Raising Your Own Geckos
Published 20th February 2007
Raising your own geckos can be very fun and rewarding. If you have decided that you want to breed geckos the first thing you will need to do is to prepare adequate housing. Of course you will need to obtain a male and at least one female.
Unless you a very experienced with geckos it is very difficult to determine their sex until they are about three months old. The exact age varies as individual geckos grow and develop at different rates. Males can be identified by the development of hemipenes which will appear as bulges at the base of it's tail. The male will also have a row of preanal pores just above the tail. As the male gets older these characteristics will become much easier to recognize.
The breeding season for geckos is dependent primarily upon length of daylight and temperature. When daylight hours increase to more 12 and the temperature warms up to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit your geckos will be ready to breed.
In nature, the female will usually lay her eggs in clutches of two at a time about every three or four weeks during the summer months. In captivity, with proper lighting and temperature control, your gecko may lay eggs year round.
The sex of the baby geckos can be affected by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated. If you would like to have all females you will want to keep the temperature at a constant 80 to 81 degrees. For males keep the temperature range at 87 to 88 degrees. If you would prefer to have both males and females keep the incubation temperature at 85 degrees.
You will know when she is ready to lay eggs because you will be able to actually see the eggs through her skin. Geckos often refuse to eat when they are just about ready to lay their eggs, so if this occurs don't worry, it's completely natural. Once she has laid her eggs she will be very hungry so feed her well. Calcium is very important at this time as she has exhausted quite a bit in forming the eggs. It is also a good idea to separate her from the male until she has had time to regain her strength. A good indicator of her health is her tail which needs to be healthy looking and fat.
She may dig a hole in which to lay the eggs or the eggs may be "glued" to the glass wall of the aquarium or other surface. Normally, the eggs will be ready to hatch in about two to three months, but this may vary according to the temperature and humidity.
Do not be alarmed if the babies do not try to eat at first. Hatchlings generally will not eat for about the first week or until the first time that they shed. You may want to keep them separated from each other for the first month or two to avoid tail loss from being bitten by their mates. If you do decide to keep them together be sure to keep a close eye on them in case one is prone to biting the other. Either way make sure that they are all eating well once they do begin to feed.