The Eggcellent world of Egg Laying!

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

So your female was paired about 30 - 45 days ago, probably looks pretty plump ( or maybe not plump at all), and possibly hasn't eaten as much lately? Then she might be laying eggs soon! This article will be going over the process that female crested geckos go through when laying eggs!

Your female uses calcium to make her eggs and if she doesn't have enough calcium, then she may pull it from her bones and that can cause a lot of problems and eventually can lead to MBD.

MBD is nonrecoverable, so it very important that you keep an eye on your paired females.  Some symptoms of MBD in crested geckos may be swollen limbs, shaking/twitching, and deformed limbs.

This is a crested gecko that was surrendered to me back in 2016. I took it to a vet and here is an xray they took. This is a male crested gecko that was fed only insects for about a year.

It is an older video but if you do have a crested gecko with MBD, my suggestion would be liquid calcium and put under a uvb light( make sure its through a screen, glass will filter this out).After a few weeks the swelling went away, and the twitching stopped. He was rehomed to a great new family!

**** Note that female geckos with MBD should NEVER be paired!****

There is a way to check to see if your female has enough calcium in her body before and after she lays. Crested geckos have what is called calcium sacs. Males and females have them!

They should look full and plump. and will go down when calcium stores are depleted. You can keep the calcium in check by feeding a complete diet and dusting insects with calcium when feeding ( with D3 if not using UVB and without D3 if you are).

It can be stressful on a gecko to get it's mouth to open to check the sacs. Some tips are to tap the sides of the mouth at the same time, or using an ear swab to keep it open. I have so many geckos I do not check each individual mouth. Instead a month before pairing I give them 1- 2 drops of liquid cal for two feedings.

Theoretically if you are feeding them a complete diet then they should not need any calcium assistance, and you will see in forums people argue that it is not needed. Well in my personal experience, you will eventually have a female that does need that extra help which is why I am including my regimen. Do not be over zealous with liquid cal because then they will lay over calcified eggs that the babies can not hatch out of. Use your better judgement and as always if you have a question you can always message me. You may notice that I do not use calcium powder except for dusting insects with. You can use calcium powder,but in a humid environment it has always molded on me, and liquid cal works faster.

When they are ready to lay the female may start digging into soil in a bioactive enclosure, maybe even "eating" or testing the soil or whatever you have in your lay bin. My geckos have lay bins with sphagnum moss inside so they usually crawl into the lay bin and hang out for a few days. Then I check for eggs!

After a female lays you can visually tell if her reserves may be depleting if the eggs go from nice and smooth, to what we refer to as a "snowflake" pattern. In this picture the egg on the left is a well formed egg, while the egg on the right looks under calcified.

The problems that can come up with under calcified eggs, is that as crested gecko eggs get older they usually plump up and get rounder. This can cause the poorly calcified egg to leak or possibly fail because of bacteria introduced from the outside. A baby may also have a harder time cutting themselves getting out since the surface is rough. People will say to freeze and toss, but i keep and incubate and patch leaks with small pieces of paper towel. If your female lays "snowflake" patterned eggs then give them 1-2 drops of liquid cal for two feedings and their eggs should be fine the next clutch.

If all goes well, in about 60-120 days you will have little babies hatching out! What do you do now? We will go over that in the next article!

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