How to Care for Lizard Eggs: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Care for Lizard Eggs: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Care for Lizard Eggs: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Surprised by eggs in your pet lizard's cage? Or are you starting to take care of these animals and want them to breed for the first time? The right answer to the question "How to care for lizard eggs?" depends on each species of this animal. Below you will find basic information about each “type” of egg.


Part 1 of 3: Getting a Brooder for Your Type of Egg

Take Care of Lizard Eggs Step 1

Step 1. Use the correct brooder

The first step is to research the species of lizard that laid the eggs. From there, find a device that reaches the temperature needed to hatch the eggs and find out how long you need to keep them hatched.

  • Buy the brooder and set it to the desired temperature.
  • Hovabator brand brooders are inexpensive and work well for almost all lizard species. You can find these incubators at stores that specialize in farm supply, as brooders are also used for poultry eggs. If you don't live near this type of store, you can purchase the equipment over the internet. However, if there is no store near you and you can't wait the shipping time from online stores, make your own brooder.

Step 2. Make a brooder

In an emergency, where you were caught by surprise, make your own brooder. You will need an aquarium with a capacity of 38 liters, an aquarium heater, one or two bricks and plastic wrap.

  • Place the bricks inside the aquarium and pour water until it almost covers them. Place the eggs in a container, which will rest on the bricks when they are hatched.

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  • Place the aquarium heater in the water and set it to the ideal temperature to hatch the eggs.

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  • Close the aquarium with plastic wrap to retain heat and moisture.

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Step 3. Choose a container

Everything is ready to hatch the eggs, but which container to put them in? And what to put in the egg container?

  • The size of the container varies depending on the size of the eggs. Small eggs can be placed in disposable cups; medium eggs in sandwich packaging and larger eggs in plastic containers.

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  • Fill the container halfway with some type of hatching material. You can use wet moss, vermiculite, perlite, or proper substrate to aid in the incubation. These products should be slightly damp but not wet. After wetting the material, the best way to know if it has the correct moisture is to squeeze until no more water comes out. Then it will be ready to be placed in the container.

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Step 4. Place the eggs in the container carefully

Remove the eggs from the shell and place them in the container very carefully.

  • 24 hours after an egg is laid, the embryo attaches itself to a wall of the egg and begins to develop. If you shake or spin the egg, the embryo will break off, drown and die.

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  • When removing an egg and placing it in the hatching container, it is important that it is kept in the same position as it was placed.
  • Before picking up the egg, make a hole with your fingers in the material chosen for incubation. Place the egg in this hole and mark a small dot on top of the egg with a marker pen. If by accident the egg turns over, you'll be able to get it in the right position and hope the embryo survives.

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  • Place several eggs a finger's length apart. Close the container tightly and place it in the brooder. Mark on a calendar the date the eggs were laid and calculate the approximate time the animals should be ready to hatch.

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Part 2 of 3: Get Ready for Babies

Step 1. Check eggs periodically

After a week or so, you should keep an eye on the eggs and see if they are growing.

  • Buy a small LED bulb, remove the container from the brooder, go into a dark room, open the lid and use the bulb to light the egg, being careful not to move it or squeeze it too tightly.
  • The inside of the egg will light up and you will see some pink and red blood vessels inside. This means the embryo is alive and growing. If you only see a yellow glow when you light it, it could be that the egg is infertile, dead, or hasn't spent enough time to develop.

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  • Close the container and place it back in the brooder for approximately a week and then check again. After a month, if the animal is alive, you will be able to see it. Eggs that are infertile or dead are yellowish or almost white in color and mold or break. Good eggs are usually bright white in color and swell as they grow.

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  • It is good to check the eggs once every one to two weeks during the incubation process. This allows you to monitor the animals' development and the eggs will get some fresh air each time you open the container, but don't open the container any further, as the eggs can lose moisture.

