Crested geckos are one of the easiest reptile species to feed, which is one of the reasons crested gecko husbandry is quite simple. They don’t require their keepers to mix veggies methodically to provide optimum nutrition, nor do they require mice, rats, or other large prey, as do many snakes and lizards.
In a nutshell, a crested gecko’s diet should include:
- Crested gecko food for sale i.e, commercial (MRP)
- Insects as a delicacy
- As a treat, fruits, and veggies
- Mineral and vitamin supplements (if necessary)
You can try feeding a diet of gut-loaded insects and fruit if you keep to their normal diet. This will necessitate a little more thought and effort on your part.
More often than not, crested gecko owners – especially those who are new to crested gecko care – will benefit from purchasing commercial crested gecko diets and supplementing with insects and fruit.
Crested Gecko Diet
Your crested gecko’s health and longevity are dependent on a balanced diet. You have two options for your crested gecko’s diet:
• Natural diet based on insects and fruits
This diet closely resembles the food of the crested gecko in its native habitat. Although crested geckos are omnivores, research has shown that in the wild, most crested geckos eat fruit and nectar.
• Powder/granulate meal replacement diet
This diet supplements commercial crested gecko food with insects once a week, as well as worms and fruit as a treat.
What is the difference between these two types of diets? Why don’t we just feed the crested gecko what it eats in the wild?
Such a diet, on the other hand, necessitates the measurement and balance of many nutritional values (for example, the calcium/phosphorus ratio). For new crested gecko owners, the “natural” diet is not recommended.
Commercial crested gecko food is simpler to prepare and contains the majority of the nutrients your crested gecko requires to stay healthy. Gut-loading and dusting insects and worms and including them in the diet will supply additional vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to offer your crestie fruits on this diet, but it can’t hurt to provide them as a treat.
Crested Gecko diet in captivity
Cresties are well-known for being able to survive completely on premix powder foods. And may you live long and happy lives.
However, for me, the mental, visual, and bodily stimulation provided by a crestie insect cannot be duplicated in any other way. So, removing them entirely from a feeding regimen, in my opinion, is a significant impediment to what a crestie has evolved to require over millions of years.
However, these premixes are fantastic in addition to the insects available. It’s as simple as adding water to the powder and stirring until a little runny ketchup-like consistency is achieved.
Crickets and roaches are the ideal insects to feed your crested gecko, and these should be your pet’s mainstay insects. Super worms, Phoenix worms, mealworms, wax worms, and silkworms, on the other hand, are fine to feed your pet on occasion. To avoid impactions, only feed your lizard insects that are no longer than the distance between his eyes.
The majority of caged lizards will survive if they are fed a varied diet. This aids in the prevention of dietary deficits while also likely providing some mental stimulation.
Crested Geckos Diet in the Wild
Crested geckos are omnivore lizards that eat a variety of plant and animal-based diets. Unfortunately, there has been little research done on the specific items they eat in the wild, but we can make some educated assumptions.
Because crested geckos are nocturnal, they are more likely to feast on nocturnal insects than diurnal ones. Various roach species are expected to make up a large portion of their diet, although moths, spiders, and crickets are also likely to play a role.
We know that crested geckos eat fruit and flower nectar, but just like their invertebrate prey, we don’t know which species they prefer.
Juvenile & Hatchling Crested Geckos Diet
Young crested geckos will thrive on a diet similar to that of adults. When feeding juvenile lizards, just make sure you use the right kind of little insects. To limit the risk of impactions, it’s probably best to avoid feeding juvenile crested geckos mealworms or super worms.
Young crested geckos are fed a more insect-based diet than adults by certain caretakers. Because insects contain a lot of protein, this could help the newborn lizards develop faster.
It’s worth noting that hatchling crested geckos frequently avoid feeding for several days after hatching. During this time, they’ll rely on the nutrients provided by the egg yolk, which they’ve only recently finished digesting.
The majority of them will start feeding in three to five days, usually after their first shed.
What kinds of fruits can a Crested Gecko eat?
When you look into their natural diet, you’ll notice that it’s primarily comprised of insects. Fruit, on the other hand, continues to play an important role in cresties’ natural diet. As a result, it’s only prudent to include it in the diet of your captive crestie.
I usually mash them up and serve them in one of those ledge feeding dishes.
Having said that, the Crested Gecko premix formulae have come a long way in the last couple of years. So I only serve fruit twice a month, mostly as a treat, and I mostly stick to insects and the premix alternatives.
Vitamins and mineral supplements
You should gut-load and dust insects and worms before presenting them. You’ve probably heard those terms before, but do you know what they mean?
This is the procedure of feeding extra nutrients to the insects 24 hours before feeding them to your gecko. For gut-loading, Fluker’s High Calcium Cricket Powder is a popular choice.
Before feeding the insects to your gecko, coat them with calcium and vitamin D3 powder. Simply place the insects in a clear bag, add the powder, and shake the bag until the insects are completely covered. Make sure to offer them to your gecko right away so the powder doesn’t wash away.
Crested geckos’ treats
Everyone enjoys getting some treats now and then, and crested geckos are no exception. However, crested geckos, like many other pets, are given far too many treats far too often. Because crested geckos can become obese, it’s vital to keep the amount of treats you give them to a minimum and try to give them healthier options.
The most typical rewards for crested geckos are mashed soft fruits, such as the ones I mentioned earlier, and worms, which are high in fat content. Too much fat and phosphorus in your crested gecko’s diet will eventually cause health problems. As a result, you should only provide these kinds of snacks once or twice a month.
