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    Default Is brumation necessary for Crested Geckos?


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    I have purchased 8 juvenile crested geckos in January (3 male, 5 female) and am curious about the temperature, time of year and length of time I should cool them? I am also curious as to whether I should separate them during this time? I have read so many different articles that I decided to go to the experts.

    2 of my 3 groups have started laying fertilized eggs this september and have laid a total of 3 sets of eggs, so I'm not even sure if they need to be cooled yet.

    I also have a pair who have not laid at all. Is is necessary to cool even if they haven't laid?

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    Cresties usually are not difficult to get to cool, females will naturally respond to even slight drops in the ambient temperatures and changes in light (shorter days) and stop laying. Those who adopt artificial cycles for whatever reasons may need to adjust their inside lighting and temps accordingly, however. It can be difficult (and expensive for the electric bill!) to induce females to cool during the summer if they have laid through a winter, however, which is why I personally prefer to follow the natural seasons.

    Cresties do not typically brumate, though they often eat slightly less and do not grow as quickly (if at all) during the cooler months. Their activity and growth rate depends on the temperature they are kept, for the most part. This part applies for Cresties of every size and gender.

    Yes, females do need a 4-6 month "cooling" period where they are not laying and their bodies are given time to recouperate from the stresses of breeding and laying. Some females may need to be given a year off, depending on their condition (some breeders I know only breed females every other season or give their female every 3rd season off)- that really depends on each female in question, as some will lose more weight and struggle with proper egg calcification than others. Some breeders are able to leave their pairs and trios together year round and the females will still enter a cooling period naturally. Others have found they need to remove the male.

    Sometimes you may need to take steps to induce cooling in females if it seems like their health is being compromised and yet they still continue to lay... So there really are quite a few different types of scenarios that can come up and IMO really the bottom line is knowing and monitoring your animals combined with good husbandry.
    Last edited by lauraleellbp; 10-12-2011 at 11:05 AM.

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    Thank you lauraleebp for your input. I've contacted my gecko source and he pretty much said the same thing. I am curious, do you separate your males from the females during the "cooling off" period?

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    I prefer to house all of my Cresties individually except for short periods during the breeding season. It does mean I have to dedicate much more space to enclosures, but makes it easier for me to monitor each individual and eliminates the risks associated with fighting and bullying.

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    when is your "breeding season"? Mine seem to mate as soon as I put them together, but co-habitate nicely the rest of the year.

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    I start early as I live in warm SW FL; late Jan/early Feb. I think most people a little further north start late Feb/early March- whenever the temps start warming up a bit. Cooling starts in the fall when the days grow shorter.

    As there often isn't much of a temperature shift down here, I primarily use photoperiod (have my lights on timers) to try and signal the seasons.
    Last edited by lauraleellbp; 10-12-2011 at 01:13 PM.

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    For a natural light cycle look to this or similar graphs
    Nouméa, New Caledonia - Sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times for the whole year - Gaisma

    Maurice Pudlo
    To learn and to teach
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