What Do Baby Geckos Eat? What Should I Feed My Baby Gecko?
Geckos are very friendly and docile once you gain their trust, and they can be entertaining pets too. They’re quite easy to maintain and can chill by themselves for as long as they are fed. If you’ve been thinking of getting yourself a baby gecko and are wondering what do baby geckos eat, read on to learn about the best diet for baby geckos.
Geckos are basically small lizards that can be found in warm places all over the world, with some species of geckos native to North America and some to Southeast Asia.
Geckos can grow anywhere between 1.6 cm and 60 cm. Their average lifespan in the wild is about five years but they can last longer in safe captivity. Geckos are colorful, and their tails are quite handy for fending off predators through camouflage and shedding.
They are predatory animals that can easily find their own food. As babies, however, they do need a little help.
What Do Baby Geckos Eat?
Certain species of geckos are omnivores — they can survive on both insects and plant-based diets. The rest of the species are strictly carnivorous and eat insects for their meal. Here is a list of foods that baby geckos can eat.
#1. Insect Foods
Your baby gecko should be fed a variety of insects every day. Sticking to just one type of insect would not allow them to gain the nutrition they require. The primary component of their diet must be crickets.
Crickets are really tiny and can be easily ingested by your baby gecko and are a great source of protein. You can easily purchase crickets for your gecko or grow them on your own as well.
Other arthropods such as cockroaches and larvae can be included in their daily diet as well. You can slowly introduce them to silkworms, super worms, and mealworms; however, these insects should be consumed moderately (about once a week) as they have high-fat content.
Fruit flies are also a viable and convenient option for feeding baby geckos when you’re trying to diversify their diet. Do not experiment with feeding them wild insects as they may be toxic or could be carrying harmful germs and diseases.
You could also gut-load the insects before your gecko eats them. Gut-loading is basically providing nutritious food like fruits, grains, and calcium supplements to your gecko’s prey and fattening them up for consumption.
Make sure the insects you feed your baby gecko are not bigger than the width of your gecko’s head.
#2. Plant-Based Foods
If your gecko mainly sustains on plants-based food items, then you do not need to load their diet with insects. Only frugivorous geckos (they can eat both insects and fruits) should be fed fruits. Other species of geckos must stick to insect foods at all times.
Flowers and nectars can also be included in their diets. This is so that all their nutritional requirements are met adequately. Fruits contain vitamins and minerals that boost their immunity.
#3. Safe Food Practices
One of the biggest hazards that your baby gecko may face is choking on their food. You have to make sure their food is easy to ingest and digest. If there is any obstruction in their digestive system, it can become fatal.
You can place their insects or fruits in a tiny food dish or feed your gecko using tweezers. If you’re unsure about the size and portion of the fruits you’re serving, you can puree the fruit before serving them.
When it comes to insects, opt for two-week-old crickets and other young insects so your gecko can eat them without any struggle.
Remember to not leave any insects or fruits within their enclosure after their meal is done. Rotten food or insects can attract ants and other dangers into their habitat.
If you want to leave bugs in the enclosure overnight so your gecko can snack when it wants to, make sure that the bugs cannot escape.
How Much and When to Feed Your Baby Geckos
Typically, baby geckos must be fed every day. Adult geckos, however, can survive being fed once in two days. Since they are nocturnal creatures, it is best to feed them during the night.
Gecko owners recommend that you feed them crickets till they’re grown enough to be able to ingest other insects and worms without choking. Their meals depend on their size as well. Ron Tremper, a reputed gecko breeder, suggests feeding them two insects for every one inch of their body.
Hatchling geckos are about 3-4 inches long when they are born. So, if your baby gecko is 3 inches long, you can include six insects in every meal. Make sure they have constant access to a dish of clean water that is changed every day.
Watch their appetite and keep feeding them till they’re eating eagerly. This would last for a couple of minutes at best, after which they show signs of being full. Don’t introduce all of their food at once; instead, insert one insect at a time as they consume it.
Your baby gecko also requires adequate heating to remain healthy; otherwise, the cold can make them lose their appetite. This is why geckos become really thin during the winter. It is recommended that you install a heat light inside their cage.
Respiratory problems, injuries, and loss of vision are other reasons their appetite would decrease. Consult your vet if you notice inconsistencies in their daily eating habits.
Can Baby Geckos Eat Fruit?
Fruits can amount to 10% of your gecko’s diet. So you can feed them easily digestible fruits that have an adequate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, such as figs, papayas, and raspberries.
This ratio must be 2:1 for their bones and tissues to remain healthy.
You could also give them fruits like watermelon, strawberry, pears, apples, dates, and grapes, but these fruits aren’t as nutritious as the ones mentioned above.
Wash the pesticides off the fruit and remove all the seeds and pits from the fruit. Avoid fruits like avocado, citrus, and star fruit at all costs, for both baby and adult geckos as these fruits can damage their physical health.
Do Baby Geckos Eat Ants?
Baby geckos typically feast on a variety of insects, and that may include ants as well.
However, eating ants can make some species of geckos extremely sick or succumb to death. If you suspect that your baby gecko has ingested an ant, look out for symptoms such as loss of appetite, decreased mobility, and disinterest in drinking water.
Rush them to a vet if you spot these symptoms. To keep ants away from a baby gecko, you can use petroleum jelly, cinnamon or peppermint oil, and double-sided tape in and around their enclosure. Avoid using ant poison at all costs as your gecko could accidentally ingest it.
A Few Parting Words
Baby geckos are incredibly cute reptiles that deserve a lot of our care and attention. Now that you have answers to the question of what do baby geckos eat, you can carefully curate a nutritious diet for your reptilian buddy and watch them grow.