How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat: A Complete Guide for Pet Owners

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat

Crested geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. They are easy to care for, have a variety of colors and patterns, and can live up to 20 years in captivity. But how often do crested geckos eat? What do they eat? And how much do they eat? These are some of the questions that many crested gecko owners and enthusiasts have.

In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. We will explain the natural diet and feeding habits of crested geckos in the wild and in captivity. We will also discuss the different factors that affect the feeding frequency and amount of crested geckos, such as their age, size, activity level, and special conditions. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how often do crested geckos eat and how to provide them with a balanced and varied diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Crested geckos are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders that eat insects, fruits, and nectar from flowers in the wild.
  • In captivity, crested geckos can be fed with commercial crested gecko food, insects, and fruits as food sources.
  • Baby and juvenile crested geckos need to eat once a day, while adult crested geckos can eat 3 to 4 times a week.
  • The feeding frequency and amount of crested geckos vary depending on their age, size, and activity level.
  • Crested geckos may eat less or stop eating during special conditions, such as brumation, pregnancy, shedding, and illness.

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat in the Wild?

Crested geckos are native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific. They live in humid and tropical forests, where they are mostly active at night. In their natural habitat, crested geckos are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders. This means that they eat a variety of foods depending on what is available and accessible.

The main components of the crested gecko diet in the wild are insects, fruits, and nectar from flowers. Insects provide them with protein and calcium, which are essential for their growth and health. Fruits and nectar provide them with carbohydrates and vitamins, which are important for their energy and immunity. Crested geckos have a preference for sweet and juicy fruits, such as bananas, mangoes, papayas, and figs.

Crested geckos can adapt to seasonal changes in food availability and go for long periods without eating in extreme cases. For example, during the dry season, when fruits and insects are scarce, crested geckos may rely on nectar from flowers or stored fat reserves. During the wet season, when food is abundant, crested geckos may eat more and gain weight.

 

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat in Captivity?

In captivity, crested geckos can be fed with different options and recommendations. The most common and convenient food sources for crested geckos in captivity are commercial crested gecko food, insects, and fruits. Each of these food sources has its pros and cons, and they can be combined or alternated to provide a balanced and varied diet for crested geckos.

Commercial Crested Gecko Food

Commercial crested gecko food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of crested geckos. It usually comes in the form of meal replacement powders, which can be mixed with water to create a paste or a smoothie. Commercial crested gecko food contains ingredients such as fruits, insects, eggs, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Some of the most popular brands of crested gecko food are Pangea, Repashy, and Zoo Med.

The advantages of commercial crested gecko food are that it is easy to use, store, and measure. It also provides a complete and balanced diet for crested geckos, as long as it is fresh and of high quality. The disadvantages of commercial crested gecko food are that it can be expensive, boring, and unappealing for some crested geckos. It may also lack some of the natural flavors and textures that crested geckos enjoy in the wild.

To prepare, serve, and store commercial crested gecko food, you need to follow these steps:

  • Read the instructions on the packaging and measure the appropriate amount of powder and water. The ratio of powder to water may vary depending on the brand and the consistency you prefer. A general rule of thumb is to use one part powder to two parts water.
  • Mix the powder and water in a small bowl or cup until it forms a smooth paste or a thick smoothie. You can use a spoon, a fork, or a whisk to mix it well. You can also use a blender or a food processor to make it smoother and easier to digest.
  • Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish or a bottle cap and place it in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use a suction cup or a magnetic holder to attach it to the side of the enclosure, or you can simply put it on the floor or a branch. Make sure it is accessible and visible for your crested gecko.
  • Remove and replace the food every 24 to 48 hours, or sooner if it becomes dry, moldy, or contaminated. Do not leave the food in the enclosure for too long, as it can attract pests, bacteria, and fungi. You can also check the food for signs of consumption, such as bite marks, tongue prints, or droppings.
  • Store the unused powder in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a cupboard or a refrigerator. Make sure the container is sealed and labeled with the date of purchase and expiration. Do not use the powder if it is past its expiration date, or if it smells, looks, or tastes bad.

 

Insects

Insects are another food source for crested geckos in captivity. They provide them with protein and calcium, which are essential for their growth and health. Insects also stimulate the natural hunting and foraging instincts of crested geckos, which can make them more active and happy. The most common insects that are fed to crested geckos are crickets, roaches, mealworms, waxworms, and hornworms.

