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  • The breeding process - how do you do it?

    Forgive me if I sound incredibly noobish, but the world of breeding when it comes to morph differentiation is something that eludes me.

    I would like to breed cresteds some day, but need to do a lot more research first, and in the meantime, I just creep on all the breeder's threads here and drool over the pretty geckos.

    I'm wondering if those who are currently breeding/plan to breed in the immediate future and/or have bred in the past could give me some info on the process itself? Not the biological process, but the art of selection and pairing.

    Specifically:

    - How do you decide, out of your geckos, who to breed? Other than the biological factors (e.g. weight, size), of course. Do you pick ones that you think look good and breed to see what he/she can produce? Do you only pick ones with known lineages or morphs in an attempt to pass on a certain gene/trait?

    - How do you decide who to pair up? Is it based on an expected outcome (i.e. you know exactly what morph(s) of hatchlings you'll get out of the pairing)? Or is it a chance to produce a different/unexpected morph (i.e. put two pretty geckos together to see what will result)? And when you have a single gecko and are in the market to purchase a mate, how do you decide what you want (I'm guessing this is where the morph calculator comes into play for the inexperienced)?

    - What do you do in the event of an unknown lineage? i.e. if you purchase a gecko from someone but you don't know the morphs of its parents or siblings? How would decide on who to pair that gecko with? Or would you breed that gecko at all? And if you breed that gecko, how do you determine which traits exhibited by the kids are inherited ones vs. random chance, and therefore determine holdbacks?

    - I've noticed that some breeders choose to only work with one dominant trait or another (e.g. dals, pinners, etc.) and often end up selling the geckos they aren't working with due to this reason. Why is that? Do people commonly only work with one trait to, say, establish a name for themselves, or is it common to spread out and tackle numerous traits?

    Using my two girls as an example, if I chose to breed the one, I could easily track her entire lineage through her breeder as he keeps detailed records on all of his hatchlings. The other gecko, however, was purchased from what I would describe as a "random chance breeder"...she has just a few geckos that she houses together and lets them breed with whomever, and whatever transpired was fine. She couldn't definitively give me any info on my gecko's morph or parents, only speculation. I would have no idea where to even begin if I decided I wanted to breed her.

    Sorry this is long-winded. Any info or advice would be much appreciated.
    ~Cassi

    www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

  • #2
    Also focusing on many different colors will overrun you with geckos and empty your wallets fast XD

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with ^.

      My experience:
      This year was my first year for breeding and was a very random pairing. My male was a dark chocholate harly and my female was a yellow partial dal. Needless to say I have a bunch of random morphed babies but they all turned out great. Lots have been pulling through red coloring as an undertone with lots of paterning from the male coming through on the sides. So I don't think exact matches are required to produce nice geckos but would help in producing the morph your going for.

      That being said I have purchased 2 red extreme harlys and plan to base my 2013 project around them. I will also probably keep my first pair from breeding again for next season to focus in one area for now.

      I would research morphs and find one you love. Then try and find a pair or trio that is in your budget.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for all the info, guys! Very helpful, and very much appreciated!

        A few more questions if I may:

        - Starting off and to gain experience, would it be best to find a male for one of my current females, or would you advise purchasing a known breeding pair? Or even just purchasing two separate adults that look nice to me?

        - And when purchasing mates or pairs, someone on here on a different thread once said that it's best to spend the money and invest in a high-end gecko(s) because regardless of morph and who it's paired with, it'll result in higher quality hatchlings. Is that sound advice? Now for me, I'm not planning on doing this as a full-time investment or to compete with local big breeders and their high quality bloodlines. This would be on a small scale to hatch out some geckos for myself and other locals who are looking for a great pet. While I do want to produce some beautiful morphs, I'm not expecting to necessarily produce breeder-quality animals. If I do, it'll be random.

        - And finally, maybe this is written somewhere, but is it safe to say that gecko genetics work much like human genetics? Dominant traits, even if expressed by only one parent, have a high likelihood of being passed on to offspring whereas recessive traits require both parents to have the gene?

