Brumation can be described as the state of hibernation for cold-blooded animals. One example of these animals is the main topic of discussion in this article: the bearded dragon. Bearded dragons adopt this stage of hibernation, especially in the state of winter.
During the brumation stage, the bearded dragons’ movement becomes relatively slow and quite limited, especially during the cold winter. Additionally, the state of sluggishness and significantly less desire to consume anything is also a widespread phenomenon during this stage. At this point, the bearded dragons start seeking many insulated spots where they can rest for the coming periods. Any natural decors, caves, burrows, and even planters can make great hibernating spots. Thus, if you lack the right hibernation spots for your bearded dragon, you should think of investing in one.
Signs of brumation
There can be many signs which can help you in understanding when your bearded dragons are going into hibernation, and some of them can include:
- Spending less time where they bask and staying back under the much cooler areas of the enclosure
- Appetite loss
- Sleeping for much more extended periods
- Seeking much darker places where one can hide or, on the other hand, building nests in that spot
These kinds of behavior may be of concern at first, that you may think that your bearded dragon has fallen ill, but these are just signs of hibernation. On the other hand, if you prêt is losing much weight and is less than only ten months old, we recommend that you make an appointment with a vet specializing in reptiles.
Age when they brumate
Usually, any bearded dragon’s expected age for any brumation is after completing ten months of age. Before this stage, the bearded dragons do not brumate since they are still growing. This is essential for them to keep eating and provide fuel to their bodies based on the development process. This is the reason they don’t brumate since they are still in their growth stage.
After a certain point of time, as discussed, after ten months old, bearded dragons do brumation whenever they see entirely it fit. Those bearded dragons who are kept as a pet, rarely follow the seasons’ patterns like those in the wild.
What is the reason behind the brumation?
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals. These creatures can quickly increase their temperatures, so their temperatures can reflect based on their surroundings. In one way, it is not good since this determines that they have to struggle a lot to keep themselves warm when it is warm outside, and in realization, they are unable to cool themselves when they are hot.
This aspect of brumation acts as a survival tactic, especially when the cold winter months come around. Usually, whenever the temperature drops low in the wild and food starts to become scarce, bearded dragons tend to prepare early for their hibernation or brumation by expending less energy and hiding away. This is the same action even for those beardies who are kept as pets.
When does the brumation happen?
The bearded dragons in the wild tend to brumate in the winter months. This is quite simple- there is less availability of food, and the change in sunlight availability prevents effective sunlight processing. Additionally, it is also not a good thing since poor health affects their health negatively. This is the reason why bearded dragons go through the process of brumation to wait out the winter. This is quite similar to the usual method of hibernation.
Although you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you may see this process quite often. The pet dragons do not wait for any seasonal cues and randomly goes into this process. There are many entrenched behaviors and also several instincts that work here. These dragons can start bromating in the winter or in June or never at all. Several things happen around this part, which can trigger the brumation.
Duration of the brumation
There is no specific length of time for which this brumation last for these reptiles. Several things can influence this aspect and thus lead to variable sizes of brumation.
The bearded dragons can complete brumation within a few weeks, and again it can stretch to several months.
Eating habits during this time
As discussed before, the period of brumation does come with a lot of appetite loss for food. The metabolism slows down a lot, and there is no significant requirement for food consumption like in usual cases. Although the bearded dragons don’t just stop eating altogether, they would instead consume only a portion of the food than their regular consumptions. An important tip is that just because if your pet bearded dragon decides to nibble on some snacks, it doesn’t signify that they have retired from their brumation, which may affect your care for the pet.
It is also not uncommon for the bearded dragons to shed some weight during the process of brumation. This weight loss can be quite significant. Not only that, they have a considerable loss of their appetite; in retrospect, they spend very little energy. This balances the process, and bearded dragons tend to lose less or none weight. Still, if your bearded pet dragons do shed some weight, it is not a big deal.
On the other hand, if your bearded pet dragon does lose much weight, this should not be overlooked. The fact is your pet dragon may not be bromating altogether if these conditions continue. You should go and visit a vet to get a checkup.
This brumation guide discusses the entire process while describing the time when your dragon does brumate.