Baby crested gecko food
Baby and Juvenile Crested Gecko Care (With Shopping List)
When you first get a crested gecko, you’ll probably get an older juvenile or even adult crested gecko as they are easier to handle. However, if you’re a more experienced owner you can get a baby crested gecko. Baby cresties are easier to bond with and you’ll get the opportunity to learn how to care for a crested gecko in almost every stage of its life: hatchling, juvenile, adult.
Baby crested geckos, also called hatchlings and juveniles, require special housing and require high humidity to shed their skin. They will need an appropriate diet to grow and become healthy adults. Baby crested gecko care isn’t difficult but you should be more delicate when handling them.
When talking about baby crested geckos in this article I mean both hatchlings and juveniles. Crested geckos are called juveniles in the stage up to their adulthood (around 18 months).
While older juvenile crested geckos (for example 6 months and older) aren’t really “baby crested geckos” anymore, I’ve included them here for convenience. You’ll notice that at certain points I’ll be making the distinction between younger and older juvenile crested geckos. Older juveniles can sometimes be compared to adult crested geckos in their needs and care.
If you want to learn more about the care for adult crested geckos you should definitely read the following article about crested gecko care.
Baby Crested Geckos
Baby crested geckos will hatch from their eggs after 2 to 3 months. The baby crested gecko will still be very little, measuring between 2.5 and 3 inches (6.5 to 7.5 centimeters) and weighing around 2 grams. The size and weight can depend on several factors such as genetics and incubation temperature.
You should weigh and measure your baby crested gecko each week. A kitchen scale can be used for this reason. The table below shows you the average growth rate of baby crested geckos.
|1 month||2 grams|
|2 month||3 grams|
|3 month||4 grams|
|4 month||5 grams|
|5 month||7 grams|
|6 month||9 grams|
To learn more about the growth rate of crested geckos check out this article.
How to Handle a Baby Crested Gecko
Baby crested geckos are tiny and can be very fast which makes them less easy to handle, especially for a beginner. They also aren’t used to handling and will try to jump away which can be a bad thing when they don’t have something to jump on and fall on the ground.
It’s advised not to start handling a baby crested gecko until it’s a bit older (six months and older). The exception to this is that you’ll need to handle them to weigh and measure them and to clean the container. When you do handle a baby crested gecko always be careful and don’t grab it by its tail. This can easily lead to stress and tail loss.
Housing a Baby Crested Gecko
Baby crested gecko care shares similarities with the housing of adult crested geckos. They both need a humidity between 50 and 80 percent. The temperature should also be between 72 and 78 ° F (22 to 26 °C) during the day and 69 and 74 °F (20 and 23 °C) during the night. Indirect sunlight or artificial light should be provided 12 to 14 hours a day. At night, no special lighting is needed.
The differences in housing a baby crested gecko are on three major points: the enclosure, the substrate, and the plants.
Enclosure for baby crested geckos
Baby crested geckos (up to 10 grams) can be kept in small containers and don’t need to be kept in a terrarium. It’s even better to keep them in smaller containers or tanks that have a minimum size between 1.5 and 5 gallons such as a faunarium or a very small terrarium (8″x 8″x 12″). Juveniles between 10 and 25 grams can be kept in the first small terrarium between 7 and 10 gallons.
Hatchlings and juveniles will need these smaller enclosures because they’ll often have trouble finding food in a larger cage. They only need a small environment that has a few plants or branches and don’t need an entire system with climbing possibilities.
Some adult crested geckos will have trouble adjusting to larger terraria because they’re not used to the size of the terrarium. You can try to get your crested gecko adjusted to a larger sized terrarium by gradually switching to larger enclosures as the baby crested gecko grows up.
Substrates for baby crested geckos
Baby crested geckos are tiny and are miniature versions of adult crested geckos. Since they’re tiny you can’t use the same kind of substrate for baby crested geckos as you would for adults.
The substrate for baby crested gecko should have a low ingestions risk and should be able to be cleaned easily. This eliminates a lot of substrate types and only leaves you with two options since bark and soil can easily be ingested.