        I'm not even going to pretend to know which traits are dominant or recessive, but for an example that I could understand (and would help me know a bit more about my one female's lineage) how does the Dalmatian gene work? I'm assuming that's a dominant trait, and I know there are Dals, Super Dals, and then geckos with just Dal spotting. Would I be safe to assume that just a single Dal or Super Dal parent will produce a Dal or Super Dal hatchling? If so, then how are geckos with Dal spotting produced...is that due to a recessive gene? Or random chance?

        Thanks again!
        ~Cassi

        www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

        Comment


        • #5
          This year was my first stab at breeding. did two pairs who were all newbies and got fertile eggs the first time around even if one stiffed me with only two eggs of which i'm still waiting to hatch. With my pinners, i took into account their color and structure. One black/cream pinner pair with obvious intentions in creating the obvious and one pair i took a chance not knowing what i'd get in terms of color. So far the results are not too shabby with what i'm getting. The comment of having too many colors is what i got going with my pinners. just makes it more fun to see what will come out of it all I plan to mix and match my pins for the most part. my extreme harley group for 2013 will be for creating the most extreme harley i can create with them. only doing three pairs next year probably. i believe in having an excellent gene pool to start off with if you can afford it. not everyone though can jump into this with high end stuff. aim for what's in your reach and have a goal in mind. as said elsewhere... it's not about making money but enjoying what you're doing as long as you can take care of it all.
          Crested Geckos-somewhere around 118 and 7 eggs cooking
          Leachies (GT and Nuu Ana mixes) 1.2
          Eurydactylodes Agricolae 1.0
          Rhacodactylus auriculatus 0.1.2
          http://www.facebook.com/ntfall.arboreals
          http://www.iherp.com/nightfallarboreals

          Comment


          • #6
            Crestie genes are pretty random. There are a few threads on here about oddball babies; they're fun to check out. From my experience, you can maximize your chances of getting something you want if you breed two cresties of that morph. Lets say you want red dalmations, then breed 2 red dalmations. You'll probably get at least a few babies who look like you want, and some way out in left field depending on the pairing.
            Fired Up Geckos


            I'm making a lot of wildlife and reptile art here!

            Comment


            • #7
              How do you decide, out of your geckos, who to breed? Other than the biological factors (e.g. weight, size), of course. Do you pick ones that you think look good and breed to see what he/she can produce? Do you only pick ones with known lineages or morphs in an attempt to pass on a certain gene/trait?

              At first it is a little bit of trial and error. You can have a gorgeous pair produce strange looking offspring or a 'ok' looking pair produce some great things. Lineage is very important as it tends to show trough on many many offspring. I have had red offspring from yellow x yellow pairs just based upon lineage. That being said a gecko with unknown lineage can be just as fantastic, you just need to do a little more work and pay careful attention to the offspring to see how they turn out and then decide to either switch up the lines, continue them, or just end them all together.

              - How do you decide who to pair up? Is it based on an expected outcome (i.e. you know exactly what morph(s) of hatchlings you'll get out of the pairing)? Or is it a chance to produce a different/unexpected morph (i.e. put two pretty geckos together to see what will result)? And when you have a single gecko and are in the market to purchase a mate, how do you decide what you want (I'm guessing this is where the morph calculator comes into play for the inexperienced)?

              I do a lot of 'put two pretty geckos together and see what will result'. I mean, I always have some sort of idea what will be produced, but just this season I had a partial pin yellow female and bright cream non pinner male create a fantastic full pin/harley offspring. They REALLY outproduced themselves this season and shall therefore stay together. I am a huge sucker for cream (it looks good on any morph!), so for me every male I breed usually has some sort of cream or is cream on cream since the males genes seem to usually dominate the offspring (although in one case of mine no matter what male I pair my female up with the offspring always look about the same, yellow and extra spotty haha). You have to have some sort of basic vision even if it is as simple as "I was creamy offspring" or "I want yellow offspring" and buy a mate based upon that and what would best compliment your female (would love to see some pics!).

              - What do you do in the event of an unknown lineage? i.e. if you purchase a gecko from someone but you don't know the morphs of its parents or siblings? How would decide on who to pair that gecko with? Or would you breed that gecko at all? And if you breed that gecko, how do you determine which traits exhibited by the kids are inherited ones vs. random chance, and therefore determine holdbacks?

