Crested Gecko Hatching – What To Expect (With Pictures)
Maybe you have decided to breed Crested geckos or just bought a Crested gecko that ends up laying eggs. Either way there are some basics every owners needs to know before and after your Crested gecko hatching such as incubation period and how to store the eggs.
In this article we will be discussing Crested gecko hatching process and everything you need to prepare for including:
- Laying the eggs
- Storing and looking after the eggs
- Checking the progress of the eggs
- Baby Crested gecko hatching out of the egg
- Hatchlings – Housing
Laying Of The Eggs
Once the female gecko is mature enough to breed, you should expect her to lay a batch of 2 eggs every 30 to 45 days.
Important part before the baby Crested gecko hatching, is providing the gravid (pregnant) female with the appropriate care. This includes:
- Correct diet. During pregnancy, you should increase the female’s intake of calcium. This is because part of the nutrients she gets will now go towards the development of the eggs
- Less handling. During this period, the female is more sensitive and even territorial. Therefore, she might not want to be handled as often or at all
- Nesting spot. If you don’t provide the female with a nesting spot, she will dig into the substrate trying to make one for herself. You want to avoid. It’s always best to be pro-active
When the gravid female Crested gecko is ready to lay the eggs, she will need a nesting spot. The ideal nesting spot for a gravid female Crested gecko is a plastic box, measuring around 8 inches in length, 5 inches in width and 5 inches height. Furthermore, you need to fill the container with a moistened sphagnum moss covering 4 inches in depth.
Once the nesting spot is set up, look out for the following behavior which indicates that the female has laid the eggs:
- Digging holes in the moistened substrate during the evening
- The substrate looks packed down and the holes are covered
For the baby Crested gecko hatching to be successful, you as the owner need to know how to store the eggs safely. Read below for this information.
Storing And Looking After The Eggs
Before we get to the baby Crested gecko hatching, you need to ensure that the eggs are stored at the right conditions.
For a successful hatching of the eggs, you need the following:
- Mark the eggs
- Incubation box
- Thermometer and hygrometer to regulate the temperature and humidity levels
Marking The Eggs
Once the eggs are laid, the first thing you need to do is dig out the eggs very carefully and mark the top of each egg. This is very important as it helps prevent the hatchlings from drowning by keeping the egg in the same position.
For the baby Crested gecko hatching to be successful, you will need an incubation box. The good news is – this is easily created at home. All you need for a homemade incubation box is the following:
- Material. A plastic box with a lid is ideal for this
- Size. The plastic box should be minimum of 6 to 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches in height
- Incubation medium. Fill up 2/3 of the box with incubation medium such as Hatchrite, vermiculite, perlite and Superhatch (this can be bought online or from a gardening store). This should be moist enough to hold water, but not drip
- Placement of the eggs. The eggs should be dipped 0.25 inches into the incubation medium
- Ventilation. Ensure that you provide ventilation by poking up to 8 holes in the plastic box lid. The holes should be minimum of 1/8 inch in length
- Position the incubation box should be in a cool and dark place
If you don’t want to make one yourself, you can purchase one from the store or online.
How Many Eggs Can You Incubate Simultaneously
The number of eggs you can incubate together, depends on the incubator you’re using. Some really good incubators can house up to 100 eggs at once.
Incubator Temperature And Humidity
For successful Crested gecko hatching, you need to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels is correct inside and close to the incubator.
With that said, the following is recommended for successful Crested gecko hatching process:
- Temperature – 68oF to 80oF
- Humidity levels – 85% to 90%
You can still achieve successful Crested gecko hatching at a room temperature between 72oF to 78oF. This temperature will result in the eggs hatching after 60 to 70 days. On the other hand, if the eggs are at room temperature and the season gets cooler, it can take up to 120 days for the eggs to hatch.
For best results, we recommended to provide an incubator box.
The gender of your gecko depends on the temperature and incubation period. If you incubate the eggs at a higher temperature (80oF to 84oF), you’ll end up with males babies. On the other hand, lower temperatures between 68oF to 73oF, will result in female baby geckos.
If you are interested in learning about the differences between male and female Crested gecko click here Male vs Female Crested Gecko (With Pictures)
Checking The Progress Of The Eggs
During the incubation period, it’s important to check on the progress of the eggs. It’s recommended to check on the eggs every few days or so.