I would recommend that you use one of these substrates for your baby crested gecko:
- no substrate: if you don’t use a substrate in a terrarium for a baby crested gecko there’s obviously no risk of ingestion. There’s however a risk associated with using no substrate. The high humidity that baby crested geckos need will lead to the buildup of water on the surface of the terrarium. There’s also an added risk that bacteria will build up without a substrate. So, daily cleaning will be necessary.
- paper substrates: a more popular substrate for baby crested geckos is paper. It’s a cheap and safe way to provide a first substrate for the babies to walk on. You can use old newspapers or paper towels and can even continue to use them as your baby crested gecko grows older. It’s possible that your hatchling tears up the paper and will try to eat it. In such a case, you can opt for butcher paper, which is a lot sturdier and is less likely to tear.
Older juveniles can be kept in a terrarium with more naturalistic substrate but my recommendation is to be careful and wait until your crested gecko is adult before you get a substrate with an ingestion risk.
Terrarium plants and branches
Terrarium plants are useful to provide a hiding place and a way to climb around and explore the enclosure. Live terrarium plants are useful to increase the humidity and to give a more natural look to the terrarium. However, baby crested geckos benefit more from fake vines. A small container also isn’t a good place to fill with live plants.
Get one or two small branches and a small number of fake plants or vines to create hiding places. At least half of the container should be free of foliage just like the terrarium of an adult crested gecko.
When you house your older juvenile crested gecko in a terrarium, you can start with keeping live terrarium plants.
Baby Crested Gecko Diet
The yolk sack of which hatchling comes has enough nutrients for a hatchling to last for the first days. It’s entirely possible that your baby crested gecko doesn’t eat the very first days.
A baby crested gecko will usually eat after its first shedding, which happens within 2 to 3 days after hatching. To be certain that your crested gecko has food you should place food in the container 24 to 48 hours after hatching.
Since crested geckos are omnivores they feed on both animal and plant matter. Although baby crested geckos can be fed a self-made fruit diet it’s best to stay use commercial crested gecko food like meal replacement powders. These contain all nutrients your baby crested gecko needs.
Feeding insects to baby crested geckos
Insects can be introduced fairly quickly, about a month after hatching. These crickets shouldn’t be bigger than the width of your crested gecko’s head. Baby crested geckos usually are able to eat small crickets that measure between ⅛ inch to ¼ inch depending on the size of your baby crested gecko.
The insects should be gut-loaded and dusted with calcium and D3 powder. A baby crested gecko can consume two crickets about every other day although this is not always recommended when feeding a commercial diet.
Baby crested geckos need water but will usually drink droplets of water that remain after misting. You should however also place a water bowl in the container. This bowl should contain only a shallow amount of water to prevent the accidental drowning of your crested gecko.
What Do You Need for Baby Crested Geckos?
You can find everything you’ll need for both baby, juvenile, and adult crested geckos in our shopping list.
Baby crested geckos will start with a few decorations and (fake) plants in their container or tank but will eventually need a larger terrarium that can be filled with all kinds of decorations, plants, vines, and branches.
If you don’t want to search to collect all essentials for caring for your baby crested gecko you might want to consider a starter kit. A good crested gecko starter kit contains almost everything to start (except for food and feeding ledges).
Do baby crested geckos eat every day?
Baby crested geckos don’t need to eat every day but can eat every other day just like adult crested geckos. Depending on the kind of diet you give you can feed them every day to promote growth.
Can baby crested geckos be housed together?
Baby crested geckos can be housed together in a large enough terrarium. You should however separate them when they grow larger and can’t fit in a normal terrarium. It’s recommended to separate them at six months.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.
If you’re interested in getting crested geckos as pets you should also definitely read our article about (adult) crested gecko care.
Kevin is the owner of My Crested Gecko. He wrote this blog for many years and has been a geckos enthusiast his entire life, but only became an official "geckophile" five years ago when he acquired one as a pet! Kevin knows how to care for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and degus in addition to crested geckos which are more than happy with him every day!
