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Bearded Dragon Burrowing Behavior

 

Bearded Dragon Burrowing

There might be various reasons for Bearded dragon burrowing behavior, some completely normal, others abnormal. Bearded dragon burrowing can be categorized into the following:

  • When its time to take a nap or fall asleep for the evening (sometimes during the brumation period).

  • A pregnant female Bearded dragon burrow when its time to lay her eggs.

  • Stress.

Normal Bearded Dragon Burrowing Behavior

When Bearded dragons prepare to sleep some may partially or completely burrow themselves in the substrate. Others will simply fall asleep in the last position they were before the lights went off. This category is mainly characterized by the burrowing of healthy looking (eating well etc.) individuals which only burrows in the late afternoon or evening.

When it comes to the winter months, most Bearded dragons will go into a slumber state, also called the Bearded dragon brumation period where their activity reduces to such a degree where they will seem listless. This is also a normal Bearded dragon behavior and can continue for the entire duration of the winter months.

A sexually active, breeding female will start to burrow in the substrate when she's ready to deposit her eggs. These females can be distinguished from stressed females by having larger, egg filled abdomens. This is also a continued type of burrowing where the Bearded dragon female will sometimes burrow for a few days without stop.

 
a Soon to burrow Bearded dragon        
 

 Figure 1  Bearded dragon digging behavior indications. a A far gravid female Bearded dragon. See the pear shaped appearance of her tummy. On palpation you will feel small lumps & bumps. This female will soon start to show normal Bearded dragon burrowing behavior.

 

Abnormal Bearded Dragon Digging Behavior

Abnormal Bearded dragon burrowing behavior is usually caused by some or other stress process. This category can be identified by burrowing behavior which does not fall into the first two categories. Stress can be caused by various processes, including disease, social and environmental stress. All efforts must be made to identify the stressor and rectify the problem. Lethargic and anorexic Bearded dragons must be accompanied with a stool sample to your closest Bearded dragon veterinarian.

 
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