Whether you are an experienced breeder, a novice breeder, a breeder “wanna-be” or a confirmed “pet only” gecko keeper, the experiences of Justin Hansen, newly returned to leopard gecko breeding, should be an interesting read. In the second installment of his New Breeder series, Justin continues to establish his gecko and feeder breeding colonies:
So we when we last left off I was $618 or so in the hole with four geckos, a budding mealworm colony and a dream. The good news is that my male and female have crested the 50 gram mark making them eligible for breeding with one other female sitting just below the mark. The third female is way off and doesn’t seem to want to eat as much as wander around the cage. She is very active and I don’t think she is sick. I might try a new feeder to see if that helps. The current weights can be seen below:
So, I’m sure you’re wondering when we can expect eggs since we have a male and female of breeding weight. The answer is not any time soon. I have introduced them about half a dozen times and each time the female is more and more aggressive in shutting the male down. It went from simple tail swipes to some serious biting. No injuries, but no mating either.
I have consulted the message boards and have gotten some good advice. I need to make sure that she is ovulating so that she is receptive. I believe that the last two times she was, but I am not 100% sure. I also spoke with the breeder I received the geckos from and he recommended leaving them together for 48 hours and letting the male establish his dominance. This sounds good in theory but scares me in terms of what I have seen in only a few minutes of them being together.
With that issue still looming there is some good news. My mealworm colony is finally of age. The average size is about a half inch with some larger ones mixed in. I have started using it as my feeder source and I will hopefully never have to pay for mealworms again. I also was lucky enough to win a $200 gift certificate to CrestedGecko.com in the KillCrypto.com auction. Not only am I happy to donate money to such a worthy cause but I get to pick up some new stock. I emailed Garrick and he let me know that he didn’t have any male snow raptors available so I’m waiting to see the next available group he puts online.
So we have some good news and some issues that need to be dealt with. All in the life of a breeder I suppose. I haven’t spent any more money so my book still sit at the -$618.73 that we had last time. No surprise there; we won’t be recouping any of that for a little while at least. Hopefully I will stop being lazy and next time I can tell you all about the new rack I built. I look forward to your comments and questions. If there is anything you’d like to know more about or you think I can do differently let me know.
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Reading your article reminds me a lot of the first beginning stages that we went through. In some ways I wish we had stayed to just the beginning group of geckos. Not that I don’t love all of our geckos but we went from 0 to 45 in a couple of months and had to scramble in terms of racks and incubators as the eggs started coming.
I have seen with my female leos that there is usually some aggression, especially for first time breeders. The seasoned breeders seem much calmer and willing to just submit so that they can get back to their own tubs and get their treats that are waiting for them. Leaving them alone for a day is good advise. I still watch my new breeders for about an hour to make sure nothing too dramatic is happening and to make sure that there is actual interest. I recommend keeping a little eye dropper of lemon juice nearby just in case someone latches on too hard or it gets too aggressive. A drop in the gecko’s mouth and they will let go instantly. It tastes bad but doesn’t hurt them.
Great article Justin. Many new breeders or wannabees will look forward to your next chapter.
Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles. It’s fun to reflect on all the changes and to hear how some other people handle solar issues. Please keep the comments coming.
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