Interested in incubating Leopard Gecko eggs? This guide is for you!
Are you thinking of incubating leopard gecko eggs? Contrary to what you may think, this is an easy process if you are committed and devoted.
To incubate leopard gecko eggs, you should collect them as soon as they are laid. After this, put them in an appropriate incubator. Check on the eggs daily to ensure the temperature and humidity are well controlled. After 35 to 85 days, the eggs will hatch, and you’ll have beautiful baby leopard geckos.
Let’s take you through a step-by-step guide on how best to go about this…
What Do You Need to Incubate Leopard Gecko Eggs?
This is possibly the most crucial requirement for the incubation process to succeed.
Leopard gecko eggs should be stored in a well-constructed incubator, where it is possible to monitor and control temperature and humidity.
You can source a good-quality incubator from a reputable online or live shop. Alternatively, you can embark on a DIY project to make your own incubator using locally available material.
Incubators bought from online and live vendors may be a bit more costly than the one you’d make at home.
But, of course, the vendors save you time and make the work easier for you.
This is the material on which the female leo lays the eggs. Also, you place the eggs on the egg bedding as they incubate.
Most seasoned leopard gecko keepers choose to use vermiculite and peat moss. However, feel free to talk to your vet about your options so you can settle for nothing but the very best for this process.
Also, choose a material medium free of chemicals and parasites not to adversely affect the eggs and the baby geckos when they hatch.
The spray bottle contains the misting water meant to control humidity in the incubator. For the eggs to survive, humidity and temperature need to be right.
Otherwise, the eggs will either collapse or dent.
Use a spray bottle that doesn’t produce too much pressure to prevent harming the eggs. Again, you can make your work spray bottle or purchase one from a credible vendor.
This is the box that houses the female as she lays the eggs. This should be a box measuring 7” (18cm) wide and 4” (10cm) tall.
Ensure that the egg box has a cover to give the female a sense of security. Also, cut a 2” hole at the top for better air circulation within the box.
You can buy an appropriate plastic egg box from a good pet shop. Alternatively, improvise with a used but clean shoebox.
A Measuring Scale
Equip yourself with a small scale from a hardware store to measure 3 ounces of a substrate, which should be matched by 3 ounces of water.
It’s important that you get this ratio correct because using too little water leads to a loss of humidity. The balance between substrate and water should be based on weight, not volume.
Use bottled or filtered water to ensure that everything remains safe for the eggs. You never know what chemicals tap water may introduce in the incubator.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How Best to Incubate the Eggs
After placing the eggs in the incubator, you have to closely monitor them until they hatch. Without this care, the eggs would not survive to term.
#1 – Ensure the Female Gecko Lays the Eggs
This is quite self-explanatory because what will be there to incubate without the eggs? The female need to be about 1 year or older; a younger female may not have attained sexual maturity.
Also, bear in mind that leopard geckos breed from January to September. Therefore, before breeding her, feed load the female with adequate quantities of calcium, mealworms, and Vitamin D.
This will give her the stamina to carry the eggs to term.
Once you’re satisfied that she’s strong enough, introduce her to a male and watch for mating signals. The male will court her by rattling his tail, and the female will give her acquiescence by freezing and locking her eyes on the male.
This is his signal that she’s ready, and he will move in, and they mate.
The female will lay her eggs 2 to 3 weeks after mating. By now, you should have separated her from the male; she should be back in her own tank.
The female leopard gecko lays about 2 eggs per clutch. Therefore, she lays one clutch every 2 to 3 weeks, and up to 5 clutches by the end of the breeding season.
This gives her about 10 eggs per mating, sometimes less.d u Provide the female with an egg box filled with vermiculite or moss where she can rest after laying the eggs.
#2 – Put Up the Incubator
Before the female leopard gecko lays the eggs at the end of the 2 to 3 weeks, the incubator should be put up.
You need to create egg bedding inside the incubator. This is where the eggs will lie for the next 35 to 85 days waiting to hatch.
The condition of the egg bedding and incubator should be perfect, considering that the female leopard gecko will not nurse them.
Use vermiculite or peat moss for the egg bedding. Get these from a reputable vendor to ensure they are free of chemicals and parasites.
At the same time, ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are stable. Humidity levels are stabilized by mixing the egg bedding medium with water.
