Chronic malnutrition, fatty liver disease and low vitamin A and calcium deficiency are caused by feeding un-supplemented crickets and mealworms. Prey insects should be fed a calcium rich diet (usually greater than 6 to 8% Calcium) for several days; i.e., gut-loaded and dusted with calcium just prior to feeding. Gut loading is done by sprinkling malt-o-meal or cream of wheat on fresh sweet potatoes peelings.
Offer a wide variety of insects; commonly available commercial insects (crickets, mealworms, wax worms, super-worms), should be supplemented with commercially available silkworm larvae, tomato hornworms, cockroaches and wild caught moths, crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, and sow bugs (isopod crustaceans, pill bugs or rolly pollys).
Leopard geckos eat insects, lizards and scorpions in the wild. As adults, leopard geckos take pinky mice, especially females. Start with one to two-day-old live pinkies until they are comfortable eating them, no more than one per week. Eventually, geckos will take thawed frozen pinkies if dangled in front of them.
Multivitamins are necessary twice a month, or good insect gut loaded diets, seem to be an adequate source of vitamin D3 for leopard geckos. Multivitamins are not a good source of calcium, irrespective of what the label implies. Also, be aware that many reptile multivitamins contain β-carotene, instead of preformed vitamin A. Insectivorous reptiles need preformed vitamin A. Leopard geckos do not seem to be able to convert β-carotene to vitamin A; therefore, hypovitaminosis A is common. Low vitamin A results in decreased appetite, difficulty catching prey, retained hemi-penal plugs, poor shedding, mouth rot and eye problems. Human multivitamins (Centrum) are better than reptile multivitamins. Grind them in a coffee grinder and sprinkle on crickets every other week. Pinkies are a useful source of vitamin A for adults.
Safari offers the following foods from Exotic Nutrition™ in our Pet Store. All foods are 100% Natural, High Protein, Calcium Rich & No Preservatives. Everything comes Ready to Feed, so you can rest easy knowing your gecko is getting the proper nutrition to stay healthy.
Left to Right:
- Exotic Nutrition™ 100% Natural CALCIUM RICH Calci-Yum Worms 1lb. bag $9.80
- Exotic Nutrition™ Canned Soft & Moist/Farm Raised 1.2oz. each:
- Caterpillars $5.60
- Crickets $4.20
- Grasshoppers $4.80
- Wax Worms $5.60
- Exotic Nutrition™ 100% Natural EZ-Worms (BLEND of Dried Mealworms & Dried Calci-Yum Worms) 2.8 oz. $7.99
- Exotic Nutrition™ HIGH CALCIUM mealworm chow (for feeding mealworms & other insects) 1lb. bag $5.80
- Exotic Nutrition™ WAX WORMS Dried Waxworms Approx. count 375 $5.80
- Exotic Nutrition™ Finest Quality Dried mealworms 7.14oz. $9.40