Lots of bad eggs

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Lots of bad eggs

Post by Jrose on Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:58 pm

I have a few rescue geckos. 2 large healthy males and 4 females, separated into various 10 and 20 gallon tanks. Since last November I've had 7 eggs. The geckos all eagerly use their warm, moist perlite lay boxes for shedding, but for some reason the eggs keep appearing either by the water dishes (on the cold side of the tank) or in their preferred poop corners (also cold). The only egg to have hatched was the only one actually laid in the lay box. Every egg has been spotted and transferred to the incubator within 12 hours, sometimes even within 30 minutes of laying. Every eggshas turned orange and molded within a week Sad I do have one currently still healthy looking, laid just before Christmas. It's VERY small, and it's "twin" egg rotted away within days. I just got another one this evening. I actually watched her lay it, which is a first. Oddly it was a soggy white sack of water... I don't know if that's normal or if it will take form at some point...

Anyways, all that having been said, I need some guidance. Obviously. I've read a lot of articles about incubation but have no experience. I only came across my two males a few months ago and am now juggling eggs for the first time. I am using clear deli containers with moist perlite (using a water/perlite ratio from an incubation guide), kept on a warm shelf with a steady heat of 82 degrees provided by a small UTH. Eggs are transferred in exactly the same position as they were laid. The containers are opened every few days to check the eggs and circulate air. Any input as to what I may be doing improperly? I'd kind of like to see a better survival rate...
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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by kathstew on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:23 am

Hello Jen.

First off, I would like to point out that its generally not recommended to breed rescue leos. Do you know the genetics of these leos? Its not a good idea to breed leos if you don't know their genetic backgrounds. You could end up with some very strange leos carrying hets that you don't know they have.

What kind of rescues were these geckos? Depending what went on in their past home, they could be unable to lay fertile eggs/be fertile, or have great difficulty.

What is the humidity in the incubator?

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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Mardy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:36 am

Sometimes bad eggs are due to lack of nutrition on the mother's part, are they healthy females supplemented very well with multi vitamins & calcium? Are they at a healthy weight and age?

Sometimes eggs mold due to excess humidity. Sometimes they are simply infertile eggs, as a lot of virgin females may lay infertile eggs during their first year. Sometimes it could even be the male that's shooting the blanks, it's rare but happens.

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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Jrose on Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:57 am

Hm, well two of the females won't let the males breed with them, so they haven't givin me eggs. One of the females is a blazing blizzard, she has a bad eye and has a hard time keeping weight on. She will plump her tail up but her body remains petite. I feed her one-on-one extra food to keep her weight up. She unfortunately has been producing the most eggs, and when she's carrying them she won't eat so she gets very thin. I have decided to remove her from the male already because this is becoming an evident issue. All 4 or 5 of her eggs has gone bad, with the exception of the one incubating right now.
The other breeding female a the fat, sassy alpha gecko. She and the male are a very similar carrot tail morph. Her first two eggs were big and healthy, although one went bad because the incubation was upset during a house moving transition. The one she laid the other day (the funny white goo blob) is now big and healthy looking.

Sadly, the two females that refuse to breed would be the best candidates. I have a male/female tremper albino pair, both very plump, muscular, and oddly large. The other is a gorgeous, vibrant carrot tail female who hates the males and loves me a little too much Smile

I'm not really intentionally breeding them. As I said, I've only had the males 3 or 4 months and this is a new experience/experiment. It would be nice to raise my own leo, but I won't be letting the males go overboard here.
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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Mardy on Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:02 pm

If you have a female that can't keep weight, and look skinny, you definitely want to pull her from breeding. When it comes to breeding, more than anything else, it's more about whether a gecko looks and acts healthy or not. If you have a gecko who does not feed well, does not gain weight well, then that gecko is not a very good candidate for breeding. It doesn't mean it can't be done, but you could run into problems such as what you are experiencing, plus you would also be putting her live in danger.

During the breeding season a gravid female will lose weight since she's likely to stop feeding while gravid or ovulating. You need to account for at least 10-25g weight loss during a breeding season. So if a female doesn't eat well in the first place, that female will lose more weight than normal and risk running into further issues.

As for the females that are refusing to breed, remember if they aren't ovulating, chances are they won't want to breed. Always check to make sure the female is ovulating first, and be patient with it if she isn't ovulating or accepting the male.

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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Jrose on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:23 pm

Thanks for the input. Like I said, I'm not really "trying" to make them breed. It's all new territory to me. I'll be moving the thinner girl in with one of the other females so the two have an "harassment free" home. I suppose if she ever managed to really plump up I can try breeding her, but I'm not dedicated to the idea. Hopefully my poor luck with eggs is simply from her lack of physical readiness. It seems odd that she's produced 3 clutches of 2 in the last 4 months... I certainly wasn't expecting that many! The two I am incubating now still look good, I have high hopes Smile

PS - what is a normal incubation time? My last successful egg took 90 days, but I've read 40-60 is normal.
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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Mardy on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:27 pm

If incubating for male (88-89), it's around 35 days. If incubating for female (81-83), it can go anywhere from 45-60 days. If incubating for a surprise mix (84-87) it's really just anywhere in between Smile

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Re: Lots of bad eggs

Post by Jrose on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:35 pm

Strange! Well, I'm incubating for females, and one of the eggs was laid just before christmas, so I suppose sometime around the end of the month I really need to be on the lookout!
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Re: Lots of bad eggs

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