Do you have a baby leopard on the way and you are worried you will not be able to take care of it? Worry no more. Leopard geckos are the ideal reptile pets for beginners since they require less effort while taking care and they are generally healthy critters. The baby Leopard Geckos are even more beautiful than their adult counterparts but their needs are different and the owners need to be careful about that. The majority of people love those cuddly pets such as cats and dogs but there are those that need a pet that is easy to maintain. The Leopard geckos are those pets that are oddly adorable that the keepers find easy to clean.
When the baby leopard geckos are born, they are usually very tiny about 3 to 4 inches in length but they later grow to about 7 to 8 inches. When you visit many pet stores, they sell the geckos at a young age so that the owners can body with them as they grow. However, at this stage, the babe geckos have not yet developed a skeletal and immune system and this means they are very vulnerable to diseases compared to adults. It is therefore important to ensure that they are housed and fed properly to prevent them from getting affected by the common juvenile diseases.
If you have deeded you want to keep a baby leopard gecko this is the guide for you. It will give the right guide that you need to follow in the order in order to perfectly raise and take care of your pet.
Making a Home for Baby Gecko
The geckos have ideally housed a 10-to-20-gallon tank but you can also use plastic storage boxes such as those that are used for storing sweaters. However, the box should be at least one foot high to prevent it from jumping out. The ideal tank for a baby leopard gecko should be around 10 gallons but a 20-gallon one is ideal for an adult gecko or if it is storing more than one gecko. If a tank is more than 20 gallons, it will be a be somehow difficult to keep it warm and with the right humidity and this means the baby gecko will not have enough heat and light.
It is also important to have a secure mesh on top to prevent escape and to promote proper ventilation. You can also add some live or dead plants in the enclosure to help maintain humidity and satisfy the desire of the leopard gecko to climb.
Inside the enclosure, it is important to have the substrate but you should avoid substrate such as small pebbles and sand even though this is what is around its natural habitat. This is because they can cause impaction when they are not correctly handled. The lighting and heating are among the most important aspects of geckos’ habitat irrespective of age. They need strict lighting and temperature for them to live a happy long life. The heating can be provided using a heat lamp and you can simulate day and night cycles of around 12 hours instead of leaving the lights on all the time.
The average temperature of the enclosure should be between 77 to 85 degrees F and the hot side of your baby geckos should be between 85 to 94 degrees F. The leopard geckos enjoy low humidity of between 30 to 40 percent and this can be achieved by adding a water dish to the warm side of the enclosure. It is also important to always use a digital hygrometer to monitor the humidity since too low or too high humidity can cause serious health issues to the baby gecko.
To keep the babe geckos more comfortable and happier you can add some accessories inside the tank such as the hiding holes, rocks, and basking areas. It is recommended to have three hiding places for the baby gecko to enjoy the most. One should be placed on the hot side so that the pet can be hiding as it tries to get somebody’s warmth. The second hide should be placed in the humid side and should include sphagnum moss which aids in shedding. The last hide should be placed in the cool part of the enclosure so that the baby gecko can be hiding there when it wants to regulate the body temperature especially when it is too hot.
How to Feed a Baby Leopard Gecko
The leopard geckos are generally carnivores and this means they do not feed on any plant matter but rather they feed on insects and worms. The babies feed more frequently than the adult because during this stage there is rapid development and there is a need for enough food to support the growth. The adults can be fed once a day while the babies can feed more than once. However, these insects and worms should be of the right size because when you feed insets that are so big to a baby gecko they might choke or intimidate and end up stressing them. The experienced keepers recommend keeping the small geckos using the crickets until they are big enough to handle the mealworms and other insects.
These insects you are feeding your baby geckos should be fortified with calcium, vitamins, and minerals through a process known as gut loading. This should be done before they are fed to the geckos to ensure they feed on a balanced diet to support the growth. If you are raising the insects on your own you should ensure that the insects are lightly coated with calcium powder three times a week before feeding them and a vitamin D3 at least 2 times a week and a mineral supplement once a week.
The insets should be provided to the baby geckos in a small dish that is a bit shallow so that the geckos can be able to climb and eat from there. If the geckos are too small to climb into the bowl and eat, they should be hand-fed one insect at a time until it grows large enough to be able to feed on its own. Once the babe gecko has eaten enough insets the rest should be removed especially if the insects are live. The abbey leopard geckos should also be provided with water from a shallow dish. The dish of water also helps increase the humidity around the enclosure as the water evaporates.
A leopard gecko can also be fed on a product called Pepashy superfood Crested Gecko diet as their main diet to help minimize the use of insects. This food is mixed with two parts of water, and the gecko is offered as much of this food as it will eat out of this shallow dish in one sitting three times a week. The food should remain in the enclosure for up to 24 hours before it can be removed. If you decide to use this product to feed your young geckos you should feed them with insects once a week.
