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Bearded Dragon Brumation 101 Guide – Explained in Detail
What is brumation?
Bearded Dragon Brumation is a hibernation-like state that cold-blooded animals like bearded dragon adopt during the winter season.
Brumation is a term used for the hibernation-like state that cold-blooded animals such as bearded dragons adapt during winter. This process is just equivalent to the bear’s hibernation but in a dormant manner, the bearded dragon’s body is not going to shut down completely as the bear, their body will only become dormant.
Bearded Dragon in Brumation state, you can notice your beardie becoming sluggish and will take less interest in eating. Their movement becomes limited during winter. Brumate can also be described as a reaction to winter season or cooler temperature.
They will need a properly insulated spot to rest for a long period. In the wild, they seek the dens like caves, planter, burrows, natural decor as they make excellent spots to brumate.
In winter, their food and water sources become limited or almost disappear, so to survive this kind of condition, they become dormant. If you provide them a tank with warm and toasty temperature and supply them with the food they need, they will have no reason to brumate or becoming dormant.
It’s not certain because it’s in their natural instinct, so they may brumate anyway. So, it’s important to be ready for their brumation. If you don’t have a warm and cozy hiding spot for your bearded dragon to seek comfort and shelter, it’s maybe a time for you to invest in a den that they may need. You can sort of helping them a lot in their brumation.
What are the signs or symptoms of bearded dragon brumation?
In the wild, they sometimes prefer to bury themselves in the soil to absorb moisture from the ground and to keep them freezing. So prefer to sleep or brumate in the soil to remain hydrated that will help them to survive until spring
But in captivity, you should look out for the signs or symptoms of brumation and make sure to keep them fully hydrated. Some of the bearded dragon brumation symptoms you should look out for:
- They will start to spend less time in the basking arear
- They may seek for dark places to hide
- They can start digging to make a nesting spot
- They will start sleeping for a longer period.
- They may not poop.
- They can become less active or lazy.
- They may sleep early or during day time.
If you notice this kind of signs then there is a high possibility that your beardie may start brumating soon. Many owners become concerned with this kind of behavior. Plus, you may also think that your dragon is sick but no that’s not the case that needs to be concerned upon.
The time when you should be concerned is when your bearded dragon in brumation starts losing his weight drastically, the bearded dragon in brumation should not lose more than a few grams of weight. If you notice a huge loss in weight, then it is highly recommended to visit the vet.
How long will my bearded dragon brumate for?
Bearded Dragon brumation depends on a large number of factors, so it’s very hard to predict an exact amount of time. However, the type of species, your reptile belong to plays a major role in how long they spend hibernating.
In captivity, bearded dragons brumation usually lasts for a different period than in the wild. Additionally, their gender, natural condition, age, and geographical origin play an important role too in the brumation period.
In major cases, they usually enter brumation in late autumn and emerges as soon as temperature rises, somewhere around spring when the days begin to get longer than night. In most cases, the bearded dragon doesn’t brumate until they are at least 10 months or 1 year old.
But still, the bearded dragon brumation period is extremely unpredictable. Sometimes, beardie may also hibernate to the extreme while other times they will seem almost inactive. Some years, it’s almost difficult to notice significant changes in their behavior at all.
Why Do Bearded dragon Brumate?
Bearded Dragons are cold-blooded animals and they can’t increase their body temperature on their own, their temperature mostly depends on their surroundings. This is bad for them to survive or they may find themselves struggling to keep their body temperature warm. To survive in such conditions they may enter brumation.
Bearded Dragon Brumation is some kind of survival tactic to protect themselves from cold. They brumate to ensure that they successfully survive the winter months and will be able to reach the upcoming spring months.
In the wild, as soon as temperature drops, their food source becomes scarce, that’s why they start preparing early by hiding away in a warm place and by using up less energy. Bearded Dragon Brumation instinct may remain the same when they are kept in captivity.
Should my beardie lose weight when brumating?
No, they shouldn’t, they must not drastically lose weight when brumating. They may lose few grams as they eat less than normal but since they are almost inactive too and saving it’s all energy, this should balance out the whole process, so that they don’t end up losing weight.
At what age do Bearded Dragons start to brumate?
Well, it depends on many factors like their breed, size, and weight. You may hear from somewhere that beardie doesn’t usually lose weight till they are 10 months or 1 year old but that’s not the case. It can happen at any age, it depends on the urge and want.
You may have heard that Bearded Dragons under the age of one year old do not brumate. This is not the case. Brumation is in their DNA and survival instinct, so even decades of bearded dragon petting or captive breeding will not change this. It’s in their nature.
What Should I Do When My Beardie Starts Brumating?
First of all, should always look for the signs or symptoms of brumation in your beardie and if you suspect that they may brumate this season, then it’s very important to know and consider few things with failing to make the process easy for yourself and your beardie.
The first that I would do is to visit a proper vet clinic near me and get a parasite/fecal test. To ensure they are free from parasite before brumation or even if they are not, I can get it treated before my beardie begins brumation
Once your beardie gets treated and given all the clear via the clinic, I will look out for the ways to reduce the temperature of their tank. I will start reducing their tank temperature slowly over the next couple of weeks till there is no heating on at all at. You can do it by reducing their basking hours or lowering the watt bulb.
I will start offering and feeding them less food to the point of nothing being offered to my beardie in the final week. I would also prefer to keep the heat on to ensure your beardie has had a poo. Because food or anything left inside their stomach may rot and could cause serious problems
The food being rot inside their stomach can get them very sick during brumation and will ultimately need vet treatment. It’s almost life-threatening. My friend’s beardie had to suffer from this but it was touch and go for a while. From then, he never faced such issues – lesson learned.
