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Will Your Beardie Be Big?

Will Your Beardie Be Big?

Every owner, no matter if they’re new or experienced, should know how fast their bearded baby can grow and how big they can get in the end.

So how fast do bearded dragons grow? This depends on a variety of factors such as the gender of your dragon, the kind of breed they are, and the kind of environment its surviving in. When you’ve taken everything into account, a healthy beardie can grow up to about 16 to 22 inches in the first year and about 20 to 24 inches by the next.

If you want to know all there is about how fast and big your bearded lizard can grow, this is the article for you.

How Much Growth Can I Expect In The First 12 Months?

Learning how fast your beardie can grow in a year’s time has a number of benefits. Seeing growth is a sign of how healthy it is. Every animal has its own unique set of genetics, and will be growing at their own distinct pace.

And if you’re concerned about how its growing, you can get a professional opinion by consulting your local vet.

Having to measure your bearded lizard every month can be a great way to determine their age, especially if you’ve had them since their birth. The list below should indicate what size parameters your reptile friend will fall into within a year or so:

Age Length

  • 0-1/months (Baby) 3-4/inches
  • 2/months (Baby) 5-9/inches
  • 3/months (Baby) 8-11/inches
  • 4/months (Baby) 9-12/inches
  • 5/months (Baby) 11-16/inches
  • 6/months (Juvenile) 11-18/inches
  • 8/months (Juvenile) 13-20/inches
  • 12/months (Adult) 16-22/inches
  • 24/months (Adult) 18-24 Inches

How Long Until Full Size : Time span By Species

Its very common for bearded dragons to grow to their full length before a full one year (12 months). In fact, their growth is so fast that they’ll grow about an inch in a single week.  After two years, that range will decrease to about an extra 2 inches for an entire year.

At this point, the growth is quite slow and barely noticeable. The only difference you’ll probably notice is the amount of weight your beardie puts on. Long story short, you can expect your buddy to be fully grown by its second birthday.

How Big Can My Bearded Dragon Get?

Every bearded lizard species grows to varying lengths. For instance, the size of one that is fully grown might be four times smaller than one from another species.

That’s why knowing the kind of species you have, will help you get a good idea of how big it can get when it’s fully grown. The most popular bearded dragon species is the ‘Pogona Vitticeps’. So if you are a owner, it’s most likely from this species.

Here’s a chart to help you know about the different kinds of bearded dragon species and how big they can end up becoming.

  • Pogona Vitticeps: 20 – 24 Inches
  • Pogona Barbata: 20 – 24 Inches
  • Pogona Minor Mitchelli: 14 – 18 Inches
  • Pogona Minor: 14 – 18 Inches
  • Pogona Nullabor: 11 – 14 Inches
  • Pogona Minor Minima: 9 – 12 Inches
  • Pogona Henrylawsoni: 9 – 12 Inches
  • Pogona Microlepidota: 4 -6 Inches

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bearded dragon growth chart

4 Reasons Why Your Beardie Is Not Growing

Sometimes, there may come a time when your bearded lizard might not be growing the way its supposed to. Especially if you’re comparing your little guy to the previously mentioned chart.

If that’s the case, then it could be any one of the following reasons:

  • Letting your dragon brumate from an early age
  • Inaccurate or poor diet
  • Issues with lighting/habitat

We’ll examine each of these issues, their causes and how they can affect the weight, health, and growth of your bearded dragon.

1. Letting Your Dragon Brumate From an Early Age

For those who don’t know, brumation is pretty much the reptilian equivalent of hibernation.

It’s a natural process that every bearded lizard goes through at some point in their life. However, if they start brumating when they are young without developing enough, then you might run into a few growth problems.

During brumation, they conserve their energy for several months until they wake and start eating normally again. But for this process to go well, it needs to store as many nutrients in its body as possible.

An adult can handle this fine, but the young ones might not be able to. The reason for this is that a baby dragon’s metabolism works so fast that it uses up all of the nutrients in a jiffy. That’s why baby dragons need to eat on a regular basis to maintain their overall well-being and be able to keep up with their growth rate in the first 12 months.

A baby dragon that brumates will miss out on essential mealtimes and may deteriorate in size, weight, and overall health. That’s why it’s recommended you keep your baby beardie from falling asleep no matter if it causes them to behave a little unfavorably.

2. Inaccurate or Poor Diet

A bearded dragon’s diet in their first six months is very important. If you notice that your scaly friend isn’t growing as it’s supposed to, it could be that there may be something wrong with its diet.

Because of their extremely high metabolism, baby dragons need to be fed more frequently than adult dragons. A good practice would be to feed them crickets five times daily for intervals of 5 to 10 minutes. You should also mind the size of the food you give to babies. It can be very dangerous if the food you’re feeding them is bigger than their head.

To grow at a healthy rate, baby bearded lizards require plenty of protein in their diet. You must also include vegetables as well. Including vegetables or finely chopped veggies about 3 to 4 times a week is fine. Feeding them veggies on a daily basis is even better because it will make their diet more balanced and help them develop a taste for veggies at an early age.

A really good balanced diet for baby dragons is one that focuses on their insect and  protein intake at 60% while veggies are 40%. Once your beardie becomes an adult, you’ll have to revise their diet balance to 80% insect/proteins and 20% veggies.

3. Issues with Lighting/Habitat

To ensure your baby bearded lizard is getting the proper health and growth they need, you must have a top-quality UVB light. You also want to ensure they’re getting the correct amount of exposure during the day from that UVB light.

One of the most important reasons why this type of lighting is important for them in general (including babies), is that proper exposure to these lights will enable them to properly absorb the calcium from their diet.

Calcium is extremely crucial for them to aid in their growth as well as overall health. Without absorbing a sufficient amount of calcium in their bodies, their bones will become brittle over time. This is a major bottleneck for them if not taken into account.

And if they don’t get sufficient UVB light exposure, your little buddy may get quite lethargic. Also, if the lighting isn’t properly placed in the tank and turned on about 10 to 12 hours a day, then it may result in a loss of appetite for your beardie.

Having the correct amount of exposure to top-quality lighting is essential for overall health and growth. For a more in depth read you can check out my uvb lighting post.

4. Inappropriate Temperature

They are naturally desert dwellers and require proper eating temperatures with which they can digest their food. That’s why you must ensure that their tanks provide them with the ideal temperature to help move their food along in their system.

If this isn’t done right, they’ll start losing their appetite because their last meal still hasn’t been digested or they can encounter other problems like gut rot. If their eating becomes a hassle, not only will they not be able to eat right, but they won’t be getting the proper supply of nutrients. This can eventually have an effect on their overall growth.

Final Thoughts

I hope that by now you learned plenty more about your bearded dragon than before you found this article.

Not only did you learn about how quickly they can grow in a year or two, but you’ve also taken into account how their growth can be affected based on the problems that I’ve highlighted in this article.

A lot of my beardie owner friends say they bookmarked this article in the beginning and always revisited it to make sure they were on the right track.  Its always satisfying to know that there are other dragon owners out there who are looking for the best ways to take care of their little scaly friend.

Keep learning and be as cautious as you have to be to ensure your bearded fellow enjoys a steady, healthy and happy growth.

Jonathan Beal

Jonathan Beal

Honestly, if my apartment didn't allow dogs I never would have had the chance to see how cool Beardies were. Me and my little guy are best buds! I've done a lot of research over time, so I figured I'd just share some info to help others on their bearded dragon journeys.

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