Baby Crested Gecko Care Guide!
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Baby Crested Gecko Care
Whether you’re getting a baby crested gecko from the pet store or your adult gecko’s eggs just hatched, taking care of such a tiny little gecko can feel a bit daunting!
And if it is your first time with such a young reptile, you’re probably second-guessing your every move.
So, how do you take care of a baby crested gecko?
You will be relieved to learn that caring for baby and juvenile crested geckos is very similar to caring for adults, albeit with a few changes here and there.
However, don’t worry – we’re here to help! This article will cover taking care of both hatchlings and juvenile crested geckos up to 6 months old.
Throughout this article, we’re going to cover everything from costs, diet, enclosure, handling, and more! Keep reading to learn more!
How Much is a Crested Gecko? What About Supplies?One of our cute little cresties!
If you’re like me, the first thing on your mind is probably cost. Of course, if you already own a crested gecko, you can move onto the next section. However, if you haven’t already gotten your baby crested gecko, you’re going to want to gather everything you need beforehand.
So, what is the total up-front cost of purchasing everything you need for a crested gecko?
Well, there’s a few factors that come into play. One of the biggest factors is where you decide to shop. If you go to a pet store such as Petsmart or Petco, you’re going to end up spending a lot more than you would if you buy everything online.
I personally shop on Amazon for all of my reptile supplies. Therefore, here’s a rough breakdown of the costs associated with buying a crested gecko:
- Tank/enclosure – $150 (See my recommendation)
- Artificial plants – $10 (See my recommendation)
- Artificial vines – $10 (See my recommendation)
- Substrate – $15 (See my recommendation)
- Food/water dish – $15 (See my recommendation)
- Temperature gauge – $10 (See my recommendation)
- Spray bottle – $5 (See my recommendation)
- Food – $20 (See my recommendation)
So, you’re probably going to spend around $235 once you purchase everything needed to provide for your crestie. The crested gecko itself will vary in price depending on the morph. The morph is essentially the color scheme or pattern found on the crestie. Some of the more rare morphs (such as the Tricolor Harlequin and the Tiger) cost upwards of $500. However, on average, a baby crested gecko will probably cost around $40.
Therefore, everything together (supplies + the crested gecko itself) will probably cost you around $275.
Feeding a Baby Crested GeckoHungry crested gecko!
Once you get a hatchling or juvenile gecko, your biggest concern will probably be feeding them. What do they eat? How often do they eat? What nutrients do they need?
Well, don’t worry. Providing for them is not as complicated as it may seem. In fact, it’s just a slight modification to what you would feed to an adult crested gecko.
Because the energy of their yolk sacs can sustain hatchlings for some time, they usually don’t eat for a couple of days after hatching. However, you should provide some food a day or two after hatching just in case they feel hungry.
While crested geckos are omnivores and can eat both plant and animal-sustained diets, you will want to strictly feed your baby crested gecko commercial gecko food.
This is basically a powdered substance that you mix with water. Here is an example of what it looks like:Commercial diet for baby crested geckos
The reason why it’s so crucial for baby crested geckos is because they have very demanding nutritional needs that live bugs and fruits simply can’t meet.
We personally use Pangea Fruit Mix Fig & Insect Diet for our baby crested geckos as it tastes delicious and contains all the essential nutrients for your crestie to grow healthy and strong.
You can find it on Amazon here:
Preparing the commercial gecko diet is very simple: It’s 1 part powder to 2 parts water. You can put the food in a small ceramic bowl or disposable cup. I personally use disposable cups so I don’t have to clean out a ceramic bowl each time I feed my crested geckos.
When your baby crested gecko is around a month old, you can start introducing gut loaded insects dusted with calcium and D3 powder. A crestie’s favorite is crickets, but make sure they’re small enough for your baby gecko to eat comfortably.
However, if you don’t want to feed your crested gecko any live insects, they can survive on commercial crested gecko diet alone.
Pro tip: Make sure any bug you decide to feed your crested gecko is smaller than their head!
