Learning how to properly feed our crested geckos is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership.
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The majority of a crested gecko’s diet is made up of commercial gecko food; however, fresh fruits and live insects are also fed to these animals.
When providing feeder insects such as crickets to a crested gecko, owners want to know how many make up an appropriate serving size.
As a general rule, adult crested geckos should be fed 6 crickets, and juveniles should be fed no more than 3 small crickets per week. The age and size of your crested gecko will determine the appropriate size and number of crickets it should consume.
To fully understand the suitability of feeding crickets to our pets, we must first know about their required diet.
Once we know what these geckos require for a balanced diet, we will explore the sizes, amounts, and frequencies of cricket meals.
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Crested Gecko Diet
Crested Gecko Diet
In general, cresties obtain most of their nutrients from commercial diets.
Some experienced keepers opt to make their gecko food; however, it is much simpler to feed these animals the foods specially formulated to meet their needs.
Commercial crested gecko food is the most affordable and simplistic route to take when feeding your pet.
Most mixes, such as Pangea Fruit Mix, include both insect protein and fruit.
These commercial foods are available in several forms, including pellets, purees, and powder meal replacements.
They also come in various flavors depending on the brand you choose to purchase.
We suggest purchasing a couple of mixes to find the perfect match for your crestie.
As babies and juveniles, these geckos should be fed every day.
The appropriate portion sizes will be on the packaging of your commercial diet to properly supplement your pet based on its age and weight.
The average crestie is considered an adult once it reaches 18 months in age.
Some are fully developed after one year, while others are not considered mature until they reach their second birthday.
Once your crestie is in its adult stage of life, it should transition to eating three or four times per week.
Since it is fully grown, it will not require as much food as a young gecko.
Again, the appropriate portion size of crickets will vary depending on the food you purchase and your pet’s size and weight.
When cresties are older than one month, owners are encouraged to provide fresh fruits and insects to their pets for the entire life span.
Small chunks of real fruit are generally fed no more than once per week.
This is because gecko foods such as Pangea Fruit Mix already provide appropriate amounts of fruit with adequate levels of essential vitamins and minerals.
Insects should also be limited to one feeding per week.
The one exception to this is for geckos in the adult stage.
Some owners choose to split the total number of crickets per week between two separate feedings.
This means we recommend no more than 3 crickets per feeding; two would be better.
When serving fresh fruits and insects to your pets, be sure to supplement their meals with calcium powder to balance out the unsuitable calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Crickets & Baby Cresties
A baby crestie’s feeding schedule should consist of commercial food six days per week with one treat day where they are fed small amounts of fresh fruit and live insects.
Feeding crickets to baby cresties is slightly more involved than one might think.
The sizing of these insects is much more important when it comes to babies.
For example, you should never feed an adult cricket to a baby gecko.
Larger crickets are much more difficult to digest, and they may become lodged in your pet’s body cavity.
Once your gecko has surpassed one month in age, it is acceptable to introduce small-sized crickets into its diet.
The cricket exoskeleton is too tough for hatchlings to digest.
You should only give baby geckos crickets between 1/8 to 1/4″ inch in size.
As a general rule of thumb, the insect should never be larger than the space between your reptile’s eyes.
When you’ve found a suitable feeder cricket supplier, you may introduce a single cricket to your young gecko.
It is best to start small and work your way up.
Most cresties love crickets and will eat as many as you give them.
To avoid overfeeding your baby, be sure to provide it with no more than 3-5 small crickets per week.
Feeding three crickets are usually done in one sitting.
However, some owners prefer to spread live insects out between meals.
This is done by placing one small cricket in the food dishes per day for three days per week.
Gut loading is an essential practice when adding them to your feeding regimen.
The easiest way to do this is by providing the cricket with the food you usually give your gecko.
Keep in mind; you should never feed dead crickets to your crestie.
Before serving the live crickets, be sure to sprinkle a calcium supplement with vitamin D3 on them.
If you are a concerned keeper, you may also add additional vitamins in ultra-fine powders to your treat day feeding regimen.
Crickets & Adult Cresties
Once your gecko is in its adult stage of life, the insect feeding process does not change much.
You will still need to gut load your crickets with gecko food to provide a good source of nutrition.
Some owners opt for budget-friendly commercial gut-loading powders.
Sprinkling a bit of supplement on the insects will also carry into adulthood.
For crestie owners with both adult and baby geckos, you may feed micro crickets to all ages to avoid price differences.
In these instances, owners may adjust the amounts of crickets served based on the size of insects provided.
With smaller insects, an additional cricket or two may be necessary.
Cricket sizes will increase when providing them to your adult gecko.
As a general rule, 5-6 large crickets per week is enough for a fully mature crestie.
We suggest 1/2 – 3/4″ inch crickets for adults, but your preference will depend on the size of your gecko.
Some owners will advocate for 5-12 crickets per week with adults, but crickets are big for these small reptiles.
Generally accepted wisdom by health and pet experts is to feed 5-6 per week.
Some owners choose to feed live insects to their cresties in a separate terrarium.
This makes it easier to keep track of leftover crickets.
You should remove leftover crickets from the crestie enclosure immediately, and you should never feed dead crickets to your pets.
Common Feeder Insects For Crested Geckos
Crickets are the most popular insect feeders, but there are several other safe insects you may give your crested gecko.
Other acceptable insect feeders include:Dubia roaches WaxwormsButterworms Calcium worms
Calcium worms, also known as black soldier fly larvae, are among the most common insect ingredients in the commercial gecko feeding industry.
Dubia roaches are one of the most popular types of feeder insects among reptile owners.
These roaches are nutritious and easy to find, but they are not legal in all states.
Waxworms and butterworms should only be given as a rare treat.
These worms are usually a hit, even with a picky eater.
However, they do not meet complete nutrition requirements for cresties.
You must ensure any insect you provide to your crested gecko is a good source of nutrition.
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Check out our crested gecko food list for the best insects and foods for your crested.