Leopard Geckos can be easy animals to take care of, but like with all pets, you have to reserve time for them.
Leopard Geckos are nocturnal creatures by nature and most only eat food that is live and moves. You need to be able to stomach handling live bugs in order to keep them happy and healthy.
Some do feed crickets, but they can escape in your home and keep you up with their singing at night. If you prefer giving them a diet of mealworms as most breeders do, then that is fine.
For our hatchlings, we use primarily small sized mealworms ( ½ inch). We do not feed the tiny babies for the first 4 days out of the egg because they do have a “yolk sack” in their stomachs that will take at least that long to absorb. We do make sure they have fresh water at all times, from the moment they hatch. Smaller babies should have low, shallow dishes. Often times, lids from jars will do. We also use white colored lids for those babies eating the very small worms.
It’s best to feed in a feeder dish that is white or light in coloration when they are this age. Since they are nocturnal, their eyesight is different than yours or mine. Poorer eyesight is especially true with the Albino types. If the bugs are moving around on a white background, it’s much easier for them to see the movement. The food needs to be seen by the babies in order to be eaten. Replacing their food lids with a white variety that shows their prey wriggling around, instantly makes them ravenous eaters.
After they have eaten for the first time, we then dust their mealworms with Vionate Vitamin Mineral Powder for pets on the 2nd food day, and thereafter.
Once the babies have reached about 10 grams in weight, we not only switch them over to mealworm dishes called “No Escapee” feeder dishes in both large and small sizes, depending on the size of worm you are using. These can be found on line from good reptile supply houses, as well as good pet stores. They are also switched to the large (one inch) mealworms. At this weight, we are no longer dusting the worms. We use a small lid and fill it with a high quality calcium supplement such as Osteoform SA. They will continue to take the calcium this way the rest of their lives. Larger babies and adults know when they need calcium and will take as much as they want, when they want. Just like with water. You need to make sure the calcium is kept filled at all times, and clean. We feed all the young babies daily.
When the geckos hit around 40 grams, we consider them juveniles. At this point, we start to wean some onto 2” Superworms, which is what we feed to most adults. Some geckos will take superworms, while some will not. Those we just feed the 1″ mealworms. At this stage, we cut back on feeding to every other day.
Remember that when a gecko is new to your home, he is going to be stressed. It can actually take several weeks for a few months for him or her to get back to eating. It’s advised you have minimum contact with the gecko, until he or she feels secure enough to eat. These are desert creatures and they carry reserves of food in their tails, so they are ok. They will not starve. Just give them their space until they settle in, and you notice the food being eaten.