One of the most common questions I receive from many crested gecko owners is how often to feed their geckos.
This is especially common among new owners.
However, before I answer that question, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your gecko’s age.
- Their food preferences.
- The best times to feed them.
In this article, I will break down everything about the feeding schedule for your crested gecko step by step, along with lots of additional information.
Let’s dive in…
- Hatchlings and juveniles: Feed daily, alternating between CGD and live insects.
- Adults and breeders: Feed 3-4 times a week, using the same diet as young geckos.
- Feed them in the evening since they’re nocturnal.
- Maintain a balanced diet of CGD and live insects.
- Ensure insects are well-fed and supplemented before feeding.
Factors That Affect Feeding Frequency
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often to feed your crested gecko.
Different geckos have different needs depending on several factors such as:
1) Age and size of the gecko
Younger and smaller geckos have higher metabolic rates and faster growth rates than older and larger geckos.
Therefore, they need more frequent and larger meals to support their development and energy needs.
As they grow older and bigger, their metabolism and growth slow down, and they need less frequent and smaller meals to maintain their weight and health.
2) Type and quality of food
Different types of food have different nutritional values and digestibility for crested geckos.
Commercial diets are generally more balanced and complete than fresh fruits or live insects, and you can leave them in the enclosure for longer periods without spoiling.
Fresh fruits are more palatable and hydrating than commercial diets, but they are also more sugary and less nutritious, and they can attract pests or mold if left uneaten.
On the other hand, live insects are more stimulating and satisfying than commercial diets or fresh fruits, but they are also more expensive and difficult to keep.
They can even pose a choking or biting hazard if not properly sized or prepared.
3) Season and temperature
In the wild, their appetites and activity levels shift along with the weather. When it’s warm and wet (spring and summer), they’re more active and eat more to prepare for breeding.
But in the colder, drier months (autumn and winter), they eat less to conserve energy.
If you’re keeping your gecko in captivity, you can maintain a consistent environment, but some folks like to replicate the natural seasons by adjusting lighting and feeding schedules.
4) Activity and appetite level
Every crested gecko has its own unique personality and habits. Some are super active and eat a lot, while others are more laid-back and may not eat as much.
It’s kind of like how some people have big appetites, and some are picky eaters.
Also, there are times when they eat more or less due to things like stress, illness, injury, shedding, or when they’re ready to make baby geckos.
So, you need to keep an eye on your gecko’s behavior and body shape and adjust their feeding routine accordingly.
General Guidelines For Feeding Frequency
Based on the factors I mentioned above, here are some general guidelines for how often to feed your crested gecko:
1) How often to feed young crested geckos?
Young crested geckos (under 1 year old) need to be fed daily or every other day with a high-quality commercial diet. You can also offer them fresh fruits as a treat or extra food once or twice a week.
However, there’s some debate among reptile owners about whether to give young crested geckos live insects.
Here’s a general rule: Don’t feed live insects to young crested geckos until they’re at least 6 months old or weigh at least 15 grams, and only if they show interest in them.
Note: I personally feed my young ones more insect-based food to help them grow faster because young crested geckos do well with the same diet as adults, and everything has been going well so far. If you’d like to do the same, just ensure that the insects you give them are appropriately small.
2) How often to feed adult crested geckos?
For adult crested geckos who are over a year old, feed them every 2-3 days using high-quality commercial gecko food.
You can also treat them to fresh fruits once a week or use them as a supplement.
For some added protein and fun, give them live insects once or twice a week.
The amount of food you offer should be about 10% of your gecko’s body weight at each feeding.
How Often to Feed Insects To Crested Geckos
You can feed insects to crested geckos to spice up their diet and provide extra nutrients, but don’t let insects make up more than 20% of their meals.
Before feeding, sprinkle them with calcium and vitamin supplements.
Also make sure the insects are small enough to fit in the gecko’s mouth, no larger than the space between their eyes.
Q: How much food should I offer to my crested gecko per feeding?
The amount of food offered to your crested gecko per feeding depends on their age, size, and food type.
As a general rule, you should offer about 10% of their body weight in food per feeding. For example, if your gecko weighs 50 grams, you should offer 5 grams of food per feeding.
You can use a digital scale to measure the weight of your gecko and the food before and after feeding.
Q: How long should I leave the food in the enclosure for my crested gecko?
The length of time that you should leave the food in the enclosure for your crested gecko depends on the food type and the temperature of the enclosure.
Commercial diets can be left in the enclosure for up to 24 hours before they need to be replaced or removed.
Fresh fruits can be left in the enclosure for up to 12 hours before they need to be replaced or removed. Live insects can be left in the enclosure for up to 2 hours before they need to be removed or eaten.
Also check the food regularly for any signs of spoilage, contamination, or mold.
Q: How can I tell if my crested gecko likes or dislikes a certain food?
The best way to tell if your crested gecko likes or dislikes a certain food is by observing their behavior and reaction when you offer them the food.
A crested gecko that likes a certain food will usually lick, bite, chew, or swallow it eagerly.
A crested gecko that dislikes a certain food will usually ignore, spit out, shake off, or avoid it.
Q: Can I feed my crested gecko human foods such as baby food, yogurt, honey, or chocolate?
No, you should not feed your crested gecko human foods such as baby food, yogurt, honey, or chocolate.
These foods are not suitable for crested geckos because they contain ingredients that are harmful or toxic to them, such as dairy products, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, caffeine, or theobromine. T
Only feed your crested gecko foods that are specifically designed for them, such as commercial diets, fresh fruits, or live insects.
I’m a mom of two adorable babies and a huge fan of Crested geckos. I first fell in love with these charming reptiles when I was a teenager. Now, I have nearly five geckos, and they are my daily companions. I talk to them and take care of them as best as I can. This blog is my way of helping those who have these cute little creatures but aren’t sure how to take care of them.