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Baby Crested Gecko Care



Bouncing off the last article, after about 60 - 120 days your eggs will hatch! The amount of days depends on the temperature you keep your eggs are at. You want to aim for around room temp or 75F, but if you keep them cooler, it will take longer for the embryo to develop.

     

Unlike other reptile eggs if you accidentally toss, rotate, or drop an egg it will not mess up the embryo. Keeping this in mind, try not to mess with them too much. I candle to see if they are fertile, and then I keep an eye on them at around 60-70 days for anything hatching out. Light and motion may make your gecko hatch prematurely. In the wild, the cluthmate crawling and scratching on the other egg signals them to come out. Always incubate eggs even if they don't look fertile! Failed eggs will mold over and sink in. As your eggs grow they will swell and get rounder and you may see some stretch marks!









  If the egg is under calcified it may be hard for them hatch( this is why calcium is very important) and may drown if they can not get out. Other times a gecko may not have the strength to hatch or push themselves out due to being too weak,or possibly having deformities. Some deformity's you can see with your eyes such as two heads or fused bodies, and some you may not be able to see such as neural problems.


Some people consider this a form of natural selection. It is thought that this guarantees that only the strongest hatch out. As a breeder the process is anything but natural, since we get to pick and chose what to pair, and the animals can not get away from each other. Their instincts eventually kick in and will mate to hopefully give you eggs that will produce kids to further your projects.Cutting or helping the gecko come out is extremely discouraged in the community. A main reason is that many people either panic, are impatient, or think the egg is ready due to the amount of days of incubation( remember this varies ALOT) and end up accidentally killing the gecko inside.


Have I cut to help geckos come out before? Yes I have, and it has saved a few lives, but it has also in the beginning stages of my breeding, killed a few due to my ignorance. I do not promote cutting but I also know that I can not stop others from doing it, so use your better judgement.


When the gecko is ready it will use "egg teeth" to make slits in the egg and then push its way out those slits. These will come off with it's first shed.







So your gecko has made some slits and has now hatched! Congratulations, I know the wait has been super killer! I usually find them completely out the egg, but sometimes you may find them with the heads out and resting. Try not to bother them and let them rest!


Some people will put them in their hatchling enclosures right away, but I transfer them to a deli cup with some moist paper towel ( not soaking wet) with small breathing holes for 24 hours where they will preform their first shed. Crested geckos eat their shed for nutrients, and a lot of the time they do it in private so you might not see them do it.  Fresh out the egg geckos look "wet" and their crests look stuck to their bodies. You can tell that they have shed when they look drier, the crests are sticking out and the color may even look way different!







After their first shed I put them in 6qt containers with a paper towel, a black insulation tube, a fake leafy plant ( wait for hobby lobby's 50% off sales), a piece of gutter guard, and if its under 4g a humid hide. The holes on the sides are made by a drill with a 1 inch circle saw. I like a more cleaner look, but you can also burn holes into the sides using a wood burner or some similar tool. If doing this please make sure you are in a well ventilated area. You can super glue mesh to the holes.


*** UPDATE: I now am using reptibark as a substrate for all baby and juvi crested geckos. I made the change after a few of my kids where having shedding problems. So far it is going well! I will update a while from now to let you know how it went! 3/20/20


I have also converted all mesh circles with alumunium round vents with tabs from roundvents.com. I find that it looks nicer but its also way easier to spray into the tubs!****











     

I use a piece of screen super glued on to cover the holes. Depending on where you live will depend on how many holes you need. I find that two on either side works for me. This setup will be used here until they are around 10g maybe less depending on the growth rate. The reason I keep them in this enclosure longer is that a lot of the time when I tried to move them up around 5-6g, they would stop growing. This isn't all of them but it was enough for me to hold them back a little longer now.



I also provide some food even if they may not eat for another day. You will feed them every other day about a water cap full. I find that a lot of people provide too much food, and this can create anxiety for new breeders who think that the gecko may not be eating. Make sure to look for lick marks and remember if its pooping it's eating! I have fed my geckos pretty much everything so if you have a question about good please ask. I tend to feed the Aritonnic home made diet 99% of time now, but I do also feed Pangea apricot now and then.






You can also introduce live bugs such as crickets or dubia dusted with some calcium( with D3 if not using UVB) after about 2 weeks if you like, 2x a week.

   

Do you need to offer insects? People will debate that you do not need to, but the facts are that geckos grow faster with live feedings. Ultimately it is up to you,but I am a huge fan of live feeding.


If its crickets I like to throw them in (make sure to use appropriate sized crickets or the length between the eyes of the gecko) and for dubia since they don't move as much you want to use a container. Remove crickets that aren't eaten because they can try and bite your geckos. Dubia that aren't eaten will usually just hide, and become your geckos first pet. You do not want to throw uneaten feeders back in with your main feeders! This will contamination your feeders and could cause problems with your geckos like parasites or illnesses. I just toss them out!


You will want to mist your baby enclosures, but at this stage you can very easily kill a baby crested gecko by keeping it too wet. I find that this varys a lot depending on where you live. I mist once every two days because I live in a very humid area.


Signs that a baby is being kept too humid:

 Mold forms in the bin

The baby is always wet

Sores forming on the body


     All my babies are given humid hides so if they need to shed they always have the humidity they need. My humid hides are just some moss inside a no escape feeder. I make sure to keep the moss moist.



Before I end this article I want to make a point that all geckos grow at different rates! There is no set weight gain over time but it if you want them to grow well its best to keep around 77F and feed live insects!

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