It is very important as well as beneficial for any of the bearded dragon owners to know about the brumation period of a bearded dragon and how they can deal with it.
So we have brought out a brumation guide that will help out the owners of bearded dragons. As a bearded dragon owners it might strike your mind how the process of brumation is like.
For any Bearded Dragon owner, it’s a good idea to learn as much about brumation as possible. In this article you will get the answers for all your enthusiasm and know how to keep your beaded dragon heathy as well as happy during the brumation period.
- 1 What Is Bearded Dragon Brumation?
- 2 Difference Between Hibernation and brumation
- 3 Bearded Dragon Brumation Expectations
- 4 Signs of brumation
- 5 When do bearded dragons go for the brumation period?
- 6 How long is the brumation period?
- 7 Brumation Season
- 8 Do Bearded Dragons eat during the brumation period?
- 9 Preparation for brumation
- 10 Can brumation be prevented?
- 11 Coming out of brumation
- 12 Conclusion
What Is Bearded Dragon Brumation?
Brumation is basically hibernation in respect to the bearded dragons. Bearded dragons conserve their energies and go to sleep for long periods. This behavior is mostly noticed during the Winter seasons where they live in wild as well as captivity.
Read the entire blog to know regarding the important points related to brumation.
As we know that brumation is a hibernation period for the bearded dragons we also need to know that it is only Relevant with the reptiles.
In the wild, when the winters are about to come, the sun rays become dim and weak and also the daylight hours shorten. Due to this it becomes hard for the bearded dragons to easily digest their meals. Even they are not able to get the right temperatures for their skin.
Due to this reason most of the insects die along.
The bearded dragon tends to have a deep routed survival and therefore it brumates in these lean months until the spring arrives. When the sun becomes a little warmer and the day time hours become longer then the bearded dragons come out of their brumation.
They often burrow in a hole or they prefer to stay there for most parts if the winter until they feel that they need to hydrate and there is no longer requirement for them to brumate.
The metabolism of an adult bearded dragon will slow down and will make use of all the fat stores that it preserved throughout. The bearded dragon will drip feed the conserved food during the brumation period of the winter months.
Difference Between Hibernation and brumation
The basic difference that we find is that all the mammals go into the hibernation period while tge reptiles go into the brumation period.
In case of a mammal, it will fall in deep sleep during the hibernation period for months together and will not wake up or eat anything. The mammal at that time depends entirely on the food that he stores and these are supplied by the drip feed mechanism. This process continues till the weather is better and the food is available easily.
On the other hand, in case of the reptiles like the Bearded Dragon, it goes into the brumation period but will not fall into a deep sleep as like the mammals.
They will reduce their movements so that they can preserve energy. They will surely sleep for long hours but they will also spend a lot of time awake.
Bearded dragons need to stay hydrated during their brumation period. For this they find some source of water nearby that they can use.
Bearded Dragon Brumation Expectations
In captivity areas, the bearded dragons might receive disputed signals from the surrounding. They might feel that the season is of winters but the surrounding might be warm as like summer.
Due to this reason a lot of bearded dragons would react differently to the brumation period. Some of them will undergo full brumation cycle and some wont do it at all. In some cases the Bearded Dragons might sleep for over a month, and in the other tit might sleep for over winter.
But you can ensure that the brumation process is clean and healthy. Also, you should give your bearded dragon the chance to brumate easily and in the conditions it wants to. This is because brumation is healthy for them.
Signs of brumation
As the winter starts there are a lot of symptoms that might be noticed in your beardie and you wont be able to find the cause for it.
Some of the bearded dragon owners even go into a panic attack as they are not aware with how to deal with it.
Some of the bearded dragons suddenly stop defecating and eating. They become lethargic. Some users might feel that the reason to it is impaction.
But the reason for not eating and passing stools for a long time is related to the brumation period. It is absolutely harmless, but those who are unaware will get stressed.
You can think of a lot of reasons why it happens but you don’t need to get serious as it is completely normal and a part of the bearded dragons life and cycle. If the bearded dragon stays stable for a while and you don’t notice any sort of changes like weight loss then it is normal.
As a bearded dragon owner you need to know that there are some signs of brumation that are easily noticeable. This is because if you are unaware then you might get paranoid on seeing the strange behavior of your pet.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your pet and a sudden change in the behavior will certainly alarm you.
Many a times the changes are a sign of serious concern to the health such as a virus or it can simply be the part of bearded dragons cycle that is brumation or shedding.
Some of the symptoms related to brumation that you might notice are:
- Dull colors
- Loss of appetite
- Bowel movements become infrequent
- There is no basking.
When do bearded dragons go for the brumation period?
This is basically unpredictable as for when they would begin the brumation process. But it mainly starts somewhere in the winter season or near its beginning.
There are some cases when the bearded dragons start brumating when the winter starts in Australia, despite knowing the weather.
Also, the Bearded Dragons would not start brumating until they are one year old. But the younger ones can go through the semi brumation period.
How long is the brumation period?
It is important to know that the brumation period is different for every bearded dragon. While there are some that do not brumate at all but there are some vases where the bearded dragons sleep for even months together.