Checking on the eggs is important for the following reasons:
- To ensure the eggs are fertile. This is done through the use of the candling technique
- That there is no mould growing on the eggs
Candling – Are The Eggs Fertile?
The technique known as Candling is when you use a bright light to see through the semi-transparent shell of the egg. You can use the LED light on your smartphone to do this. However, it’s important to remember to not roll the eggs when performing those checks.
- Fertile egg – you will be able see red veins forming soon after the egg is laid
- Infertile egg – it doesn’t form veins and is only yellow on the inside. Even if you suspect the egg is infertile, you should not throw it away just in case it’s a late bloomer
The more the hatchling develops in the egg, the less light should be able to pass through the egg when using the candling technique to check on the progress.
If you notice mould growing on the incubation medium, you should remove the eggs and wipe off the mould with a paper towel. Whilst doing this, ensure you’re not rolling the eggs over as that can be fatal for the hatchlings.
How Long For The Eggs To Hatch
Normally, the eggs will start hatching anywhere from 45 days to 4-5 months. If the incubation period is at temperatures between 72oF and 75oF, the eggs will most likely hatch in around 3 months. However, if your eggs are still not hatched but are looking viable, you should allow more time as they might be late bloomers.
What If The Eggs Are Not Hatching?
If you are wondering why are the eggs not hatching, it might be because they are dead/infertile. If you have dead eggs, the following signs will be present:
- The eggs will appear yellow
- They will look dry
- The eggs will appear flat with a bad formed shell
Crested Gecko Hatching
If you are lucky enough to be present when the baby geckos hatch out of the egg, you’ll see the hatchlings using a small “horn” on their mouth area to make a slit in the egg shell. This “horn” is also known as egg tooth and it falls off quickly after it’s been used.
Once the baby Crested gecko has made the slit in the shell, it will slowly start making its way out. This is also known as “pipping”.
In some cases, the baby Crested gecko will not come out of the shell straight away and it might sit in the egg for up to 24 hours, feeding on the remainder of their yolk sacs.
Normally, there is no need to intervene in the process of the Crested gecko hatching. However, in some rare cases if the hatchling is too weak to emerge on its own, you might have to help with opening the rest of the shell.
Hatchlings – Enclosure
After the Crested gecko hatching is complete, it’s important to know what to do with the hatchlings. It’s safe to leave them in the incubation box until their first shed is complete which is usually 12 to 24 hours after hatching.
The next step is to move the hatchling into an enclosure. This need to be small enough, so the baby geckos are able to easily find food and water. Furthermore, it will help avoid stress and injury to the baby Crested geckos.
You can either keep the babies in the same enclosure (10 gallons), or move each hatchling to an individual enclosure (5 gallons).
If you decide to keep them together, you must remember that you should separate them after roughly 4 to 5 months, when the males reach sexual maturity.
Learn more about looking after baby Crested geckos here Baby Crested Gecko Care – The Ultimate Guide
What To Include In The Enclosure
In the hatchlings’ enclosure, you should include the following:
- Decoration. Small, artificial plants and vines
- Hiding spot. This can be a small plastic container with moistened sphagnum moss with a hole on the top for your gecko to enter and exit
- Food and water. Small, very shallow jar lid to use for food and water
- Substrate. The enclosure should have either no substrate or a paper towel that is hard to rip apart
In this article, we covered all the parts of Crested gecko hatching process – from laying the eggs to the actual hatching and then housing the babies.
The most important points to remember are the following:
- Laying the eggs. When the female Crested gecko is gravid (pregnant) it’s important that you provide her with a nesting spot for the eggs to be laid
- Storing and looking after the eggs. Once the eggs are laid, they should be placed in an incubator box with the correct temperature and humidity levels
- Checking on the eggs. Every few days the eggs should be check for any mould growing and to ensure they are on the right track. It’s important to mark the top of the egg to avoid rotating the egg which can result in the hatchling drowning
- Hatching. The eggs will hatch in 45 days to 4 to 5 months depending on various factors such as temperature
- After hatching, the babies can either be kept together in the same enclosure (10 gallons) until the male geckos reach sexual maturity; or can be placed in individual enclosures (5 gallons)
Although, the Crested gecko hatching process is not complicated, it’s important to follow the steps we have outlines in this article to have a healthy and viable eggs.