Should geckos with deformities be culled?

Should deformed geckos be culled?

  • No. Under no circumstances should a living creature be killed.

    Votes: 24 8.7%
  • Yes, but only if they cannot survive on their own.

    Votes: 208 75.6%
  • Yes, but only if it is a known genetic defect.

    Votes: 21 7.6%
  • Yes. Any defective or deformed gecko should be put down immediately after birth.

    Votes: 29 10.5%
  • I'm undecided. (list reasons below)

    Votes: 18 6.5%

  • Total voters
    275

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
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12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
As a gecko breeder and former dog breeder, I know offspring with defects and/or deformities are often culled (put down) shortly after birth. I am curious how everyone here at GF feels about culling deformed geckos. Is it right to do this? Under what circumstances should culling be acceptable? Choose all that apply in the POLL..
 
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Kotsay1414

You feed 'em we breed 'em
Messages
1,663
Location
Tualatin, OR
Great poll Marcia! I feel it should only be done if the breeder feels the animal would not have a better life. For example, if a Leopard Gecko is born with no eyelids it will not be able to hydrate it's eyeballs. I feel in that case the Leopard Gecko should be put down.
 

Grinning Geckos

Tegan onboard.
Messages
2,521
Location
Chicago-land
I personally only cull animals that wouldn't be able to survive without considerable help. In those cases, I feel it's kindest to make their death short, rather than prolong it.
 

ReptileMan27

New Member
Messages
2,409
Location
New York
I see no reason to kill a animal with a deformitie unless it would suffer or die anyway. I just recently adopted a mack snow with overbite, theirs nothing wrong with it, its a beutiful healthy leo, sure it may look a bit odd but thats no excuse to kill it.
 

BalloonzForU

New Member
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7,585
Location
Grand Blanc, MI
I voted "Yes, but only if they cannot survive on their own".

Last year in the beginning of the season I had a few hatch with severe eye deformities due to a temp flux during incubation and one the year before that just refused to have a good shed from day one. I had such a hard time with them, constant shed issues around the eyes, not eating well on their own, steady decline. If I hatched more like these I would put them down. :(

With the incubator issue I had one hatch with a cork screw tail, very healthy otherwise. She was so cute and very sweet and is now living out her life as a pet to a girl down in FL. :main_yes:
 

eyelids

Bells Rule!
Messages
10,728
Location
Wisconsin
I also voted "Yes, but only if they cannot survive on their own".

I've been lucky so far and the worst I've had were kinked tails...
 

ReptileMan27

New Member
Messages
2,409
Location
New York
I find it pretty sick that someone would kill one because its not perfect, makes me wonder if they relize since its not perfect they cant get top dollar for it, so they kill it.
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
I can see both sides of the picture. Personally, I would only cull an animal if it could not survive otherwise on it's own... like blindness or a severe physical deformity that would prevent it from moving or feeding. I would prefer to give away any of my not-so-perfect geckos to loving homes that would provide a good life for them as long as the gecko was not allowed to reproduce.

On the other hand, there are already too many unwanted pets in the world, and there would be no guarantee that the individuals that took the defective geckos wouldn't breed them. With geckos, it's not always easy to determine if a defect is genetic or congenital. Irresponsible breeding only perpetuates genetic defects, and I oppose allowing these animals to reproduce.
 

Alusdra

New Member
Messages
475
Location
Washington, DC
Is there really much of an overpopulation problem with geckos? I've seen every animal under the sun offered up for adoption, but leos seem pretty rare. They're so easy-going, pretty, and low maintenance (and I'm sure most don't live all that long due to poor care).
 

ReptileMan27

New Member
Messages
2,409
Location
New York
Well their is of course leos out their that are being treated poorly and ones people are looking to get rid of but they defently arent as bad as some other herps probly because they dont get very big and not dangerous.



On the other hand, there are already too many unwanted pets in the world, and there would be no guarantee that the individuals that took the defective geckos wouldn't breed them. With geckos, it's not always easy to determine if a defect is genetic or congenital. Irresponsible breeding only perpetuates genetic defects, and I oppose allowing these animals to reproduce.
I see what your saying but like im sure you and many others have said before and will say again, if you cant feed,care for,or find the babies a home, DONT BREED.
 
