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Thread: My First Hatchlings. One Has Died. How Do I stop the other dying?

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    Default My First Hatchlings. One Has Died. How Do I stop the other dying?

    Hi all. Iím new to breeding Crested Geckos. I Have an adult male and female who are both healthy and thriving. Had them for about 18 months. The female recently laid some eggs which were promptly fished out of the substrate in their tank and into a small hummus pot to incubate with vermiculite as the substrate. The pot was kept at just above room temperature and 65ish days later two tiny geckos hatched.

    After about 24 hours when they were both moving around properly, i moved the babies into a plastic lidded box (with air holes) about 4Ē high, 10Ē wide and 8Ē deep, lined with three or four sheets of dampened kitchen roll, a small section of cardboard tube so they had somewhere to hide, a small milk bottle cap with Pangea gecko food (changed every other day), and another with water.

    They are 16 days old now and one looks fine, very active and I think is eating (or at least has been walking in the food and then all over the place). Iíve seen him licking his face near the food though Iíve not managed to catch sight of him actively eating.

    The other looked a bit slow last night and was opening and closing his mouth wide. I thought he might be shedding and eating it so I left him alone. when I looked in on them this morning, the slower-looking one had died. Thereís also No evidence of shedding.

    No evidence of fighting and I assume they must be eating as theyíre still alive after 16 days and thereís always a bit of mess (its either poo or food theyíve walked in). they are regularly misted so I donít think theyíve been dehydrated, in fact they may have been too wet possibly. Their temperature is always between 70 and 77 degrees (Fahrenheit) and their box has a good amount of condensation on the inside so it looks humid enough.

    I can only think that it may have been starvation, though how would I check that? If they arenít eating, how do I make them eat? Or perhaps they were too cold (whatís the lowest temperature before itís dangerous for them?)

    I would like the other one to not suffer the same fate so is there anything I should do to improve his situation?

    Open to all suggestions.

    Many thanks!

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    Sorry to hear about your hatchling

    A few things stand out from what you wrote- keeping hatchlings together so you donít know if they were both eating. In the future, keep everyone separate so you can monitor each one individually.

    Your temps sound good. Hatchlings have the same range as adults though most keep them away from the extremes.

    As for poop vs. smeared food- maybe raise their dishes an inch or so? Geckos donít usually smear their poop around much so it should be visible.

    Hygrometer would be helpful for gauging humidity. Too much humidity can definitely cause health problems.

    Lastly, hatchlings usually go through their first shed within 24hrs, so Iím sure yours already shed.

    Moon valley reptiles has a very good care sheet for hatchlings that answers a lot of your questions: http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/cr...ted-gecko-care

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    You can "introduce" him to the food by gently putting his nose in it. Look for droppings in the cage which would indicate that he's eating because he's pooping. Some of them are just not meant to survive no matter what you do. I've had this happen with an occasional gecko of all species. In the future I highly recommend keeping hatchlings separate just in case, though I know at least one person on this forum has been very successful in keeping them in groups.

    Aliza

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    Thanks for the advice. I've just 'introduced' the food to him and he has eaten a bit, after a little encouragement. I'll keep an eye on him. I'll remember to keep hatchlings separate in future.

    I think the other one was, as you say, just not meant to survive.

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    One thing that could contribute to death of hatchlings is vermiculite. I use it and don't have issues because I use coarse vermiculite. If you use fine vermiculite you have a high chance of ingestion by hatchlings. I have seen it kill babies. There is a telltale sign... the top of the babies head gets a white cast to it before it passes.
    After you put vermiculite in an incubation container vibrate the container with your hand before adding water. This will get the coarse granules to come to the top where your hatchlings will be. I do this as an extra precaution even with the coarse vermiculite that I use.

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