Bearded Dragons

How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow? – Growing Rates & Feeding Quantities

Just how fast do bearded dragons grow exactly and what factors do you need to consider to have the healthiest growth rate. Answering how fast do bearded dragons grow depends on a number of attributes and its style of living. Factors such as, specific breed, gender and environment, all have an effect on how fast your breaded dragon will grow.

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).

With every aspect and factor considered, a healthy bearded dragon will grow up to 16-22 inches within in first 12 months. The following 12 months you can expect them to reach lengths of anywhere between 20-24 inches.

Keeping track of how fast your bearded dragon grows is a great way to identify its healthiness. A well fed and well maintained bearded dragon should usually follow a guided growth rate. These guides are very close and relate to their age as well as their healthiness. As long as they match, you have nothing to worry about. Below is a little chart which shows the relevance in age to length.

If you find your bearded dragon isn’t growing at the rate it should, don’t be alarmed. Like all animals, their growth rate is completely determined on their eating habits, genetics and environment. Sometimes they will just take a little longer to reach their desired size. If you do have any worries about your dragon, then please seek professional advise for a veterinarian or reptile specialist.

First Year

The first year growth rate of a bearded dragon is quite extreme. Within the first 2/3 months as a baby, a bearded dragon can grow at a rate of an inch a week at its peak. However their growth rate is continuously slowing from the moment they’re born. In month 3 your breaded dragon may be anywhere between 8-11 inches.

In months 4-5 the growth rate will start to slow down slightly as it nears the end of its baby phase. In these months you may only see a size different of 2-3 inches a month. Which is still quite a lot when you think about it. At month 5 your bearded dragon may be anywhere between 11-18 inches.

As your bearded dragon starts to enter its juvenile stage, it will slow down slightly even more. At this stage you will see a difference in size by 1-2 inches a month. By month 8 your dragon will be anywhere between 14-20 inches.

Finally at 12 months your bearded dragon is now classed as an adult. It has now reached sexual maturity and its length should range between 16-22 inches. This will differ for males and females, but this is a great way to determine the sex of your dragon.

Second Year

Now as an adult at sexual maturity your bearded dragon will grow at a very slow rate. For the next 12 months it’s likely to only grow another couple of inches. At this stage you will see more of a difference in body size compared to its length. 

The different type of breaded dragon species, and how they grow..

There are 8 main common species of bearded dragons, which all have different growth rates. The most common bearded dragon is the Pogona Vitticep. Also known as the Central bearded dragon. This is the most common type of dragon sold by reptile shops. If you know what a bearded dragon looks like, this is most likely the one.

That said, other species of bearded dragons can be as much as 4x smaller than the popular Central bearded dragon. So knowing exactly what type of bearded dragon you have will give you a much better idea of the size they are capable of growing too.

Central Bearded Dragon 20-24 inches

Coastal Bearded Dragon 20-24 inches

Mitchells Bearded Dragon 14-18 inches

Western Bearded Dragon 14-18 inches

Nullabor Bearded Dragon 11-14 inches

Dwarf Bearded Dragon 9-12 inches

Lawson Bearded Dragon 9-12 inches

Drysdale River Bearded Dragon 4-6 inches 

Factors which may stunt the growth of a bearded dragon?

You may have realised that your bearded dragon isn’t growing as fast as the common rate it should be. There are a few main reason why this may be. These factors are; Poor diet, Temperature, and Brumation from young age.

Poor Diet

You will commonly see a stunt in growth from poor diet within the first 6 months. At this stage a bearded dragon should be well fed on a balanced nutritional diet. If your dragon isn’t growing as it should at this time, this is probably the reason. 

Baby bearded dragon have a very high metabolism. Because of this, and their small size, they need to be fed smaller meals at more frequent times. Specially compared to an adult. Baby dragons should be fed small crickets up to 5 times a day, with small portions. They need a huge amount of protein in their diet to keep up with their healthy growth rate.

A great rule of thumb for bearded dragon is that you should never fed them insects which are any larger than its head. Larger insects are much harder to digest than smaller ones. This may seem obvious, but food size should be relevant to their head size.

Veggies and Plants

Like humans, bearded dragons will eat meat are well as vegetables and plants. This is crucial to their health and wellbeing, through a balanced diet. Adding chopped vegetables into their diet at least 3 or 4 times a week will massively help to balance out their diet. Another treat which can be given a couple of days a week are dandelion leaves. These are full of nutritional goodness for bearded dragons.

Because of a juveniles growth rate, it is thought that a ratio of 60% insect protein, and 40% vegetables for a peak balance in diet. Once adult hood is reached after 2 years, you can increase this to 80% insect protein, and 20% vegetables. 

Enclosure Temperature 

The temperature inside a bearded dragons enclosure has some problematic relevance to its digestive system. If the temperature is too hot, to too cold, then a bearded dragon is likely to find it very hard to digest their food. 

Bearded dragons loose their appetite very quickly at the smallest of temperature changes. They need optimal temperature to be able to digest correctly. Sometimes a previous meal hasn’t fully digested, making them feel full, thus not wanting to eat. Improper digestion can also lead to health problems such as gut rot. This occurs when semi digested food stay within their system for too long, before passing.

Brumation from a young age

Brumation from a young age causes a stunt to growth simply for the reason that bearded dragons refuse to eat through this process. In colder months bearded dragons will brumate. This is the reptile version of hibernating, where they become extremely docile for a long period of time, without needing to feast. This lack of protein and nutrients from a young age will cause your dragons growth rate to slow considerably, which a healthy juvenile’s shouldn’t be.

Brumation is something that all breaded dragon will do at some throughout their lives which you can replicate through cooler periods of time inside the enclosure. For adult it is completely fine and natural. However, babies and juveniles metabolisms are so high that they use their reserve nutrients very quickly, which means they must continue to eat at a faster rate.

So there we have it, your answer for “How fast do bearded dragons grow?” Follow this link for more information about Brumation.

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