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Thread: Debating breeding my fave female

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    Default Debating breeding my fave female

    Hello again! I'm not a common poster here, but I enjoy reading everyone's posts, admiring pictures, and picking up new tidbits of information. I have been searching for topics similar to mine, but can't seem to find anything that answers them so directly. This is a bit of a novel, but I know how miscommunications run rampant via text, so I'm trying to be as clear as possible.

    I have 1.2 crested geckos, and one of the females if Felix, my bestest girl, my favorite critter ever. She's such a good-natured creature and I'm quite attached to her. I've debated breeding her in the past, and decided against it. Being my favorite, and I always assumed a little on the small side, I would be crushed if something happened to her during the mating and laying process that caused her problems. I decided that maybe breeding wasn't for her.

    Then, she began regularly laying infertile egg clutches. I realized that my thoughts about her being smaller than normal were unfounded, since she was managing to pass full-sized eggs like any other gecko. That opened the breeding door again a little, since worried for her health were fading. I'm a little worried though, and this is anthropomorphizing her badly, but from one girl to another, I feel a little bad about popping my male in with her and really giving her no option but to let him have his way with her. I'll have to get over that myself though. O

    I heard recently from my co-workers at the pet store I used to work at that there's some evidence now that breeding might help reduce the risk of the geckos contracting certain cancers, and that if Felix is my favorite, she should be the first one I breed. Has anyone heard this, or can you give more information? If it is true, and it's best for her, I'd be more willing to breed my Felix.

    I also have another female, Maddie, who I bought off Craigslist. When I received her she was suffering from some degree of MBD, though I have little experience with it, so I am not sure of the severity. Her tail was noticeably kinked along it's whole length. She was also massively overweight. I made sure to up her calcium, and eliminated her insects for her full QT period, and fed her only regular feedings of CGD 2-part superfood, with a little extra calcium powder added. I also gave her a ReptiGlo bulb just to help her make use of all the calcium she was given, since she obviously needed every scrap of it. It's been 4 months now, and she's been out of QT for a while. Her tail is still kinked noticeably, and she's so terrified of being handled that I haven't tried too hard to get a look at her calcium sacs yet. She completely stiffens up in your hand- she doesn't run. She just freezes and will almost go comatose for the first few minutes of handling. After a few minutes of holding perfectly still and covering her with a leafy tank decoration, then she will calm down and go exploring a little. I know it's horribly stressful for her, and I rarely handle her because of this. Are there other ways to check if she has recovered enough calcium to possibly be a candidate for breeding as well?

    My final question bases on breeding ethics. My lone male, Kai, hasn't "crowned" out his crests yet. He's still got itty-little baby crests, despite being 13 months old and fully sexually mature (bulges and all). He's certainly not a great specimen of a crested gecko. This leads me to believe that he should not be bred, because his genes could very well be inferior, and with no more crested geckos coming out of the wild, I don't think it's smart to consciously breed an inferior gecko and spread those genes. I could post pictures of his crown if you like. Are there varying degrees of crest size? Do we know of the genetics behind crest size? He might just have a recessive gene that wouldn't necessarily pass on completely, perhaps? I don't know very much about crested gecko genetics, so I'll take your advice in this field. I'm willing to not breed him if his little genetic line should probably come to a halt for the good of the captive population. If it's suggested to breed my girls (who both have nice, full crests and seem in great condition) to prevent future health problems, I'd love to, but I want their offspring to be good-quality cresteds.

    I hope I don't open a can of worms with this last part of the topic. I'm not trying to arguing the ethics of breeding geckos, simply whether or not to breed this particular little guy I have based on what I've observed about him. Anything you can offer from experience, trends in the hobby, and actual facts would be greatly appreciated!
    1.1 Crested Gecko- Kai and Felix
    2.0 African Clawed Frogs- Methuselah and Desmosthenes

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    "My final question bases on breeding ethics. My lone male, Kai, hasn't "crowned" out his crests yet. He's still got itty-little baby crests, despite being 13 months old and fully sexually mature (bulges and all)."

    I can atleast answer this. Not all geckos crown. If his parents both had small crests then he will have small crests. If both his parents had large crests then you have a better chance you getting a crowned gecko. It's all based on genes not sexual maturity.

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    I bought Kai, the male, from a reptile show, from a lot of 12 gecko juvies who were intended to be a breeding group, but the vendor had changed his mind about them. He was 3-4 months at the time. I have no idea of his parentage or where he was initially acquired, nor have I seen any of his siblings. I assumed that as he grew and developed into an adult that he would develop more pronounced crests. As he matured, it became apparent that his crests weren't getting much larger. I was stating his current age of 13 months mostly to state that at his age, I would not be expecting them to develop at this point, and used that as evidence that genetics might be involved. However, that particular question was answered in a different thread, with the conclusion that an inferior crested gecko with a normal crested gecko would probably result in a mix bag of crests in the kids.

    Now, how about the other questions? Anyone? Anyone?... Bueller?
    1.1 Crested Gecko- Kai and Felix
    2.0 African Clawed Frogs- Methuselah and Desmosthenes

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    Hey Silver:
    I agree with tiedyegecko that crest size and head structure varies with genetics, and that if your male is not a good crest/structure specimen, I personally wouldn't breed, But please do post pics, you just never know what other people will say.

    As for former co-workers saying that breeding reduces risk of certain cancers in geckos: Do they have any literature or veterinary journals/articles to back up this claim? because in all honesty, I have never even heard of geckos getting cancer, (I have heard of egg binding though, but I don't think breeding or not breeding has too much to do on that, I think it just depends on the individual gecko?) and if this was something in the news, I would have thought it would be all over Pangea or Repashy or other gecko sites?
    Until that one is confirmed by a qualified reptile/exotics vet or herpetologist, I'm gonna chalk the cancer/breeding thing up as a rumor.

