In many ways the past month has been like the start of a new season. After I lost all my eggs I’ve been waiting for the couple of geckos that are still laying to give me a few last clutches but for the most part the big season that I’ve been preparing for isn’t going to happen. Such is life when you work with animals.
While I’ve been going through the monotony of feeding and cleaning I thought about how fast I’m able to move through the tubs compared to when I first expanded my collection from my original four animals to the fourteen I have now. I have picked up a couple of tricks from some other breeders that have made a big difference.
Maintaining Multiple Cages
The thing I saw in the videos made by Matt Baronak that I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of was the shop vac. Using this to vacuum out the coco fiber and feces from the tubs not only makes it cleaner but keeps me from having to take the gecko out if I don’t need to weigh it. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but any time savings is a help especially with a growing collection. Of course you have to be careful not to suck in smaller geckos but it isn’t hard to avoid.
Using a pesticide sprayer to add water to the moist hides is my favorite new way of handling the gecko maintenance. These are the sprayers that you add water to and pump. I saw this in YouTube videos from Pat Kline and Matt and it really made sense. Before this I used a hand sprayer that you would use to mist a potted plant. This worked fine when I only had a couple of tubs but I would pretty much run out of water when I got to my last row. It also took way more time to add the appropriate amount of water compared to the sprayer. It is obvious but please don’t grab one of these from your shed even if you think it hasn’t been used. If there is any residue in there it will kill your animals. If you are going to use one just buy a new one from your local hardware store.
Efficient Record Keeping
I’m sure this last one isn’t going to shock anyone but as I move through the animals I use an iPad to update my records. I used to write it all down and then sit at the computer to add it. What I found was that as time went on and I had to take more notes they become harder to understand after the fact and were therefore less accurate or complete. Now I just use the iPad to update all breeding and maintenance records as I do each tub. I’m not 100% sure this is quicker, but it definitely isn’t slower and if I’m getting more accurate info that is way more important to me.
If anyone is looking to expand your collection or ramp up your breeding program give these tips a shot and they may ease the pain of maintenance. If anyone has any items that they would like to add to this list please comment below. Hopefully next month I’ll be able to talk more about my breeding program. We’ll see if I can get it back on track.