Leopard gecko eggs need warm temperatures and high humidity to hatch. It is important to provide both of these elements by providing a nursery enclosure and building a brooder.
Fill several plastic food storage containers halfway with vermiculite. One female gecko can conveniently be provided with one enclosure, however Having backups is always a good idea.
Weigh the vermiculite with a food or postal scale and add an equal amount of Non-chlorinated water by weight, to vermiculite by sprinkling it on top of the vermiculite with a spray bottle.
Choose an enclosure to incubate based on the amount of eggs you will be caring for. The more eggs you have, the larger your container will need, however Larger containers will cost more to heat. Small Styrofoam coolers can be used for small colonies, while larger operations may require you to repurpose an old refrigerator or mini-bar.
Prepare a heat element, heat rock, heating tape or other similar heat source for your incubator. The volume and output depend on the size of the container and will, in any case, require trial and error and calibration. In flat incubators such as coolers, mount the heat source to the bottom of the container. Dig a hole or use the available drain outlet to feed the power cord from the incubator.
Lay a sheet of egg-crate light diffuser over the heating element. Cut cardboard tubes to support the egg’s crate Prevent it from touching the heat source directly.
Remove the inner squares from the egg cage with pliers to create a spot for a small electric fan to perch on. Make sure the fan is close to the heat source and positioned so that it sucks in air from the heat source and circulates it up and out into the brooder. Feed the power cable from the fan through the same hole as before.
Place an electronic thermometer in the incubator. Set it so that it remembers the maximum and minimum temperatures.
Plug in the heat source and fan, close the incubator and allow the entire system to come up to temperature. Check the thermometer often to see what temperatures it has been reading. Adjust the heating elements so the incubator can read continuously 90 degrees or higher. The temperature controller can turn off the heat to bring the temperature down, but it can’t raise the temperature more than the “on” setting for the appliance you’re using. Move the thermometer probe around to make sure the whole brooder is getting to the same temperature and adjust the fan if it isn’t.
Plug the non-linear power strip into the wall and plug the incubation temperature controller into the strip. Feed the temperature probe to the incubator controller and place it at the point where your eggs will be incubated, on top of the egg cage. Unplug the thermostat from the wall and plug it into the appropriate outlet on the temperature controller.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for calibrating the temperature controller. Console settings for 82 degrees Fahrenheit to produce predominantly females. Choose 90 degrees for males mostly. Temperature 86 to 87 will produce a blend male and female. Set temperature alarms, if available, to 74 degrees on the low side and 95 degrees on the high side. Temperatures outside this range can be fatal to eggs and many temperature controllers have an audible alarm that can alert you to a critical heating failure.
Mark the eggs, when the female has laid them, with a permanent marker. Spinning eggs can kill them So making this mark will help you keep the eggs in the right orientation as you move them.
Drill small holes in the vermiculite for each egg. Place the eggs in this indentation and pound them so they don’t move.
Seal the lids to these containers and place them in the incubator. Open the Weekly Containers To check the eggs and ventilate the containers. Reapply the water, as necessary, to keep the vermiculite moist. If any eggs show signs of mold, decay or discoloration, remove them and place them in separate containers – they may still be viable but should not be given the opportunity to contaminate other eggs.
Wait patiently. Leopard gecko eggs may hatch from 30 to 105 days after being laid.