How many insets and what size should be fed to baby leopard geckos?
When it comes to feeding baby geckos there are two rules. For every inch of a gecko, it means they should be fed with two insects and this applies to both the babies and the adults. If for instance, your baby gecko is 3 inches it should be fed with 6 insects.
The other rule is about the size of the prey. When feeding many reptiles, it is important to ensure the food is not too large for them. Too large food may lead to choking, impaction, and other health problems for the baby gecko. The size of insects needs to be smaller than the space between the eyes.
How to Hold a baby gecko
The baby leopard geckos are very skittish and therefore handling them can help make them get used to being touch and reduce the fear. However, handling them should be done when they are at least 3 inches long otherwise they may get injured if they are handled regularly at that stage. It is also important to not hold them for the first two weeks when they are introduced into a new enclosure. After they have been in the new home for more than two weeks you can start handling but for a period of up to 15 minutes, a day since too much handling stresses them.
Also, most reptiles have skins that absorb bacteria, germs, and other toxic chemicals, and therefore it is important for anyone who is handling the geckos to use clean their hands thoroughly before handing them. Inversely, some reptiles also carry the bacteria’s causing diseases such as the Salmonella on their skin and it can be transmitted to people as they handle these pets and it is also important to ensure you thoroughly clans your hands after handling these pets be it a baby, juvenile or the adult.
Finally, it is vital to note that the leopards naturally drop their tails as they escape whenever the tails are held by predators, and this means they should be handled with a lot of care since the tails might break off. Most of them will regrow the tails after they break off but they may have a completely different color and shape than the original one or they may develop some infections which might be dangerous to the gecko. IT is therefore advisable to hold the babe gecko on a flat hand while using the other hand to prevent it from the jump in or running away.
baby Leopard Gecko cost
The cost of getting a baby leopard gecko is between 30 to 100 dollars. The price is determined by factors such as the color, morph, and the pattern base of their skin. Besides having a baby gecko, you will need to set up an enclosure and provide all the necessary conditions in the habitat. You will get maybe a 10-gallon tank for a baby gecko and they can vary in price and they can go up to 200 dollars depending 0n the quality. You will also get the substrate to put at the bottom of the cage Nd light that will maintain the heat in the enclosure. This will generally cost you between 50 t 100 dollars. They will also need a diet of insects and other components and the weekly cost will be about 10 to 20 dollars.
Why is the baby Leopard gecko not eating?
It is very normal for baby geckos to refuse to feed when they get into the new homes. This is because they are new and they have not adapted to the new environment. For this reason, the leopard gecko might not eat as it should for up to one month as it tries to learn about the new home. Another reason why your baby may not be feeding might be because you are feeding it with different food from what the previous owner was feeding. You should try feeding them with different types until you get that which they will eat. You can also try to feed it with finer food so that it will be easy for a baby gecko to eat.
It is also important to note that whenever the baby leopard geckos are shedding, they don’t eat before they can shed. Therefore, if you see the color of the baby gecko changing to white it might be starting to shed and the appetite may be lost until the shedding process is complete. It might also be having some parasitic infections, impaction, or other illness that is causing it to lose interest in food. You also need to monitor the temperature and humidity of your enclosure using accurate equipment because wrong conditions might also be the reason.
To encourage the baby leopard geckos to feed especially when they are not you can switch off the light and embrace the natural hunting behavior instead of hand feeding and change the diet.
How can you tame a Baby Leopard Gecko?
The first tip to tame your baby gecko when you bring them into their new home is to avoid doing things too fast. You should move slowly when doing all the activities around the pet whether it is putting your hand in the enclosure to get used to your presence or you want to scoop it up to handle.
Ensure t you avoid surprising your gecko. Always aporic it from the front. Always remember they can bite although they do not cause harm. Surprising your geckos can set you back a few strides back in your efforts to tame the pet.
The baby geckos should not be handled for long. When you are first handling the baby leopard geckos and they are not used to it you should do it for a very short period of approximately five minutes until the gem is used to you. This helps reduce stress which makes the process of taming faster.
Always ensure your baby gecko is safe and secure. It is vital to always ensure you hold the gecko firmly in your hand without squeezing it. This reduces the risk of gecko jumping out of your hands and getting injured.
Signs of a stressed Baby Leopard Gecko
It is important to always keep monitoring your geckos in and out of the tank for any signs of stress. When a gecko is stressed, it will be hard to form a bond with. Some of the signs of stress are tail wagging, lack of appetite, irregular bowel movements aggressiveness, and glass surfing.
If you notice this behavior in your baby gecko it is important you check your actions or the environment you have provided since they may be the reason behind it.
What illnesses do Baby Leopard Geckos get?
