You have been looked forward to this all year long.
Breeding season is finally here for your crested gecko, and you have a clutch of eggs waiting to hatch.
Unfortunately, not everything goes smoothly with each round of eggs your female lays.
What happens if you encounter dented eggs?
In general, crested gecko eggs can dent due to high temperatures or dehydration. Touching the egg with your bare skin can lead to dents as well. An unhealthy female with low calcium levels might lead to dented eggs. Sometimes, the dents can fill out with a change in incubation conditions.
If you have been wondering why your crested gecko eggs have dented, here is what you need to know and how to correct the issue.
Caused Of Dented Crested Gecko Eggs
Maintaining your crested gecko eggs is a bit of a science, and you must be diligent about ensuring the proper conditions.
Many breeders already know temperatures must stay consistent with producing reliable hatchlings.
However, many people keep the temperature too high, which can lead to denting and inviable hatchlings.
In the incubator, you need to keep the temperature relatively low.
Most successful endeavors exist with incubation temperatures between 72 and 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C).
You may be able to go up to 78° degrees Fahrenheit (26° C) at the warmest end.
Too many people keep their eggs warmer, around 80 to 85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C), leading to dented eggs.
Keep in mind some fluctuation in normal incubation temperature is acceptable to still have healthy hatchlings.
A lower temperature for your crested gecko eggs typically leads to larger and healthier hatchlings.
Even if your dented eggs do hatch at a higher temperature, the babies tend to be smaller and even weaker than those incubated at lower temperatures.
Higher temperatures encourage the eggs to hatch sooner before they can develop the rest of the way.
When you are breeding your gravid geckos, it is important to ensure the humidity levels are right.
Dehydration is a leading cause of dented eggs among this gecko species.
The humidity level in your incubator will be extremely important to monitor just as much as the temperature.
You should keep the humidity level around 80%
If you suspect your eggs are dented due to dehydration, the issue can sometimes be corrected through a handy little trick.
Take a paper towel and moisten it with clean water.
Cut it to size and place it over the dented area of the egg.
Leave the piece of paper towel overnight, and then check the egg again in the morning.
You may have to do this for a couple of days to see the best results.
Alternatively, you may also want to turn the humidity levels up higher in the incubator.
Eggs during incubation can have humidity levels up to 90% to correct the dehydration issue.
As long as the eggs are not swimming in the water, this can help correct the issue and still end up with healthy hatchlings.
For those having a hard time monitoring the humidity in their incubator, you might want to move the egg to a deli cup with fresh perlite.
These “simple incubators” can help improve the lack of humidity and improve your hatch rate.
When you move the egg around, be certain not to touch your bare skin, though.
Touching the Egg
Unfortunately, one of the more common reasons eggs dent is because humans have handled them.
You never want to touch the eggs with the skin, no matter how old the eggs may be.
There are too many acidic oils on the skin, which can influence the structure of the egg.
Touching the shell without gloves on can lead to the very problem you are avoiding.
You don’t need any type of fancy gloves to prevent your skin from touching the eggs.
A pair of simple latex gloves will work just fine.
Not Enough Calcium
Female geckos must be completely healthy if you want to have undented eggs.
You may purchase a gravid female from a reputable breeder, but this does not mean she was properly prepared for breeding.
Crested geckos must have additional calcium supplements to have the best possible egg production.
If your female geckos produce eggs which dent easily during their first breeding season, consider supplementing them with more calcium.
Unfortunately, the reverse of this is true too.
Female crested geckos who get too much calcium can produce eggs with extremely thick shells.
This makes it more difficult for the hatchlings to break out and free themselves.
The egg may need to be manually pipped and opened to help the hatchling out in these situations.
Only experienced breeders should take on this task as it can harm the hatchling if done too early.
For more about caring for crested geckos, head on over to the link and see what you need to do.
What Should I Do About A Dented Crested Gecko Egg?
Once you make sure your incubation conditions are correct, the only thing left to do is wait and see what happens to the egg.
Crested gecko eggs can certainly fill back out before successfully hatching.
A dent is a sign something is wrong, but the issue can correct itself if you figure out the cause behind the dent.
Even if you correct all of the conditions leading to a dented egg, it may not fill back out.
Do not take this as an opportunity to manually pip the egg.
A dented crested gecko egg could still be perfectly viable.
The best thing to do is solve the problem and then leave the egg be.
Only discard it once it is dead.
You will know when it starts to smell or becomes completely flat.
Even a moldy egg does not necessarily mean the baby is dead.
If you have any concerns, you need to wait them out until the time they are scheduled to hatch before making any quick decisions about the health and viability of the egg.
Did you know crested geckos can lay eggs without a male? Click to learn more.