Crested geckos are insectivorous and frugivorous. This means that a crested gecko eats not only insects but also nuts, seeds, and fruits.
A crested gecko prefers an over-ripe fruit instead of a fruit that has just reached maturity.
There are a lot of fruits that you can feed to your pet crested gecko, and apricots happen to be one of those.
However, you should feed apricots to your pet crested gecko in moderation to prevent impaction and prevent any increase in the risk of developing metabolic bone disorder.
Can Crested Geckos Eat Apricots?
Yes, crested geckos can eat apricots without any problem.
You should however ensure that the apricots that you feed to your crested gecko are chopped into small pieces or made into a paste. This must be done to avoid impaction.
When feeding any kind of fruit to your pet crested gecko, you should know the calcium, phosphorus, and potassium content of the fruit.
Any fruit that is being fed to pet crested geckos should have high calcium, low phosphorus, and low potassium.
Moreover, even the amount of oxalates in the fruit should be on the lower end of the range.
Apricots have a decent amount of calcium, but they are pretty high in potassium. This is why apricots should only be treated as occasional treats for crested geckos, and not a part of the regular meals.
Should You Feed Apricots to Crested Geckos?
There is no harm in feeding apricots to your crested gecko every now and then. If your crested gecko likes the taste of apricots, you should feed it to him occasionally, preferably on a weekly basis – once a week with regular meals.
You should not feed apricots to your crested gecko at a very high frequency. Don’t give apricots with every meal.
While apricots are rich in important nutrients, they also have high levels of potassium. Potassium reduces the absorption of calcium in the body.
So, if you give apricots to your crested gecko with every meal, it will reduce the absorption of calcium in its body.
In excess amounts, apricots can indirectly lead to a deficiency of calcium in your pet crested gecko and make it more prone to developing the metabolic bone disorder.
Can Baby and Juvenile Crested Geckos Eat Apricots?
Yes, baby and juvenile crested geckos can eat apricots but only in very small amounts. As aforementioned, apricots are very rich in potassium.
Baby and juvenile crested geckos are in a growing phase and require a lot of calcium in their diet.
Feeding too many apricots to baby and juvenile crested geckos can lead to a deficiency of calcium in them as the potassium in apricots will hinder the absorption of calcium.
This can lead to weakened bones, reduced bone density, and an early onset of metabolic bone disorder.
Moreover, if you feed apricots to baby and juvenile crested geckos without making a paste or chopping the apricot into small pieces, it can cause impaction.
How To Feed Apricots to Your Crested Gecko?
When feeding apricots to your pet crested gecko, you should be very careful about three things: the quantity, the frequency, and the size of the pieces being fed.
Feeding one apricot at a time is the ideal quantity for crested geckos. This way, your pet crested gecko will benefit from the required nutrients such as vitamin A and fiber, without being impacted by the ill effects of potassium on the calcium reserves of its body.
You should give only one apricot at a time, and that too only once a week with one of the meals. Don’t feed apricots to your pet crested gecko too frequently.
The high potassium levels of apricots will inhibit the calcium levels of your crested gecko.
Make sure that you cut up the apricot into very small pieces. This should be done to avoid impaction in your crested gecko.
Better yet, you could make a paste of apricot with some other fruits that your pet crested gecko likes.
What Is The Of Ratio Of Calcium To Phosphorus In Apricots?
Apricots are a very poor source of calcium. Their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is merely 0.5:1. The recommended ratio of calcium to phosphorus for a crested gecko’s diet is at least 2:1 – preferably, higher ratios of calcium to phosphorus are advisable.
Apricots do not provide enough calcium. An average Apricot has only 13mg of calcium and about 23gm of phosphorus.
That’s why, even if your crested gecko develops a taste for Apricots and likes them very much, you should not feed Apricots too frequently. Let Apricots be a one-off treat for your pet crested gecko.
However, the good thing is that apricots are a low-calorie snack. So, if you give about 100g of apricots to your pet crested gecko, it has only 48 calories.
With controlled amounts of apricot being given as treat, you don’t have to worry about your crested gecko getting obese.
Nutritional Value Of An Apricot
To get a better insight into the nutritional value of an Apricot, consider the following table which has the nutritional analysis of a cup of mashed Apricots (about 100g by weight):
The key takeaways from the nutritional value of Apricots are:
- It has a very low calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of around 0.5:1 – which is around 4 times lower than the recommended 2:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus. So, Apricots are a poor source of calcium for your pet crested gecko.
- Apricots are very rich in potassium. So, too many Apricots will lead to a deficiency of calcium in your crested gecko, because potassium reduces the absorption of calcium in lizards.
- Apricots have a decent number of proteins, fiber, and vitamin A. So, feeding a regulated amount of the fruit to your crested gecko once in a while will be beneficial.
As long as you don’t overdo it with Apricots, there is no harm in treating your pet crested gecko with this fruit every once in a while.
How To Calculate Ca:P Ratio
The complete nutritional chart of most fruits, vegetables, and even feeder insects is available on the open-source internet easily.
Once you get the nutritional chart of whichever food item you were looking for, you should note down three things:
- The weight for which the nutrient quantities are being mentioned.
- The quantity of calcium for that weight.
- The quantity of phosphorus for that weight.
Then you simply need to take a ratio and adjust it to the weight of the food that you will be providing.
If a nutritional chart shows the nutrient quantities for 100g of a food X as follows:
Calcium = 12mcg
Phosphorus = 6mcg
And if you plan on giving 25g of that food X to your pet crested gecko, then the adjusted nutrient quantities will be calculated as follows:
Calcium (100g) = 12mcg
=> Calcium (1g) = 12/100 mcg = 0.12mcg
=> Calcium (25g) = 0.12 * 25 = 3mcg
Phosphorus (100g) = 6mcg
=> Phosphorus (1g) = 6/100 mcg = 0.06mcg
=> Phosphorus (25g) = 0.06 * 25 = 1.5mcg
Now, you know the exact quantity of calcium and phosphorus that your crested gecko will be getting from the quantity of food X that you feed.
Now simply calculate the Ca/P ratio: 3mcg/1.5mcg = 2:1
How Oxalic Acids Affect Crested Geckos?
Oxalic acids, much like potassium, act as inhibitors or obstacles that reduce the absorption of calcium and magnesium in a crested gecko’s body.
Too much either oxalic acid or potassium can lead to severe nutrient deficiency in crested geckos.
Crested geckos cannot digest oxalic acid and so they don’t benefit from it the way a human would. Instead, as it turns out, oxalic acid does more harm than good.
The deficiency of calcium that can arise due to the high intake of oxalic acid in crested geckos can make them more prone to the metabolic bone disorder.
Oxalic Acid Level Of Apricots
Apricots have a low level of oxalates, and those are present in some form other than calcium oxalate.
On average, apricots have less than 10mg of oxalates in 100g of serving. So, while Apricots are rich in potassium, they don’t have a high level of oxalic acid.
Foods with both – high levels of potassium and high levels of oxalic acid – must be avoided for crested geckos.
However, since Apricots have a lower level of oxalic acid, you can give a small, regulated amount of Apricots to your crested gecko once in a while.
Apricots are foods that are rich in certain important nutrients like protein, vitamin A, and fiber, that your crested gecko needs for healthy functioning.
But, these fruits are also rich in potassium, which inhibits the absorption of calcium in a crested gecko.
So, feeding too many Apricots to your pet crested gecko will make it prone to the metabolic bone disorder.
Feeding a controlled amount of apricots to your pet crested gecko once in a while as a treat will be beneficial.