It is a fact that not all the bearded dragons will brumate across the same time period, the extent of the brumation period will vary from dragon to dragon.
This might not be the answer you are looking for but it varies therefore you will get it after one or two brumations how it is like.
Some of the bearded dragons will go into a long sleep for weeks or months, but there are some who will take long naps and will spend a long time awake. Some of them do not sleep at all.
The brumation time for a bearded dragon would depend on the hemisphere. For example, if you live in the southern hemisphere like Australia then it will begin around March or April. This brumation will last about August to September.
When these Australian bearded dragons will wake up the ones which are in the northern hemisphere will begin to brumate. The bearded dragons in the Northern hemisphere will start their brumation anytime between the month of September to March.
You can think that your beardie will start brumating when the season begins to change around you. Suddenly when the temperature falls and the winter season is on its verge you can expect that your bearded dragon will begin its brumation period.
Do Bearded Dragons eat during the brumation period?
As in all the bearded dragons should be given food when they enter the brumation period, around once or twice in a week. Certainly if your pet refuses to eat then it is not a big deal. The Bearded Dragons which are brumating will experience a loss of appetite and their metabolism rate will also slow down. It is not very complicated how they fuel their bodies during this period.
If they eat during brumation, then you have to make sure that they digest the food completely and also pass the food before they are left alone again for the brumation.
Encourage your pet to do the basking under UVB and also ensure to give them a bath daily.
Once your pet has completed the brumation you can now expect them to follow a regular appetite within some days or weeks.
Try to get them back on the diet. Also, ensure that you do not load them with insects as this can affect their stomachs.
Preparation for brumation
If you want to prevent any sort of complications hen you need to be prepared for your pets brumation period. You need to check how healthy your pet is on the usual days. Some owners specify that visiting a vet before the brumation is beneficial.
By this you are easily preparing to deal with the parasite infection that your pet can get and you can even learn how you can control or prevent it.
You need to know that during the brumation period your pets immune system is going to be weak therefore you need to check if it is having any disease or not.
The ones who do not find the yearly check-ups feasible then can watch their pet when it is brumating.
The dragons who lose a lot of weight might have some infection. So the owner needs to get the parasite treatment done for them.
Step by step guide to prepare for the brumation period
If your pet is about to enter the brumation period then you need to stop feeding it meet around that period. This might not sound good but in order to ensure that the intestine is empty during that period this step is necessary.
Lower the temperature of your bearded dragon tank around the month of November. You will begin to see the signs of your bearded dragon about to enter the sleeping period at that point of time. Your pet will not be very active in these periods and will burrow itself.
In two weeks after this you should again lower the temperature to about 68 degree Fahrenheit or less.
You need to switch on the lights around for about only 10 hours in the beginning stages. After that you can shorten the period. At the end of the period you can simply keep the lights off. You might find your beardie sleeping for a long time.
You can switch off the heat lamps during the brumation period but you can switch on the light sources during the day.
You will notice your bearded dragon shoeing you when you need to switch on the heat again. This will be probably after two months.
Your beardie will be active and then will be able to do some of the glass surfing. You can now increase the temperature periods.
Can brumation be prevented?
You cannot prevent the brumation altogether but you can interrupt the period. This can be done by altering the temperature and shorten the time for which your pet brumates.
Most likely your bearded dragon will carry out the brumation on its own according to the way it likes regardless of the things you do. Interrupting the brumation can also have a bad effect.
If your pet is sleepy and you want to prevent it from taking a nap for whole winter, you cant control it. Sometimes it is better to let the pets do their thing in a natural way so it is better if you don’t interrupt.
Coming out of brumation
The brumation usually should end across February, and this is the time when you need to set the temperature back to normal and humidity under control. Do not do it immediately but over a week slowly.
Begin with feeding your pet and that too normally. You might find that your per is not eating normally for about 5-7 days. In that case you can provide your pet with additional greens and calcium. Also pay extra attention for the female bearded dragon. The female one needs more calcium.
After the end of brumation and after 3-4 weeks your bearded dragon will begin displaying the odd behavior. This might include territorial display in which the bearded dragons fight, or courtship and even Beard flaring.
This breeding season might last from march to September. During this period the female bearded dragon lays eggs.
Checking the bearded dragon
In some cases the brumation period is often misread as sickness or death. But there is difference in between these. The Bearded dragon should not lose weight during the brumation period. So you can weigh your dragon every week using scales and track them.
If you find that your bearded dragon is losing a lot of weight suddenly then you need to take it to the vet.
Another difference that we notice is the age of bearded dragon. The bearded dragon starts brumating when it is about 10 months old. The younger ones should not brumate. If you find that your young bearded dragon shows signs of sickness or any other one then take it to the vet.
In some of the cases the bearded dragons might even brumate during summer which means in May- August. This is for the Bearded dragons in the southern hemisphere. There is winter during these months in the southern part.
Also, your bearded dragon might go into brumation during these days is because of less lightning, or s cold tank. So you need to check on the surrounding conditions because the Bearded Dragons start brumating in response to their surrounding temperatures no matter what the weather is.
In this article we have discussed almost every aspect relayed to the brumation of bearded dragons.
You ca go through it and keep your pet healthy and in appropriate conditions.