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Reptiles/leopard gecko hatchlings

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Question
Awhile back I was cleaning the geckos cage I also have a single female gecko in another cage and just realized in could have put them together and a 5 yr old 4ft ball python anyway I had noticed shriveled up eggs so realized what was goin on took an old bulk container of gummy worms and cut holes in it and put coconut substarte in the bottom and moss on top  and keep it moist but no extra heat pad yet in that side of the cage im totally new at this been waiting for about 4 weeks for her to lay new eggs never bothered to check until a few days ago pulled the egg chamber out to0 check and found a bunch of eggs so im gonna go after long weekend to buy supplies to make my own incubator now shes lying on top of eggs to keep em warm I hope and seems pissed I touched her eggs and wont move off of them and when I put the egg chamber back she went straight to the eggs and started moving her flap under her mouth rapidly breathing while looking at her eggs was she trying to communicate with them and check on them and when she saw they were there she slowed her breathing now next I was wondering if 1 of the older sets of eggs actually hatches will the male hurt them because I figured it was best to let her lay on them and keep them warm until I get the supplies together to make an incubation chamber before I move them also it will take more than a week maybe 2 to get a hova bator delivered to me so should I watch for hatchlings to keep em safe as nothing is open for 2 more days here until long weekend is over or maybe take the heat pads from 1 of my other cages like the python or the other gecko as they are all mature and adults and its summertime and they would be fine for a day or 2 I believe until I can get to the pet store .
ok #1 will the male or female adult hurt the hatchlings
#2is it best to leave eggs where they are for now until I get supplies as she seems to be warming them and closely caring for them
#3do you think im doin  all right so far as my 2 boys are very excited to be a part of this and they know not to upset her and this all came as a surprise and im doin my best to learn as I go I cant bring myself to just let the eggs die I have a very soft heart and love all of gods creatures  

  thank you for any advice you may offer in advance and sorry if I babbled a bit off track im a bit excited about all this and slightly confused it all came as a surprise
         sincerely jonathan yarocki

Answer
Hi Jonathan,

I will try to answer your questions in order.

Adult reptiles will absolutely eat hatchlings, even those of the same species. Do not let the eggs hatch with the adults.

Female leos do not incubate their eggs. In the wild they are incubated completely by the surrounding environment. Remember that leos do not produce their own body heat so she is not capable of warming the eggs. She and the eggs will be whatever temperature that part of the cage happens to be.

Female leos can lay several clutches of eggs per season, about every 3 to 4 weeks. She obviously approves of the laying chamber you have provided. Leos will seek out a moist hiding spot to lay eggs or in preparation to molt or just because it is a good place to hide but (as harsh as it sounds) she has no emotional attachment to the eggs.

There are several simple home-made incubators that you can find on line if you don't want to wait for the hovabator. Most just use a Styrofoam cooler and an aquarium heater (in a layer of water) as the heat source.  Remember to keep the eggs in the same position when you transfer them. They will be fine in a warmish, un-airconditioned room for a few days. I would not suggest trying to use the heat pad. The eggs need to incubate in the 27 - 30C range which is barely noticeable to the touch. If you put them somewhere that feels "nice and warm" to your hand you will likely overheat the eggs. Overheating will kill them quicker then keeping them at lower temperatures temporarily.

Set up an empty incubation container in the incubator (or wherever you are keeping them) first and  check/adjust the temperature before you put the eggs in.

This link has good info on breeding leos

http://www.vmsherp.com/LCBreedingLeopards.htm

You are doing just fine other then being a bit of a nervous father to be! It is quite thrilling to check the egg container after so many weeks of waiting and finally see hatchlings. I'm sure it will be an experience that your boys will always remember.

Good luck.  

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Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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