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Thread: Preparing for the Next Breeding Season

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    Default Preparing for the Next Breeding Season

    The breeding season is still a couple of months away, but I am wanting to start gathering up some supplies. First off, I will get more tanks so that no breeding females have to share space or resources (last season, I had my three laying girls in a large Exo-Terra with eco earth). This means that I will have to get (or make) more layboxes.

    What is your guys' preferred laying medium? I've been using Eco Earth just because I always have, I suppose. I never had any problem with it. It's true that it can tend to dye your eggs, but I usually dig them out before that happens. I would still consider a different medium, though.

    I also want to buy one SIM incubator to try out, and possibly a bigger incubator to stick that in that I can use to control temperature/humidity.

    My last season (which was really my first) was really terrible. 2 of my 3 girls were first timers, and the other one had only laid 3 clutches the season before-- which was her only time with me. I am doing 3 or 4 girls again this season, but the latter one I mentioned is going to be retired and just kept as a pet because I decided that I don't know enough about her history. Anyway, every single egg I got last season was undercalcified, which is a mystery to me. They were all fed CGD every other night, which was once in a while supplemented with calcium. My only guess was that it was due to their inexperience... except for the 2nd time breeder female, who laid me perfect eggs the season before. It was also very hot in my apartment, which I will try to better control this season. I still have 6 eggs incubating from last season (3 of which are getting quite old... like 115 days average), but so far all of my geckos have died in the egg late term.

    How should I attempt to control the undercalcification? I tried not to supplement the CGD with calcium more than once or twice a week because I wasn't sure if it would throw off the balance of nutrients in the food. How often should I supplement my breeding females' CGD? And how often should I feed them dusted bugs, and should I ever dust them with D3, or not, since CGD is supposed to have all of the D3 they need? Finally, do you think I should order some phoenix worms? For those of you who get perfectly calcified eggs, what kind of diet/supplement do you have your females on?

    Last but not least, I have never had an experience with entamoeba or even had one of my geckos get injured, sick or die, but do recommend E-fixing them all before the season starts, just as a precaution?

    Thanks!

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    How did you know the were egg under calcified ? How much do our gecko's weight now, and how much did they weight last year? If our gecko's are not up to 40 grams hold off on breeding this year ,or wait and start breeding season later in the year. As with the e-fix that up to you but don't need to if all our animals or health.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    How did you know the were egg under calcified ? How much do our gecko's weight now, and how much did they weight last year? If our gecko's are not up to 40 grams hold off on breeding this year ,or wait and start breeding season later in the year. As with the e-fix that up to you but don't need to if all our animals or health.
    The eggs had solid white patches of a smooth texture but were mostly rough textured and crystalline looking. I posted pictures and descriptions before and this was the feedback I got from Pangea members, which seemed reasonable to me.

    Hmmm... hard to remember last season's breeding weights now. I would say all females were within a few grams of 40 grams, like maybe a range of 37-40 over the course of the season? I have two females lined up for next season that have never been bred before. One weighs in currently at 41-42g and the other pretty close to the same, and they will still have a couple months to gain more weight. The other 2 females that will be bred again still need more time to gain weight back from last season (last clutch was laid in November). I need to weigh them again, but I think they are back up to the same range I stated before. This time, I think I will let them gain even more, though. I'd like all of the girls to be 40g+.

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    I read it all our egg's fail to hatch last years. OK what are hacting the eggs in? What was the temperature incubating at ,doe's it stay the same every day? ,and do you know if our incubating eggs have every been exposed to temp over 88 or below 60 for this would be fatal.
    3.2.4.1 - Crested Gecko's (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)
    1.0 collard lizard's (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
    1.1 dog's
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    Lauren,

    We feed only CGD and the occasional dusted (sometimes with D3, sometimes without) roach and we always keep a bowl of straight calcium powder (no added D3) in with breeder females. Some weeks it isn't touched and other times we'll notice huge lick marks. We had perfect eggs all last season. Instead of messing with the balance of the CGD by attempting to add more calcium, just offer it to them separately. They'll ingest it if they need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren and Hunter View Post
    The breeding season is still a couple of months away, but I am wanting to start gathering up some supplies. First off, I will get more tanks so that no breeding females have to share space or resources (last season, I had my three laying girls in a large Exo-Terra with eco earth). This means that I will have to get (or make) more layboxes.

    What is your guys' preferred laying medium? I've been using Eco Earth just because I always have, I suppose. I never had any problem with it. It's true that it can tend to dye your eggs, but I usually dig them out before that happens. I would still consider a different medium, though.

    I also want to buy one SIM incubator to try out, and possibly a bigger incubator to stick that in that I can use to control temperature/humidity.

    My last season (which was really my first) was really terrible. 2 of my 3 girls were first timers, and the other one had only laid 3 clutches the season before-- which was her only time with me. I am doing 3 or 4 girls again this season, but the latter one I mentioned is going to be retired and just kept as a pet because I decided that I don't know enough about her history. Anyway, every single egg I got last season was undercalcified, which is a mystery to me. They were all fed CGD every other night, which was once in a while supplemented with calcium. My only guess was that it was due to their inexperience... except for the 2nd time breeder female, who laid me perfect eggs the season before. It was also very hot in my apartment, which I will try to better control this season. I still have 6 eggs incubating from last season (3 of which are getting quite old... like 115 days average), but so far all of my geckos have died in the egg late term.

