Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

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Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by kathstew on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:53 am

Many people who enjoy keeping leopard geckos as pets eventually come to the idea, "Hey, my leopard gecko is a great pet. Maybe I should breed them," or "Maybe I'll make a bit of cash off of breeding these little guys."
Breeding leopard geckos can be fun and rewarding, but many people jump into breeding and end up greatly dissatisfied. Before breeding your leopard gecko you should always ALWAYS do research. Breeding isn't something you should jump into. You are essentially creating life. You can't be hasty or sloppy when deciding what an animals life could potentially be like. Would you want to bring a human child into the world completely unprepared? No! So don't do the same with leopard geckos!

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before breeding leopard geckos. Answer these questions honestly. If you can't answer even just one question, then you need to rethink breeding leopard geckos or go back and do more research.
1. Are you housing your leopard geckos correctly at this very moment (this includes tank size, proper substrate, heating, correct number of hides, etc)?
2. Do you have the time to care for hatchlings everyday?
3. Are you aware of the risks to your female leopard gecko when breeding (such as egg binding)?
4. Do you have/know a vet who has experience with leopard geckos, in the event that anything went wrong?
5. Are you willing to keep any offspring you can't sell/give away for their whole lives (10-20 years)?
6. Do you know what culling is? Do you know the methods of culling leopard geckos?
7. Are you willing to cull these animals yourself if necessary?
8. Do you know the genetics of your leopard gecko? i.e Do you know what it could be het for?
9. What (minimum) weight is recommended the male and female be at before attempting breeding?
10. Do you have the space to raise a potential 20 leopard geckos (from just one pair)?
11. How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?
12. How long is the female leopard gecko gravid?
13. What temperature range must the incubator be set for the hatchlings to be female? Male?
14. What age can leopard geckos usually be sexed?
15. Are you aware it usually takes years before leopard gecko breeders break even, never mind earn money?
16. Do you have a food colony ready, or are you planning to buy feeders (buying feeders can become expensive)? Will your colony be able to handle feeding that many mouths?
17. How often do hatchlings/juvies need to be fed?
18. Do you know the Do Not's of the leopard gecko morphs (i.e what not to mix)?
19. Why do you want to breed? Are you trying to improve leopard geckos or are you trying to make some quick cash (which isn't going to happen)?
20. How are you going to heat each hatchlings container (separate heat pads, heat wire etc)?
21. Do you know about proper supplementation of vitamins and calcium?
22. What are you using for incubation medium?
23. Do you know about line-breeding?
24. Do you know how to help a leopard gecko shed, if needed?
25. Do you know what dominant/co-dominant and recessive traits are? Do you know what heterozygous means?
26. In the event of an emergency, do you have someone to care for the hatchlings if you can't?
27. Have you handled skittish hatchlings before?
28. Do you know how to tell when a female leopard gecko is ovulating?
29. Do you know how to tell if a female is carrying eggs?
30. Do you know how to candle an egg?

By Mardy -

31) Can you afford higher electricity and water bills? Having 2 incubators running (one for male one for female), 2-3 racks hooked up to herpstats, and a lot of cleaning that requires running water amounts to higher electricity & water bills.

32) Are you young? Are you married? A lot of the people want to get into breeding, but forget they have to head to the college in a few years. Who will be taking care of your geckos when you go to the college? Also a lot of the people want to get into breeding, but forgetting that their better half or future wife/husband may not approve having to allocate 1 whole room for the racks, incubators, and creepy feeders. Think about your future, it's always a good idea to be fairly settled first before diving in with breeding.

33) Do you know shipping supplies cost money? Insulated boxes, heat/cold packs, deli cups, and packing materials all add up to the cost of each online sales. Shipping something priority overnight across the U.S. will run approximately $65. Most breeders eat a bit of that cost in order to lower the shipping charges just to stay competitive. So for each geckos you sell, you don't make as much as you think you'll make.

34) Do you know how to properly clean and disinfect your leopard gecko tanks and items? Cross contamination is a big problem. If you do not properly disinfect and keep their living conditions sanitary, you could wipe out your whole collection with just 1 infected gecko that perhaps you purchased from someone else. Quarantine isn't just something hobbyists have to do, breeders have to do the same. Breeders have even more to worry about and much more to lose if you allow 1 infected gecko to spread whatever diseases or parasites it has to other geckos.

35) Often people want to get into breeding because they see what some breeders charge for their geckos, thinking they could make the same. Unfortunately unless you are a well known, long time reputable breeder, you will be lucky to even sell the same geckos for even half the price. Example, just because Steve Sykes sold a super raptor for $1000, it doesn't mean you can even sell yours at $300, and there are new breeders right now that can't sell theirs priced at $250-$300. Reputation and trust is everything, and these well known breeders have earned their reputation.

36) For those wanting to breed enigmas just because they look pretty, are you aware their genes will get passed down even if you have an enigma that does not show the enigma syndrome? And there's no guarantee these genes won't trigger mild to severe syndrome in the offspring? Are you aware that a perfectly fine looking enigma can all of a sudden become unable to walk and eat when they are bred or stressed? Please think hard before breeding & furthering a genetic line that has proven genetic disorders.

37) Do you have the time to check all the geckos often to make sure they do not have stuck sheds? And that if they do have stuck sheds, do you have the time to slowly help them remove their shed skin so they do not constrict their toes, tails, and eyes causing the geckos to lose their toes, tail, and perhaps go blind? It takes time to take care of geckos, especially when you have a lot of hatchlings and juveniles. There's a BIG difference going from taking care of 2-5 geckos vs having to take care of 20-50, or even 100.

38) Do you have the funds set aside for emergencies? Unexpected vet bills, incubators breaking down, heat tapes stopped working, having to restart your feeder colonies for whatever reasons (infestation, unexpected deaths), etc.. are all unexpected cost that can creep up from nowhere. If you don't plan for these emergencies, you stand to lose much much more as a breeder.

*If you can think of any questions that should be added, let me know!*

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by Jess on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:40 am

Good post! There is definitely a LOT to think about before anyone breeds.

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by rickmoss95 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:46 am

very good post, but there is even more to it than that, once you breed for a while, you will learn real quick the amount of 'little things' that there is, including learning what behaviors mean what...and alot more, believe it or not....but a good starter list noe the less, great job.
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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by kathstew on Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:52 am

Thanks guys!

Definitely agree with you Rick, this is just a quick list I came up with. Just a few things people need to think about before breeding. Things they might not have thought about, or didn't know about.

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by rickmoss95 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:00 am

no doubt! that is a GREAT start, that alone will give people an idea that there is alot more than they may have thought about.
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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by Kermit on Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:20 am

Someone needs to get becca to make this a sticky, combine all the questions into one questionnaire with out the chit chat. Awesome sheet guys. Keep up the good work. Kathryn will you pm Becca to sticky this?


Last edited by Kermit on Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by kathstew on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:58 am

Thank you Mardy! Those were some awesome points! Especially the one about how old you are, and whether your other half/family is willing to put up with your breeding! thumbs up 2

Kermit wrote:Someone needs to get becca to make this a sticky, combine all the questions into one questionnaire with out the chit chat. Awesome sheet guys. Keep up the good work. Kathryn will you pm Becca to sticky this?

Sorry Kel, I never saw this. I will PM Becca about this right now. Smile

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by Kermit on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:43 am

Thanks kiddo Smile

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Re: Should I breed? Questions to ask yourself...

Post by Karagain on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:46 am

I started a hatchling care sheet not long ago Smile would be good if I finished it I reckon Smile x

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