leo breeding

Jacobsherps

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hello. ive been looking into breeding leopard geckos recently and i wasnted the advice of someone who has already bred them.
basicly my plan is to get a rack system and incubator and get 6 breeders. 2 males and 4 females. im aware of the work that goes into caring for the offspring and breeders and the risks that must be took. ive read on a few sources that you should only breed a female like 4 times in her life. is this true. it makes sence to me but i realy get the point of this. i feel like it would be good not to breed them at a certain age like my 7 y o female. i wouldnt want to breed her right.if anyone here has experiance with breeding leopard geckos and could share as much advice as they can about everything including breeding incuabating when to breed them and even like how i can make my own rack and incubator ( im not spending 150 dollars to buy something that you can make) when i say make an incubator i litteraly mean make an incubator. wickens wicked reptiles has a great video on how he made a chest cooler into the incubator he uses to incubate leopard geckos snakes and other species. thanks in advance
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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That's an awful lot of information to provide in a forum thread. Here's my condensed version:
I bred leopard geckos for 13 years. At the height of breeding I had about 6 females breeding. I highly recommend you start with a male and 2 females and build up. I was producing about 70 geckos a year at the height of things, and, while it was really fun, it was a lot of work. It's good to be sure you enjoy it when you're actually engaged with it, not just when you're thinking about it.
The most important thing about an incubator is the thermostat. Get a proportional thermostat which is better than an on/off thermostat. Or, spend the money on a ZooMed incubator which is a good basic incubator with a really good thermostat. It's crucial that the temperatures remain steady or you will hatch geckos with deformities. I bred my females as long as they recovered well from the previous breeding season and were producing fertile eggs.
Here are 2 articles I wrote a while ago about breeding leopard geckos on a small scale:

Aliza
 

Jacobsherps

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ok cool i didnt know that you wrote those articles. ive actually seen those before. when you say the zomed incubator are you talking about the foam incubator or the big mini fridge incubator. ive heard lots of sour reviews about the zoomed mini fridge. the foam incubator seems to be a good one some people say but others also say that the thermostat can be a few degrees off. also i have a female gecko who ive had for a while now. shes big and realy healthy however she has never ovulated or been bred. she is 6 or 7 years old to my knowledge. heres the earlyest pic we have of her, shes the small super spotty one the other one was jimmy who was a gecko i used to have but passed away due to a shedding issue. i was in second/3rd grade at this time so i wasnt the best at there care so please dont comment on the shed on her toes, thats a problem i dont have anymore because 3rd grade me didnt know what humidity is. but anyways this was tooken in early 2015 and she looked about a year old here. but looking at these pics would you say i can breed her. i mean shes not the rarest morph but you could prob pair her with one who looks real nice and get some spectacular offspring
 

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Jacobsherps

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also what kind of morphs are good to breed. i dont want to spend thousands of dollars but i still want something that will give me a decent income not just to help me pay for feeders and stuff but i think that a small buisness like this would tremendously help me get my first car next summer. also 3 breeders. how many babys would i get do you think i did the math with 6 and i would make over 2000 dollars wich means paying off the geckos hole burned in my savings account wot be a problem

edit: im not doing this just because i want money, im doing this because i love geckos but with any buisness the financial part is just a important as the product one gets cuts out and the other will fall
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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Nice looking gecko! Here are some thoughts based on your questions:
--It's really important to breed geckos of known genetics, not entirely because of health of the gecko, but because a serious breeder won't want to buy geckos whose genetic heritage is unknown, so you will be stuck selling "pet only" geckos
--If you're not familiar with the terms dominant, recessive, co-dominant, homozygous, heterozygous, you will need to be before you get into breeding.
--What follows from the previous point is that you should probably do a bunch of research (google is useful) to see what morph of leopard gecko you like and how you can combine different traits to get a variety of looks. Here's another article (yes, I wrote this one too) that illustrates basic genetic principles as well as a range of looks from just a few pairings: http://www.geckotime.com/leopard-gecko-genetics-and-hets/
--If you think you're going to make $2000 with 6 breeders, you may only be calculating how much you might make by selling babies but I don't know that you've taken into account how much you're going to spend on food (one baby season I ordered 10,000 mealworms the first week in August and they were gone by the end of the month and I was breeding mealworms as well), housing, expo fees, incubator, possible vet fees. I used to post my end of the year finances and if I was lucky I was only a few hundred dollars in the red.
--the leopard gecko market is pretty saturated. When I was breeding, the vast majority of my geckos were sold for $25-$45. I recommend against having 50 or more geckos to sell the first year you try this. It's hard work and exhausting to sell them. I produced 16, I think, my first year and that was more than enough.
--Incubator: The ZooMed foam incubator is basically a Hobovator (the incubator most of us started out with) with a really good thermostat and it costs the same as the Hobovator + a really good thermostat. I think the minifridge one is actually and exo-terra and that did get bad reviews.
--the whole breeding thing: based on some of your comments, I'm going to assume that you're a teenager and living at home. Are your parents on board with this? Do they have any concept how much space this is going to take up? I have 3 kids (now in their 20's and 30's) and I'm really far on the "yes" side of things (one of my sons, when he was 11-12 used to build giant K'nex roller coasters in my dining room), but not all parents are.
--Also, if you're thinking you may want to go to college in a few years, or even move into an apartment and go to work, what are you going to do with all the geckos?

