Breeding leo?s ~ a few thoughts - Reptile Forums

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Old 22-01-2009, 07:24 PM
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Post Breeding leo’s ~ a few thoughts

There’s been numerous threads and posts/questions about breeding leo’s ~ how-to, when, what if, etc ~ so thought I’d post a few personal thoughts about this here ~

Time, Patience and Planning ~
All of these are needed ~ not only to choose leo’s carefully but also to research what is needed, what can go wrong, what is best to ensure not only healthy hatchlings but also to keep your leo’s in good health and time to get everything needed ready well in advance.

Q – Can I keep my male with my female all the time?
Males mature earlier then females ~ which is why I always recommend separating them before 4 months of age ~ and I recommend keeping them separated unless they’re the right age/weight and breeding is wanted and planned for ~ just because littl’jonboy hasn’t done anything to mildred yet don’t mean that sooner or later he won’t ~ he’ll eventually be ready but chances are she won’t be and nor will you; and on the same note no littl’jonboy won’t be all lonely because he’s not got a girlfriend or two to cuddle.

Q- How old and big does a female have to be?
As a general guide females should be in good health and a bare minimum of 12 months old (preferably older) and over 50g-55g in weight ~ however I feel that there are also other important points to think about too ~ buying a female hatched the year before doesn’t always guarantee that she is old enough nor does being ‘breeding’ weight mean they can be bred yet, also buying adult females at the start of a year/season doesn’t necessarily mean that they can be bred that same year/season ~ far better to wait a season, practise quarantine and patience and get the females up to optimum condition and health first ~ females don’t just need careful looking after during the breeding season i.e.: extra food, extra calcium requirements etc, but they also need time to build up before the breeding season.
How a female is looked after before breeding can influence how well she does ~ breeding underweight, too young, ill, over-stressed, over-breeding, can all potentially lead to sometimes fatal problems not only with the female’s health but also with any eggs/hatchlings she may have. Depending on age and health a single female can lay in excess of eight clutches and it can and does take a lot out of her ~ be prepared to remove a male leo into a separate viv after he’s done the deed ~ males continually wanting to mate can stress a gravid female.
If you have more then one female again be prepared to keep them in their own vivs/tubs during the season ~ not all females will tolerate others especially when they’re gravid and competing for laying areas.

Q – When do I need to get the stuff ready for breeding?
If you haven’t bred before then take the time to read and research about it first ~ it can save a lot of hassle and problems later on.
Get everything ready in advance ~ incubators (whether home-made or bought), tubs/rubs for hatchlings along with bigger rubs as they grow, heat mats/strips, stats, thermometers, stacks and all the other bits that breeding entails ~ it all needs to be checked and ready beforehand not left till the last minute. Check round for a good livefood supplier who can supply regular orders ~ don’t just rely on a local shop ~ you don’t want to be in the position of running out of livefood during the season.

Q – How much does it cost?
Be prepared to spend ….. a lot ~ and don’t expect to make a profit or even break even. Most I know including myself only just about cover the costs ~ if we’re lucky.

Even cutting costs with home-made incubators, hides, DIY rubs and tubs the costs mount up ~ extra livefood (not just for the adults but all the hatchlings) plus the food for gutloading, supplements, vet fee’s if anything should go wrong as well as the other costs like electricity. Take into account that most leo’s are at least eight weeks old before they’re sold so space is also going to be at a premium; be prepared to keep the hatchlings longer too as selling them is not guaranteed.

There is also a cost in the time needed to spend on them all ~ it isn’t just an hour a day and that’s that; you can’t take time out and leave them for a weekend or so because you’re tired or want to go out with your friends ~ just because you can cut costs/corners in some ways does not mean that you can or should in others least of all with the health and well-being of the leo’s in mind.

Q – I gonna buy and breed leo’s
Anybody can buy a load of leo’s, call themselves a breeder and set themselves up as such ~ but to my mind a good Breeder not only researches first and cares about their leo’s but is someone who works with what is in their leo’s best interest not their own.

Harsh? Maybe yes ~ breeding leo’s responsibly takes time, planning, patience, money along with research and reading ~ it’s not just a case of buying/shoving leo’s together to do the bizz asap nor should it be a case of being used to ‘big’ someone’s ego ~ unfortunately this increasingly seems to be happening.
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:27 PM
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Fantastic post Sticky contender me thinks.
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:30 PM
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brilliant post m8 it defiantly needs to be made in to a sticky it would be a shame to lose it especially after the time and effort thats been put in to it
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:32 PM
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thankyou both ~ it's something that's been bugging me for awhile
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:33 PM
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:46 PM
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A worthwhile post, although i did get a bit of an 'anti-breeding' vibe from it but i do see what you are trying to get across.

Im looking to start breeding soon and there certainly is a lot to know! I dont ever intend to make any money from it, its just something ive always wanted to try, plus i bet its satisfying succesfully raising some leos!!
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GazEmm View Post
A worthwhile post, although i did get a bit of an 'anti-breeding' vibe from it but i do see what you are trying to get across.
no not anti-breeding but having seen the results of unthought out, unresearched breeding and even uncaring breeding I do feel strongly about it
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:58 PM
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I have brought a breeding trio of geckos and i do plan on breeding them, i have read alot about breeding and have all the space and requirements needed. I have done this though as i reckon breeding Leos will be alot easier than breeding corns which i plan on doing in the next 2 years so it is for experience aswell as the enjoyment of raising my own babies.

Great thread though and definately sticky!
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Old 22-01-2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyD View Post
no not anti-breeding but having seen the results of unthought out, unresearched breeding and even uncaring breeding I do feel strongly about it
Oh yea i didnt mean it in a negative way, people need to be aware of the 'cons' of breeding.

This thread really highlights some important things people should be aware of before jumping in feet first and getting stuck!
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Old 22-01-2009, 08:04 PM
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nice post jedi master

but i have a question master, i dont have a male gecko called littl’jonboy can i still breed my geckos
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