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Step 2. Arrange the cages for the puppies

While waiting for the chicks to hatch, prepare a cage for the chicks. Make sure you have everything you need, including food. Most lizards, in the first few weeks of life, need to be placed in small cages lined with sheets of paper towels.

  • By lining the cage with paper towels, you prevent the substrate from being swallowed or getting stuck in the puppies.

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  • If the species is arboreal, add some branches or artificial vines.

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  • Place a small dish of water or have a spray-valve bottle handy if the species only drinks water in drops (eg chameleons and tropical gecko).

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  • Make sure the cage has the proper humidity and temperature for puppies. Puppies have their first skin change in 24 hours and you need to make sure all the skin comes out. Proper humidity will ensure you don't have any problems with this.
  • Some chicks need less heat than adult lizards, so you'll need to research the ideal temperature for the chicks of your species. Baby lizards usually start eating a few days after they hatch, so be prepared and have food and calcium vitamin supplements on hand.

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Part 3 of 3: Knowing Egg Types

Step 1. Know what to do if you have a large litter of buried eggs

Some lizards lay several eggs in a litter and usually stay buried but don't stick together.

  • Some examples are bearded dragons, perennials and chameleons.

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  • Some lizards lay only two eggs at a time and usually bury the eggs separately. Anole, crested and lizards are examples of this.

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Step 2. Know what to do if you have eggs stuck together

Sometimes some geckos lay two eggs stuck together and often they get stuck to something inside the cave, most often a branch or the glass of the tank.

  • Examples of these species are the tokay gecko, the giant gecko, the white striped gecko and many others.

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  • Be very careful when handling sticky eggs. These types of eggs have a hard shell and if you try to separate or remove them from where they are trapped, they will often break and die.
  • If the eggs are stuck to the glass, you can try to gently remove them using a razor blade. Be very careful and do this very slowly so you don't break them.

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  • If the eggs are on a branch, try to remove it and place it in the brooder. Do not try to remove them from the branch or they will break. If the branch is too big to fit in the container, place it in a plastic vase and secure with tape.

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Step 3. See which geckos eat and which guard their young

Care is greater if you raise geckos that eat the young.

  • You don't want the chicks to die as soon as they come out of the shell. If none of this works and you are afraid that the geckos will eat the chicks, tape a plastic cup over the place where the eggs were laid.

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  • Some geckos will protect the eggs and chicks, so you don't need to worry about that (tokay geckos and white-striped geckos are two examples). Just keep the cave warm and moist and the eggs should develop without a hitch.

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  • If you have tokay gecko eggs, stay tuned! This species will defend its eggs and chicks and won't hesitate to bite you if you mess with them.

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Step 4. See if you have eggs of a species that doesn't need a brooder

Most lizard eggs do, but some don't. Examples:

  • Most chameleon species.

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  • Crested lizards (and other Rhacodactylus species);
  • Lizards that come from warm places can be incubated at room temperature. Consider something around 20°C.

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  • If you don't need a brooder, you can place the egg container in a dark place inside your house, in a closet, under a bed or table, etc. Check the eggs once a week to make sure they are growing well and wait until they come out of the shell. All very easy.

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Step 5. See if temperature can change sex or incubation time

There are a few points to consider… some lizard species have sex determined by temperature during incubation. This means that if you can have males or females depending on the incubation temperature and if you change the temperature during the process, you can get lizards of both sexes.

  • Find out if the eggs you have are temperature dependent for sex determination or if they develop faster at certain temperatures. When researching the ideal temperatures you will see that there is a variation in temperatures and incubation days.

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  • For example, let's say the ideal temperature for the species you are caring for is 27-30°C for 60-90 days. The higher the temperature, the faster the eggs will develop. So if you set the temperature to 30°C, the chicks will hatch in approximately 60 days. However, it is not because they develop faster that this development is best. In many cases, the longer the chicks spend in the brooder, the stronger they will be. Whatever your choice (within the parameters indicated for the species), the results will be positive, but it is good to know what can happen.

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