May 01, 2019 2 min read
How much to feed your crested gecko is very commonly asked question, and one without a simple one size fits all answer. Generally speaking, you can feed young and growing crested geckos as much as they will eat since they tend to use every calorie for growth. Adult female geckos that are actively breeding have relatively high caloric requirements as well and also need a constant source of calcium for egg production.
I see two distinct and disturbing trends when it comes to feeding crested geckos. The first trend is overfeeding. The people that engage in overfeeding tend to view their overweight geckos as healthy and robust. In reality, they should probably cut back on the amount of food they are offering or the frequency that they are offering the food. Overweight geckos are prone to more health issues and generally have shorter lifespans. One potential health issue for overweight geckos is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease rears it's ugly head when an overweight, inactive gecko suddenly stops eating, whether due to illness or lack of food. The gecko's body sends the fat to the liver to be processed for energy but the liver cannot handle the influx of fat and the gecko ends up with fatty liver. Keeping your geckos at an ideal weight and making sure they remain active is the best prevention of this disease. Ideal body weight is one where the gecko that does not show any ribs or pelvic bones (hips) and looks robust and healthy. An overweight gecko will have excess fat and may even have rolls. In the case of obesity, the fix is simple. Decrease the amount of food offered, but still offer food regularly.
The second trend I see is gross underfeeding. It has become commonplace for some people to recommend feeding geckos only 2-3 times per week. In the wild, geckos will eat much more frequently as they come across opportunities to feed. It is much healthier to offer food at least 5 times per week with 4 times being the minimum and only when weight control is a factor. Generally, we recommend feeding the Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Gecko Diets 3-4 days per week and live insects 1-2 days per week. Which version of Pangea to offer depends on your gecko's preference. All of the diets are suitable as your gecko's main source of food. Live insects are a great way to vary the diet and will also force geckos to become active and hunt. This provides necessary exercise as well as mental stimulation. It is important to keep an eye on your gecko and not be afraid to adjust the feeding schedule based on the weight and condition of your geckos. We can provide guidelines but you need to be aware of changes in your animals and make adjustments based on your observations.