Bearded dragon egg incubation temperatures
After a female Bearded dragon has deposited her eggs, they need to be in an optimal environment to be able to hatch. The most important environmental factors that determines viability of the embryos are the temperature and the humidity.
Bearded dragon eggs should be incubated at 29 °C / 84 °F. This temperature is significantly lower than the average temperatures reccommended for their keeping enclosures and even the average temperatures of their natural environments.
In nature, female Bearded dragons will choose the most desired spot to deposit their egg. This will usually be in a self-dug hole in a shaded, moist patch of sand. Being underground, the temperatures that these eggs are exposed to are significantly lower than the natural environmental temperatures of the Australian deserts (which is typically between 37 and 39 °C / 98 and 102°F). The combination of being in shade, being underground and the added moisture will contribute to a lower natural incubation temperature.
The recommended keeping environement for Bearded dragons have higher temperatures, lower humidities, inappropriate substrates to create the ideal egg incubation environment. These environments will generally also expose eggs to damage. This is why Bearded dragons breeders make use of incubators to create a safe, more controllable egg incubation environment. As mentioned earlier, the optimal average temperature for incubating Bearded dragon eggs is 29 °C / 84 °F.
Sustained average temperatures of above 32 °C / 90 °F might dry the eggs out and can quickly kill developing embryos. Average temperatures below 29 °C / 84 °F will lead to prolonged egg incubation periods. Lower incubation temperatures will also increase the humidity and make the environment more prone to bacterial and mould growth, which will kill the eggs.
During the incubation period, owners should constantly monitor and record the temperature of the incubator. Temperatures can be measured using a thermometer. The humidity should also be monitored. Depending on the incubator used, monitoring procedures should take into consideration temperature drops which might effect the eggs and the overall incubation period.