Hatchling Care

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Hatchling Care

This section is to provide information about how to properly care for a hatchling.

Hatchling Housing

Generally, hatchlings are housed in either a 6qt. to 7qt. shoe box tub or a 14qt. to 16qt. shirt tub. If housing in a shoe box tub, up to two hatchlings can be housed together until they reach approximately 15 grams. If housing in a shirt tub, up to 4 can be housed together until they reach 15 grams. Hatchlings can also be housed in small glass enclosures, or larger ones, divided into sections.

Hatchling Furniture

In the tub, regardless of the size, there are some requirements for the hatchling to thrive. First is a hide. Meat Trays or PVC Pipe cut in half seem to be the most efficient. Both are cheap and are perfect in size.

Next is a source of water. At MK Geckos, we use caps from water bottles. These seem to be perfect, they are not too deep, but are not too shallow.

Lastly, depending on how you feed your hatchlings is a mealworm dish. We have found Gatorade caps work the best. They are hard for the mealworms to crawl out of and the hatchlings can see over them. In the dish, regardless of the feeding, you will want to add some calcium powder to prevent MBD in the hatchlings.

Hatchling Substrate

There are two ideal substrates for Leopard Gecko hatchlings: either a bare tub or paper towels. This will prevent impaction and allow the hatchlings to thrive.

Hatchling Food

When feeding hatchlings, most people choose to use either crickets or mealworms. With crickets, 1/8" to 1/4" crickets are best. Small to mini mealworms are the best size for new hatchlings. The hatchlings, will not want to eat until their first shed, or even after their first poop. The best time to offer food for the first time is after the first shed.


To enable proper shedding, it is best to mist the tub daily. This will give the proper moisture and allow the hatchling to shed properly.

--MK Geckos 21:17, 20 September 2007 (EDT)