As the eggs age and the embryo develops, the dragon inside will gradually consume all of the material inside the egg. Once this is gone, it leaves the shell brittle, making it easy for the hatchling to break free. A day or two before the hatching, the young dragons are able to hear what is going on in the outside world and can respond to auditory stimulus.
Once they’ve hatched, their first instinct is to look for food. One or both of the parents has their first meal ready for them. Dragons who have riders obtain their assistance in chopping the meat up into smaller portions for the young dragons.
Right from hatching, they can walk and see marginally well. Their vocal skills are rudimentary, comparable to a four-year-old human child. They have a genetic memory that allows them form speech and to understand what’s being said.
Hatchlings need to eat daily meals for the first six months of their lives. They can consume up to half their own body weight in food each day. At six months, they’re reached 40% of their adult size, but are still dependant on their parents for food as their hunting skills are poor at best, though some are able to catch small animals to supplement what their parents bring in. At this point in their lifespan, they only need to eat once every three days. A good sized shagback makes a good meal for them.
At a year old, they are proficient enough hunters to leave their parents. At 80% of their full size, they can survive quite well on what they can catch. Full size is reached at two years of age and females can begin to reproduce six months later. Male dragons are late bloomers and aren’t able to reproduce until they at least four years old.
Each species has specific milestones regarding their special abilities.