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Things to Think About Before Breeding Reptiles

Updated on March 24, 2008
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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises and other exotics since 2003

Leopard Gecko Hatching

Fertile Leopard Gecko Egg About to Hatch- Notice dent on Upper Right Top
Fertile Leopard Gecko Egg About to Hatch- Notice dent on Upper Right Top
Leopard Gecko Hatching
Leopard Gecko Hatching

Breeding Reptiles

So, you think you want to breed you pet gecko or snake? I'm assuming you've done your research about the details on breeding, but are you really ready?

Probably not.

More than likely, you're no where near prepared or knowledgeable to breed.

  • Don't breed pet store reptiles. You don't know their genetic backgrounds.
  • Don't introduce new reptiles to existing ones until they've been properly quarantined.
  • Don't breed until you have all of the proper equipment and know how to use it.

Even breeding for personal geckos- meaning you plan on keeping every single hatchling that you are able to successfully hatch- you have to consider that it's going to be very costly in a long term view.

  • Multiple aquariums
  • Feeder insects galore
  • The time it costs you to properly clean multiple cages
  • The space it will cost you to put multiple cages

You risk the health of every adult you breed by breeding it. Overbreeding and housing adults together, which causes overbreeding, is irresponsible and reduces the lifespan the of the geckos greatly.

What you should think about first.

  1. Can you afford to purchase the necessary equipment to breed properly?
  2. Can you afford housing for your adults and hatchlings?
  3. Can you afford feeding multiple reptiles?
  4. Do you have room for multiple cages? Or can you afford a rack system?
  5. Will you be able to find homes for the hatchlings? - It's not as easy as you think.
  6. Do you have time for breeding reptiles, caring for them, feeding them, cleaning after them?

Will I make money breeding my reptiles?

NO.

Simple as that.

No, you won't make any money.

...

Well, there are exceptions.

  1. You become a giant wholesale breeder and give yourself a reputable name real fast.
  2. You create some special high quality morph and breed a lot of them.
  3. You only have 2 reptiles- male and female- that you're breeding.
  4. You have a handful of breeder reptiles but breed your own insects, but in this case you must take into hours of breeding insects, money feeding, etc.

I want to mention that I am currently over two grand in debt from purchasing high quality breeder reptiles, feeder insects, and supplies.

What will I need to breed?

So, with my every growing experience and research with reptiles, I'm going to help you as best as I can get prepared before you even make the decision to breed for the first time.

You're going to need:

  • At least one hovabator incubator ($40.00)
  • Thermostat to regulate incubator temperatures from fluctuating ($125.00 to $150.00)
  • Hatching medium- perlite, vermiculite, hatch-rite
  • Housing for hatchlings and breeding adults- hatchlings should be kept separately
  • Appropriately sized feeder insects
  • Digital scale

My story breeding geckos

I started breeding reptiles several years ago purely by accident. I had a female leopard gecko that was about one to one- and- a- half years old. A friend of mine had a male leopard gecko that she had gotten from a friend. The male would not breed with his first owner's female, or any of the females that the second owner had.

So, anyway, I took him in. He wasn't supposed to breed. I was a very unexperienced reptile owner with only one year of hands on experience behind my back and 2 years of research. At that time, I wasn't ready for what I took on.

I borrowed a hovabator incubator from a friend and hatched my first two leopard geckos- Indi and Louie.

After taking several years off from my attempts, I started breeding again. This time with experience, knowledge, and know how. I've been breeding reptiles again for a few years.

Now, I have over 30 breeding reptiles, ranging from leopard geckos, crested geckos, gargoyle geckos, and African fat tail geckos, not including pet reptiles (2 bearded dragons and 1 ball python).

I tend to follow: Breeding Leopard Geckos- when breeding my reptiles. But, of course breeding AFTs, crested geckos, and gargoyle gecks, the terms and conditions change.

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