    How should I attempt to control the undercalcification? I tried not to supplement the CGD with calcium more than once or twice a week because I wasn't sure if it would throw off the balance of nutrients in the food. How often should I supplement my breeding females' CGD? And how often should I feed them dusted bugs, and should I ever dust them with D3, or not, since CGD is supposed to have all of the D3 they need? Finally, do you think I should order some phoenix worms? For those of you who get perfectly calcified eggs, what kind of diet/supplement do you have your females on?

    Last but not least, I have never had an experience with entamoeba or even had one of my geckos get injured, sick or die, but do recommend E-fixing them all before the season starts, just as a precaution?

    Thanks!

    I tried Eco Earth as my lay box medium but didn't like it. I found that the females were laying about mid way through the substrate and I'd have to dig through and find the eggs. I went back to what I was using before, moss. With the moss, they lay all the way at the bottom so I just lift it up, look and see where the eggs are. Much easier when you've got a large collection of geckos.

    During the breeding season I feed my breeding groups just about every other day. I feed CGD with calcium mixed in. And occasionally I'll do crickets, but I usually do crickets with my younger geckos to help boost growth.
    About once every couple weeks I make a mixture with a little bit of CGD and lots of calcium. About 25% CGD and 75% Calcium. It tastes like CGD but has more calcium and REALLY helps the breeding females. If I've ever had a female with a tail kink, this mixture helps out and brings her tail back to being straight.

    My cresties DONT like phoenix worms. The only gecko that accepted the phoenix worms I just ordered was my female E. Agricolae. My female chewie didn't even like them.

    Good luck,
    -Armen
    Rhacodactylus, Uroplatusrhacsetc@yahoo.com

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    I normally do alot of crickets right before breeding season and feed my females as normal which does include crickets about once every 2 weeks. This season however thy will get more roaches as our roach colony has gotten to a decent size. I am this year going to be offering a calcium dish daily for my girls the month I start the season off and leave their CGD alone. Durring the off season normally every other week I add a little extra calcium into the mix just incase the girls do for some reason lay an oddball clutch (and yes it does happen, one of my girls laid a random clutch in dec...grrr).

    As far as th e-fix and entamoeba diets, alot of big breeders still e-fix although there is no signed of an issue, I did it this year myself. You want to offer it and make sure there is a 2 week window inbetween their last feeding of those food before breeding because from what I have heard it can mess with egg production and possibly cause de-calcified eggs. So I finished my last round last week even though I dont plan on breeding until March. Better to get it out of the way now. And you can even give this to hatchling geckos, I e-fixed everyone from baby to adult.
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    I am treating everyone with the E fix (currently the second week of treatment), then waiting for at least 2 full weeks after the treatment is finished to put my pairs together. The main ingredient in E fix can be tough on repro organs, so I'm not taking chances, I just want to make sure everyone is "clean". That said, it will likely be about mid-to-late Feb when I do finally put my pairs together.

    How often were you feeding insects last year, if at all? My virgin girl laid mostly duds, but they were well calcified. I would always keep a cap of calcium powder in there for her to lick as needed, (no d3) along with her normal diet of CGD.
    I also mix the CGD a little on the thicker side, as mine like it better that way.
    How long have your girls cooled for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    I read it all our egg's fail to hatch last years. OK what are hacting the eggs in? What was the temperature incubating at ,doe's it stay the same every day? ,and do you know if our incubating eggs have every been exposed to temp over 88 or below 60 for this would be fatal.
    I incubated/have been incubating the eggs in Country Crock butter containers (the big ones) on perlite. I've hatched out babies using this method before. The temp range I would have to kind of guess at. Probably 65-70? Recently I moved them to a warmer room so they might be at 68-73? They definitely haven't gotten anywhere near 80 and I really doubt below 60, since I kept them in my bedroom where I slept and I don't deal with being cold too well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhacsetc08 View Post
    I tried Eco Earth as my lay box medium but didn't like it. I found that the females were laying about mid way through the substrate and I'd have to dig through and find the eggs. I went back to what I was using before, moss. With the moss, they lay all the way at the bottom so I just lift it up, look and see where the eggs are. Much easier when you've got a large collection of geckos.

    During the breeding season I feed my breeding groups just about every other day. I feed CGD with calcium mixed in. And occasionally I'll do crickets, but I usually do crickets with my younger geckos to help boost growth.
    About once every couple weeks I make a mixture with a little bit of CGD and lots of calcium. About 25% CGD and 75% Calcium. It tastes like CGD but has more calcium and REALLY helps the breeding females. If I've ever had a female with a tail kink, this mixture helps out and brings her tail back to being straight.

    My cresties DONT like phoenix worms. The only gecko that accepted the phoenix worms I just ordered was my female E. Agricolae. My female chewie didn't even like them.

    Good luck,
    -Armen
    Thanks, Armen.

    What kind of moss?

    "During the breeding season I feed my breeding groups just about every other day. I feed CGD with calcium mixed in."

    Looking at your above quote, I was wondering how often you mix calcium in.

    "About once every couple weeks I make a mixture with a little bit of CGD and lots of calcium. About 25% CGD and 75% Calcium."

    WOW. 75% calcium? I'm always paranoid when I mix in calcium about overdoing it. I put enough in that it lightens the CGD by a few shades, but nowhere near 75%. However, if that's what it would take, I'd do it. And I guess when you think about how much cresties eat (very little), it wouldn't be that much calcium in one sitting.

    I may or may not still try the calcium worms. I know my geckos love wax worms.

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