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  • Make a handfed gecko eat by himself

    Hi everyone,

    I really need help in how to turn a hand fed gecko into eating for himself.
    I REALLY messed it up from the start by hand feeding him insects with a tweezer before he was eating Pangea as a juvenile.
    I'm to blame and I am so angry with myself for not realizing that would totally mess him up.

    My two main questions I greatfully need help with -

    - Strategies in how to make a handfed gecko eat for himself
    - How to make a gecko increase a non existing interest in fruit and CGD.

    How do you teach a gecko to eat from a cup when he only backs off when you hold it infront of him?

    If I put in cups of food in the terrarium and close the doors he just sits and doesn't even understand that there are a ton of food in there if he just looked! He isn't curious about the cups, he isn't curious about what might be there to eat.
    He just sits and wait for me to come with insects, no matter how hungry he is after not being fed for a week.


    If it's not given to him with he tweezer or the tip of a spoon, he doesn't litterly understand how to eat!!!!!

    So 8 months later I am now more or less desperate and need all advices and suggestions there is.
    I have some posts here in the forum already what I've tried without any success. Maybe more readers see this post also and fill the thread with lots of tips, I really hope so!
    Last edited by TyRe04; 10-11-2019, 03:41 AM. Reason: Wrong spelling, sorry.

  • #2
    I would suggest not giving into temptation and just letting him go hungry for a while. He will eat from a cup when he is ready. I doubt he will starve. A couple years ago I had a baby gecko and I was concerned he wasn’t eating so I would hold cgd in front of his face to eat which he did but it was so frustrating to do that every day. So finally I just let it go and said to myself, you will find the food and eat. And here we are two years later with a healthy gecko. But definitely my smallest gecko of all my geckos. But that’s a different story. My other geckos are about 60 grams and this one is not even up to 30 grams for in about
    two years. Just a small guy but eats his cgd and bugs. So just be patient and try to resist hand feeding. Good luck. I breed a couple of my adults and when I put the babies in thier hatchling containers I just put the food in and they find it. It’s nature

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Turtmcgurt View Post
      I would suggest not giving into temptation and just letting him go hungry for a while. He will eat from a cup when he is ready. I doubt he will starve. A couple years ago I had a baby gecko and I was concerned he wasn’t eating so I would hold cgd in front of his face to eat which he did but it was so frustrating to do that every day. So finally I just let it go and said to myself, you will find the food and eat. And here we are two years later with a healthy gecko. But definitely my smallest gecko of all my geckos. But that’s a different story. My other geckos are about 60 grams and this one is not even up to 30 grams for in about
      two years. Just a small guy but eats his cgd and bugs. So just be patient and try to resist hand feeding. Good luck. I breed a couple of my adults and when I put the babies in thier hatchling containers I just put the food in and they find it. It’s nature
      I promise, no more hand feeding until he's eating cgd well and has for a very very very long time, to not risk a setback! Or ever!
      I'm at that point where I am so fed up with just mixing cgd and throw it away I think it will - with your feedback, thank you! - most likely have no problems seeing him looking miserable and blue when waiting for me to feed him.
      I have not weight him but two months ago he was only at 4 gram and he grows very very slowly, so hopefully this starvation test will not cause him any health issues when having only such low weight already.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yea that is a small gecko. But they do all grow at different rates. I’m sure all will go ok!

        Comment


        • #5
          I too believe that that is the course you have to take, just hold off completely. Animals only starve themselves if they are seriously ill.
          I only just got my first crestie a month ago and as i understand it, it only had access to food when the breeder was handling it. Thus i bought a 6 month+ crestie at somewhere between 2 and 2,5g. I know i should have questioned it especially at he price i paid. So I've been quite worried myself that he wouldn't eat after reading so much about people trying to TEACH their animals to eat on their own. Anyway, I guess I am lucky he started eating from a milk cap on the 3rd night at my place and has gained at least 0,43g in the last month. (didn't know weight when i got him home) I understand the frustration though when an animal doesn't eat. I had a cat that didn't eat for 6 months. Couple of years later he's gone, something seriously wrong with him but no one could tell me what.
          But cresties have a lot more instinct than domesticated animals do. When they get REALLY hungry they WILL look for food and eat whatever edible thing they come across. Survival instinct will kick in. I only say this based on things I've read(everything on the net i feel lol) and general knowledge (educated) and experience in animals. I don't have any other own experience with reptiles, but it feel like logic to me. Since he does eat when you feed him live insects with tweezers I am positive that there is nothing physically wrong with him that would prohibit him from eating. I've read that juveniles will favor insects, and it can also be based on seasons. And since it's seen quite often that cresties fed ONLY on an insect diet often end up with health issues, I really understand your fears.
          I know it will be oh so hard to watch him not eat night after night after night. But hang in there for a while. Please keep us updated on this!