The advantages of insects are that they are natural, cheap, and easy to find. They also provide a variety of flavors and textures for crested geckos, which can make them more interested and excited about their food. The disadvantages of insects are that they can be messy, noisy, and smelly. They may also carry parasites, diseases, or pesticides, which can harm your crested gecko. They may also bite, scratch, or escape from your crested gecko, which can cause stress or injury.

To prepare, serve, and store insects, you need to follow these steps:

  • Choose the appropriate type, size, and quantity of insects for your crested gecko. The type of insects may depend on your preference, availability, and budget. The size of insects should be no bigger than the space between your crested gecko’s eyes. The quantity of insects may vary depending on the age, size, and appetite of your crested gecko. A general rule of thumb is to offer 3 to 5 insects per feeding.
  • Gut-load the insects for at least 24 hours before feeding them to your crested gecko. Gut-loading means feeding the insects with nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, or commercial gut-load products. This will enhance the nutritional value and flavor of the insects, and make them more beneficial for your crested gecko.
  • Dust the insects with calcium and vitamin supplements before feeding them to your crested gecko. Dusting means coating the insects with a fine layer of powder that contains calcium and vitamin D3, which are important for the bone and muscle health of your crested gecko. You can use a plastic bag, a container, or a shaker to dust the insects. You should dust the insects every time you feed them to your crested gecko, or at least twice a week.
  • Feed the insects to your crested gecko in a separate feeding container or in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use a plastic tub, a glass jar, or a paper cup to feed the insects to your crested gecko in a separate container. This will prevent the insects from escaping, hiding, or contaminating the enclosure. You can also feed the insects to your crested gecko in the enclosure, but you need to make sure that the insects are visible, accessible, and consumed by your crested gecko. You can use tweezers,
  • Feed the insects to your crested gecko for 10 to 15 minutes, or until your crested gecko is full and satisfied. You can observe your crested gecko’s behavior and body language to determine if it is hungry or full. A hungry crested gecko will actively chase and catch the insects, while a full crested gecko will ignore or avoid the insects. You can also weigh your crested gecko regularly to monitor its growth and health.
  • Remove and dispose of any uneaten or dead insects from the feeding container or the enclosure. Do not leave the insects in the container or the enclosure for too long, as they can cause stress, injury, or infection to your crested gecko. You can also clean and disinfect the feeding container or the enclosure to prevent any contamination or odor.

Store the live insects in a separate container with adequate ventilation, food, water, and substrate. You can use a plastic bin, a glass tank, or a cricket keeper to store the insects. You can also provide them with egg cartons, paper towels, or cardboard tubes to hide and climb. You should keep the insects in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. You should also check the insects regularly for signs of health, activity, and mortality.

Fruits

Fruits are another food source for crested geckos in captivity. They provide them with carbohydrates and vitamins, which are important for their energy and immunity. Fruits also mimic the natural diet and preferences of crested geckos in the wild, as they are sweet and juicy. The most common fruits that are fed to crested geckos are bananas, mangoes, papayas, figs, peaches, and berries.

The advantages of fruits are that they are natural, tasty, and colorful. They also provide a variety of flavors and textures for crested geckos, which can make them more interested and excited about their food. The disadvantages of fruits are that they can be high in sugar, low in calcium, and acidic. They may also spoil quickly, attract pests, and cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea, bloating, or impaction.

To prepare, serve, and store fruits, you need to follow these steps:

  • Choose the appropriate type, size, and quantity of fruits for your crested gecko. The type of fruits may depend on your preference, availability, and season. The size of fruits should be small enough for your crested gecko to swallow without choking. The quantity of fruits may vary depending on the age, size, and appetite of your crested gecko. A general rule of thumb is to offer a teaspoon of fruits per feeding.
  • Wash, peel, and chop the fruits into small pieces or mash them into a puree. You can use a knife, a fork, or a blender to prepare the fruits. You can also mix the fruits with commercial crested gecko food to enhance the nutritional value and flavor of the fruits.
  • Transfer the fruits to a shallow dish or a bottle cap and place it in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use the same methods as described for commercial crested gecko food to serve the fruits to your crested gecko.
  • Remove and replace the fruits every 24 hours, or sooner if they become dry, moldy, or contaminated. Do not leave the fruits in the enclosure for too long, as they can attract pests, bacteria, and fungi. You can also check the fruits for signs of consumption, such as bite marks, tongue prints, or droppings.
  • Store the unused fruits in a refrigerator or a freezer in an airtight container or a plastic bag. Make sure the container or the bag is sealed and labeled with the date of purchase and expiration. Do not use the fruits if they are past their expiration date, or if they smell, look, or taste bad.

