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First time owner- a few questions!

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  • First time owner- a few questions!

    Hi! I've had my crestie for about five days now. Yesterday morning, while I was misting his cage & giving him his food, I handled him for the first time. I watched lots of tutorials on YouTube and read a lot of articles regarding it; I handled him by gently touching his throat with one finger, which made him walk onto my hand and sit there. Then I did 'stairs' with my hands for him for about two minutes and put him back in his cage. He was very calm being handled but after I put him back I saw that he was breathing very hard from his chest, which I read means he's stressed. He was only doing this when he was back in his cage so I figured I stressed him out and I left him alone for a little while. Every time I looked at him through his tank that day he would walk towards me in his tank/look at me in his tank. Was this him being aggressive or did he want to be held again?

    I thought maybe he wanted to be held again, so I tried again this morning after my normal stuff (misting, fresh water, fresh food) and when I moved my finger towards him he snapped at it like he does when I feed him worms. I do sometimes give him worms by tweasers so I thought he was hungry but when I offered him a worm he wouldn't eat it!

    Is he just mad at me/saying he doesn't want to be held?

    I love him so much, he's very sweet and curious. I worry that I traumatized him in some way by handling him so soon. I got him by the breeder and he was under a lot of stress because he was mailed so I set him up and left him be for about three days before I handled him the first time. Is there anything I can do?
    1.0.0 Harlequin Crestie

  • #2
    You should wait at least 1-2 weeks before handling and should make your handling time when they are awake. Cresties are nocturnal so you should aim for later in the evening as a time to handle, not when they are getting ready to or already sleeping. That could be why you are having problems. Give him more time to settle and establish his new home as his space and make sure he is eating a pooping well. Handling can cause stress which may make them stop eating or take longer to eat if they are already not eating from the stress of moving to a new place. I know it's hard to not spend time with a new pet but give him more time to settle and you may find these problems go away.

    I would also not feed any insects until the gecko is eating the gecko diet well, sometimes they will not want to eat the diet since insects are tastier but it is harder to make sure they get the proper nutrients by only feeding dusted insects (you are dusting and gut loading right?). Also don't feed worms, meal/super worms have too much chitin in them and are hard for cresties to digest. They should eat something like crickets or dubia roaches which have softer bodies.