          Comment


          • #6
            You can TRY this...hold the insect in the tweezers RIGHT OVER THE PANGEA BOWL - as close as you can get it to the food. Do that for a couple of feedings. Then put the tweezers with the insect RIGHT IN THE PANGEA. Do that for a couple of feedings. He'll get a taste of it, and know that it's food and where it is. It will take some patience, but it may have a good outcome, and might make you feel a little better not going cold turkey entirely. You may waste some Pangea at first, same as if you just quit feeding insects, but consider it an investment in the future health of your gecko. Do let us know what happens.
            Eileen
            TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
            Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

            Comment


            • #7
              Going cold turkey may not be the best idea right away. I know, it's just a gecko but man did he look sad and confused all late afternoon and durig the night he sat in a corner, which he never done before, right next to the glass door, just waiting for me to feed him insects. If you look to the right on the picture, on the pool noodle, there are two milk cups with Pangea mixed with dried black soldier fly lavae and also Repashy fruit. He sat next to them yesterday evening, noticed them clearly but payed zero interest in either of them. He left them and spent the night glued to the corner waiting for me!!!!

              TAD, good idea, I will try more often with holding the Pangea bowl under him when feeding, even though that will surely not change anything regarding the zero apetite for cgd.
              - WHAT IF (seriously now) he simply just doesn't like cgd??? Some geckos doesn't like some brands, some doesn't want it loose or hate water melon but loves Pangea figs (and so on). WHAT IF?? I have read some articles saying just that, that some may not be into cgd and only feed on insects.

              Now he had not eaten insects or anything (or pooped) for 3 days.

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't move the Pangea to him when you feeding - hold the insects over where you have the CGD. You're mixing the CGD with water to a ketchup consistency, correct? If you have different flavors, you can try mixing them up a little - you don't have to make a lot, either. I mix 1/3 tsp of CGD with 1/3+ tsp water every other day, and they seldom finish it, but they do eat some. Because we can't give them everything they would eat in the wild, they have to get their vitamins and minerals from other sources, and the CGD provides that. So, keep trying.
                Eileen
                TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
                Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vidja View Post
                  I too believe that that is the course you have to take, just hold off completely. Animals only starve themselves if they are seriously ill.
                  I only just got my first crestie a month ago and as i understand it, it only had access to food when the breeder was handling it. Thus i bought a 6 month+ crestie at somewhere between 2 and 2,5g. I know i should have questioned it especially at he price i paid. So I've been quite worried myself that he wouldn't eat after reading so much about people trying to TEACH their animals to eat on their own. Anyway, I guess I am lucky he started eating from a milk cap on the 3rd night at my place and has gained at least 0,43g in the last month. (didn't know weight when i got him home) I understand the frustration though when an animal doesn't eat. I had a cat that didn't eat for 6 months. Couple of years later he's gone, something seriously wrong with him but no one could tell me what.
                  But cresties have a lot more instinct than domesticated animals do. When they get REALLY hungry they WILL look for food and eat whatever edible thing they come across. Survival instinct will kick in. I only say this based on things I've read(everything on the net i feel lol) and general knowledge (educated) and experience in animals. I don't have any other own experience with reptiles, but it feel like logic to me. Since he does eat when you feed him live insects with tweezers I am positive that there is nothing physically wrong with him that would prohibit him from eating. I've read that juveniles will favor insects, and it can also be based on seasons. And since it's seen quite often that cresties fed ONLY on an insect diet often end up with health issues, I really understand your fears.
                  I know it will be oh so hard to watch him not eat night after night after night. But hang in there for a while. Please keep us updated on this!
                  Thank you for feedback and for understanding my concern. Yes he might get MBD if this continues and I will have no chanse to do anything about it. Living on only insects, even if they are dusted with D3 + reptile vitamines, will in the long run not be a healthy diet. I fear he will never change and find interest in cgd as it hasn't happend yet for 8 months. He's as interested in cgd as I am in eating earth worms...
                  Yes I'll keep you updated!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TAD View Post
                    Don't move the Pangea to him when you feeding - hold the insects over where you have the CGD. You're mixing the CGD with water to a ketchup consistency, correct? If you have different flavors, you can try mixing them up a little - you don't have to make a lot, either. I mix 1/3 tsp of CGD with 1/3+ tsp water every other day, and they seldom finish it, but they do eat some. Because we can't give them everything they would eat in the wild, they have to get their vitamins and minerals from other sources, and the CGD provides that. So, keep trying.
                    I just managed to make him eat 3 dubia from the cup on his own when I held the cup infront of him.
                    He is sooo hungry and after about half an hour of trying to hold the cup infront of him and him running away, to then come back, he finally attacked and grabbed the dubia. So this time he ate for himself more or less.
                    However, Pangea in itself, as food and as the main supplement, is still a mystery in how to make him eat and enjoy and that's my main goal in trying to fix.