              As I mentioned above it really is a bit of a gamble. In this case I breed the gecko, grow out 100% of the offspring to about 20 grams, look at them all, figure out what is most likely from the lineage of the unknown ( what color, pattern, etc they seem to have in common), although I do usually pair them up with a male of known lineage to determine the factors. It is a bit of a chance game as crestie genetics are as clear as mud, but when you end up with offspring you are happy with you know you have a good pair.

              - I've noticed that some breeders choose to only work with one dominant trait or another (e.g. dals, pinners, etc.) and often end up selling the geckos they aren't working with due to this reason. Why is that? Do people commonly only work with one trait to, say, establish a name for themselves, or is it common to spread out and tackle numerous traits?

              Focusing on one trait serves many purposes. 1.) Very few people are interested in mixed traits as they sometimes come out very muddled and unattractive. Like a pinner dalmatian would be great in my eyes, but to actually accomplish it and make a good looking gecko takes a lot of work, but there are examples of it in the past. 2.) It does help to establish a name. Some breeders are known for dals, others for pins, other harelys, it is just up to personal preference there. You can have a couple of trios focusing on different traits, nothing wrong with that, it is just personal preference and space. 3.) Space and money. In order to have your babies be truly sought after you have to produce the absolutely best example of the morph/trait you are after and in order to afford the best of the best breeders it can take a lot of time to find them and money to purchase them. That is not to say that other geckos are not sought after, but it is human nature to want to produce the best of the best and have pretty offspring. Whether that means a strait pin, dalmatian, or mix is a gamble. I personally love mixed morphs, others despise them.

              Starting off and to gain experience, would it be best to find a male for one of my current females, or would you advise purchasing a known breeding pair? Or even just purchasing two separate adults that look nice to me?

              Post pictures of your females. If you want to breed your female no one is going to stop you, just purchase a nice male that compliments her and is to your taste. You can always purchase two separate adults and breed them and start from scratch with whatever morphs/traits you wants to go after. It is really up to you! If your female is quite pretty, I would suggest just finding a nice male. Nice females are much harder to come by (in my experience) than nice males.

              - And when purchasing mates or pairs, someone on here on a different thread once said that it's best to spend the money and invest in a high-end gecko(s) because regardless of morph and who it's paired with, it'll result in higher quality hatchlings. Is that sound advice? Now for me, I'm not planning on doing this as a full-time investment or to compete with local big breeders and their high quality bloodlines. This would be on a small scale to hatch out some geckos for myself and other locals who are looking for a great pet. While I do want to produce some beautiful morphs, I'm not expecting to necessarily produce breeder-quality animals. If I do, it'll be random.

              That is entirely up to you. My advice would be to purchase whatever you want and like. A "high-end" gecko is only defined as such because so many people desire it. I've seen many "high end" offspring that aren't to my taste and plenty that are. That is really up to you to decide. If you want only reds, then buying a male and female from known red lines would be to your advantage instead of buying a random red from a random person, same goes for any other morph. That is what makes a gecko "high end" in my opinion, more guaranteed genetics than the random gecko you can buy at Petco.

              - And finally, maybe this is written somewhere, but is it safe to say that gecko genetics work much like human genetics? Dominant traits, even if expressed by only one parent, have a high likelihood of being passed on to offspring whereas recessive traits require both parents to have the gene?

              Yes and no. I consider spots to be a dominant trait, simply because if one parent is spotted almost all the offspring will have some sort of spots. There are tons and tons of genetic threads!

              I'm not even going to pretend to know which traits are dominant or recessive, but for an example that I could understand (and would help me know a bit more about my one female's lineage) how does the Dalmatian gene work? I'm assuming that's a dominant trait, and I know there are Dals, Super Dals, and then geckos with just Dal spotting. Would I be safe to assume that just a single Dal or Super Dal parent will produce a Dal or Super Dal hatchling? If so, then how are geckos with Dal spotting produced...is that due to a recessive gene? Or random chance?

              I always considered spotted dominant, but without both parents having spots you are going to have a random plethora of offspring. One or two may be super dals like the one parent, most will probably have some spotting, some will have few spots, and some may even be spotless (it happens). The spottier the parents the spottier the offspring from my experience, although I have also had some rather fun results with only one spotted parent.

              Hope it helps and good luck venturing into breeding!
              Formerly the user mikhail

              My IHerp!

