What Do Baby Crested Geckos Eat?
Taking care of a baby Crested Gecko is relatively simple. They have virtually the same requirements as adults— stable parameters, high humidity, warm temperature, and a clean enclosure. However, their nutrition is a bit different.
Baby Geckos require the same foods as adult Geckos. But what you choose to feed them, when to introduce certain foods, and how much to feed them can affect their growth potential.
In this article, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about the “what”, “when”, and “why” of baby Crestie feeding.
Keep reading to learn more about the best food for baby Crested Gecko growth, and more interesting details!
What do Baby Crested Geckos Eat in the Wild?
A juvenile Gecko has the same nutritional needs as a fully-developed Gecko. All Crested Geckos are omnivorous. They consume both plants and meaty foods, more specifically insects and a little bit of fruit.
In the wild, a baby Crested Gecko will eat whatever insects, soft fruits, and even flower nectar they can find.
A Crested Gecko hatchling might go a couple of days without food after first emerging from the egg. But soon after that, baby Geckos develop an appetite and start looking for food.
As newly-hatched hunters, baby Geckos go for smaller insects like ants, mosquitoes, maggots, larvae, and various small beetle species. Flower nectar is also easier to find than ripe, soft fruit.
It’s worth noting that baby Cresties are tiny and they have less powerful teeth than adults. That’s part of the reason why baby Cresties will eat smaller insects in the wild.
As is the case with Geckos kept in captivity, large insects (relative to body size) are a choking hazard for wild Geckos too. As the baby Geckos develop and turn into juveniles, they also begin to diversify their diets more.
What to Feed Newborn Crested Geckos?
Newborn Crested Geckos have the same diet and nutritional needs as their adult counterparts. However, I advise you only feed them commercial Gecko food for the first few weeks.
Gram for gram, a well-formulated meal replacement powder is more nutritious and a more balanced source of energy than a traditional fruit-and-insect diet.
These meal replacement powders contain everything your pet needs, including dried fruit and insect meal.
Skip the solid foods until your Crestie’s at least 1 month old. Then, you can begin introducing gut-loaded insects and small servings of fruit into the diet.
There are a ton of good reasons to feed your newborn Cresties a strict MRP diet:
- Easier for your young Cresties to consume.
- No risk of choking with such soft food.
- MRP is a complete, balanced, and nutrient-dense meal that prevents deficiency.
- The excellent nutrient profile promotes healthy development.
- Good for digestion thanks to the fiber and moisture content.
- MRPs contain no dangerous bacteria or parasites (unlike some live insects).
- Many delicious, Gecko-approved flavors to choose from like mango, berries, or banana.
- The food is quick and easy to prepare.
- MRPs store well and you can buy in bulk.
- MRP is a suitable diet staple for Geckos of all ages.
When to Start Feeding Baby Crested Geckos?
A freshly hatched Crested Gecko can survive without food for a couple of days. The nutrient-rich yolk sack provides enough nutrition throughout the incubation period and the few days after hatching.
You can place some food in the enclosure right away. But don’t be surprised if the hatchlings go for 1-2 days without eating.
I recommend offering food soon after hatching, or within the first 24 hours just to be safe. Some Crestie hatchlings begin eating sooner than others. But almost all baby Geckos begin eating in the first couple of days.
For the first four weeks, you should keep your baby Geckos on a MRP-only diet.
A semi-solid MRP diet is perfect for Geckos of all ages. But if you want to diversify things, you can begin introducing solids like live or dried insects too.
When your baby Gecko is at least one month old, you can start slowly adding small insects and some low oxalate fruits to the diet.
How Often do You Feed Baby Crested Geckos?
Baby Crested Geckos don’t require a special feeding schedule. Just like adult Geckos, growing Cresties should eat roughly 3 times a week.
Feeding frequency and keeping a regular feeding schedule is important though. You should be giving them food every other day. One meal per day on feeding days is more than enough.
It seems counterintuitive, I know. Growing Geckos need more energy to fuel their growth. But they’re also smaller than adults.
The same feeding portions you feed your adult Cresties offer more energy relative to body size for a growing Gecko.
Hydration is also important. You should offer your pet clean, fresh water every day. Your baby Gecko will shed its skin every one to two weeks.
Getting enough moisture is important to support this process. Good hydration also supports digestive health and helps your Gecko regulate its appetite.
