If you are just getting into leopard geckos, you might be wondering why buy from leopard gecko breeder as opposed to buying from local pet stores. You might be asking why there are such price differences, and is it worth it? Here we’ll explore the differences and hopefully help you make your purchase decisions easier.
So what do we know about pet store geckos? Well, very little.
We know pet stores often stuff 5+ geckos into the same display container, a container size suitable for 1-2 juvenile leopard geckos at best. There’s no temperature gradient, and they’re often all crammed inside one small hide.
We know they often use wood barks, sand, or repti-carpet for substrate, none of which are ideal for leopard geckos. While repti-carpet does not pose direct health risks unlike bark & sand, carpet traps bacteria and is very hard to clean.
We know often they have crickets crawling all over the place, sometimes even on the geckos themselves.
The geckos often look skinny, malnourished, and frail. Many have injured tail or bite marks on them.
Now what don’t we know about pet store geckos?
We don’t know their sex, and when asked, store employees won’t know what temperature the geckos were incubated in. So you can’t temperature sex them or even make an educated guess. If you are looking specifically for a male or female, you just can’t be sure.
We don’t know their genetic background, or the morphs of the parents. So there’s no way to tell what geckos are het for or what kind of mix they are. This leaves you out from ever breeding them ethically.
We don’t know the hatch dates of these geckos, so you won’t ever know their age.
We don’t know their weight. Without knowing their age + weight, it’s hard to gauge their growth rate or know if the geckos are healthy.
We don’t know the breeders these geckos are from, so you’ll have no idea if you are buying from ethical breeders or just another gecko farm where they cram multiple hatchlings in small tubs.
We don’t know the reputation of the breeders these geckos are from, therefore we won’t know the conditions they were bred & raised in. This means the geckos could be raised in poor conditions, and likely will carry parasites or diseases which will pose threats to your existing geckos. Not to mention if the geckos get sick, you’ll face huge vet bills.
We don’t know if these geckos are being cared for properly in the pet stores by knowledgeable individuals. We know their living condition is less than stellar as noted above, but are the feeders getting gutloaded? Are the feeders being dusted properly with multivitamin powders prior to being fed? Is the belly temperature inside the display tanks at the proper 88-93 degrees?
People often ask what should I breed, or what morphs do I breed to sell? Here’s a checklist of what we recommend you to go by.
What should I breed? Well what morphs do you like?
You should always pick morphs that interest you. This way, whether your breeding projects take off or not, whether you can sell your geckos, you’ll always love what you breed and hatch out. Many gecko projects we have were picked because we enjoyed them. Projects such as the bandit project and sunglows were my personal favorites. This is key to keeping your interest level high.
As much as you should pick breeding projects you enjoy, you should also realize some morphs are not as popular. There’s no doubt some morphs are purchased more than others. Most do sell but they don’t sell at the same rate. It’s your job to do some research. Go browse some gecko websites, you’ll want to look at what morphs are sold, which breeds are sold quicker than others, and what morphs tend to stay available longer. You pretty much want to conduct your own market research.
Introducing Ares, the largest super giant leopard gecko in our collection, one of the largest super giants in the world. Weighing in at 170g and 12 inches long. He’s a super giant mack snow raptor with double solid ruby red eyes. Extremely docile and calm, he is going to be a great breeder for us.
Super Giant X Super Giant = 100% Super Giant
Super Giant X Giant = 50% Super Giant / 50% Giant
Super Giant X Normal = 100% Giant
Giant X Giant = 25% Super Giant, 50% Giant, 25% Normal
Giant X Normal = 50% Giant / 50% Normal
Our cat just had to make an appearance in the video, you’ll see him towards the end of the video. His name is Cairo, breed is Egyptian Mau, and he’s almost 2 years old. I thought about editing it out but it’s something that you can’t plan for even if you script it, so I figured to leave him in the video for giggles 🙂
I wanted to give a little warning to fellow leopard gecko breeders when introducing different males to the same female. This week we had a female that was clearly ovulating, so I introduced her to a male that I had initially planned the project for. The male rubbed all over the female, but he would not start the mating ritual. No tail rattling, no love bites, just a lot of tail & body rubbing. After about 10 minutes, nothing was happening so I separated the two, and placed them back into their enclosures.
The next day, I worked up a new project plan for this same female. I introduced a different male to this female, because the first male showed no interest. After putting them together in a neutral bin, the female acted normal, but the male looked like he was uneasy. He paced back and forth a bit, kept looking at the female but would not approach the female. Then when the female walked near the male, the male snapped at the female and bit her on the tail. Continue reading “Breeder Advice – Caution when introducing different males to the same female”
I chose this topic for our first Gecko Breeder Chronicle article because this is something we are currently evaluating. After having bred leopard geckos for 2 years now (going on 3rd), we are faced with the difficulties of having to decide which geckos to let go. This is something that we did not think of initially, nor was it something talked about on forums or mentioned on any gecko breeder sites. After checking with several breeders and having some 1 on 1 conversation with them, it appears this is not unusual.
For many new breeders getting into gecko breeding for the first time, many assume you could go out, buy a male and a few females, and you’ll end up with a bunch of gecko babies. While that certainly can happen, and does happen to some breeders, some are simply not as lucky. So just exactly what makes a good breeder gecko? Continue reading “The challenge to finding good breeder geckos”