              Facebook! - https://www.facebook.com/treetopreptiles

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MkJurassic View Post
                How do you decide, out of your geckos, who to breed? Other than the biological factors (e.g. weight, size), of course. Do you pick ones that you think look good and breed to see what he/she can produce? Do you only pick ones with known lineages or morphs in an attempt to pass on a certain gene/trait?

                At first it is a little bit of trial and error. You can have a gorgeous pair produce strange looking offspring or a 'ok' looking pair produce some great things. Lineage is very important as it tends to show trough on many many offspring. I have had red offspring from yellow x yellow pairs just based upon lineage. That being said a gecko with unknown lineage can be just as fantastic, you just need to do a little more work and pay careful attention to the offspring to see how they turn out and then decide to either switch up the lines, continue them, or just end them all together.

                - How do you decide who to pair up? Is it based on an expected outcome (i.e. you know exactly what morph(s) of hatchlings you'll get out of the pairing)? Or is it a chance to produce a different/unexpected morph (i.e. put two pretty geckos together to see what will result)? And when you have a single gecko and are in the market to purchase a mate, how do you decide what you want (I'm guessing this is where the morph calculator comes into play for the inexperienced)?

                I do a lot of 'put two pretty geckos together and see what will result'. I mean, I always have some sort of idea what will be produced, but just this season I had a partial pin yellow female and bright cream non pinner male create a fantastic full pin/harley offspring. They REALLY outproduced themselves this season and shall therefore stay together. I am a huge sucker for cream (it looks good on any morph!), so for me every male I breed usually has some sort of cream or is cream on cream since the males genes seem to usually dominate the offspring (although in one case of mine no matter what male I pair my female up with the offspring always look about the same, yellow and extra spotty haha). You have to have some sort of basic vision even if it is as simple as "I was creamy offspring" or "I want yellow offspring" and buy a mate based upon that and what would best compliment your female (would love to see some pics!).

                - What do you do in the event of an unknown lineage? i.e. if you purchase a gecko from someone but you don't know the morphs of its parents or siblings? How would decide on who to pair that gecko with? Or would you breed that gecko at all? And if you breed that gecko, how do you determine which traits exhibited by the kids are inherited ones vs. random chance, and therefore determine holdbacks?

                As I mentioned above it really is a bit of a gamble. In this case I breed the gecko, grow out 100% of the offspring to about 20 grams, look at them all, figure out what is most likely from the lineage of the unknown ( what color, pattern, etc they seem to have in common), although I do usually pair them up with a male of known lineage to determine the factors. It is a bit of a chance game as crestie genetics are as clear as mud, but when you end up with offspring you are happy with you know you have a good pair.

                - I've noticed that some breeders choose to only work with one dominant trait or another (e.g. dals, pinners, etc.) and often end up selling the geckos they aren't working with due to this reason. Why is that? Do people commonly only work with one trait to, say, establish a name for themselves, or is it common to spread out and tackle numerous traits?

                Focusing on one trait serves many purposes. 1.) Very few people are interested in mixed traits as they sometimes come out very muddled and unattractive. Like a pinner dalmatian would be great in my eyes, but to actually accomplish it and make a good looking gecko takes a lot of work, but there are examples of it in the past. 2.) It does help to establish a name. Some breeders are known for dals, others for pins, other harelys, it is just up to personal preference there. You can have a couple of trios focusing on different traits, nothing wrong with that, it is just personal preference and space. 3.) Space and money. In order to have your babies be truly sought after you have to produce the absolutely best example of the morph/trait you are after and in order to afford the best of the best breeders it can take a lot of time to find them and money to purchase them. That is not to say that other geckos are not sought after, but it is human nature to want to produce the best of the best and have pretty offspring. Whether that means a strait pin, dalmatian, or mix is a gamble. I personally love mixed morphs, others despise them.

                Starting off and to gain experience, would it be best to find a male for one of my current females, or would you advise purchasing a known breeding pair? Or even just purchasing two separate adults that look nice to me?

                Post pictures of your females. If you want to breed your female no one is going to stop you, just purchase a nice male that compliments her and is to your taste. You can always purchase two separate adults and breed them and start from scratch with whatever morphs/traits you wants to go after. It is really up to you! If your female is quite pretty, I would suggest just finding a nice male. Nice females are much harder to come by (in my experience) than nice males.

