the clutch runt

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After much reading and asking questions here on this forum i finally took the time to visit a privately owned exotic pet store in my area. I talked with the owner about some 3 month old dragons she was offering for sale and she mentioned that the enclosure i was looking at contained dragons that were from the same clutch she bred herself. There was about 8 dragons together in a large enclosure and all looked well cared for, alert and healthy. Even though all the dragons were from the same clutch i noticed that some were not as large as their other siblings, in fact there were 2 that were almost midgets.
Even though these 2 runts looked healthy and alert she explained that this is a common thing with the bearded dragon. Would it be a wise decision to pick the runt of the litter, or should i look more closely at the more beefier ones?

thank you



Sounds like those "little runts" are just the ones who are the lease dominant. Dominance is the reason you don't house bearded dragons together. The most dominant one will not let others eat as much. The bigger ones can also bite and hurt the smaller ones. Those little ones are not getting as much food as their housemates and that is most likely the reason they are so small. I imagine if the little one was taken home and fed properly he would grow fine, that is if he is healthy otherwise.
My baby beardie has one toe missing and that is most likely due to a more dominant one biting it off.


Juvie Member
I agree. that's usually the case. most likely people will shy away from the smaller ones until all the bigger ones are gone. they might get sick in the mean time tho.

Personally, I would rescue the little ones. But that's me, I'm for the under-dog


i have 2 beardies from seperate families, my first was the lively larger one of the bunch, my second was a smaller quieter 'runt' of the bunch.
i dont think theres a risk buying a smaller dragon but i do think their level of dominancy/submissivness as babies plays a part in your dragons personality.
my runt girlie is the most loving and trusting of the pair, she loves to cuddle up and have a snooze of your chest :) whereas my lively boy wont sit still, he just jumps and runs everywhere :wink:

i would definately get another runt, theyre so loving :love5: .........and i have a bit of a soft spot for gorgeous baby with a nibbled leg :oops:
I have two "runts" that I rescued from a large clutch housed together. I also bought one other clutchmate. All are now housed seperately.... the two little "runts" remain small... very loving, very healthy otherwise, good eaters... just small. The other clutchmate is growing normally. I don't think its a dominance issue with these dragons of mine. The smaller ones just seem to remain small. All have identical enclosures (40 gallon breeder tanks, reptisun 10.0 bulbs, proper distances from bulb, basking bulb, reptile carpet, proper temps, fed RepCal-dusted crickets, greens, phoenix worms). But I love my little runts. They are extremely sweet.


Sub-Adult Member
We have a runt of the clutch. Since she was smaller, she was cheaper and my daughter saved her money up all by herself to buy her and didn't expect the big ones to be $100. She still ate like a pig and turned into a little fatty, very healthy and lively though. I'm surprised the place you visited didn't have the smaller ones seperated so they weren't picked on by the larger, more dominant siblings. Regardless, that doesn't mean she didn't care well for them. I'm a runt so I would never be biased against one. lol

gulfbrzdawn Addict
Hi Frank,

I'm all for the under dog as well !! Hail to the little guys :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

All of my pets were strays or left on the side of the highway to die. I told you about my 3 raccoons whose mother left them to fend for themselves. The neglected ones are the ones who need us the most !!!

I say stop thinking about it and go get one of the little one's.....Then you too can be whipped just like the rest of us :whip:



Juvie Member
I agree with eveyrone else. I fell in love with a "runt" of the clutch on-line. She was so cute. When I got her I could not believe how tiny she was under 100g at 6 months. She is gaining weight and is so sweet & cuddly. Loves to fall asleep on me while I do chores around the house. The vet said she was very healthy and good looking.


I bought a runt from my store for christmas. He's cute, but his months as an underdog gave him a bad personality. He's a total devil. But I love him like crazy even though he's bitten me a few times.
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