You can also include a treat like mashed fruit, but these should be kept at a minimum.
Such delicious treats may make for an excellent way to win over your reptile, but they don’t really provide the nutrients a baby crested gecko needs to grow.
We advise you to feed mashed fruit to your baby gecko once or twice a month.
In the wild, baby crested geckos usually drink droplets of water from the dew. However, since it’s difficult to recreate this in an enclosure, place a small bowl of water inside the enclosure instead. Ensure that the bowl is shallow to protect your reptile from drowning and change the water daily.
Housing a Baby Crested GeckoBaby crestie hanging on a vine!
Fortunately, crested geckos don’t require large enclosures like other reptiles such as the bearded dragon. A 5-10 gallon tank should be plenty of space for a juvenile crested gecko. For adult geckos, you’ll want to upgrade to a 20-gallon enclosure.
Crested geckos are arboreal (meaning they love to climb), so a tall enclosure is your best option. The Exo-Terra 12 x 12 x 18 Inches Reptile Enclosure is the tank we use for both our baby and adult crested geckos and it works perfectly.
The ideal tank for a crested gecko should have the following characteristics:
- Tall, rather than wide
- Plenty of ventilation (screen top)
- Lots of space for climbing and other activities (10-20 gallons)
To give you a better idea on the size/layout of a crested gecko tank, here’s a picture of our crested gecko’s enclosure:Our crested gecko enclosure
Due to their small size, you will also have to be careful about the substrate type you use in your reptile’s enclosure. It should be hard to ingest while being easy to clean. You don’t want anything soft enough for them to bite off and swallow or small enough to be devoured in one bite. Therefore, things like soil, coco fiber, and tree bark should be avoided.
In your quest to completely eliminate the risk of ingestion, you may be tempted to use no substrate at all. But this comes with some risks and added responsibility. The high humidity in the enclosure will condense on the terrarium’s surface, and water will build up, making for an uncomfortable existence for your juvenile gecko. There is also an added risk of bacteria buildup, and you will have to clean the enclosure daily.
Paper substrates are great for baby crested geckos under 15 grams. Many people use old newspapers or paper towels as the first substrate for their juvenile reptiles. These provide an excellent surface for your baby crested gecko, and they’re not easy to bite off, hence reducing the risk of ingestion. If you need a more robust paper substrate just in case your crestie can tear through paper towels; butcher paper is an excellent alternative. For hygienic purposes, remember to replace the paper substrate every week.
Temperature and Humidity
Just like with the adults, baby crested geckos require a temperature specific environment. To thrive, your baby crestie will need temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees during the day and 69 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Therefore, you won’t need any heating bulbs for your crestie. Typically, they thrive in room temperature environments. However, anything warmer than 80 degrees can result in heatstroke or other health issues for your gecko.
On the other hand, crested geckos do require vitamin D3. This is essential for the development of your crestie.
This can be acquired in two ways. Your first option is to dust your crested gecko’s insects with calcium powder. Alternatively, you can purchase a UVB bulb that will rest on the roof of your enclosure.
Personally, I prefer using a UVB bulb since it requires less work and you don’t have to worry about giving your crested gecko the proper amount of calcium powder that they need. However, this is entirely up to you.
If you are interested in purchasing a UVB bulb, we have a detailed lighting guide that includes all the best bulbs on the market.
Additionally, crested geckos also require relatively high levels of humidity, usually between 50% and 80%. Their small size and high surface area to volume ratio also means that baby crested geckos quickly dehydrate. Hence, keeping a shallow water bowl and regularly misting the tank should help regulate the humidity and reduce dehydration.
Terrarium plants and branches
Plants and branches are a useful feature in a terrarium. They give the enclosure an attractive, natural look, increase the humidity, provide a way for the crested gecko to explore their home, and form a cool hiding place.
But since baby cresties live in small enclosures, adding live plants is probably not a great idea. This is because the plants will take up a lot of space as they grow, which may cause your crestie to feel suffocated. As a result, you may end up having to change terrariums a couple of times, and trust me, moving live plants from one enclosure to another can be very difficult.