I will always prefer to cover their vivarium glass with either blanket or paper to keep them in dark because in the wild they usually tend to block the entrance with sand or dirt to keep themselves safe from predators, living in dark 24/7.
As soon as your beardie has had its poo in the final days of the reducing temperature routine, you can turn off the basking light and leave them to sleep or brumate. If you have any queries regarding this – you should drop your comment down below & I will get in touch with you.
Do I need to keep the UV light On when my bearded dragon is in Brumation?
Many folks even my friend keep his UVB light on to provide some heat during the process but in truth, they do need it. You don’t need to keep the UV lights on when your bearded dragon is in Brumation.
In one word – you can turn off the UVB and heat safely and it will not harm your beloved bearded dragon in brumation at all. In fact, in the wild, it’s exactly how they survive, they don’t need any kind of heat source in brumation in the burrow.
Burrow is enough to keep them safe and healthy from cooler temperatures or winter nights. They usually tend to block the entrance with sand or dirt to keep themselves safe from predators, living in dark 24/7.
They usually need UVB and heat just for digestive conversion and energy but when to sleep, they require none of this as they become inactive. Keeping the UVB on isn’t going to wake up your beanie.
How long will Bearded Dragon’s brumation last?
There is no practical proof or theory and it’s very difficult to know the period of reptile brumation. But, it has been seen that most of the bearded dragon Brumation can last for a few weeks and can go up to four months.
Can I feed my dragon during brumation if yes then what should I feed?
No, you don’t need to feed your beardie, no heat and not feeding is 100% part of the brumation process. Your beardie doesn’t need to have a belly full of food while they will be in Brumation. The foods can rot inside their stomachs and cause serious problems.
It can cause life-threatening trouble to your beardie, so it’s better to stop feeding them before they enter into brumation.
What to do if my Bearded Dragon is losing weight?
If you notice a sudden loss of weight when they brumate or your beardie is losing weight drastically, it’s highly recommended to see a professional veterinarian. They shouldn’t lose weight more than a few grams. Bearded Dragon in Brumation, losing weight drastically need professional help
Can I provide Water to my bearded dragon in brumation?
Yes, you can offer or provide them water and even you can place your beardie in the bath once a week but be careful with their head, make sure to support the head. You will find them mostly sleeping but they may drink water a fair amount. In the wild, they tend to absorb moisture from the soil.
Can I bath my bearded dragon during Brumation?
Yes, you can, my friend prefers to bath his beardie once a week but it’s best to avoid bath and let them sleep. You can bath them once they are wake up. Bathing your beardie will usually offer you a beardie drinking opportunity, that’s it. From bathing, they can drink water from their mouths as they will not absorb water from their vent.
What should I when my dragon wakes up after brumation?
The day when your beardie will wake up, you will find them staring at you or you may hear them moving. At this time, you should bathe them as it will offer drink stimulation opportunities.
Now you can turn on all the heat and UVB again in a gradual process – just like reversing the process that you did on shut down. However, you can just switch it all back on directly. It will not affect your beardie health.
Bearded dragon in brumation may need a bath, but bathing them when your bearded dragon is in brumation is not recommended!
Now, you just need to be patient to get them back into their familiar routine. You don’t have to worry if you still notice them not much active, it will take some. So, your beardie may not eat much or at all but don’t worry, everything will go back to its normal state in a few days.
What should I feed my bearded dragon after brumation?
They will not much or at all at first, after brumation. It will take a couple of waking days. However, once they start eating, be sensible, and offer them greens and water at first. You should prefer feeding them canned food that includes hoppers, crickets, etc for a few days before feeding them proper live food. Bearded dragon in brumation doesn’t need food.
Don’t disturb, if your bearded dragon is in brumation already!
From this article, we learned that Bearded Dragon Brumation is a completely natural thing. So it’s better to leave them to it and let them rest. Trying to delay or stop brumation by not allowing your beardie when he and his body wants this sleep can cause serious issues.
What you should do instead is to help and assist him by turning off the heat or UVB and covering the vivarium with the paper of blanket to stimulate wild conditions. You should reduce the frequency of food till feeding no food at all before brumation.
But still, there is no set rules for bearded dragon brumation caring, the process and tips mentioned above is collected by interviewing veteran Iranian and beardie owners. By their and our experience, we brought this article to you.
I hope this post – Bearded Dragon Brumation, somehow helps you. If you have any questions or want to add up something, feel free to comment. You are always welcomed in the comment section. 🙂 Good luck. Let me know down below in the comment section if your bearded dragon is in brumation.
What Should I Do When My Beardie Starts Brumating?
The first that I would do is to visit a proper vet clinic near me and get a parasite/fecal test. To ensure they are free from parasites before brumation or even if they are not, I can get it treated before my beardie begins brumation…READ MORE
What are the signs or symptoms of bearded dragon brumation?
They will start to spend less time in the basking area.
They may seek dark places to hide.
They can start digging to make a nesting spot.
Can I Stop My Bearded Dragon Brumation From Happening?
Yes, you can, but why would you want to?. You can stop Bearded Dragon Brumation from happening by handling your dragon properly but brumation is a natural process for your beardie, so let him be.
Don’t try to delay or stop brumation, not allowing your beardie to brumate when his body wants this sleep can cause serious issues. Bearded Dragon Brumation is a natural process