Hope that answers some of your questions.

Aliza
 

Jacobsherps

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ok, to sell the geckos to actual breeders and stores they wll need to know the genetics. some of the morphs i want to breed are the browns (not sure of what there called yet) mack snows and mabey some other types that sell good. i think il get 3 as you suggested and build up from there possibly keeping some of the young and raising them up like that. i still think i will still make my own incubator just because it will end up cheaper than the name brand incubators and functions the same.i actually am starting my own mealies colony to eliminate the cost of feeding my breeders and breeded.also expos, do they help your company. ive gone to a few before to get roaches and they will have all kinds of geckos. do you ussually sell alot or is it just people going and buying your animals on impulce. if there is one thing i see alot at expos is people buying reptiles on impulce. i hate it when i see parents at an expo ask there child which they want and they will ask the child between a sav monitor or an iguana. how would i make sure that my animals arent being bought on impulce and are going to a good home that will provide to all the animals needs instead of a home thats going to keep it in a shoe box and feed it Cheerios. also yes im a teen and ive got all my animals and stuff in my parents basement. if i were to be given the several animals right now i woulnt have the space. right now i have this realy big bulky wooden shelf that is holding a few 10 and 5 gal tanks this winter i think im going to get rid of them and put metal shelves like what i have on most of my animals and also some racks wich is where i will keep the breeders. and young. i have discusted this with my parents and they seem to be still a bit sceptical about it but i think they will come on strong.
 

Jacobsherps

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also what are three morphs that are good to breed. im not trying to buy the most expensive gecko so i want to find each gecko under 90 dollars. under 80 would be best just because i dont have a job and im just buying this with years of my allowance saved up. i know you cant get much staying that low but you can combine morphs to make a new one. also i decided agenst breeding jim who is my personal pet because 1 she isnt anything special (no offence jim) she is just a wild type leopard gecko. we got her probally from pet smart an they dont know the genetics of her. i want to be responsible and not muddy the genepool. theres a guy local to me that specializes in breeding beardies but he also breeds leos. one thing that i havent thought about much was breeding cresteds. i already have one crested whos a nice dalmatian. when we first got him he kind of rubbed of as a pet i wouldnt want more of.my veiw on cresteds has for sure changed. he eats much better than he used to and actually chases after crickets. are cresteds any easyer to breed as leopards. it will be cheaper to breed them than leopards because i already have a pretty male who looking at his past, he's produced some pretty offspring that have sold for around 100 dollars each​
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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Crested geckos are easier to keep because they don't need extra heat. I only bred crested geckos for 1 season. There were lots of eggs but many of the babies didn't thrive. I wasn't able to keep going to troubleshoot. I would go to about 4 shows a year. Most of them were just an hour from me but one was 4 hours away and I would stay over with a friend. I sold a fair number of geckos at shows and would always ask people what they were going to keep the gecko in and whether they had supplies. I also had copies of my care sheet right there. If someone seemed clueless, I would give them a care sheet and ask them to read it and then come back if they were still interested.
I really can't advise you on which morphs to breed; it's a personal choice and I don't pay attention to the market anymore. I recommend you go to morphmarket.com which is an online selling site. Do a lot of research by looking at crested geckos and leopard geckos. Check out the morphs, the look of the geckos and how much people are asking.
Also go to shipyourreptiles.com and read about how to ship reptiles. Make sure this is something you can be prepared to do. You will be charging your customers for the shipping, but you may have to lay out funds.
Finally, as parent I will say that it's important to share your plans when you firm them up with your parents. If you're not driving yet, they will have to give you a ride to the FedEx place, for example and that's not something you want to surprise them with!