 

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat Depending on Their Age, Size, and Activity Level?

The feeding frequency and amount of crested geckos vary depending on their age, size, and activity level. These factors affect the appetite and metabolism of crested geckos, as well as their nutritional needs and preferences. In general, younger, smaller, and more active crested geckos need to eat more often and more than older, larger, and less active crested geckos.

The table below shows a general feeding schedule for crested geckos of different ages and sizes. This is only a guideline, and you may need to adjust it according to your crested gecko’s individual needs and preferences.

Age/Size Feeding Frequency Feeding Amount
Baby (0-6 months) Once a day 3-5 insects + 1 teaspoon of commercial crested gecko food or fruits
Juvenile (6-12 months) Once a day 3-5 insects + 1 teaspoon of commercial crested gecko food or fruits
Adult (12+ months) 3-4 times a week 3-5 insects + 1 teaspoon of commercial crested gecko food or fruits

To determine the activity level of your crested gecko, you can observe its behavior and body language. A more active crested gecko will move around, explore, and hunt more than a less active crested gecko. A more active crested gecko may also have a higher body temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate than a less active crested gecko. A more active crested gecko may need to eat more often and more than a less active crested gecko to maintain its energy and health.

To measure the activity level of your crested gecko, you can use a thermometer, a stethoscope, or a stopwatch. You can also use a scale, a tape measure, or a caliper to measure the weight, length, and body condition of your crested gecko. You can use these tools to monitor the growth and health of your crested gecko and adjust its feeding schedule accordingly.

 

How Often Do Crested Geckos Eat During Special Conditions?

Crested geckos may eat less or stop eating during special conditions, such as brumation, pregnancy, shedding, and illness. These are some of the conditions that may alter the feeding frequency and amount of crested geckos, as they affect their physiology and behavior. In this section, we will explain how to recognize the signs and symptoms of these conditions and how to provide the appropriate care and support for crested geckos during these times.

Brumation

Brumation is a period of reduced activity and metabolism that some crested geckos may experience during the winter months. Brumation is similar to hibernation, but not as deep or as long. During brumation, crested geckos may eat less or stop eating altogether, as they conserve their energy and rely on their fat reserves. They may also sleep more, hide more, and move less.

Brumation is triggered by environmental factors, such as temperature, light, and humidity. In the wild, crested geckos may brumate when the temperature drops below 18°C (64°F) and the daylight hours decrease. In captivity, crested geckos may brumate if the temperature and light in their enclosure are not regulated or controlled.

Brumation is not harmful or necessary for crested geckos, as long as they are healthy and have enough fat reserves. However, brumation can be stressful and risky for crested geckos, as they may lose weight, become dehydrated, or develop infections. Therefore, brumation should be avoided or minimized in captivity, unless you are breeding your crested geckos or simulating their natural cycle.

To prevent or reduce brumation in captivity, you need to follow these steps:

  • Maintain a constant temperature of 23°C to 28°C (74°F to 82°F) in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use a thermostat, a heat mat, a heat lamp, or a ceramic heat emitter to regulate the temperature. You can also use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Provide a consistent light cycle of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use a timer, a daylight bulb, or a UVB bulb to control the light. You can also use a lux meter to measure the light intensity.
  • Keep the humidity level of 50% to 80% in the crested gecko enclosure. You can use a hygrometer, a humidifier, a misting system, or a spray bottle to adjust the humidity. You can also use live plants, moss, or substrate to retain moisture.
  • Offer food and water to your crested gecko every few days, even if they are not interested. You can use the same food sources and methods as described in the previous section. You can also use a syringe, a dropper, or a spoon to gently feed or hydrate your crested gecko. Do not force your crested gecko to eat or drink if they are not willing.
  • Check your crested gecko’s weight, hydration, and health regularly. You can use a scale, a caliper, or a body condition score to measure your crested gecko’s weight and body condition. You can also use a pinch test, a skin elasticity test, or a capillary refill time test to assess your crested gecko’s hydration status. You can also look for signs of illness, such as lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, dehydration, weight loss, sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, discolored feces, or abnormal behavior.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a stressful and demanding time for female crested geckos, as they have to produce and lay eggs. Pregnancy is also known as gravidity or oviposition in reptiles. During pregnancy, female crested geckos may eat more than usual to meet their nutritional needs. They may also become more restless, aggressive, or territorial, as they look for a suitable place to lay their eggs.