Therefore, you can use fake vines and plants in lieu of live ones. These fake plants may not be perfect, but they serve their purpose well while being easy to manage. You can combine the fake vines with a couple of branches to give your enclosure a more natural feel.
How to Handle a Baby Crested GeckoBaby crested gecko on the tip of my finger!
The size of a crested gecko will determine how you should handle them. A freshly hatched baby crested gecko is tiny, weighing a meager 2 grams and measuring 2.5 to 3 inches in length. Therefore, when handling a baby crested gecko, you need to be extremely cautious. Squeezing, grabbing, or dropping them can result in injury or even death.
When handling your baby crested gecko, you’ll quickly realize these guys are extremely fast. Their speed will make it challenging to handle them. This is because they are yet to get used to getting held, and you’ll notice this when they wriggle away and probably jump out of your hands every time you try to handle them.
It can be pretty risky when they behave this way. For instance, they may jump off, fall on a hard surface, and hurt themselves in the process, which is why you should limit handling them to the minimum frequency possible. Only do it when it is necessary, like when it’s time to weigh and measure. Even then, exercise caution and never grab your crested gecko by the tail if you don’t want to stress them and cause tail loss.
You can also still fulfill your terrarium cleaning duties, but try to do so without disturbing the gecko. You will gradually learn how to handle your crested gecko as they grow and your relationship will grow stronger as they grow older.
Here are other useful tips on handling your baby crested gecko:
- Replace the food and water when your crestie is asleep to reduce stress.
- When cleaning the enclosure, put your gecko on a branch rather than handling them the whole time.
- Before handling your baby crestie, create a calm atmosphere by eliminating any noises likely to startle them. Reduce the TV’s volume and ask your kids (if any) to keep calm and stop running around. This will make them less alert and less likely to run and jump around.
- The hand walking technique is an excellent first step to handling your cresties. You basically allow your gecko to move as they please along your arms. Do this for one or two minutes every day when they are around three months old and gradually increase the hand walking time to as long as 15 minutes.
As you raise your baby crested geckos, there are a couple of health issues you should pay close attention to, with the most common being shedding. Hatchlings shed at a much faster rate than adults (once every week), making them more susceptible to stuck shed and dehydration. If left unchecked, stuck shed constricts blood flow to the affected part of the body, which leads to discomfort, injury, and even amputation. Thus, you should watch out for signs of unshed skin around the toes and tail area every week.
Taming a Baby Crested Gecko
All pet owners naturally want to tame and create a bond with their animals. For baby cresties under three months, this can be quite challenging as they are still trying to figure out their environment. Therefore, you need to be patient and take things slow and easy.
Before making any serious attempts to bond with your gecko, give them enough time to get used to your presence and their new home. Your crestie may not have the best of eyesight, but they have a relatively good sense of smell. Therefore, they will eventually learn to recognize your presence by your scent and associate it with good things like food. As your young crestie gets used to you, you can try to strengthen this bond by feeding them from your hand.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Crested Geckos
How often do baby crested geckos eat?
Since they are growing at a much faster rate, baby crested geckos eat more often than adults. They don’t really need to eat every day, but you should feed them four to five times a week.
Can you house baby crested geckos together?
Baby crested geckos are small, so you can fit a couple in a normal-sized terrarium. However, you should separate them once they reach six months since they will be too large to fit in one.
Do baby crested geckos bite?
When a crested baby gecko doesn’t want to be handled, they may bite. Don’t worry though; it won’t hurt or cause any serious injury.
Can a baby crested gecko drink tap water?
Unless the water is contaminated, drinking tap water is perfectly fine for your crested gecko. Some people raise concerns over the chlorine present in tap water, but this hasn’t been proven to cause any harm to a crestie.