    Now as for breeding a gecko with MBD, I just plain wouldn't do it, over-all. Maddie sounds like she didn't have a good start in life, and the added stress of breeding and digging for eggs, and worrying about calcium sacs, her health, the health of her babies, etc. would probably not be worth it.

    The whole breeding thing is a serious thing to consider and I think it is awesome that you care so much and are asking excellent questions and doing thorough research before-hand.
    I've found that cresties are being bred so much that they're retailing at the local shows for like 20 bucks, and many sellers/breeders can't move their stock even then, because our market in the Pacific NW is so saturated. Just something else to consider. . .will you have the room for the kids if you cannot sell them?
    Help! Crested Geckos! 0.1.Leachie, 2.1.1 Gargs, 1.0 Chahoua, 2.1. Blue Tongue Skinks, 1.1. White Lined Geckos, 1.3. African Fat Tails, 2.2.0 Tokay Geckos, 1.0. Giant Day Gecko, 2 tarantulas

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    I guess this is kind of what I needed to be told to convince myself about breeding. I don't think I'll do it at the moment.

    However, since Kai's not good breeding stock, I guess the just means I have a reason to invest in a good-quality male? Maybe one of DragonTown's neon yellows? I've wanted one of those for years! LOL =)
    1.1 Crested Gecko- Kai and Felix
    2.0 African Clawed Frogs- Methuselah and Desmosthenes

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    I agree with Saille, any signs of MBD still present makes for the number 1 reason why not to breed. Unless x-rays are taken, you really have no idea the extent that it has taken on her little body. And MBD is not reversable, it can be slowed down or stopped, and minor things can be fixed. But once it has gotten to a certain point, there is simply no fixing the problem reguardless of what you have done for it, you just have stopped the progression.

    With your other female, not all geckos are created equal. Some are simply smaller, and there really is nothing wrong with that so long as she is healthy and is large enough to breed (35g+).

    But with that also said, and as Saille said, there are alotof breeders out there now as it is. If you are going to do it I would suggest starting out as high of quality as you can personally afford, and go with traits you wish to pass on, or something to complement or inhance your current female. Try to get one with nice crest structure because remember it is a crested gecko, so if your female has bad crests, by finding a male with outstanding crests, your babies will more then likely have average to nice crests. And color, yes males can be as low as $40, and sometimes you can find fantastic males at that price. However there are just as many if not more males at this price so keep that in mind, a deal is not always a good deal. And color, of course this plays a huge factor, but like I said maybe try and find something that complements her but at the same time is of higher quality.

    And as stated keep in mind, as much fun as it is breeding and watching babies grow, it is not always easy to sell babies, and last thing you want to see happen is one of your babies getting treated in the same way your big girl was, not everyone gives great care, even those who guy from reptile shows. And she can easily put out anywhere from 8-16 babies a year, so these are things to consider. But at the same time it is rewarding. The best I can say about it is do it when you are ready and you feel you can give the babies the best possible care, along with the best possible homes. There is nothing wrong with not breeding a gecko, no there is no proof of them getting cancer, think they are confusing them with rats, idk. And her layin eggs is just her bodies way of say, "hey im an adult!", our bodies did that too...argh once a month too often...lol But it is not saying we need to go breed, but simply that we are mature enough to.
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    If you think she seems to be on the small side in general, I suggest getting a scale. A scale will be useful no matter what though, I count it as one of the basics next to water bottle.

    Honestly, I never got why people thought they think it's really worth putting a male in with a female laying infertile eggs, no offence. Infertile eggs take considerably less calcium than fertile eggs do. My estimate is at least 25% more. And if you have trouble cooling her (being in florida, that might be an issue since she might lay straight through the winter months, then it's horribly hard to cool them after) then the calcium it takes out of her adds up.

    The market is quite difficult now, I've literally had to give hatchlings away so they'd have a good home and so I can have more room (I had gotten some rescue females that were already gravid when I bought them. They nearly laid for a year straight. Trust me, it's not a pretty picture in the end.)
    And it's always the roll of dice if you get all fertile eggs or not. Unfortunately, I did. I had gotten over 50 fertile eggs from my females. Many were given away for people to experience their own hatchling and raise them up (which I know is a main reason why people think they should breed in the first place) and it was quite overwhelming. It also takes quite a bit of money. An incubator, incubation substrate, extra kritter keepers all around, etc.

    Honestly, I promised myself that i'd wait until a female was at very least 40 grams before I would ever breed again. I would hate to see a repeat of what I had with the rescues. It's seriously worth the wait for the best of their health.

    If you really do want to breed, then I suggest making sure you have homes for all the hatchlings you might get. Try to make out a plan on when you want to start breeding, when you want to cool, and be sure to have supplies at hand just in case (so you aren't scrambling later)
    I'm sure you can find some breeders in florida (I've personally found at least 5 in the jacksonville to daytona area when I went.) that might be willing to sell you some eggs, if you want to try raising one from the egg up.

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    I keep forgetting to mention that I do have her weight as 30 grams, but tailless, so if you add on 6-8 grams for the tail, that makes her a good breeding weight.

    I never thought about cooling. I always thought cooling was separating the male and female so that the female wouldn't be getting constantly bred. How should I go about cooling Felix? Will this induce a period of time where she won't lay as many infertile eggs?
    1.1 Crested Gecko- Kai and Felix
    2.0 African Clawed Frogs- Methuselah and Desmosthenes

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    tails only weigh about 2-3g
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    Ah, okay. I did some searching around here about a year ago and one thread said it was 6-8 grams.
    1.1 Crested Gecko- Kai and Felix
    2.0 African Clawed Frogs- Methuselah and Desmosthenes

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