Eggs contain many important nutrients that your Leo happens to need. In this blog post, we will explore if leopard geckos can eat eggs and what type of eggs are best for them. We will also provide some tips on how to safely feed eggs to your leopard gecko.
Leopard geckos can eat eggs occasionally, but it is not part of their normal diet. Leopard geckos are primarily insectivores. Interestingly, females have been known to eat their own eggs if the egg is infertile.
Why Would a Leopard Gecko Want to Eat an Egg?
There are two reasons why a leopard gecko would want to eat an egg:
- To get some much-needed calcium
- To get rid of a bad egg in the clutch.
Leopard geckos may eat their eggs if the egg is infertile. Female leopard geckos do this out of necessity to keep the clutch clean before covering it with debris and leaving it.
Geckos with calcium or vitamin deficiency are more likely to eat eggs.
Which brings us back to the first reason why a leopard gecko would want to eat an egg. It’s simple. Eggs are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, iron, high-quality protein, and other nutritional goodness that is hard to pass up.
Count Your Eggs and Don’t Leave Them Unattended
Given a chance, a leopard gecko will eat an egg for its nutritional value.
It doesn’t even matter if it’s their own egg or not.
This is why you should separate males and females after mating. And as soon as the female lays her eggs, remove her or the clutch from the enclosure. Don’t worry; leopard gecko females won’t win an award for best parent of the year.
They pretty much abandon the eggs and go about their business as soon as they’re laid. They will make an effort to cover it with some loose debris, but that’s about all the extra parental care they will give to their future offspring.
Don’t be surprised if you only have one leopard gecko and still end up with a clutch of eggs. Females are known to lay eggs without the benefit of mating. You might not even notice there were eggs there in the first place. Read our article on leopard gecko eggs here.
Female leopard geckos are more likely to eat dud eggs than leave them cluttering up their living space. Male leopard geckos can also eat eggs, and that’s why it’s essential to separate them at once after mating.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Chicken Eggs?
Whole? No. Chicken eggs are way too large for their mouths. Even smaller eggs from smaller birds like quails are too large.
But there are many ways that you can feed an egg to your leopard gecko.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how you cook it. You could boil it, scramble it into an omelet or fry it sunny side up and they’re still going to ignore it completely.
You see, leopard geckos are particularly fond of live food. Live food moves. A cooked egg doesn’t.
That, and the fact that they’re insectivores, will make feeding them a chicken egg challenging. But don’t despair. It can be done.
Just remember one thing: leopard geckos are active hunters. They will run-up to their prey and grab it with their jaws. What you need to do is simulate a prey item’s movement to catch your pet’s attention.
You will need a pair of tweezers and some patience to feed an egg to your leopard gecko. Just cut little portions of the egg (enough to fit your gecko’s mouth), hold it with your tweezer, and entice your pet to eat it by holding it in front of its face and moving it from side to side or shaking it.
That should trick your leopard gecko into attacking and eating the egg as if it was alive.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Egg Shells?
Leopard geckos can eat powdered egg shells without any problems. Egg shells are a great source of calcium for leopard geckos. You can feed them the powdered eggshells by mixing it with their food or dusting it over their food.
Egg shells also contain other nutrients that can be beneficial to leopard geackos, such as phosphorous and magnesium. So, not only do they provide your leopard gecko with the calcium it needs, but they also help to keep its overall health in check.
If you are a breeder, it is a good idea to keep a bowl of powdered egg shells near your breeding enclosure. This will allow you to supplement the calcium levels of your leopard geckos, should they start eating their eggs.
Just make sure to feed the egg shell in powered form. Whole egg-shells can be difficult to eat and digest for your Leo.
What Happens When Your Pet Can’t Have Eggs or Calcium?
Reptiles are very good at hiding what ails them. In the wild, showing any sign of weakness equals a death sentence.
As a responsible pet owner, you have to check for signs of health problems regularly. Since we’re talking about calcium deficiency, here’s how to spot that in your leopard gecko:
Early signs that your leopard gecko is suffering from calcium deficiency include lethargy, lack of appetite leading to weight loss, and twitching toes.
Left untreated, your leopard gecko could develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). This means your gecko is pulling the calcium from its bones and redistributing it into its bloodstream to keep the blood calcium levels up.
A leopard gecko with MBD is prone to fractures. In some cases, geckos develop seizures or become paralyzed. Those that are not cared for eventually succumb to the condition and die.
Other things to look out for:
- Bowed legs
- Shortened snout
- Stunted growth
- Swollen limbs
- Rectal prolapse
- Curved spine
If you see any of these signs, consult a veterinarian or increase your pet’s calcium intake, no matter how mild.
Related: Are leopard geckos omnivores?
Instead of Eggs, Give ‘em Some Calcium… Mmmm
So, how do you treat a calcium-deficient pet?
The most obvious answer is to reintroduce calcium into its system. You can get this information from your veterinarian for the dosage and duration of treatment.
Since every leopard gecko’s condition is unique, let’s focus on the other aspects of calcium introduction, such as administration or how to get your leopard gecko to have more calcium in its diet.
Wait… Is That Gut Loaded?
One method you can use to increase your gecko’s calcium intake is by gut loading the insects before you feed them to your leopard gecko.
Gut loading is the process of feeding your insects food with high nutritional value. This is usually done 24 hours before feeding the insects to your gecko to ensure each one has had its fill of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it will then pass on to your pet.
Eat My Dust
Another way that you can introduce vital vitamins and minerals for your leopard gecko’s development is through calcium dusting. This involves a process of coating the insect with a powder that has vitamins and minerals (including calcium) and feeding it to your pet.
The best method is gut loading, followed by calcium dusting out of the two. Eggs are a hit or miss for these tiny creatures because they like their food moving.
Crickets and dubia cockroaches are best for that because they already contain calcium and are part of your leopard gecko’s natural diet.
But whatever you do, never feed your leopard gecko raw eggs.
Now you know that leopard geckos can eat eggs and their benefits from it. Despite it not being a part of their regular diet, eggs are essential food items that humans and animals alike should eat.
Eggs are a natural source of high-quality protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. More importantly, calcium.
But, if you really must introduce calcium into your pet’s diet, you’re better off feeding it gut-loaded or calcium-powdered insects.