Adopting 2 bonded beardies

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Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby therealrockgirlie » Mon May 20, 2019 10:52 am


Hi everyone! My name is Amanda. I am not new to being a beardie slave, but, I am new to this group. I think this is a great resource and I have used it several times and even my local reptile stores highly recommend you. Congrats on helping many of us far and wide!

I am writing with a question. I am adopting a pair of adult beardies in a week. One Male and one female. Their age isnt known but they are full grown and healthy and doing well. My concern is, they share their home. I know pairs of opposite sex dont always work out but I hear they get along and have lived together for years. I plan to tweak their diet as they havent been offered much of a variety and I am not even certain of how much of what they get. Hard to tell living together.

My question is this: should I separate them? I have heard of bonded pairs dying of a broken heart when split up. If so, please fire advice to me! I am always open to learn about these fantastic creatures. I do have proper size tanks, lighting etc to support them apart, if that's what I should do.

Thanks in advance for your time and ideas!

Amanda in Canada
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Re: Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Mon May 20, 2019 12:39 pm

Hi Amanda,

It really is your decision, but myself and I'm sure many others will weigh in on their opinions. Remember, they are all just opinions and its ultimately your choice. Cohabitation topics tend to get slightly heated so just throwing it out there to everyone that we all have opinions, and we are here to help you decide on yours.

I hate being hypocritical, but this is one topic I would consider myself to be one in.

Cohabitation can work, but there is always a risk of things going south, even when dragons have been kept together for years. Sometimes the stress of a new environment and a change in scenery is enough to reignite a deep seeded territorial spark in the dragons.

I'm hypocritical in this in the sense that I believe dragons can be kept together under certain circumstances and under certain owners. Not everyone has the experience to be able to cohabitate dragons and not everyone should. Only experienced owners should do so and only if there is a reason to do so, in my opinion. And only when they also have the means to separate the dragons and treat any possible battle scars from a fight. At the first sign of aggression, they should be separated.

Would I ever cohabitate? Possibly to probably.
Would I ever suggest that to someone, personally, no.

Imo dragons are happier with their own spaces. They are naturally territorial and it makes sense that they would prefer their own space. That being said, they can also grow accustomed to certain situations, but you never know when a trigger might occur that ends that peacefulness.

I haven't heard of dragons dying from heartbreak. It is common for them to go through relocation stress when being separated which could look like heartbreak.

If you have the means to separate them, I would.

I do not feel the dragons get any benefit from being together. The benefit is solely on the owner in my mind. And that's why I don't presently cohabitate, but have in the past and would potentially in the future.

So that's my opinion on it.

Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby KarrieRee » Mon May 20, 2019 12:57 pm

I agree I would separate them! You never know whats going to happen after they are moved -- I would be set up to each of them having their own living space --- you will be safer in that regards and not scrabbling to get them separated in the end and having a causality result ---
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Re: Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby Moon4wolfgirl » Mon May 20, 2019 1:58 pm

ive always heard that keeping two beardies together iss bad for them. just see how they do together. if they dont get along seperate. ps: the male will keeping mating with the female.
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Re: Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby therealrockgirlie » Mon May 20, 2019 6:58 pm

Thank you for the replies. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am experienced but by no means experienced with everything lol. I had originally wanted to separate them when I got them as I cant and wont be available for the monitoring required to assure safety and equal amount of lighting and food etc being offered if they are together. I was uncertain of how to see what the benefits are of keeping them together as well. And by separating them, what the best way and time would be to do so. You have all given me some very valid points and more information that I can use to make a sound decision. Thank you!

If anyone else has points on either side that they want me to consider, I am welcoming them. Just like all of you, I want to provide the right opportunities and care for these two knuckleheads. Like my dad always says, "When in doubt, ask."
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Re: Adopting 2 bonded beardies

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue May 21, 2019 12:04 am

Best to house them separately from the getgo , I'd stack their tanks so they don't have to see each other all the time but will still know the other dragon is nearby (from it's scents , and sounds when it's moving about) and they can visit each other maybe on the floor (UNDER STRICT SUPERVISION) and maybe say hello to the other dragon when one is out for human QT and individual floor time.

You are also moving into spring / summer so the NHem breeding season , so more reason to keep the pair housed separately if they have both been in brumation/cool down mode , else you are likely to end up with the male harassing female to mate continuously and she'll end up gravid and you will find yourself with a clutch of eggs to incubate - are you ready to handle that and maybe 20 or 30 very hungry little hatchlings who will need feeding 3 times per day with live insects ?

That said, I've currently housing two hatchlings / juveniles together (Cleo and Caesar) and despite Cleo being the smaller (younger by I think about 2 - 3 weeks of the two) she's the boss and in is very assertive ( often basking ontop Caesar, pushing him off her big piece of favourate gumtree bark).
housing two or 3 together can work if it's a mixed group and ONLY one male and there is plenty of space for the individuals to have their own private hides , basking spots.
So far my pair have been very good together ( 3 and 4 months old I think and have always been together from before we brought them home from the breeder who actually suggested keeping and raising them a couple) but I know once they reach about 6 months old issues can arise so I've made preparations to separate the pair from one 1x 120L rearing tub to 2x 120L rearing tubs that will setup in stacked tubs formation.
I feed my Cleo by hand and separately to Caesar who is very food orientated and very greedy. This way I am sure both are getting sufficient food to thrive and they are not competing for food.

If you decide to keep the two adults together after making sure there is no violence going on and they are happy together, I'd suggest a viv with at least 8ft x 3ft footprint & about 2 ft tall (minimum) for 2 adult dragons. This will be big enough to easily partition into 2 side-by-side vivs by slipping in a vertical sheet of plywood + adding moving the UV tube and hood so it's covering some of both partitions + installing a second basking globe or moving the existing basking globe so it's overtop the partitioning sheet - if you need to separate them.

They will be showing behavioural cues if they are not REALLY happy about being forced to live in the same tank, these can be very subtile body language cues that wont be obvious unless you know what to look for.
A word of warning about cohabiting adult bearded dragons , all species except rankins dragons , are loners in their natural range and only come together to court and mate. If one dragon is more territorial and larger and more in feeding than the other things can go down hill towards violent attack very fast.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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