If there’s one thing you have to know about adult female leopard geckos, it’s that they regularly lay eggs. However, if no breeding takes place, these eggs are infertile. But what are you supposed to do with infertile leopard gecko eggs?
You can offer infertile leopard gecko eggs as food to your female leopard gecko. However, you must ensure they are infertile before doing this. If you are unsure if they are fertile, it’s best to check with a breeder first.
When do female leopard geckos lay eggs?
Female leopard geckos start producing eggs when they reach one year old and 50 grams in weight.
Once they meet this criterion, they will produce one or two eggs three to four times a year, particularly during the breeding season.
Keep in mind that the breeding season for leopard geckos is usually from January to September.
So if you have a female leopard gecko that has already met the above-mentioned criteria and you want them to reproduce, this is the best time to introduce them to some male leopard geckos. Otherwise, they will lay infertile eggs.
However, you need to know that even if your female leopard gecko does mate with a male, they may still produce infertile eggs. This is particularly common among female leopard geckos who weigh more than 50 grams.
What makes leopard geckos’ eggs infertile?
Apart from the age and weight of your female leopard gecko, there are other factors that can make them lay infertile eggs:
First time mating
If your leopard gecko is mating for the first time, chances are that they will produce infertile eggs. This can continue to happen the next few times as well because your gecko’s body is still learning how to handle its resources correctly during egg-laying.
If your leopard gecko is sick, they are unlikely to produce fertile eggs. This is because they are currently using all of their energy to stay alive.
Leopard geckos who have a deficiency of vitamin D3, calcium, or any other macronutrient are more likely to produce infertile eggs. Ultimately, laying fertile eggs is a strenuous activity that requires your gecko to be in top shape.
Infertile male mate
While it isn’t that common, this could be the reason why your female leopard gecko is laying infertile eggs.
So if you’re sure that your female leopard geckos are fertile yet they still can’t lay fertile eggs with the male you’re using, it’s time to get another one.
Beyond that, it’s always advisable to provide your female leopard geckos with more than one male to mate with. Studies suggest that doing so increases fertility rates by almost six times.
The more often a leopard gecko breeds, the more likely they are to produce fertile eggs. As such, you have higher chances of getting fertile eggs if you house your female and male leopard geckos together during the breeding season rather than separating them immediately after they mate.
After all, you can easily separate them once you get the number of fertile eggs you want to be laid.
Low sperm availability
One of the most interesting facts about female geckos is that they can store sperm from mating in their bodies for years. So when they can’t lay fertile eggs, it could be because they have run out of sperm reservoirs in their bodies.
3 things you can do with infertile leopard gecko eggs
The 3 ways to deal with infertile leopard gecko eggs are:
- Give them to a reptile pet store or local breeder – these will keep them until they certify that they are indeed infertile then get rid of them for you. They usually accept fertile eggs as well.
- Feed them to your leopard gecko – as cruel as it may seem, female leopard geckos have been known to eat their infertile eggs – some even eat fertile ones. When they do so, they can gain back the nutrients they used to lay eggs in the first place. If you don’t want to go this route though, you can feed the eggs to other reptiles you keep
- Throw them away – this is the only choice you have if you can’t use any of the two above-mentioned methods. Before you do this though, ensure that the eggs are indeed fertile or freeze them for at least one day
How can you tell that leopard gecko eggs are infertile?
Usually, infertile leopard gecko eggs look discolored and wonky – they even feel squishy, like a gel.
On the other hand, fertile leopard gecko eggs are usually a bit firm and have a chalky white appearance.
However, sometimes looks can be deceiving – some gecko keepers have encountered eggs that look fine for a while before suddenly starting to grow mold.
Needless to say, physical appearance and consistency shouldn’t be the only things you look at when determining whether a leopard gecko egg is fertile.
A more accurate approach would be by candling. This is a process by which someone uses a candle or any other light source to check for signs of life such as veins and embryo development.
For best results, candling should be done one week after the eggs have been laid and then every other week after that. Also, it is safer to use a flashlight for this rather than a candle – this will keep you from accidentally roasting the eggs.
All you have to do is hold the light under the eggs while in a dark room. This will allow you to see what is going on inside them.
If you’re worried that you could crush the eggs, you can alternatively leave them where they are and shine a light from the top or sides.
If the eggs are fertile, you will see a spider web of veins and a red/pink dot. On the other hand, infertile eggs will just shine a yellow light through and have no noticeable features.
Ultimately, there are only three appropriate ways to get rid of infertile leopard gecko eggs – by giving them away, feeding them to your pets, or throwing them out. And when it comes down to it, always choose between the first two before opting for the third!