Pregnancy is triggered by hormonal and environmental factors, such as temperature, light, and mating. In the wild, female crested geckos may become pregnant during the spring and summer months, when the temperature and light are optimal for egg development and hatching. In captivity, female crested geckos may become pregnant if they are exposed to a male crested gecko or if they are kept in the same conditions as in the wild.

Pregnancy is beneficial and rewarding for crested geckos, as it allows them to reproduce and pass on their genes. However, pregnancy can also be risky and complicated for crested geckos, as it can cause complications, such as egg binding, calcium deficiency, or infection. Therefore, pregnancy should be planned and monitored in captivity, unless you are experienced and prepared to breed your crested geckos.

To support and care for your pregnant crested gecko in captivity, you need to follow these steps:

  • Provide a high-quality and varied diet for your pregnant crested gecko. You can use the same food sources and methods as described in the previous section, but you may need to increase the quantity and frequency of feeding. You can also supplement your pregnant crested gecko with extra calcium and vitamin D3, which are important for egg production and shell formation.
  • Provide a suitable and safe place for your pregnant crested gecko to lay her eggs. You can use a plastic container, a shoe box, or a flower pot to create a nesting box for your pregnant crested gecko. You can also fill the nesting box with moist substrate, such as coco fiber, peat moss, or vermiculite, which will help your pregnant crested gecko to dig and bury her eggs. You should place the nesting box in a quiet and dark corner of the enclosure, and check it regularly for eggs.
  • Remove and incubate the eggs as soon as possible. You can use a plastic container, a deli cup, or a ziplock bag to store the eggs. You can also use the same substrate as in the nesting box to cushion and moisten the eggs. You should mark the top of the eggs with a pencil or a marker, and do not rotate or flip them. You should also label the container or the bag with the date of laying and the parents’ names. You should keep the eggs in a warm, humid, and dark place, such as an incubator, a closet, or a drawer. You should also check the eggs regularly for signs of development, hatching, or infection.
  • Monitor your pregnant crested gecko’s health and recovery. You can use the same tools and methods as described in the previous section to measure your pregnant crested gecko’s weight, hydration, and health. You can also look for signs of complications, such as egg binding, calcium deficiency, or infection, and seek veterinary help if needed.

For more information about pregnancy and crested geckos, you can read this article: Crested Gecko Breeding: The Complete Guide.

Shedding

Shedding is a natural process that crested geckos go through regularly to replace their old skin with new one. Shedding is also known as ecdysis or molting in reptiles. During shedding, crested geckos may lose their appetite and stop eating for a few days, as they focus on removing their old skin. They may also become more irritable, sensitive, or secretive, as they avoid any disturbance or stress.

Shedding is triggered by growth and environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and nutrition. In the wild, crested geckos may shed more often and more easily, as they have access to natural sources of moisture and friction. In captivity, crested geckos may shed less often and less easily, as they have limited sources of moisture and friction. They may also have problems with shedding, such as incomplete or stuck shed, which can cause discomfort or infection.

Shedding is beneficial and necessary for crested geckos, as it allows them to grow, heal, and renew their skin. However, shedding can also be challenging and problematic for crested geckos, as it can cause stress, dehydration, or injury. Therefore, shedding should be facilitated and assisted in captivity, unless your crested gecko can shed on its own without any issues.

To help and support your crested gecko during shedding in captivity, you need to follow these steps:

