2 females together... will they be quite happy?

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zephyrcat

Member
Hi, I have had my first BD for a couple of months now and she is thriving. Yesterday we went to the store to get some crickets and decided to get her a friend. The new one is about 2 months younger and a little smaller. Once I got her home and came on here I came across a post saying that you should NEVER have more than one because ultimately it will be a disaster. Is that always the case? Have we made a mistake?? So far they seem very happy with each other. New beardie has been very black today, all over, but having a look at her I think she may have been bullied in the store vivs - she's missing the end of a toe, a bit of the end of her tail and looks like she's had a bite on her back, so I'm putting the blackness down to being stressed from the move and the new playmate.

So - please send your happily ever after stories my way! :)
 

sixxmum

Hatchling Member
Well, to be honest, it seems to be more rare than not. I had mine together because the breeder told me it was ok. Then about 2 weeks later she contacted me to say that, out of the 4 left in that clutch, 3 now had lost tails and feet due to aggression. Mine were not having any obvious problem, but one was growing much more slowly and eating less. So, I separated them immediately.

There are many people on the board who have beardies with missing tails, toes, or legs due to interspecies aggression. It's somewhat more common between males than females, and between dragons of different ages (like yours) than peers. But, it can happen in any pairing. Some people have had great luck with it... I just don't know if it's a chance you want to take. Will you hate yourself if you come home to a maimed or dead dragon?
 

diamc

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hi there, I have to agree with sixxmum, that it's not a good idea to house 2 together. First of all, are you completely sure that they are both females? I read in one of your other threads that the one you already had was about 7 months old and since that is "puberty" age, they can start breeding when that young which could actually kill the female. Beardies from pet stores are usually younger than they look because they don't always get all they need to eat, the correct temps and good UVB lighting, so the one you just bought may actually be older.

Since the new one had part of his toe and tail bitten off, he must be very terrified being put in the tank with another beardie and certainly doesn't know that this isn't one of the ones that did damage to him previously. Any change can stress them out and it takes some time for them to adjust but being put with another is only adding to the stress especially since he is very black, that's not a good sign. Since one is smaller, I suggest you put a divider up for now until you can get another tank. What size tank are they in?

If you see them laying on top of each other or alongside each other, it looks cute but it actually shows that dominance issues are already starting and will only get worse. It's impossible to watch them all the time and injuries (or worse) can happen VERY quickly. :( So please seriously consider separating them.

Could you do us all a BIG favor? Since pet stores are known to give out wrong info on their care, do you think you could answer some questions about your setup to make sure everything is perfect? Most of us here were given that wrong info and when we found this forum, we learned a lot and had to make some very important changes. It's up to you if you prefer to answer about your new or other beardie. :wink:

How long is your dragon?
What is the sex of your dragon?
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in?
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank?
Do you use UVB lights?
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb?
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)?
How old is your UVB bulb?
How close can your dragon get to the UVB?
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage?
What are the basking temps?
What is the cool side temp?
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun?
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps?
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad?
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)?
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc?
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them?
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)?
Do you bath your dragon? How often?
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath?
 

LJean

Extreme Poster
So - please send your happily ever after stories my way!

Unfortunately, no matter how many people say that it is perfectly ok to house more than one dragon together, we rarely see any happily ever after stories. It seems that those who do have success are the exception to the rule. We have no way of knowing if you will succeed with putting your dragons together safely.
 
I have many dragons that I have rescued from various clients and other sources and I only have two pairs that can be housed together. Both pairs are females and very submissive dragons. They both came to me as pairs that had been together for a long period of time and I've seen no aggression/dominance issues. I know its the exception... all my other dragons are housed seperately, although I occassionally bathe some females together which has caused no problems. I still watch carefully for any indication of aggression/dominance... but these two pairs seem to be fine together. I'll always keep an eye open though for warning signs and will separate if needed.
 

zephyrcat

Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone, and thanks for taking time to reply - I'm now worried that we've done the wrong thing - before we got any beardies we were led to believe that it was fine to house them together. Here's the answers to the questions which will hopefully give you a bit more insight to our setup...