For many people, rearing baby cresties for the first time is accompanied by a lot of uncertainty. Still, with our guide, you will successfully raise your small and fragile hatchling into happy, healthy adults. All you need to do is provide proper housing, handle them with care, and feed them a nutritious diet. Good luck!
what is important to know, gecko menu, feeding features
Published: 11/10/2020 Reading time: 6 min. 6503
- Gecko Menu
1.1. Gecko Diet
1.2. Where to get food
- Feeding Features of the Gecko
2.1. Frequency of feeding
2.2. Serving Size
2.3. Feeding time
2.4. Feeding conditions
The gecko is exotic in every way. From unique and sometimes strange appearance to living conditions and habits. But this reptile also has a very common feature. Like all living beings, he needs to eat fully in order to maintain health, activity and his "presentable" exotic appearance. Some geckos have become real pets and have many color morphs. But, even the most "domestic" geckos need proper nutrition, mostly live food.
Before you buy a gecko, you should familiarize yourself with its gastronomic habits. This information may force you to change your choice in favor of a less exotic pet, because these reptiles prefer to eat live insects, and large species will not refuse small rodents and reptiles - mice or baby snakes.
But if such a menu does not seem repulsive, then it is useful to know other equally important nuances.
A sample list of "meals" for a gecko that lives in captivity looks like this:
- earthworms and mealworms;
- larvae of any insect;
- grasshoppers and locusts;
- all Lepidoptera: butterflies, moths, moths;
- for some types - fruits and baby fruit purees.
Geckos are usually not picky and will eat anything they can fit in their mouths. Of course, the gecko's diet should be varied - this will help prevent beriberi and metabolic disorders caused by a mono-diet. But if you do not have the opportunity to constantly get new pet food and you are limited to a rather meager assortment of a pet store (usually crickets and mealworms), then you should take care of vitamins in a different form. For example, in the form of a Reptilife feed additive, which includes a complex of the most important substances for reptiles.
Where to get food
Given that insects must be alive and active (this is the main condition under which a gecko will be interested in a grasshopper or a worm), you can get food for your pet on your own in the summer. But it's important to make sure you're getting insects from environmentally friendly areas that haven't been treated with pesticides so you don't feed your pet with toxins. So this option is suitable for very few. Another option is to grow cockroaches, crickets or other insects on your own in a separate terrarium. But, given the appetite of the gecko, the most logical way out is a specialized store where you can buy reptile food. Captive-born geckos will readily eat even frozen insects. Don't forget to "feed the food" before giving it to your gecko! This will increase the benefits of mining several times.
Gecko Feeding Features
In addition to menu preferences, these reptiles have other nutritional “requests”.
Frequency of feeding
Excessively frequent meals should not be allowed under any circumstances. Digestion in reptiles is quite slow, so before the next meal they need to completely digest the previous portion. For small geckos, one feeding per day is enough, and large ones are recommended to be fed even every other day. Juveniles feed more often, depending on age. And do not forget to maintain the correct temperature in the terrarium, as it depends on how fully the gecko digests its lunch.
You need to focus on the size of the reptile. For example, 5-7 adult crickets are enough for a medium gecko, half a serving is enough for a small gecko, and double the serving for large species. One of the indicators that the pet is not starving is its tail. Fat and plump means your gecko is eating well and is definitely not starving. Too fat, which interferes with walking - that the pet is obese.
The main guideline is whether your gecko is diurnal or nocturnal. The first ones need to be fed during the day, closer to noon. And reptiles with a nocturnal lifestyle - closer to the night.
It's best if you let your gecko hunt crickets or cockroaches. But this is possible only if the terrarium has a tight lid, because not all insects are ready to dutifully wait until they are eaten. If instead of a cover there is a mesh, you can give food from tweezers, geckos quickly get used to the new food format for them.
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Geckos love tasty food. They quickly get used to treats and may refuse healthy and healthy food. To prevent this from happening, you need to include a variety of dishes on the menu and adhere to the feeding regimen. We tell you how to do it.
Gecko food objects are divided into basic and additional. The main ones should be in the lizard's diet from birth. Additional food items include treats that can be added to the diet after the pet is six months old.