How Much Food do Baby Crested Geckos Need?
Baby Crested Geckos need to consume enough energy and nutrients to grow. However, their food intake is relative to their body size.
Smaller, growing Geckos won’t eat as much food as adult Geckos. A baby Gecko’s stomach is roughly the size of its head. That’s a good visual guide for the volume of food your Gecko will eat.
An insect-fed baby Gecko might eat two small crickets every other day. In comparison, adult Cresties might consume 6 large crickets up to 3 times a week.
A baby Gecko thus eats roughly three times less volume than an adult Gecko. This is an important reason why using meal replacement powders is important.
Gram by gram and also by volume, MRPs contain more protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than fresh food like live insects or fruit.
You can feed your baby Gecko a regular quantity of commercial food and let it consume as much as it can. Remove all uneaten food within 24 hours.
Do Baby Crested Geckos Need to Eat Insects?
Nope! Baby Crested Geckos (and even adult Geckos) can survive solely off commercial food. These meal replacement powders are specifically designed to fulfill all your Gecko’s macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral needs.
Furthermore, commercial feed already contains a mix of insect powders, so your Crestie’s not missing out on the good stuff!
You can still feed your baby Gecko insects once it reaches one month of age. Many Crested Gecko owners do so for the possible benefits.
Did you know that feeding young Geckos live insects can help with enrichment by simulating natural hunting behavior?
It allows your pet to practice its hunting skills in a controlled environment. For your baby Geckos, eating live insects is an engaging activity that combines food, novelty, and fun.
Do Baby Crested Geckos Need to Eat Every Day?
Baby Geckos don’t need daily meals. The most common recommendation is feeding baby Cresties every other day. Just offer your baby Geckos a regular-sized meal roughly 3-4 times a week. This is enough to reach nutrient sufficiency and to support healthy growth.
Feeding your Baby Gecko every day increases the risk of overeating and weight gain.
And overfeeding won’t make your baby Gecko grow any faster (maybe only in circumference). But overeating does negatively impact your pet’s digestion and liver health.
How do You Feed Baby Crested Geckos?
Feeding baby Crested Geckos is as simple as placing the food in the enclosure. Your pet will do the rest of the work.
Just offer an appropriate quantity of food every other day. Your pet will instinctively approach the food and will eat it by itself.
If you’re feeding your baby Gecko live insects, always select the smallest ones. Large insects are a choking hazard for smaller Geckos. Start with young worms or larvae, fruit flies, or beetles that are up to ¼ inch long.
Two insects per meal is a good amount for baby Geckos. Offer the insects one by one. Wait and see if your baby Gecko will eat them.
Your pet might be reluctant at first. It might have trouble catching its prey the first few times. This is completely normal.
If you offer commercial feed, you can just pop the food dish in the enclosure and go about your day. Remove any uneaten leftovers the next day.
You can use any small recipient to mix and serve the feed. A plastic bottle cap is just about the perfect size for a 1–2-month-old baby Gecko.
What to Feed Baby Crested Geckos to Make Them Grow Faster?
The best food you can offer a growing baby Gecko is a nutritionally-complete meal replacement powder. These commercial products contain everything your pet needs to reach its full potential.
They’re rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, vitamin D3, and other vitamins and minerals.
Your pet will get all the nourishment it needs for healthy bones and steady growth. And you have plenty of product options for all price ranges. But I’ve seen the best reviews for Repashy and Pangea.
These two brands are household names for Gecko nutrition. Their products seem to work, as many users report healthy and steady weight gain and body growth for their baby Geckos.
Baby Geckos have similar dietary requirements to adult Crested Geckos. Both babies and adults eat insects, fruit, and flower nectar in their natural habitat.
But in captivity, the best diet for baby Geckos is an all-MRP one. You should only feed your baby Gecko commercial food for the first month of its life.
Baby Geckos one month and older can also enjoy live insects if you want to provide those. Just remember, Gecko meal powders are nutritionally complete and suitable for optimal health and growth.
They contain all the protein, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, and vitamins and minerals your pet needs.
You should feed your baby Gecko one MRP meal every other day. Adjust the food quantity as your pet grows.
The best serving size is roughly the size of the Gecko’s head. Good products worth trying include the Repashy and Pangea powders.