We love fruit smoothies, and so do crested geckos… which makes them just a little cooler than most other pets.
In order to grow and stay healthy, your gecko will need to eat a balanced diet of fruit, insects, vitamins, and minerals. It would be very un-American if there weren’t a super convenient, all-in-one solution for providing this balanced diet... hence the amazing popularity of meal replacement powder.
Fruit Purees & Meal Replacement Powders -
Commercial crested gecko diets (or meal replacement powders) have been tested and used on thousands of geckos with great results, and reduce the risk of raising a malnourished gecko. Simply mix one part powder with two parts water, and voila… gecko smoothies. For those who hate insects, gecko commercial diets such as those developed by Repashy and Pangea, have made crested gecko care a breeze.
For the more adventurous hobbyist, fruit purees such as baby food will also provide a good source of food, but beware – these meals need to be supplemented with insects and reptile calcium/ vitamin powders in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Feeding a crested gecko baby food alone could very likely lead to metabolic bone disease or other ailments. Homemade “smoothies” of blended fruits, insects, and supplements are another option, but put your gecko’s health at risk should you miscalculate the proportion of specific nutritional elements.
Calcium & Vitamin D3 -
Calcium intake is extremely important for skeletal development, and is vital for breeding females that will be laying eggs. Vitamin D3, which is considered to be the only form of Vitamin D that crested geckos can utilize, is further required for your gecko to metabolize the calcium it consumes and absorb it into its body.
If you opt to feed your crested gecko one of the few reputable meal replacement powders, they should already be receiving a good dose of these vitamins and minerals. To increase vitamin and mineral intake, lightly “dust” feeder insects with a vitamin and calcium supplement powder to ensure your gecko will grow up strong and healthy. “Gut loading” insects before feeding will also increase their nutritional value.
Insects are high in protein and will help your crested gecko grow and develop mass (similar to drinking protein shakes). They will also satisfy your crested gecko’s instinct to hunt.
For individuals who are looking to start a breeding program, a high-insect diet could be the key to bulking crested geckos up to breeding size more rapidly. Keep in mind, however, that most insects are significantly calcium deficient, and an insect-only feeding regime should never be considered a complete diet.
Some of the most common feeder insects used by hobbyists are: crickets, locusts, dubia roaches, mealworms, waxworms, phoenix worms, and silkworms. No matter what type of insect you choose to feed your crested gecko, always consider their levels of fat, protein, calcium, and other nutritional content.