Beginner’s Corner: Are You Feeding Your Tokay Gecko Properly?

Posted on: September 14th, 2013 by JE

Simply knowing what to feed your gecko is enough to ensure that your Tokay gecko get all the nutrients that they need. You need to make sure that you feed your Tokay gecko the right type of food. This means you need to ensure that what they eat is nutritious, the right size for them, that they are safe for your pet’s consumption.

Feeding Healthy Foods

Crickets contain more protein and moisture, and less fat than mealworms. They are also easier to digest than the latter. Three percent lesser moisture content than crickets, Dubia roaches contain the most protein reaching up to 28% compared to the 21 and 19 percent of crickets and mealworms respectively. They also have soft exoskeleton making them easier to digest compare to other feeder insects.

Reinforcing Your Pet’s Diet – Gut Loading and Dusting

Aside from feeding them with nutritious food, it is also important to reinforce your pet’s diet. Gut loading and dusting are two important techniques most Tokay gecko owners do to make sure that their pets receive the right amount of essential nutrients.

Gut Loading

Gut loading your feeder insects simply means feeding them with nutritious food so they can pass the nutrients when they are eaten by your Tokay gecko. This is usually done 24 to 48 hours before the feeder insects are fed to your geckos. You don’t really have to spend additional expenses for this. You can even find nutritious food to feed your feeder insects right in your kitchen. Vegetable peels, fruits, cat or dog food, are good sources of nourishment. This technique adds nutrient value and moisture content to your feeder insects.

Dusting

 Dusting refers to the process where the feeder insects are dusted or coated with powdered calcium supplements. Calcium is an essential nutrient that your Tokay gecko needs to build strong bones and healthy immune system. Because of the inability of Tokay geckos to produce enough calcium, it has to be reinforced through dusting.

Before feeding your crickets or mealworms to your pet, put a pinch of calcium supplement and the insects inside a small container or a re-sealable plastic. Gently shake the container until they are completely covered with the powdered calcium. Dusting is done at least twice a week, unless your Tokay gecko is pregnant or showing signs of MBD or metabolic bone disease, in which case you need to do it more often.

Feeding them the Right Size of Insects

You may feeding with nutritious food and reinforcing your pet’s diet, but if you feed your Tokay gecko with the wrong size of feeder insects, you might be risking your pet’s health without knowing it. You may not know it but large crickets or roaches can stress and harm your Tokay gecko. Full grown crickets can pretty well stress young geckos. They can round around and give your gecko a hard time catching it. They can also defend themselves from small and inexperienced predators. Ideally, the size between your gecko’s eyes is the ideal size of crickets that they can eat. Make sure to choose the right size of crickets to prevent your pet from getting stressed, which may lead to other health conditions.  

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