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  • Writer's pictureIan Bromham

Diamond in the Rough.

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

The risk of co-habitating bearded dragons can often end in serious injuries and death.
Injured Bearded Dragon

We are all looking for that something special, but what if we realised that what we are looking for is right in front of us?

Very rarely will I get a specific question like “do you have any Hypo/trans bearded dragons for sale?” Overwhelmingly it will be more like “what beardies are for sale” or “I’m looking for a bright yellow beardie.”

When a family or individual comes to me, they are generally looking for a new pet, they are looking for their diamond. I could talk to them all day about the genetics of my reptiles, but unless they intend on breeding, this is information overload. The decision is generally made on appearances or personality alone.

I have rescued and re-homed countless animals. Many needing TLC, some needing drastic intervention and a rare few needing a touch of humanity. The ones that I have rehabilitated have made amazing pets.

Along the way when I have purchased new animals from other breeders, I have hit the jackpot by picking the animal that no one else wanted.

Maybe he or she had a nipped tail or a few missing toes. These little critters were rejected by others for not being perfect.

Now I understand that most people would be worried about issues like “tail rot in bearded dragons”.

In our YouTube channel we discuss all things bearded dragon setup and care. In an upcoming video we will discuss bearded dragon tail rot and other common health issues for bearded dragons.

As a breeder I could see past the imperfections and see the beauty and value within. I would seize these opportunities and give these animals the best home that they deserved.

Often these imperfections were a result of a cricket nipping a Beardie while they slept, or a clutch of hungry babies competing for the same insect. While these risks can be reduced with appropriate housing and feeding techniques, sometimes accidents happen.

Neither of these were the baby’s fault, and yet they are the ones to pay the price. Aside from the cosmetic impairment, these animals are perfect and make beautiful pets. Later in this series we will discuss cohabitating Bearded dragons in depth.

Little Finger.

One of the male bearded dragons I purchased, I named Little Finger (yes from GOT). The reason no one wanted him and the reason that the breeder heavily discounted him, was he had lost all the toes but one on one foot, his little finger. I would hate to imagine his fate had I have not given him a new home.

Bearded Dragon with Missing Toes
Bearded Dragon with Missing Toes

Little Finger has grown into a big healthy boy. Genetically he is spectacular and even better, he is very calm and gentle. Next year I look to breed Little Finger and I’m excited to see his offspring. Had others seen what I had saw in him, he would have been a great pet for someone.

Their loss was my gain.

King Neptune.

At Cookie’s Critters we maintain our reptiles to the highest standards. We pride ourselves in the health and safety the reptiles we sell. This season we have had only one of our baby bearded dragons had their tail nipped.

Knock on wood he is the only one.

Last season this happened to one of my Smooth Knob Tail geckos (Nephrurus Levis Pilbarensis). As a hatchling he was nipped by his sibling and he dropped his tail.

Now for a gecko, this is a natural defence mechanism and their tail grows back.

In this case, this little gecko’s tail regenerated, but not in the normal shape. It grew back in three directions, taking the shape of a trident.

I decided to keep this little guy and named him Neptune.

Smooth Knob Tail Gecko with Regenerated Tail
Smooth Knob Tail Gecko with Regenerated Tail

I have been blessed to meet some amazing people along the way. People with enormous hearts who have looked passed these rare and insignificant blemishes and given these beautiful critters a place in their home.

Final thoughts.

Next time you talk to a breeder and view their collection, consider opening your heart to something a little different.

Maybe you too, might find your diamond in the rough.

Please feel free to send us some feedback below.


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