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Rearing Leopard Gecko Hatchlings

How To Care For Leopard Gecko Hatchlings



Rearing Leopard Gecko Hatchlings

Rearing leopard gecko hatchlings is a lot like raising the adults. They need food, water, shelter, calcium, etc. but there are some minor differences between the adult care and the offspring care that we are using this page to highlight.

Housing

My hatchlings are housed in smaller tubs than the adults are and are maintained in a sterile environment, individually, until they reach around 6-7 inches in length. I use a quarantine type set-up for them, which makes cleaning easy and allows me to monitor their progress. My tubs are Sterilite #1642 (6 Quart Storage Box) and are clear. They measure roughly 13 1/2"L x 8"W x 4 1/2"H.

Light Timers
Intermatic TN311 15 Amp Heavy Duty Grounded Timer

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Lighting

My gecko room is illuminated for 12 hours a day, which is controlled by the timer shown above.

Heating

I keep the warm hide at a steady 90° for my hatchlings. I do not heat the front of their tubs at all and it remains around 74° - &76°, depending on the time of day. It drops at night as the room cools when the lighting of other enclosures go off.

Feeding

I leave a shallow dish of small mealworms in with my geckos from the first day they hatch. This allows them to eat whenever they want and as much as they want. I supplement the babies with gut loaded crickets several times a week. I do not leave uneaten crickets in with my geckos and advise not to either. I will toss crickets in, close the container and move on to the next gecko. After about 30 minutes or so I will go back through and remove any uneaten crickets and toss them back in the cricket tub.

Rep-Cal Calcium - Vitamin D3
Prey Dusting

RepCal Pink Label Calcium Supplement
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Rep-Cal Calcium - NO D3
Calcium Dish

RepCal Green Label Calcium Supplement
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Supplementing

Each of my hatchlings are supplemented 3 times a week until they reach 12 weeks of age. At that point, they are cut back to 2 times per week for the next 4 weeks and then begin the bi-weekly schedule the other geckos are on. You can learn more about supplementing your geckos on our Leopard Gecko Supplementation page. I use the same method of supplementing for my hatchlings as I do the adults, except on a different schedule.

A shallow dish of calcium (no D3) is left in with the hatchlings at all times, just like the adults.

Water

A shallow dish should remain in the enclosure at all times. The dish should be easily entered and exited so that your gecko can not drown. The water should be changed regularly.

Handling

I prefer to allow my geckos to grow up to 5 inches before I begin handling them. Hatchlings are very skittish and easily stressed compared to the adults. Once they have reached 5+ inches in length I will begin the process of taming them and trying to condition them into being handled. This does not mean that I do not handle the hatchlings. I will handle the hatchlings when necessary for cleaning and maintenance. I am simply referring to conditioning them to being handled for "out" time. (Out of their enclosure.)

Once they reach 7 inches or so I will begin introducing them into a new enclosure with similar sized females of the same genetic trait. (I introduce my female groups into a new enclosure. This helps to reduce territorial aggression as the new enclosure is new to all of them.)

Attribution

Author: Richard Brooks