Sunday, August 24, 2014

Food Management for Geckos

Photo credit - L. Brand from Flickr
The first week I had Absinthe, my Madagascar Giant Day Gecko, I started to train her to take squirmy crickets dusted in vitamins from my fingertips. She was voracious and ate every one I offered. But that's changed now.


 Now Absinthe hasn't even looked at the crickets I'm offering! What happened? Because I bought him off of the infamous craigslist he wasn't the best cared for Gecko. Part of his lack of care was not being fed for a week and a half! So for a week after I brought him home he would happily eat 2-3 crickets from hand every day. Now that he's been getting plump his appetite has been slowing down and I need to do some thinking about how to get him back on track in a much more humane way than having a person starve him over a week.

Photo credit - CazzMatt from Flickr
Day Geckos -from what I've heard- need to be fed about every other day but will certainly eat every day. Two things are high on their priority to eat, bugs and fruit. For training I originally decided to train him using squirmy crickets and left a base diet of pureed mango, banana, bee pollen, and cherry juice in a small blue ceramic bowl to free feed on all day. Now that Absinthe hasn't been responding to crickets wiggling in his face several times a day -he hasn't even looked at them!- and I've witnessed him exclusively eating from his bowl of pureed fruit, I can try a couple new things.



1) I could do the reverse and have him free feed on bugs all day and start training with fruit.

2) I could remove the fruit mix at night and wait to feed crickets in the morning before his first fruit meal.

Photo credit - matthew_machine from Flickr
If I left crickets in his enclosure all day he'd have a blast and eat every last one. While he may have fun with that it wouldn't put us on a very good road for training. :-/  So I've started removing his fruit dish at night so crickets look a little more appetizing in the morning. I've done this for just a day so far and boy was he quick to eat the vitamin dusted cricket! Sadly his appetite allowed for just a single cricket and I placed the fruit back in after the training. I will be trying this for a few days to evaluate the success rate of this food management strategy before adjusting it further. We'll see what lies ahead!

Copyright 2014 Caitlin Bird
The Sequential Psittacine Blog
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