Gecko Care – feeding a pet gecko
Most lizards are predators which means they hunt for their food and generally eat anything they catch. Insects are the most abundant foods found in their natural habitat. Note that juveniles and older lizards may benefit from having their green foods shredded and chopped.
Geckos like to eat crickets as their main source of diet. It is important to ensure the crickets are not too big for your gecko to handle, a good way to judge this is to never feed a gecko a cricket that is larger than their head in size.
Before you feed the crickets to the gecko you will first need to gut load the crickets, this means to feed the crickets so they have some nutrients and goodness to pass onto the gecko once they have been eaten. You can feed crickets on tropical fish flakes, vegetables and orange slices to name a few, you can even feed them on dried dog food. You should aim to feed the geckos around 12-24 hours before they are given to the geckos to eat. The crickets can also be dusted with a calcium supplement before they are fed to the gecko to give that extra boost in vitamins. You should dust the crickets only every other day to not over do the vitamins. Feed the geckos twice a day in their beginning months then reduce to just twice a week once they are over 7 months old.
The amount of crickets that should be fed depends on the age and size of your gecko. You should only feed them enough that can be consumed within 15 – 20 minutes otherwise crickets are left to roam wild inside the cage, this can also allow them to disturb your geckos sleeping patterns.
Another live insect that the geckos enjoy are ‘mealworms’, try to only feed these about once every week, as they are not particularly nutritious. You are advised to pull or snip the head off the mealworm then serve them in a shallow bowl.
Fruit flies of the drosophila species are very popular with baby geckos.
Geckos also enjoy wax worms but they should only be fed as a treat, not as part of the main diet. Feed them no more than 3 a week at the very most.
When your gecko reaches adult size you can introduce a pinkie (one day old mouse) into their diet to keep them healthy.
It is extremely important that you monitor how much your gecko eats to ensure they are getting enough food. It may be easier for you to provide a separate container to the one they usually live in to feed them their foodstuffs. This way it is much easier to monitor the number of insects your gecko eats everyday, it also creates less mess inside their main tank.
There are many supplements to feed your pet gecko available in mainstream pet stores. These provide your gecko with much-needed extra vitamins and minerals on top of their usual diet. They are applied by dusting their usual food in the powder before you serve them. Always read the labels and use these products in moderation, they should never supplement your geckos main diet.