To answer the “do they like being in groups” bit, they’re not really “pack” animals and don’t need to live with other animals.
I would absolutely say to get them separate enclosures. The size difference would be dangerous for the little one. Not only are they in danger of physical disputes (biting, crushing, etc), they probably won’t get all the food or basking space they need. Additionally, the shared space may cause undue stress for both of them.
The typical rule I’ve heard from vets is separate housing or housing in threes (with a very large tank to accommodate) to prevent power imbalances, and even then there are issues in the long-term. A dominant occupant will always arise, leaving the others with less (even if only slightly less) resources.
Haha, I’m not really sure! Animals are amazing. I’ve heard of people training lizards, but it’s different than training a dog or cat. Personally, I’ve only managed to potty train mine so she doesn’t poop in her enclosure.
(Speaking of which, I’ll be making a photo heavy post soon about how to do that.)
Regardless, if you’re gonna train them, I’d say start earlier rather than later.
I’ve heard of both, but I’ve found that my girl prefers to chase her crickets around the tank. When I was feeding her superworms, I would hold them in my fingers and let them wiggle in front of her. She’d get very worked up. It really just depends on what you’re using as prey.
Yes, provided that your handling does not interfere with any loose skin. Early stages of shedding can be indicated by graying or lightening of the affected patch of skin. After the gray phase, it will begin to loosen and dry out. DO NOT pick, pull, or otherwise attempt to “help” them shed, as this can damage the new skin that’s developing underneath.
Though they may be uncomfortable while shedding and can often become grumpy, so they might be less tolerant of being touched. :) I bathe my girl often while she’s shedding, especially once skin is crispy and coming off. It softens up in the water and makes it easier for her to get off on her own.
To the anon and others that have sent messages this past week: I’ll get to them as soon as I can. This blog only has one admin at the moment, and I have two jobs that take up most of my time. Thank you for your patience. :)
No, you’re doing the right thing!! Keep asking questions. :) I’ll do my best to answer them.
Honestly, where you buy your beardie doesn’t really matter. At least in terms of prestige, etc. The most important thing is the health of the animal. If you go to a chain pet store (Petsmart, etc) and the reptile section is clean, organized, and appears to be well cared for, I’d say go for it. I’ve seen some wonderful reptile sections run by people who genuinely cared for the animals. Another good sign is if you ask the person in charge of the section some questions about how they treat their animals and they can answer you honestly and in detail.
However, I’ve also seen chain stores who kept their reptiles in atrocious conditions. Poop everywhere (not cleaned often), overcrowding (never ever ever keep 6 baby beardies in a 2 gallon tank. NO.), lack of good food/light/heat…all these are danger signs.
On that note, the same goes for private breeders. If you see a morph that you really like online, and you decide that maybe you want to buy from that breeder, take some time and ask the breeder a ton of questions. Ask for photos of the enclosure they keeps their animals in, photos of the actual animals, lists of what they feed their animals, ask if they’ve been tested for pinworms or other diseases, etc. This can determine the health and safety of what could eventually be your beardie.
NO SAND. Please. Sand not only retains moisture (and hence becomes a breeding ground for bacteria), but it also can become a choking hazard. Beardies lick new surfaces to explore, and swallowed sand can eventually build up in their tummies, becoming an impassable lump that can become fatal if impaction occurs.
People like to think that reptile = desert animal, but that’s not true. Bearded dragons are from Australia, and they’re more suited for hard-packed dirt. Reptile carpet is the cleanest and safest substrate. I’ve also heard of people using ceramic tiles, though you have to be careful with those as they can get superheated under basking lamps.
Having things to climb and hide under is a key component to a good enclosure. I’ll go into a little more detail later. :) Thanks for all the questions!