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    Default Morning or evening? Before or after or different day?


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    Hello once again, it's me, your friendly neighborhood leopard gecko newbie (aka "She of a Million Questions").

    So, I've got Donovan on the 12-18 month old feeding schedule.

    Do you all feed your geckos in the morning or in the evening/early evening? I've been feeding in the evening, but when I sat down this morning near his enclosure, he keeps giving me the "where's breakfast, lady?" look. (Of course, he also helped himself to a morning snack by finding the escaped dubia roach and eating it - I had just put my hand in his enclosure like I've been doing several times a day and he came out of his hide -- I got very excited thinking we were making progress -- but no....he came out to grab a quick snack and leave.)

    My other question is, when you're working on making friends with your gecko, do you put your hand in the enclosure before you feed them? AFTER you feed them? On the off days when you don't feed them???

    I ask, because I was putting my hand in this morning after he finished munching on his snack and he came out of his hide, but he was doing his pre-chomp shimmy so I opted to remove my hand. Not that he bites hard or anything, but I'm trying to avoid any negative interactions between us.

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    You should feed your gecko whatever time works best for you. I feed mine in the evening and they'll come out at night and eat when they're hungry. He may have just been curious about you. My geckos watch me at night when I'm on my computer. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're hungry.

    When I was taming my first leo, I out my hand in the tank right before he ate to let him get used to it. Once he was comfortable with it being in there, I started laying my hand super flat and putting a worm on top, so he would have to crawl up to eat. After a week or so of that he would crawn on whenever I offered my hand, unless he was in a mood. They I started feeding him with my fingers and he enjoyed that. I was bitten a few times, but it didn't hurt that much.
    Hi, I'm Kate and I love animals. I'm the proud owner of Stacy, the 11 year old dog, Azymondias (Zym), the 1 year old leopard gecko, and Moonlily (Moon), the 9 month old leopard gecko. Right now those are my only pets, but later on in the year I will be expanding my menagerie lol.
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  3. #3
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    You should put your hands in your geckos tank EVERY day. He WILL get use to it and won't mind, as long as you give him his space. Talk to him too, calmly and softly!

    Here's what I do EVERY day. Usually, geckos emerge from their slumber at dusk (your dinner time). Go up to his tank and talk to him, from the side, not towering over him. Then, EVERY night, if you want to win his trust quicker, take the lid off his tank, reach in and open his moist hide (usually the hide they prefer) so he's exposed, and DON'T TOUCH HIM, talk to him, while you are removing his water dish, to clean it, and give him fresh water. I'm sorry, I am one of those that gives my gecko fresh, dechlorinated water every day. That's what I would want if I was stuck in a tank, LOL.

    Anyway, while you're doing this you could be also tidying up his tank as well, removing poop...you know, just keeping the tank clean so it looks nice, and it's sanitary. Meanwhile, your gecko IS getting use to your hands being in the tank, moving around, while you talk to him softly. He's also getting use to your scent and your voice as well. Over time, he will be completely use to you "dealing" with him. You next need to moisten the hide DAILY and this is the time to do it. If he's still in the hide, exposed, call him out to you and if he doesn't move, nudge him slightly. If you ever want to get a gecko to move quickly, without picking him up, very lightly, touch the spot where his tail connects to his body from above, LOL. They're not crazy over this and they will move immediately. Now you moisten their hide without them in it.

    Also, give him alot of "hands off" time. If you handle him too much (like all noobs), you're going to have alot of problems, I promise. They might be cute little guys, but they stress easily...and then they act weird and you'll be posting like crazy on this forum because you're gecko is not acting right, LOL. You need to treat him like a little baby because his health and welfare depends solely on you. He needs space from you "physically", moreso than being held often, but you can go up to the tank anytime you want and observe and talk to him. It's fun!

    Interact with his tank everday and I promise you'll win his trust. Be very careful when you do handle him also. They are strong and can wiggle out of your hands easily. I always lower my gecko to almost floor level after I take him out of the tank. I don't want him to drop from 3 feet and hit the floor if he gets away from me. I sit Indian-style on the floor, with a towel over my lap. He crawls all over my legs and lap. I NEVER let him crawl on the floor though, as geckos love to lick everything they investigate, and I don't want him licking my floor. Sometimes, when he really wants out of the tank, I let him run around on my bed, but I have to constantly watch him. They can jump right off the edge without a thought and hurt themselves. They're dumb in that way, LOL.

    Oh yeah, geckos typically like to be left alone after they eat. They usually head for the warm hide to lay on a warm floor. This helps them digest what they just ate.
    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 10-01-2022 at 03:52 AM.
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    He's gotten way better with me holding him. Because of his "noodle dance" as a friend calls it, many times, I'll hold him but keep in him his enclosure (the convenience of a front opening enclosure). Some days, he just relaxes and rests in my hand. Other days, he backs up. That's his big escape move: backing up. But having him right over his hide means he can pretty much just step out of my hands and onto his hide. He seems to have learned that I won't force him to stay in my hands which seems to have helped with the trust issues.