                    Yes the Pangea is ketchup consistency and I've also tried to make it more lose and even tried dry powder. Doesn't matter, no interest. Tonight there are 4 different cups with different brands and flavours served.
                    This is really a odd and strange gecko, I must say!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OK, if he is eating out of the cup, that is great, but now don't move the cup to him. MAKE HIM GO TO IT. After he knows where the cup is, and as I said in my earlier post, feed in insects directly over the cup - or partially IN the CGD, for maybe a week. Then - no more insects until he starts eating the CGD, and then only as a treat.
                      Eileen
                      TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
                      Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's the thing and I wrote it in my other post. I have dipped the insects in wet cgd mix (+D3 and reptile vitamines) before giving it with the tweezer for 8 months, just to let him get some nutrition and to hopefully make him find the taste for cgd.
                        That didn't work.
                        And over last night I had a bowl of Pangea with crushed and shopped black soldier fly larvae in, he did not even look at it.
                        So it doesn't matter if I hold a cup of Pangea next to him, he backs off if he smells it's not insects. I can't force him to eat!

                        So now I get mixed up here - should I keep the cup with dubia in for the night and let him find it himself, or should I remove it and only let Pangea be there?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They usually will not eat insects if they are not moving, so I would not leave the dubia in it, just leave the CGD in the bowl. I would also just leave one or two bowls out, not four. He will find it if he is really hungry. I think you have too high expectations. He may not go to the CGD for a while because he is too conditioned to getting his food from you. It may take weeks for him to re-learn. Geckos can go for a long time without eating. A really long time. One or two nights may not make any difference, but I am betting he will eat when he is hungry enough.
                          Eileen
                          TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
                          Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is a time difference from my post to you answer so tonight I let a cup of 5 very small dubia (dead) stay over night right next to a cup of Pangea. He's never had an issue eating insects that's not moving, he goes crazy regardeless when he gets them.
                            And well sure enought, this morning I find him fast alseep in his little nest - and the cup with dubia is cleaned empty.
                            The Pangea is completely untouched though. So at least now I know for sure the little stubborn monster can eat insects from a bowl (which is a progress). I'll wait a week now until I feed him a few insects again, just to maintain his protein and D3 supply, and hopefully these new routines and my new handling with make him become more of a natural gecko and seek all food he can get (Pangea...). Yes I will only keep one cup of Pangea in from now on, you're right.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Out of interest, are you gut-loading the insects you feed your crestie? Have you tried gut-loading the insects with Pangea? This could be another way to get your gecko used to the smell and flavour of CGD.
                              3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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