Geckos feed on insects and do not refuse newborn naked mice. It is advisable to give your pet live food so that the instinct of the hunter does not disappear. If you choose this option, then remember that you also need to take care of keeping insects at home. They must be full and active.
Another way is to feed frozen food. In this case, it is enough to store food in the freezer, and defrost it immediately before feeding. If the food has lain at room temperature for about 2 hours, it will have to be thrown away. You can not freeze insects again.
At home, the gecko should eat the same way as in the wild.
The main menu should contain:
- butterflies, moths, moths.
You don't have to choose just one. A mono-diet can lead to beriberi and metabolic disorders. If it is not possible to diversify the diet, use ready-made feed additives. They contain the components necessary for proper development.
Where can I get food?
Food and vitamins for reptiles can be ordered in the online store. To grow food yourself, get a separate terrarium for it. Do not feed hungry insects to your lizard, as they bite and can feed on your pet's feces, which will negatively affect his health.
We do not recommend getting food for the gecko on the street. Together with wild insects, chemicals, helminth eggs, poisons of larvae, etc. , can enter the body of reptiles.
Which food should I choose?
Crickets and cockroaches are the main diet of the lizard. Their share is about 70%. The remaining 30% are treats. For example, spotted leopard geckos love tobacco hawk caterpillars, mealworms, silkworm larvae, etc. Periodically change treats to create conditions close to the wild.
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Feeding time depends on the type of lizard. Some are active at night, others during the day. For example, geckos hunt at dusk, at night and at dawn, so they prefer to eat early in the morning or late in the evening. By the same principle, feed currents, striped, viper geckos, etc.
Geckos have a good appetite. In their natural habitat, they eat any prey that they manage to catch. Do not overfeed - reptiles have slow digestion. It is important that before the next feeding they have time to digest the previous portion. Young lizards need to be fed more often than adults.
There are two approaches to feeding:
- 1 time in 3-4 days for 5-7 large insects. So the reptile will definitely not overeat, but will remain a little hungry.
- 1 time in 2-3 days, but until full, until the pet refuses to eat.
Babies under 2 months old need daily meals.
How to understand that the gecko is full and happy? Rate his behavior. The pet must be nimble during the period of activity. After overeating, lizards become passive, they have problems with the liver, reproductive system. The state of the pet is easy to determine by the tail. In starving geckos, it is thin, in overeating geckos it is large and interferes with walking. With proper nutrition, the tail looks natural in relation to the body, as in the photo below.
Portions depend on the age and size of the geckos. For a miniature adult animal, 2-3 large crickets are enough. A large lizard needs to eat 10-15 of the same insects. Newborn animals are fed from the 4th day of life 1-2 times a day with small crickets. After 12 months, the cubs switch to a common diet.
Choose the right food. Do not give the animal an insect that is too large for it, which is difficult to digest. We recommend that you follow a simple rule: the length of the insect should not be more than the distance between the eyes of the gecko.
Lizards feel more alert if they can hunt. To create such conditions for them, purchase a terrarium with a tight-fitting lid. Then the crickets, cockroaches and moths will stay inside. But the gecko can live peacefully without hunting. Simply feed it defrosted insects with tweezers. The animal will be interested in such food.
What should not be fed to individuals?
Geckos should not be fed anything that they do not eat in nature. Vegetables, fruits, yoghurts, berries and similar foods are not suitable.
Reptiles are not given dead insects. The latter are densely fed and frozen alive. A hungry cricket or cockroach is useless for a lizard. For the same reason, moulting crickets should not be given to an animal - they are always empty. They are easily recognizable by their white color.
Insects that glow in the dark are not suitable for food. These are fireflies and lightning beetles. A chemical that is toxic to geckos is responsible for the glow.
What must be in the diet?
Mineral and vitamin supplements should not be excluded from the menu. The first contains calcium. The gecko is happy to use it in the quantities needed for growth and healthy molting. Pour the powder into a small bowl and place on the floor of the terrarium.
Vitamin supplements must be dosed. They are dry and liquid. Dry roll a few crickets 1-2 times a week. For pregnant females, slightly increase the portion.