It is very unfortunate that many owners do not do good research to establish what are the requirements of a baby gecko before they can bring them home. For instance, most beginners do not know that you have to dust and gut load the insects with vitamins and minerals such as calcium before feeding them with the insects. As a result of this many baby geckos more so those that are indoors and lack the UV light that helps in making vitamin D3 in the skin to help absorb calcium from food end up developing metabolic bone disease.
In this condition, the ratio of calcium to phosphorous is typically less than required and this means the bones do not harden but instead they become soft and spongy and may end up folding or fracturing. They become so weak and can not walk or eat and if this case is not treated, they finally die. As an owner, if you notice these signs it is important to inform a vet so that they can immediately start the calcium and vitamin D treatment. When it is noticed early the treatment is done, they eventually recover fully but if it is too late it might be difficult.
Another common disease to the baby leopard geckos is gastrointestinal impaction and obstruction which is life-threatening. This disease is caused by instances where these pets start feeding on small; bits of sand as they eat the insects from the ground and this sand eventually accumulates in the DI tract causing an obstruction. Eventually, these pits stop eating and become weak, strain to pass stool and at the end, they stop passing it at all. It is advisable to be very careful to observe these signs as early as possible and report them to a vet so that they can be treated immediately. The pets can be saved by severe treatment using subcutaneous fluids, enemas, and oral laxatives.
The final disease that commonly happens to baby geckos is the retention of soft skin shedding that is caused by lack of humidity. When you keep a baby gecko dehydrated for too long, they retain the patches of skin around their toes and eyes which interferes with their vision and ability to catch insects. As a result of this, they stop eating, become too weak and eventually die. When this is detected early and reported to a vet, it can be helped to shed the skin and get hydrated, and it can also be forced to feed until it is able to feed on its own.
Can You keep baby Leopard Geckos with adults?
For those who have had an adult gecko before and are interested in getting another, it is important to note that it is normal for the adult geckos to eat the young ones more so after birth. It is therefore important to separate the baby geckos from the adults to avoid instances of getting g injured. This is because the adult gecko will eat anything that fits in its mouth and this leaves the babies at a risk.
The growth rate of Baby Leopard Gecko
1 month old
This is a baby gecko that has just been hatched. This gecko climbs out of the egg and is then moved to a plastic terrarium. The first time it will shed will be between the 5th and 7th day. Once they have reached the age of one month you can now move them to a larger cage when you know they are feeding and shedding well.
1 to the 3 Month
The baby geckos will start eating at this point and they will shed more frequently. At this stage, the growth is very rapid. You can aid the shedding process by adding sphagnum moss to the moist hide box. They also need enough calcium supplements in this stage to help in the development of bones.
3 to 6 months
At this stage, the baby leopard geckos are big enough and they should be separated. You should avoid keeping the male geckos in the same tank since they tend to get territorial and they may injure each other as they fight for dominance. At this age, you can hour them in an adult-sized enclosure and it is advisable to avoid cohabiting more than one gecko.
6 to 12 months
At this stage, the baby leopard geckos are almost becoming adults. It is vital to separate the males and females to avoid breeding too early since that can be disastrous for a baby gecko.
How to select a Healthy Baby Leopard Gecko
When it comes to selecting a aby gecko there are some factors you need to put into consideration before settling on a gecko. First, the tail and the spine should be straight and d should have all the toes intact. The missing of toes is mainly a result of overcrowding and this means the baby gecko has not been feeding enough due to scrambling for food. This means the pet might have some health problems in the future.
When you look at the baby gecko there should be no visible bone. The tail should be seen and plumb with a clean belly and with no sigh of feces. You also should look at the enclosure where the gecko was housed and check at the feces, they should be dark in color, consistently soft, and should look like little pellets.
Another thing to consider is the mirth you are buying since some like the enigma are considered problematic and it is advisable to avoid them. It is therefore important to take time to know whether the baby leopard gecko you are about to buy is among the problematic ones.
Advantages of keeping the baby Leopard Geckos as pets
- They are very beautiful and attractive.
- They are inquisitive.
- There are easy to care for compared to other reptiles.
- They are friendly, docile, and gentle.
- They are good eaters and enjoy a varied diet
- They have a wide choice of morphs
- The baby geckoes drop their feces at the corner and this makes the cleaning exercise easy.
- They are reasonably small in size and therefore do not take a lot of space.
This article has provided as much information as possible regarding taking care of baby leopard geckos and we hope it will be helpful. The pets stores will mainly sell the geckos at a young age so that they can hacek enough time to bond with owners as they grow. It is however important to have information on how to take care of the baby gecko so that you can bond easily and raise a healthy pet. However, the difference between taking care of babies and adults is very minimal. Follow all the guidelines and you will enjoy the company of your gecko for the longest.