Also, you need to spray the eggs about 4 to 6 times daily to keep them in the best condition. Although higher humidity is good for the eggs, watch out for mold growth.
The temperature level determines the sex of the hatchlings. High temperatures encourage the production of male hatchlings, while lower temperatures are suitable for all-female hatchlings.
You can also have both genders by subjecting the eggs to temperatures that are neither too high nor too low.
Look at this:
|Temperature in Celsius||Temperature in Fahrenheit||Result|
|<230 C||<740 F||Eggs won’t survive|
|270 C||800 F||All female hatchlings|
|300 C||870 F||Male and female hatchlings|
|320 C||900 F||All male hatchlings|
You must use a specialized egg incubator to consistently maintain the right temperature.
Alternatively, a plastic container would do if you equip the enclosure with heaters, thermometers, and hygrometers.
The key is to constantly monitor the condition in the incubator.
#3 – Relocate the Eggs
As earlier intimated, the female leopard gecko has nothing much to do with the eggs once she lays them.
You cannot count on her to help you care for the eggs. This means you have to move the eggs from the egg box (where they were laid) to the incubator.
Move them ever-so-gently, keeping them in a safe position not to destabilize the embryos inside. Leopard gecko embryos attach themselves to one side of the egg.
Flipping the eggs will either injure the embryo or kill it.
Bury the eggs about two-thirds into the egg bedding. Then, counter-check to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels in the egg box are correct.
Clean the egg box, replace the bedding, and wait for another 2 to 3 weeks for the female leopard gecko to lay a new clutch of eggs.
#4 – Monitor and Control
You have three things to do from now until the eggs hatch: monitor the incubator conditions, make adjustments where necessary, and wait.
This is a critical step of the process. If the temperature or humidity goes off by a few levels, you won’t get the results you hope for.
The wrong humidity breaks the eggs and creates dents. This is why you have to constantly fine-spray them.
However, don’t overdo this, as it may lead to mold growth. If you spot any mold on the eggs, gently swap it off using cotton wool.
Also, check the temperature level several times daily. As earlier noted, a change in temperature changes the gender of the embryos.
Or, worse still, it renders the eggs useless.
#5 – Watch the Eggs Hatch
You’ll know the eggs are about to hatch when they start to crack. But, of course, you must keep track of all 5 clutches of eggs because they’ll hatch at different times – all within the 35 to 85 days period.
You need to birth the new hatchlings as they come out of the eggs. Then, move them to their new homes, where you’ll have set the conditions for survival.
Once all the hatchlings have been relocated, you can know you have successfully incubated leopard gecko eggs to term.
This is not a mean achievement; you need a pat on the back!
Leopard geckos are becoming popular to keep in our homes as cute and fun reptiles. Breeding and caring for this lizard is worth your time.
Seeing these reptiles happy and healthy will fill your heart with joy and great satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are the Most Important Factors for Leopard Gecko Eggs to Hatch?
Correct temperature and humidity settings determine how healthy the hatchlings will be. While temperature dictates the sex of the newborns, the proper humidity makes them thrive.
As such, you must constantly monitor the incubator for these two factors.
How Do I Distinguish a Healthy Leopard Gecko Egg from an Infertile One?
Not all eggs hatched by the female leopard gecko will be fertile. The difference between healthy eggs and infertile ones is in the hardness.
After the egg is hatched, it grows harder with time. Healthy eggs are oval-shaped; you can see the embryo inside if you hold the egg under a light.
On the other hand, an infertile egg is very soft with an uneven texture. Also, these eggs are often shriveled or misshapen.
What Should I Do with the Infertile Eggs of Leopard Geckos?
This depends on whether you have enough room in the incubator. If you don’t have room, get rid of the infertile eggs.
However, if there’s enough room in the incubator, retain all the eggs. Sometimes, eggs that look weak and infertile become fertile with time.
How Long Should I Take Before Interacting with Newborn Geckos?
You have to relocate the newborns to their new homes immediately after they’re hatched. Again, this is for their own safety and wellbeing.
Leave them there for 12 hours to help them adjust to the new world they have found themselves in.
After 12 hours, you can start interacting with them, even for short periods. The more they see you delivering their food, the easier it will be for them to take to you.