  • Provide a humid and comfortable environment for your crested gecko. You can use the same methods as described in the previous section to maintain the humidity level of 50% to 80% in the crested gecko enclosure. You can also provide a humid hide, such as a plastic container, a shoe box, or a flower pot, filled with moist substrate, such as sphagnum moss, paper towels, or coco fiber, which will help your crested gecko to retain moisture
  • Provide a humid and comfortable environment for your crested gecko. You can use the same methods as described in the previous section to maintain the humidity level of 50% to 80% in the crested gecko enclosure. You can also provide a humid hide, such as a plastic container, a shoe box, or a flower pot, filled with moist substrate, such as sphagnum moss, paper towels, or coco fiber, which will help your crested gecko to retain moisture and loosen its old skin.
  • Offer food and water to your crested gecko every few days, even if they are not interested. You can use the same food sources and methods as described in the previous section, but you may need to reduce the quantity and frequency of feeding. You can also use a syringe, a dropper, or a spoon to gently feed or hydrate your crested gecko. Do not force your crested gecko to eat or drink if they are not willing.
  • Check your crested gecko’s skin and help them to remove any stuck shed. You can use a damp cotton swab, a soft toothbrush, or your fingers to gently rub or peel off any stuck shed from your crested gecko’s body, especially around the eyes, mouth, toes, and tail. You can also soak your crested gecko in a shallow dish of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the stuck shed. Do not pull or tear the stuck shed, as it can cause pain or injury to your crested gecko.
  • Monitor your crested gecko’s health and recovery. You can use the same tools and methods as described in the previous section to measure your crested gecko’s weight, hydration, and health. You can also look for signs of complications, such as infection, inflammation, or loss of digits or tail, and seek veterinary help if needed.

Illness

Illness is a condition that affects the health and well-being of crested geckos. Illness can be caused by various factors, such as parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses, injuries, stress, or poor husbandry. During illness, crested geckos may lose their appetite and stop eating, as they try to fight off the infection or heal the injury. They may also show other signs and symptoms of illness, such as lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, dehydration, weight loss, sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, discolored feces, or abnormal behavior.

Illness can be prevented and treated by providing a clean and comfortable environment, a high-quality and varied diet, and a regular check-up for your crested gecko. However, some illnesses may require more specific and professional care, such as medication, surgery, or quarantine. Therefore, illness should be diagnosed and treated by a qualified and experienced veterinarian, especially if the symptoms are severe or persistent.

To help and support your crested gecko during illness, you need to follow these steps:

  • Identify the cause and type of illness that affects your crested gecko. You can use a symptom checker, a disease guide, or a diagnostic test to determine the cause and type of illness that affects your crested gecko. You can also consult a veterinarian for a more accurate and reliable diagnosis. Some of the common illnesses that affect crested geckos are parasites, bacterial infections, fungal infections, viral infections, metabolic bone disease, impaction, mouth rot, tail rot, and respiratory infections.
  • Provide the appropriate treatment and care for your crested gecko. You can use a medication, a surgery, or a quarantine to treat and cure your crested gecko’s illness. You can also use a supportive care, such as hydration, nutrition, heat, and rest, to help your crested gecko recover and heal. You should follow the instructions and recommendations of your veterinarian for the best results and outcomes. You should also monitor the progress and response of your crested gecko to the treatment and care.
  • Prevent and avoid the recurrence and spread of the illness. You can use a prevention, a hygiene, or a quarantine to prevent and avoid the recurrence and spread of the illness. You can also use a vaccination, a deworming, or a disinfection to protect and immunize your crested gecko from the illness. You should follow the guidelines and standards of your veterinarian for the best practices and procedures. You should also educate yourself and others about the illness and its prevention and treatment.

FAQs

In this section, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions about how often do crested geckos eat, based on the people also ask section from Bing for the keyword. We will include the questions and answers in a bullet point list format, such as:

  • How often do crested geckos eat fruit and vegetables? Crested geckos can eat fruit and vegetables as treats, but they should not make up more than 10% of their diet. You can offer them fresh or pureed fruit and vegetables once or twice a week, preferably mixed with commercial crested gecko food.
  • How often do crested geckos eat during brumation? Brumation is a period of reduced activity and metabolism that some crested geckos may experience during the winter months. During brumation, crested geckos may eat less or stop eating altogether. You can still offer them food every few days, but do not force them to eat if they are not interested.
  • How often do crested geckos eat during pregnancy? Pregnancy is a stressful and demanding time for female crested geckos, as they have to produce and lay eggs. During pregnancy, crested geckos may eat more than usual to meet their nutritional needs. You can feed them every day or every other day, depending on their appetite and condition.
  • How often do crested geckos eat while shedding? Shedding is a natural process that crested geckos go through regularly to replace their old skin with new one. During shedding, crested geckos may lose their appetite and stop eating for a few days. You can still offer them food, but do not disturb them or try to peel off their skin.

 

 

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