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Obtaining, hatching, and raising baby crested geckos

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by gambite, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. gambite

    gambite Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I've got a breeding bunch of cresteds, and am looking for tips on the whole breeding process. So far, I have gotten 6 eggs out of the two females, but only 2 babies. Recently, they seem to have stopped laying, but are fat so I can tell they have eggs developing inside them. What has worked the best for you guys?

    Also, for my laying spot, I am using a half-log partially burried in the substrate. I got my first eggs with the log verticle, up against the back of the tank, but I switched it to horizontal to make it easier to check for eggs. Could changing its position be keeping them from laying? Could my checking for eggs scare them from using it?

    When incubating the eggs, how can you tell if the baby is having trouble breaking out of the shell? I lost one of my first babies to that, and ended up killing a second by opening the egg too early. When can you tell if doing this is necessary? As the eggs are getting close to hatching, I have noticed little blobs of 'egg-whites' outside the eggs, but no apparent holes in the shell. How can I use this as a sign to tell how far along and close to hatching the eggs are?

    Also, whats the best way to care for the babies? At the moment, I have the two together in one enclosure, but one seems to not want to eat and is getting really scrawny. The other is a little monster and is voracious. However, I havent yet settled on the best feeding and care regime for them. They dont seem to like the T-Rex Crested Gecko diet powder I feed the females, but do like pinhead crickets. I tried dusting the crickets with the CGD, but it didnt seem to stay on them too well. Left a bit of the CGD in with them dry, they seems like they are at least tasting it. Should I try different foods? And where is the best place to order CGD online?

    Thanks for the help, and yes I am using the search function as well.
  2. Dang that is a ton of questions. :)

    Generally speaking there is a season for breeding these guys that most people try to stick to. Almost all of my females have stopped laying eggs as well. It is a good idea to provide them with a cool down period of (62-67 degrees ish) from about the end of September / October to mid late February or March. Then you would warm them back up again to the low mid 70s and they will start dropping eggs again. You do these cool/warm cycles to avoid exhausting your females. Most of the best breeders give their females at least 3 months off from breeding so they can recover from the recent egg laying efforts.
    Egg production is a very stressful process to the female and if you let her go to long she could have a calcium crash along with many other health issues up to and including death.

    Maybe you never know, but I doubt it. I keep the egg laying container simple and have found that using a small container 3/4th full of lightly moist peat moss works perfectly. I don't pack it down ether, I leave it nice and fluffy inside the container and that resulted in many perfect eggs for me this year.

    You checking for eggs in the area is not going to stop them from laying. I checked my lay boxes daily when I was expecting eggs and they never stopped my ladies from doing what they had to.

    Generally speaking you just want to let nature take its course. Most of the time when one egg hatches the other egg from the clutch is not far behind (usually 24-48 hours from hatching give or take). Some people chose to cut into egg #2 if egg #1 hatches and #2 does not follow within a reasonable time after that. I have found that leaving them be is generally the best decision. On the few I have gotten involved with I saved 2 lost 3 so its really hit and miss on if you are ultimately doing any good ether way. I look at it this way, if the gecko did not hatch on it’s own then it was just not meant to be imo.

    When they first hatch and I find them they go straight into a deli container with nothing but a wet paper towel inside. They stay in there until the first shed is complete before going into a more permanent setup.
    Simple setups seem to work best for me with the babies. Several clutches were born close together so I housed them altogether and they are doing great (about 16 living together at the moment.) I have a few pieces of bamboo for them to climb on, a paper towel on the bottom of the bare tank and some fake leaves in the tank. For feeding I use a vial lid. I pour some cgd in the lid and put that on the floor. So far all my babies are flourishing. I put fresh food in and that stays that night and the following night. On the third night all remaining food comes out so the containers can be cleaned and I feed dusted crickets that night. Then the following night fresh cgd goes into the setups again and the cycle repeats. I do mix things up sometimes with the two part diet and different flavors but generally speaking I rely on the cgd as my main base food source.

    Always try new things if you can. You might find that one gecko likes one flavor of two part better then another gecko does or that one gecko loves cgd and one only picks at it. Variety is the spice of life! Try new things when you can. I recommend tinkering with the two part diet, or even feeding some fresh fruit (no citrus). There is even a recipe somewhere online for a yogurt smoothie for them as a treat. (have not done that myself though).

    I get my stuff here.

    Hope some of this helps.

  3. gambite

    gambite Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Awesome, thanks a lot. Pangea Reptile looks really nice. I am thinking of grabbing some gargoyles, how are they compared to cresteds?

    Some other stuff thats been bugging me:
    Should I be worried if the geckos get mouthfulls of coco fiber/peat when pouncing on crickets? I usually try to spray their mouth with water and pick out any bits I can when it happens, but I am sure it happens more than I know about.

    My females APPEAR to have eggs (are fat, egg-outlines on their bellies), but its been several weeks now and neither have laid them. It got cold recently, and I am worried about them becoming egg-bound or not being able to/wanting to pass the eggs. Should I be concerned?

    Just got another female, would it be a bad idea to give her a separate, heated tank and try to have her breed over the next couple months while my other females cool off? Moving my male between tanks wouldn't be an issue, would it?
  4. I don't have substrate in my setups anymore. I tried that to start and found it to be way to much work. So now I have bare bottom tanks with paper towels only. I do know that substrate ingestion can lead to impaction so you want to prevent it the best you can. One way to do that is you remove the female from her tank and put her in a tub and add crickets. Then you watch her eat her fill and return her to her tank.

    When a female is gravid you can feel the eggs inside her pretty easily in the later stages before laying. So if you hold her (sitting on the floor so she cant jump and fall far) and gently use your finger tip to press lightly on her underside near the base of her tail but more toward the outside edge of her underside on ether side in that area you will feel the hard lump of the egg pretty easily if she is carrying eggs.
    As far as being worried, I would continue to provide her with an appropriate place for her to lay her eggs and hope that she passes them ok. I had a female go several months before laying her dud eggs for me, so for now there is not a lot to be worried about.

    I don't see a reason you can't try that out, just be sure the female you are getting has not already been breeding before it came to you because then you run the risk of exhausting her to death by extending her breeding cycle. I am not sure it will work so let me know how that works out. I thought about doing that myself but with so many I think its just easier to keep them all on the same schedule.
    You can move the male from tank to tank that is not an issue at all. If you provide a big enough tank two or more females can live together just fine. I have several 1.2 or 1.3 groups right now and they are all doing very well so that might be an option for you as well.

    Monitor your male too because even they need breaks sometimes. Be sure he is not suddenly losing weight from his exploits, if that happens house him alone for a few months to allow him time to recover. I have not had that happen to be but I am aware that it could be a problem in down the line sometime that I have to watch for.