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Thread: Help with crested gecko that wont eat

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    Default Help with crested gecko that wont eat

    Hello all,

    We have have a gecko that is approximately 1.5 years old, but he is no where near the size he should be for this age. We have tried feeding him rapashy and pangea gecko diet as well as crickets but he doesn't seem interested in any of them(in fact he seems like he is afraid of the crickets). We have also tried dead crickets and he didn't eat them.

    We more or less force feed him almost every night with the gecko diet, but he rarely has interest in it. Whenever we have to go away for a night or two we worry that just leaving food in with him won't be enough and he might die because he won't eat it on his own.

    Obviously he is getting enough to survive as he is still alive, but he hasn't grown much since we got him.

    The only thing we havent tried is meal worms as I have heard they aren't good for crested geckos, but maybe at this point it may be worth trying if he wants to eat them.

    Does any one have any suggestions for us?

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    Are you weighing him? I have one gecko who eats when she feels like it but is growing like a snail and doesn't like any bugs at all. In fact shes older than all my geckos and is the smallest but shes healthy just slow growing. You may just have a stubborn grower. Is he shedding occasionally? Do you see poo around his tank? If everything checks out and he's healthy you probably don't have much to worry about.
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    4 questions for you:
    How long have you had the gecko?
    What was it eating previously?
    How long did you give it before you decided it was not eating on its own/decided to "force-feed"?
    Can you provide pics of the gecko?

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    We have had the gecko for over a year.

    We started by just putting CGD in with him, but it didn't look like he ever really ate it. So after a week or so we decided to feed it to him. We got him from the pet store where they feed CGD and mealworms and possibly crickets.

    He does shed, and he does poop.

    Here is a picture of him:
    http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c3...s666/040-4.jpg

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    Some geckos do grow more slowly than others. If you are finding poop, it is eating! It may just be eating less food than you expect it to...

    If it has been on mostly CGD its whole life, it will probably have a slower growth rate than an animal that will also take live food. But your gecko, from the pic, does at least look like it's healthy.

    When you offer the live food, how do you offer it? On tongs? Moving the gecko to a separate cage? In a cup in the enclosure? Etc.

    You may be causing more stress than help with force-feeding, especially nightly. I find that over winter, my geckos do not have much interest in food compared to summertime, and they do not eat every single night.

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    When we offer live food we put it in a seperate smaller cage and put him in with it, and after a while when he does not eat it(and runs away from it) we put him back in his cage and put the crickets in his cage with him. I can't always find the crickets the next morning, but his cage is rather full with plants so they would have plenty of hiding places.

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    Yeah I found that moving them to "feeding tanks" makes most of them more nervous, than anything... when I was feeding crickets, this sounds bad, but I would break one of the back legs off the cricket so it couldn't jump, and put it in a small condiment dish. I'd put the dish next to a rock or something that allowed the gecko to look down into it. I got a lot more geckos eating with this method (I now use feeder roaches which can't climb/jump out of the bowls).

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    Just my two cents, but I'm wondering if his enclosure it too large for him? Do you know his weight?

    Sometimes the smaller guys have difficulty finding food if their enclosure it huge and they're tiny! As Jaybee said, moving him to a feeding tank is probably more stressful than anything. I'm wondering if you set him up in something smaller and provided him with just CGD if he's start eating on his own?
    I used to use a feeding tank for cricket day until I realize my one boy refused to even look at crickets because he was stressed- the first time I decided to put crickets directly in his cage, he went straight for 'em!
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    I would also probably downgrade his enclosure size, seems a little large for him. He may be having issues finding his food.

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    I can only add to what everyone else is saying- he's coming of having eaten CGD his entire life. There's no need to force feed and there's no standard growth pattern in my opinion. I have geckos that are twice as old and half the size of my other animals because of their disinterest in bugs.

    Also, I have only had good feeding responses with live food on my most aggressive bug eaters. Some simply will not eat outside their safety of their own enclosure. I have one girl that is just violent on bugs- but ONLY inside her enclosure. I can't even get her to look at them outside of it.

    As JB suggested- if you don't have roaches, grab some tweezers and pinch the thigh of the crickets leg. This will keep them from hopping all over the place and eating live prey once a week assuming he takes onto them. It should yield a bump in growth most likely.

    Edit: Also, I've never liked having to force feed. I find that the animal will most likely just maintain a weight with force feeding, I've never experienced actual growth when I have attempted it. For the most part- unless you're actually dealing with a gecko that will not eat (as in, you never find poop and they start rapidly decreasing in weight) forced feeding is utterly useless. Potentially dangerous if you're actually pushing the food into the mouth (like with an eye dropper) instead of dabbing it onto the nose.
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