. I have two adult females now and if both lay that many eggs each, I will likely wind up with a lot of babies. Then what? I sure don't want to have the expense or pain in the butt of feeding them for any amount of time. Thus, I will have to try to get rid of them without giving them away. (I may give some away though.) That could mean trading them or selling them. My guess is that I could easily get about $20 apiece for them, if not more. If any hatch out and have desirable coloring hey will go for more. Even if drab and regular, and if the market is slow, I think I will be able to get at least $15 apiece and they would sell quickly at the lower price. It would be a decent chunk of change to help foster my hobby. Of course, if I really get lucky, I will find someone willing to take the whole lot of them and trade me something that tickles my fancy - like ammo. Of course, I am not counting my baby lizards before they hatch, I'm just pointing out possibilities and potentialities.

All the best,
Glenn B