How long is your dragon? BD1 is 13" and BD2 is 10"
What is the sex of your dragon? We believe that they are both female
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? Viv is 160cm x 48cm x 40cm
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Kitchen roll for now
Do you use UVB lights? yes
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? tube
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)? ReptiGlo 10 Desert light
How old is your UVB bulb? brand new
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? about 8"
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage? yes, standart spot light, 60W on a dimmer switch.
What are the basking temps? average 100
What is the cool side temp? average 70 - 75
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? stick on thermometers - one on either end and one in middle of back wall
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? on the end wall above the basking stone
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? Heat pad
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. Medium brown crickets, apple, rocket, spinach leaves, cress, water cress
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? roughly 3 times a day, morning, midday and afternoon
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? no, the pet shop does
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them? yes, we use 'Sandfire Super Foods Dragon Dust' by T-Rex
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? Yes
Do you bath your dragon? How often? Occassionally
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? There is water in a shallow bowl all the time in the viv and we mist and let her drink from a dropper.
 

Ethelia

Extreme Poster
Im afriad the advice you have recieved is accurate.

When beardies are housed together one usually becomes dominant causing the other beardie to not grow properly due to stress, although sometimes stress does not manifest itself physically.

Futhermore beardies can and do attack eachother, and unfortunatly dragons are not like dogs, who can be taught about naughty aggressive behaviour. They can live in apparent harmony for months and then one day snap. One story that comes to mind is a girl on these forums named Ambulance. She housed two dragons together happily for months and came home one day to find the female had ripped the other dragons tail completely off.
Once it has happened once, it will happen again and again.
Dragons will think nothing of nipping off a chunk or tail/toe in order to defend their basking spot, its just in their nature unfortunatly.

I dont mean to scare or scold you, but I want you to appriciate what can happen:
In my time keeping dragons I have rescued three dragons who were living in a viv with other dragons.
Dexter was small for her age and was missing a bit of her tail, most of her right arm, most of her right foot and alot of her toes.
bearded.jpg


Ruben had his leg and arms ripped off at the joints by his clutchmates.
imsleeping.jpg


Little Miso, rescued at only 4 weeks old already has a tail nip and is missing most of her back toes.


There are rare cases where dragons show no signs of agression towards eachother, and there isnt too much bullying but it is a risk that is simply not worth taking.
I would suggest you separate your beardies with a cardboard screen for now until you can figure out a perminant solution, either a new set up or returning the dragon.
I know it is hard but your dragons will lead much happier healthier lives apart.

Holly
 

zephyrcat

Member
Original Poster
Would the size of the viv have an impact on how likely they are to be nasty to each other? I'm trying to take some pics of ours to post. How do you get the pics to show up in the post?
 

Ethelia

Extreme Poster
If you insist on the matter then the larger the better. But no size will make up for their territorial natures. There is another dragon in THIER home. Thats all there is.
If getting a large tank IS an option then I would suggest getting a 120gal (4x2x2) and just putting a wooden divide in to create two seperate enclosures.

HOlly
 

Freeie

Extreme Poster
You can use photobucket.com load up your pictures and copy and paste the image link into your post.
 

zephyrcat

Member
Original Poster
Ethelia I'm not trying to find any old excuse to keep them both for the sake of it - I'm simply persuing all avenues so that we are 1000% sure of what to do. If we can't see any way that they might be happy then our new beardie will go back tomorrow :(
 

Ethelia

Extreme Poster
I am genuinely sorry if that came across as harsh.
As all my dragons are injured rescues, I am very passionate on the issue.
Its really not my intention to sound cutting or imply you would not do the best thing for your dragons.
Unfortunatly during my time on these forums I have warned people about this risk, they have ignored it and ended up learning the devistating way.
I tend to push the point home for fear that the advice would be taken lightly.
The fault does not lie with you, but with the uneducated shopkeepers and breeders who say these things are ok.

Once again I am sorry for my tone.

Holly
 

zephyrcat

Member
Original Poster
Don't be silly - I didn't mean that you were sounding harsh, I can totally understand your passion for these gorgeous little things! It's just an agonising thing to decide even though we've only had her a day. She's not black today but big beardie will go over to wherever she is and get right next to her - alternately she will then go and stand on big beardie! I don't know. Instinct is saying take her back - I don't want to knowingly put her at risk.
 

fresnowitte

BD.org Sicko
Okay let's back up a minute.......your enclosure is 5ft.3in., by almost 19in., by almost 16in. :?: :idea:
That would mean if you were to put a partition in it dividing it into half each side would be just over 2-1/2ft which could suffice for a short while at your beardies size until you could arrange another viv set up. I mean in my eyes if you'd wish to keep the second beardie and would be willing to seek another viv why not use a partition for a minute. Just a thought! :wink:
 
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