                - And when purchasing mates or pairs, someone on here on a different thread once said that it's best to spend the money and invest in a high-end gecko(s) because regardless of morph and who it's paired with, it'll result in higher quality hatchlings. Is that sound advice? Now for me, I'm not planning on doing this as a full-time investment or to compete with local big breeders and their high quality bloodlines. This would be on a small scale to hatch out some geckos for myself and other locals who are looking for a great pet. While I do want to produce some beautiful morphs, I'm not expecting to necessarily produce breeder-quality animals. If I do, it'll be random.

                That is entirely up to you. My advice would be to purchase whatever you want and like. A "high-end" gecko is only defined as such because so many people desire it. I've seen many "high end" offspring that aren't to my taste and plenty that are. That is really up to you to decide. If you want only reds, then buying a male and female from known red lines would be to your advantage instead of buying a random red from a random person, same goes for any other morph. That is what makes a gecko "high end" in my opinion, more guaranteed genetics than the random gecko you can buy at Petco.

                - And finally, maybe this is written somewhere, but is it safe to say that gecko genetics work much like human genetics? Dominant traits, even if expressed by only one parent, have a high likelihood of being passed on to offspring whereas recessive traits require both parents to have the gene?

                Yes and no. I consider spots to be a dominant trait, simply because if one parent is spotted almost all the offspring will have some sort of spots. There are tons and tons of genetic threads!

                I'm not even going to pretend to know which traits are dominant or recessive, but for an example that I could understand (and would help me know a bit more about my one female's lineage) how does the Dalmatian gene work? I'm assuming that's a dominant trait, and I know there are Dals, Super Dals, and then geckos with just Dal spotting. Would I be safe to assume that just a single Dal or Super Dal parent will produce a Dal or Super Dal hatchling? If so, then how are geckos with Dal spotting produced...is that due to a recessive gene? Or random chance?

                I always considered spotted dominant, but without both parents having spots you are going to have a random plethora of offspring. One or two may be super dals like the one parent, most will probably have some spotting, some will have few spots, and some may even be spotless (it happens). The spottier the parents the spottier the offspring from my experience, although I have also had some rather fun results with only one spotted parent.

                Hope it helps and good luck venturing into breeding!
                Thanks so much! You've been incredibly helpful, and what you've said makes sense to me.

                Here's a link to my geckos. The girl in the first set of pictures is the one I was thinking could be good to breed, but I'm not sure:

                http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...UW)&highlight=
                ~Cassi

                www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cassicat4 View Post
                  Thanks so much! You've been incredibly helpful, and what you've said makes sense to me.

                  Here's a link to my geckos. The girl in the first set of pictures is the one I was thinking could be good to breed, but I'm not sure:

                  http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...UW)&highlight=
                  She's absolutely breeding quality in my eyes! See for her, you could either buy a very creamy and yellow male (maybe even a yellow pin male now that there are more on the market?) and you could probably get some high % pinner yellow cream balls, or go the opposite route and get a super dal boy of some color, yellow, cream, or both and accentuate her spotted trait and create some nice dalmatians If you like spots, I'd go that route, you could get some super fun colored dals that would be really interesting to watch grow!
                  Formerly the user mikhail

                  My IHerp!

                  Facebook! - https://www.facebook.com/treetopreptiles

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It would be a crime to not breed that lady!!
                    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/svalnahel?feature=mhee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MkJurassic View Post
                      She's absolutely breeding quality in my eyes! See for her, you could either buy a very creamy and yellow male (maybe even a yellow pin male now that there are more on the market?) and you could probably get some high % pinner yellow cream balls, or go the opposite route and get a super dal boy of some color, yellow, cream, or both and accentuate her spotted trait and create some nice dalmatians If you like spots, I'd go that route, you could get some super fun colored dals that would be really interesting to watch grow!
                      Awesome, thanks! I really like your suggestions for the male...it'll be a tough decision, but I really do like spots so I'm thinking I'll look into a creamy spotted male at first. Although the more I see pinners, the more I'm drawn to them too...
                      ~Cassi

                      www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

                      Comment

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