G

Gecko

Guest
Are Leopard geckos prone to defects? I've never hatched out a defective baby although I did have a gecko baby that seemed to have a vit overdose problem that killed it. Maybe metabolic problem?).
 

robin

New Member
Messages
12,276
Location
Texas
Golden Gate Geckos said:
All living creatures produce deformed or defective offsping. Heck. I was born with 6 toes on my right foot! (I'm glad I didn't get culled, LOL!)
dislocated hips and crappy scarred toxoplasmosis eyes here ( i had a lazy eye too... still wanders from time to time) :thumbsup:
 

PaulSage

I'm baaaaaack!
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2,590
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Texas
I look at whether or not they can survive, even if it requires a little extra effort on behalf of the keeper, and the quality of life the gecko has to look forward to. If a gecko looks like it's going to struggle through constant or routine bouts of discomfort or pain, I have to make a judgment call. I hate making those decisions, but ultimately I am responsible since I produced the animal. Breeding geckos, or any other animal for that matter, comes with a lot of hard decisions which I think many people don't factor in when they put a male and a female together.

I come from a background of raising dogs and several species of birds and fish. Fish seem to have a tendency to "cull themselves" if kept communally, and birds do as well but they are easier to house separately. Birds and dogs seem much easier to accept with abnormalities since the vast majority of them are going to be pets, so prospective owners are much less inclined to care whether or not a particular specimen is "breeder quality". Finding a home for a "less than perfect," "pet quality" or "special needs" bird or dog never seemed to be difficult. There was always someone more than willing to offer a good home to such animals. It worries me that there seems to be less people willing to offer a home to less than ideal reptiles, and there also seems to be a lot of judgment and negative stigma associated with such reptiles. In turn, this also has me concerned that many reptiles are treated as commodities instead of the living things that they are.

NO ONE produces 100% perfect geckos. No one. Regardless of the "quality" of stock used in breeding, imperfect geckos can still be produced. Accidents, Mother Nature, congenital defects, temperature fluctuations, hidden genetic traits, dam distress/illness, etc... all of these things can cause an imperfect gecko to be produced. To think that there is a strain or bloodline of geckos that is immune to any sort of defect or abnormality is absurd. Imperfect geckos are a fact of life; one can either accept it or pretend that it doesn’t exist.

I understand what some have said regarding the lack of any shortage of available geckos, as well as how/where the imperfect geckos fit in to the captive gecko population. However I know that it is not my goal to create some sort of utopian race of geckos that is 100% impervious to imperfections. That goal cannot be achieved because of the factors I listed above. Perfect geckos can and do produce imperfect offspring. Obviously I don’t encourage producing imperfect geckos where it can be avoided, but there is no foolproof way of preventing an imperfect gecko from hatching.

Furthermore, I question just what is meant by “imperfectâ€. Evaluating a gecko’s characteristics can be a rather subjective practice, and not everyone is going to agree what conditions or attributes quantify a “perfect†or “breeder quality†gecko. Heck, we don’t even know for certain what causes some imperfections to occur. We rely on speculation and non-scientific “proof†to categorize animals that we know so little about. Sure, it would appear that eyelid deformities are due to a vitamin deficiency in the dam, and it would appear that tail kinks are a genetic trait, but how do we know for certain? What if there are multiple causes for eyelid kinks to occur? What if not all tail kinks are the same? Has anyone done the required bona fide scientific testing to determine if it is indeed a lack of vitamin A in a gravid female that causes her offspring to have irregular eyelids? Has anyone had gene mapping done on geckos exhibiting kinked tails to determine that it is indeed a heritable genetic trait? I guess I just take issue with determining whether something lives or dies at my hand based on speculation, which is why I won’t euthanize an animal who, despite its defects, appears to be capable of thriving.


I’ve produced a number of “less than perfect†geckos. I admit it because I accept its reality. I know that I can’t raise geckos without producing a certain number of imperfect offspring. I accept that reality as well. History has shown me that those imperfect geckos are actually easier to find homes for than the flawless ones anyway. Why would I put them down if they can survive and someone is willing to offer them a good home? Cost and expense isn’t part of the answer for me. I accepted the fact that I will indeed produce imperfect animals, and I accept that producing any animal has its financial consequences. Just because I can’t sell them at a profit doesn’t justify euthanizing them. If one wants to look at it from a financial perspective, raising an imperfect gecko costs the same and sometimes more than a perfect gecko.


I don’t accept the “I put them down so someone else can’t breed them†argument, and I don’t accept the “I can’t trust that someone is honest when they say they won’t breed them†argument either. The reality is that you have no control whatsoever what happens to a gecko once it leaves your possession. People are dishonest, geckos change hands, people forget, geckos get accidentally swapped, people change their minds, etc… it happens and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.

Many of my imperfect geckos go to a local pet store where I hope that people will buy them and take them home to be kept as pets. I’m sure that some of them aren’t properly cared for, and there’s always the possibility that some of them are bred. I can’t prevent either one of those possibilities regardless of who receives one of my geckos. It’s another reality I have to accept. In the grand scheme of things though, I think those imperfect geckos serve a critical role in the gecko “industryâ€. How many of us breeders started our interest in geckos with one we saw or purchased at a pet store? How many of us breeders have sold geckos to someone whose interest in geckos began with a “pet†they either purchased or received? If the only geckos available on the “market†were flawless high-dollar animals, what would that do to the potential clientele base that purchases geckos? For those of you whom sell geckos at shows, how many $25 geckos can you sell before you sell one for $250?

