If you plan to breed your leopard geckos to create babies, you must learn how to incubate them properly.
After all, how you do this will determine the gender of the baby geckos you get and their health.
Fortunately, we are going to guide you in today’s post.
What you will need
Water: you will need this to keep the incubator humid. If its humidity levels are low, the eggs can begin to collapse.
Spray bottle: this will help you apply the water. While it doesn’t matter what type of spray bottle you use, it’s important to avoid applying too much pressure on the eggs.
This can break them, especially since you’ll have to spray them several times each day. If you notice damage caused by low humidity, you will have to spray them around five times a day until they recover.
Incubator: this can be a premade incubator from a store or something you make at home using a container.
While the former is costly, it usually comes with several features that make the incubation process easier. Some popular features are a heating element, thermostat, and LCD.
Egg box: this is a box where the leopard gecko lays its eggs before they are put in the incubator.
Some people use a shoe box for this or even a plastic container. Either way, this box needs to be at least 4 inches tall and 7 inches in both length and width.
It also requires a hole at the top; this will make your gecko more comfortable.
Substrate: this will provide a surface upon which your gecko will lay its eggs, and they will be stored during incubation. Popular substrate options for incubation are vermiculite and peat moss. Whichever substrate you choose, ensure that you get it from a pet store. This will keep you from ending up with something that has chemicals or parasites
Get your leopard gecko to lay eggs
Before you can do anything, you must get your female leopard gecko pregnant. This means you must get them to mate during the breeding season.
This is usually from January to September. Remember, you can only do this once your gecko has reached sexual maturity; around one year old.
Your leopard gecko will also need to be healthy. So you’ll need to ensure it’s eating enough food and getting the necessary supplements. That’s why some reptile owners leave several mealworms in their pet’s tank every day for 7 to 10 days before they try breeding.
Once your female gecko is ready, it’s time to place it in a male leopard gecko’s tank and wait for it to mate.
Generally, the mating process takes two to three minutes. Before this happens, the male leopard gecko will usually rattle its tail before approaching the female if it seems to be interested.
Eventually, the male will bite the female, and the two will mate.
Once this is done, you’ll need to remove the female leopard gecko and take it back to its tank.
After all, these geckos can store sperm in their bodies for the entirety of the breeding season. However, they will usually lay eggs around 3 weeks after mating.
As such, you should place your female leopard gecko in the egg box you created immediately after mating. Just ensure that it has a 5 cm layer of substrate beforehand.
Put the incubator together
As you wait for your female leopard gecko to lay eggs, get to work on the incubator. If you just got one at store, you just need to look for a suitable place to put it.
But if you choose to make your own, get a plastic box and lay 5 cm of the substrate at its bottom.
Ensure that you also spray some water on the substrate. Another thing to remember is to make some holes in the container’s lid.
You’ll also need to get some heaters and thermometers. Remember, temperature determines the survival of the eggs and the gender of the babies formed.
The incubator temperature needs to be above 74 degrees Fahrenheit for your eggs to survive.
When the temperature is maintained at 79℉ to 81℉, female baby geckos are hatched.
You get male leopard geckos when it’s maintained at 88℉ to 90℉.
On the other hand, temperatures of 85℉ to 87℉ produce a mixture of female and male leopard geckos.
Place the eggs in the incubator
Once the eggs are hatched in the egg box, remove the box and place the eggs one by one into the incubator.
Ensure that you don’t turn them over. Also, make sure you bury them halfway in the substrate. Once you have done this, seal up the incubator and ensure that it’s at the right temperature.
Afterward, you can clean the egg box and take it back to your leopard gecko’s tank in preparation for the next batch of eggs.
Wait and see
After the eggs are in the incubator, you only have to wait and see.
Keep monitoring the temperature and humidity.
Also look out for any mold growing in there. You’ll know that the eggs are hatching when they start cracking.
At this point, you should help them when they seem stuck. Also, immediately move babies from the incubator to the tanks you bought for them.
When incubating leopard geckos, just be patient, attentive, and careful. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if it’s your first time.