When should your crested gecko be fed?
Because crested geckos are nocturnal and crepuscular, they should be fed in the evening. To avoid the growth of bacteria and unpleasant odors, uneaten food should be discarded after 24 hours.
Feeding plan for crested geckos: how many times per week should I feed my crested gecko?
I’ve always fed fresh premix food every other day to a crestie under 6 months old, leaving it in the enclosure between changing to a new batch the next night. They are unlikely to consume any during the day, but putting it out allows them to eat if they feel the urge. I’ll have live food on one weekend day and no food on the other weekend day.
I feed a quality premixed powder to juvenile and adult Crested Geckos every other evening during the week. And, unlike the young, I’ll remove any uneaten premix the next morning, because the cresties aren’t likely to wake up throughout the day to eat. On weekends, I give a small variety of live food.
Premix foods also differ in terms of how long they last before hardening, depending on the brand. To be safe, just take them out in the morning and replace them with new ones as needed.
Then I’ll repeat the process the next week, using live food twice a week and premix on weekends.
This method works well with any crestie I’ve had previously. My current two cresties are also happy and healthy, according to my vet.
Since they were six months old, blood and feces samples have been gathered and analyzed for various levels and parasites every six months (I hatched these two myself). So I know it’s a successful regimen.
Here are some sample feeding schedules:
You determine when to feed your crested gecko meal replacement powder, pellet food, insects, and soft fruit, however, two examples are provided below to give you an idea of some possible feeding patterns. Meal replacement powder or pellet/granulated food are both referred to as crested gecko diet.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
|Week 3||CGD||CGD||CGD||Soft fruit|
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
How to Feed a Crested Gecko?
Feeding your crested gecko is simple, but it requires more than tossing a couple of crickets into the enclosure several times a week. You must learn how to correctly prepare the food and offer it to your lizard in a pleasing manner.
How much food should you give your crested gecko?
It’s not always easy to figure out how much to feed your crested gecko. Your crestie’s size and age determine a lot. In general, the size/volume of your crested gecko’s head is a reasonable guideline: only feed as much as the volume of their head.
How long can a Crested Gecko go without eating?
Crested Geckos can endure two or three weeks without eating. After the second week, you should consult a veterinarian.
A decrease of appetite is usually caused by the crestie being placed in a new environment (purchased from a shop or breeder, and put in your new enclosure).
They may take two or even three weeks to feel at ease in their new surroundings enough to eat.
The worse it is when they are young throughout this time. But all you can do is supply both of the above food alternatives in a couple of adequately sized feeders and wait it out (remove any uneaten food the following morning).
And as long as you don’t keep fooling around, opening the enclosure, and so on, everything should be OK.
However, if your pet hasn’t eaten for a couple of weeks, it’s time to seek medical help from a veterinarian. At the very least, they’ll have a record of any issues in case further therapy is required.
Furthermore, every reptile, including our cresties, has to keep track of its weight.
Because crested geckos don’t like to sit still and would soon give you a heart attack if they did, I found that putting them in a tub (like a cricket tub) and then putting the tub on scales is the best and safest way to weigh them.
Even if you don’t see them eat, if they are gaining weight or maintaining their weight, everything is usually fine.
If you see any weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian; nevertheless, a few grams up and down is rather normal.
Why Is My Crested Gecko Not Eating?
The majority of crested geckos are voracious feeders who look forward to their nighttime feedings. Keepers may notice that their gecko is refusing to eat on occasion. This can be a significant issue, so you should try to figure out why it’s happening and fix it as soon as possible.
The following are some of the most prevalent reasons crested geckos refuse to eat:
- Inappropriate enclosure temperatures
- Intestinal parasites
- Bacterial infection
- High-stress levels
- Biological changes related to reproduction
The Temperatures in the Enclosure Maybe Inappropriate
Crested geckos, like all other lizards, are ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals, meaning their bodily functions are affected by temperature. If your pet is too hot or, more usually, too cold, he won’t be able to properly digest his meal. This usually results in food refusal.
Fortunately, this is a simple issue to resolve. Simply rethink how you keep the enclosure at the proper temperature and make the required changes.
Is it possible for a crested gecko to eat oranges?
Oranges can be eaten by crested geckos, but only as a special treat. Oranges are citrus fruits with high acid content. Because citrus fruits should be avoided, it’s better to keep the number of oranges you provide to a minimum and just give a piece once or twice a month.
Can crested gecko eat applesauce?
Applesauce is acceptable to crested geckos. Crested geckos can easily detect applesauce, but it usually contains a lot of sugar. If you’re giving applesauce as a treat, make sure it’s unsweetened and low in sugar.
Is it possible for a crested gecko to eat mealworms?
Mealworms can be eaten by crested geckos. Mealworms, on the other hand, have hard exoskeletons. Mealworms can induce impaction as a result of this. I would advise either not giving mealworms to your crested gecko or feeding them in little amounts.
Because of their softer skin, waxworms are a preferable choice. If you do decide to offer a mealworm, do it only once or twice a month and keep an eye out for signs of impaction.
As you can see, feeding crested geckos is rather simple compared to other regularly kept species. In reality, this contributes significantly to the lizard’s popularity. Simply follow the above-mentioned suggestions and procedures to guarantee that your pet eats nutritious and healthy food.