    I had created a "wiggle world" for him (folding table set up with a cardboard wall all the way around it, where I could put up excess hides and such for him to crawl around and explore. He wasn't as fond of it as I would like, but he DOES like crawling around in my pop-up photography light box (which is awesome for getting photos of him). And since it has a lip at the opening that he needs to crawl over, I can stop him before he gets into mischief. By adding a few fun props, I've been able to get some fun photos of him (although he has a definite curiosity about the camera and usually marches toward me to investigate).

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    Very cute photos. He looks healthy and well fed. You'll find that geckos can be very moody too. Some days they don't mind human contact. Other days they want to be left alone. My gecko generally wants to be left alone during the winter months. He's also very skittish during winter. Sometimes I'll walk into his room, while he's sitting out, and just me walking into the room causes him to jump and take off like a rocket into his hide.
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    This will be my first winter with Donnie, but I have noticed that about him where he has social days and anti-social days. As an introvert myself, I understand that thought process and try to respect his moods.

    When we got him, he was on the thin side. Unfortunately, I overcompensated a bit and he now needs to lose a bit of weight (as per our vet when I took him in for a well visit to get him established as a patient -- although, since she'd seen several leopard geckos that were underfed and dehydrated because people didn't bother to do proper research before getting a pet, on the whole, she was very happy to see Donnie).

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    My Scooby is going into his reclusive winter mode now. It just started a week or two ago. My observation is that most of your interaction during the winter is mostly during feeding time; and they slow down on their food intake during winter. Don't be surprised if you hit a short period this winter where your gecko won't want to come out and eat for up to two weeks. It can be worrisome when they do this kind of thing, but my experience has been that this is a winter issue with a healthy male gecko. They don't eat as much and they don't poop as much.

    Get your gecko use to hearing the rustling of bugs being coated in a baggie. My gecko knows that sound very well. When he hears it, if he's hungry he'll come running out of his hide and up to the tank edge, looking all excited. If he's not hungry, he won't react to that sound at all. Also, I have noticed after he poops, he's almost always hungry, LOL.

    I am using a UTH, but I also have to use a ceramic heat lamp during the winter just to supplement a bit of warmth that is lacking at night in Scooby's room. I keep him in our extra bedroom, which is used for storage. His tank is right near the door and it's always open. I place the heat lamp right in front of his moist hide. It keeps his ambient tank temp in the cool area of his hide from getting too cold also. He seems to like it. I see him laying under it occasionally at night.

    My Scooby is a big guy too. He's a good eater, but like you, I have to make sure he doesn't eat too much:

    Scooby2.jpg
    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 10-02-2022 at 04:09 PM.
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    Scooby is adorable!!! I love the look on his cute little face!

    I'm in the middle of switching Donnie to a bigger enclosure, but thanks to my frustrating inability to measure things properly, the desk I was going to use as a terrarium stand was too small. New table ordered and the actual switch over SHOULD occur tonight, but I'm hoping the stress of a new home AND the move into fall/winter weather doesn't overly stress Donnie.

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    New enclosure? New surroundings? Your gecko is gonna stress no matter what. The question is: how long will it take him to get use to things and de-stress? I'd say about a month. Give him alot of space and time alone to adjust. Don't handle him alot during this period. Just open the tank and talk to him while you're doing daily tank maintenance. Maybe brush your hand up against him. I'll tell you what my gecko loves. He loves to be gently rubbed on the top of his head, like you'd pet a dog. Try petting your buddy on his head between his eyes, back down to his neck.

    Funny story: In my gecko's room, which is my storage room, I needed to do some rearranging, and I had to throw some stuff out...spring cleaning. Anyway, I did not touch Scooby's tank at all. Didn't move it an inch. Anyway, he was NOT happy at all the commotion that was going on, and at some point, he released his really STINKY smell that geckos can release when they feel threatened. Maybe you didn't know about this smell, but it's horrible, and will pervade the entire room. I don't know where the smell comes from, but it's real and nasty. So, he kept coming out of his hide to inspect what was going on. I even hung some pictures on the wall above his tank. The rooms contents shrank in size. I had rearranged alot of piles of stuff. And when I was done the room looked great!

    Little did I know what effect this was to have on my little buddy, Scooby. He FREAKED! He wouldn't come out of his hide that night and when I lifted the lid to moisten it, he sprung and hissed at me. Whipped that tail into the air and coiled it all over. You should have seen the look on his face. You would have thought I just yanked his tail off. He was really angry and scared. He would come out of his hide and look around, like, "where am I"? The pictures on the wall above his tank really bothered him. He kept looking up at them. It actually took him about one month to go back to his normal self. And I didn't even touch his tank or move it. All I did was rearrange everything he saw outside the tank, and that really confused him, LOL.

    This is Scooby's tank. This was taken when he was still a juvenile. I've since changed the tank lighting:

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    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 10-03-2022 at 04:39 PM.
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    Awww. Poor Scooby. I haven't run into anything nearly like that with Donovan. The move from one room to another (early on because my one cat developed a serious gecko watching addiction and has no understanding of the concept of boundaries) stressed him a bit, but he never got seriously grumpy.

    Donnie likes the middle of his head petted too. In fact, thanks to that, I was able to get a photo of him wearing a little hat. I started petting his head and then gently placed the hat on his head.

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