Aliza
 

Jacobsherps

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26
yea most definitly. when you say your cresteds didnt thrive, what does that mean, they just didnt do well or did they die. im not as experianced with crested geckos as i am with leopard geckos but i hear with cresteds you dont need an incubator. they can be incubated at room temp. i feel that breeding cresteds would be MUCH cheaper than breeding leopard geckos. also we just own one crested atm so to pay for the food for 2 adults and then babys would that be super expensive or am i just overthinking things. insects arent a part of there diet like it would be for a leopard gecko meaning they still should get insects but not as there main food. also random question but can green anoles eat pangea, my lad julian is always into trying new foods
 

Jacobsherps

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i found this beautiful lass online while looking around. i believe that the raptor gene can be quite expensive. she is also 66% het diablo blanco
if im right thats exeptionally rare. i saw some of the other diablo blancos will go for around 400$. if say she were bred and the offspring werent carrying the diablo blanko gene as a het and they showed it visibly would they be plain white or possibly have the mack snow patterns on a viciously white white. i think the other morph i like alot is called the raining redstripe and i think that thats going to be my "money maker" and the most expensive il get with my first year in breeding . if this year i like it il probally get more but thats next year. anyways i wont need to pay for those because il probally keep some of my offspring, for sure the first one to hatch. also are you not supposed to breed certain morphs. say i were to breed a gecko with a few genes like that one and maby a raining redstripe wich is a las vegas albino (rainwater) redstripe wich combined is probally my favorite morph
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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13,109
Location
Somerville, MA
yea most definitly. when you say your cresteds didnt thrive, what does that mean, they just didnt do well or did they die. im not as experianced with crested geckos as i am with leopard geckos but i hear with cresteds you dont need an incubator. they can be incubated at room temp. i feel that breeding cresteds would be MUCH cheaper than breeding leopard geckos. also we just own one crested atm so to pay for the food for 2 adults and then babys would that be super expensive or am i just overthinking things. insects arent a part of there diet like it would be for a leopard gecko meaning they still should get insects but not as there main food. also random question but can green anoles eat pangea, my lad julian is always into trying new foods
The only year I bred crested geckos was the year my entire population was diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis so it's hard to know if it was a problem with the care or if it was the disease. A number of the crested geckos that hatched just wouldn't eat and died.

Aliza
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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Messages
13,109
Location
Somerville, MA
i found this beautiful lass online while looking around. i believe that the raptor gene can be quite expensive. she is also 66% het diablo blanco
if im right thats exeptionally rare. i saw some of the other diablo blancos will go for around 400$. if say she were bred and the offspring werent carrying the diablo blanko gene as a het and they showed it visibly would they be plain white or possibly have the mack snow patterns on a viciously white white. i think the other morph i like alot is called the raining redstripe and i think that thats going to be my "money maker" and the most expensive il get with my first year in breeding . if this year i like it il probally get more but thats next year. anyways i wont need to pay for those because il probally keep some of my offspring, for sure the first one to hatch. also are you not supposed to breed certain morphs. say i were to breed a gecko with a few genes like that one and maby a raining redstripe wich is a las vegas albino (rainwater) redstripe wich combined is probally my favorite morph
A very high quality diablo blanco may be expensive, but they're relatively easy to breed so you may see them for less money. It's not really exceptionally rare anymore. I'm not sure I understand your question about the Mack Snow/possible diablo blanco offspring. I can say that if a gecko hatches with a Mack snow pattern, it's very likely that it will get yellower as it matures.

Raining red stripe is beautiful. However, since the coloring is achieved by combining the nicest ones, if you get a cheap one that's not so red, your offspring will also likely not look so good. If you're considering buying a juvenile red stripe, ask to see pictures of the adults because some of them get less red as they mature.

Aliza
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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Check out leopardgecko.com. This site was originally Ron Tremper's site and it's recently been taken over by Julie Bergman of geckoranch.com.

Aliza
 
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