Incubation

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Incubation

Once a Leopard Gecko lays eggs, there are a few different routes to take to hatch healthy Leopard Geckos. The information below will give an accurate description on how to do it. Before the eggs are laid, it is best to have the incubator set up at the appropriate temperature.

Substrate

The best options for incubation substrate are Hatchrite, Perlite, and Vermiculite. When using Perlite or Vermiculite it takes a little math to get the right mixture of Substrate to Water. The ratio is .8 parts of water for 1 part of substrate. The best process is to weigh the container, then zero the scale. After the scale has zeroed out, add the enough substrate for the egg to have 1/2 inch under it with the egg halfway covered. Then get the weight and multiply it by .8. This is the amount of water, weight-wise, which should be added. Now the eggs are ready to go in.

Temperature

Leopard Gecko eggs are best if incubated between 80°F and 89°F. Your incubation temperature will determine the percentage of males and females you will produce. When incubating between 80°F and 83°F majority of the hatchlings should be female. Between 84°F and 86°F an even ratio of males and females will likely be produced. Between 87°F to 89°F, males will be produced. Anything above 89°F can produce "hot females" who will be more aggressive, like males, and have a possibility of being infertile or will mature later than usual. Keep in mind, this formula is not full proof. There is always a chance a male could be produced at female temperatures and vice versa.

The Mack Snows seem to be the only major exception to the rule. As of right now, they have not proven to be consistently Temperature Sexed.

The temperature also plays a role in the incubation duration. The length of incubation can range from 40 days to 80 days, pending on the temperature. The higher temperatures will result in eggs hatching sooner. Generally the lower end of the spectrum, 80°F will hatch in approximately 60 days. There are always eggs that will take longer though. Do not throw the eggs out, unless they become very moldy and begin to smell bad.

Incubator

The most common incubator in the Leopard Gecko community is the Hovabator. The Hovabator is a quality incubator which must be used with a thermostat, preferably a proportional thermostat, since the thermostat that it comes with is not accurate or dependable enough. If not used with a thermostat, the incubator could fluctuate in temperatures, resulting in possible birth defects. Although many people have had good results with the hobovator, some consider it less than ideal since it heats from the top and is likely to dry out the eggs. Breeders are beginning to turn to store-bought or home-made mini fridges which can combine a heating function and cooling as well, when the ambient temperatures become higher than the incubation temperature.

Bad Eggs

A general rule when it comes to bad eggs is not to throw the egg out unless it is obvious the egg is bad. One of the leading indicators is a horrible smell. Other signs could be massive denting.

Candling

Candling eggs can help to determine whether your eggs are fertile. Take your eggs into a dark room and hold a flashlight at 1 end of the egg. Once the flashlight is turned on, the end of the egg will turn a pinkish color or a yellowish color. If it turns yellow, it is a sign the egg might be bad. Pink means the hatchling is growing in the egg. If the egg shows a yellow color, do not throw it out until you are 100% sure the egg is bad. There have been reports of some bad looking eggs hatching into beautiful Leopard Geckos. Although candling can provide fertility information, it is also important not to handle incubating eggs too much; frequent candling is not recommended.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article should put you on your way to hatching beautiful Leopard Geckos.

Proper incubation usually results in this miracle (Johnson).

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