My dog is “imperfect†according to the “standards†set by a group of people whom I don’t even know because she’s “too smallâ€. You don’t need to know me very well to know that I love her more than anything and she means the world to me. It doesn’t matter to me what anyone thinks of her, but if someone were to be so arrogant as to suggest she’s any less worthy in some way, I’d gladly tell them where they can shove their opinion. She’s my friend, for crying out loud; not a trophy.

I apologize for this being so long, but this rant has been building up for a while now and I thank Marcia for opening the topic for discussion. It has been on my mind a lot more lately with moving, as I won’t have the same access to the pet store that helped me find omes for my “imperfect†geckos after I finish moving. Hopefully through shows and online ads I’ll be able to place them, but if not they’ll just stay with me until they find homes.
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
Paul, I deeply appreciate your views on this subject, and I might add that I share them. Thank you for sharing your feelings

I don't want the following statements to be a subject of a debate, but I truly value the lives of God's creatures. He gave us dominion over all living things... to use them and care for them. My animals bring me tremendous joy, and quite frankly I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my dogs, Jet and Star, and my geckos. They give me a sense of purpose and a sense of gratification to care for them.

I posted this poll to try and get a sense of how all of us here on GF feel about culling deformed or 'defective' geckos because I will have several not-so-perfect ones available for adoption soon. These babies survived the horrendous tragedy of overheating when my controller probe came loose from the rack they are in and were subject to mortally high temperatures.

In all honesty, there was a point after having 9 of them die and 15 more with MBD that I was so overwhelmed with grief and stress that I considered taking all of the affected ones and putting them in a bag and freezing them. It was a selfish thought, because I just didn't think I could bear to watch them suffer and perhaps die. I was selfish because I didn't want the tremendous emotional and physical responsibility of rehabilitating them. I couldn't deal with the fact that I was the one responsible for their suffering.

I was more focused on the ones that died than the ones that were struggling to survive.

That nightmare passed when I realized the exact same words Paul stated... "ultimately I am responsible since I produced the animal." I am soooo glad I didn't shun that responsibility, because all of those little 'survivors' are thriving, eating well, and growing! And you know what? Nurturing and caring for them, and watching them improve every day, has been one of the most rewarding experiences I could ever imagine.

Since posting this poll, I know now that the majority of us share the value in the lives of our geckos... and I know that many of my 'imperfect' little ones will find homes with people that can find the same joy in keeping them that I have found.
 
L

LeopardGeckoMom52688

Guest
I voted I would but only if it couldn't survive on its own. I have had to do this this year. I had one born with no eye lids, he woudln't even eat when I force fed him. At almost a week old he still didn't weigh more then a gram so we put him down. Just days later I had hatch out perfect, and have grown to be 10 grams now!
 

Brhaco

New Member
Messages
127
Location
Boerne, TX
"I don’t accept the “I put them down so someone else can’t breed them†argument, and I don’t accept the “I can’t trust that someone is honest when they say they won’t breed them†argument either. The reality is that you have no control whatsoever what happens to a gecko once it leaves your possession. People are dishonest, geckos change hands, people forget, geckos get accidentally swapped, people change their minds, etc… it happens and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. "


Yes, there is something I can do about it-I put them down, humanely, as soon as they hatch. Think about it this way-even with SEVERE culling (which I'm not necessarily advocating-just obvious deformities), FAR more of our hatchlings survive to adulthood than would ever survive in nature. The only selection our hatchlings are going to get isn't natural-it's us. And I strongly believe that we are ethically bound to send strong bloodlines down the generations to breeders a century from now. And a big part of that is culling. They will thank us for it.

Brad Chambers
 

PaulSage

I'm baaaaaack!
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2,590
Location
Texas
Brhaco said:
"I don’t accept the “I put them down so someone else can’t breed them†argument, and I don’t accept the “I can’t trust that someone is honest when they say they won’t breed them†argument either. The reality is that you have no control whatsoever what happens to a gecko once it leaves your possession. People are dishonest, geckos change hands, people forget, geckos get accidentally swapped, people change their minds, etc… it happens and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. "


Yes, there is something I can do about it-I put them down, humanely, as soon as they hatch.
I meant that there is nothing that can be done to prevent something from happening to a gecko once it leaves my hands; not that there is nothing that can be done to prevent a deformed gecko from reproducing. Obviously if they're dead they can't reproduce.
 
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