Crested Geckos, Diet and Food, Geckos

Can Crested Geckos Eat Meat Or Not?

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by The Pet Engineers

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While there are some crested gecko owners who feed meat to their pets, it is recommended that you don’t add meat to the diet of your crested gecko.

Crested geckos cannot digest meat efficiently and can suffer from problems like impaction, constipation, and illness due to the rancidity of meat.

So, it can be said that crested geckos cannot eat meat as a part of their regular diet.

Can Crested Geckos Eat Meat?

In the wild, a crested gecko will eat whatever it can hunt, forage, or find. In the wilderness, situations often get desperate.

There could be shortages of the kind of insects or fruits that a crested gecko usually eats. Or, a crested gecko could have been starving and desperate for food.

crested gecko
Crested geckos do eat meat but it has to be cut into small pieces

In such a desperate time, a crested gecko will eat whatever it can get its hands on. This includes small animals like baby mice, and sometimes, even smaller crested geckos!

However, in captivity, meat or mice should not become a part of your crested gecko’s staple diet. They don’t need to eat meat and quite often, they cannot eat meat properly or safely.

Should You Feed Meat To Crested Geckos?

You should avoid feeding meat to crested geckos.

While a wild crested gecko may have to eat whatever it can find for survival, the same is not true for pet crested geckos in captivity.

Your pet crested gecko can get the required protein from a lot of other sources of fruits and vegetables.

The best source of protein for your pet crested gecko is the commercially available crested gecko diet powder.

The commercially available crested gecko diet powders include all the nutrients that are required by your crested gecko for healthy functioning.

What’s more, is that the nutrients in a crested gecko diet powder – both micro and macronutrients – are present in properly balanced quantities.

So, despite it being rich in proteins, your pet crested gecko will not need meat in its diet. In fact, the benefits of the protein level of meat are far outweighed by the risks of giving meat to your crested gecko.

It can cause impaction, constipation, rancidity, and even obesity if given in excess.

Since meat is not a part of your crested gecko’s natural diet, it will be a foreign addition. If you do want to give your pet crested gecko a taste of meat, you should do so with precautions and in limited quantities.

Can Baby or Juvenile Crested Geckos Eat Meat?

You should not give meat to a baby or juvenile crested gecko. They are very young and it will be difficult for them to digest meat. A baby or juvenile crested gecko will be at a greater risk of impaction due to meat.

Another risk is the rancidity of meat. Reptiles have a slower digestive process than mammals.

So, if your baby crested gecko is not able to digest meat quickly enough, it will stay in the digestive tract of the crested gecko and become rancid.

Rancid or stale meat inside your pet crested gecko’s digestive tract can start causing illnesses such as gastrointestinal diseases or infections.

A baby or juvenile crested gecko will be more susceptible to such illnesses and will take longer to recover than an adult crested gecko.

Another risk of feeding meat, especially raw meat, to baby crested geckos, is that of parasitic infections.

Consumption of meat is a leading cause of infections in animals. And giving packaged or processed meat to your crested gecko can also cause problems because of the preservative chemicals that are present in it.

So, when you feed meat to your crested gecko, it should be thoroughly cleaned, fresh, and free of preservatives.

What Kinds of Meat Can Be Eaten By Crested Geckos?

Mealworms
Larvae and insects are the best protein sources for crested geckos

Insects are the safest meat-based protein sources for crested geckos despite the fact that insects don’t really have flesh.

But if you do want to give meat-based food to your pet crested gecko, you can give cooked and unseasoned eggs, beef, and chicken in small amounts.

Of the three, eggs are the safest option. But it is recommended that you simply stick to insects as a protein source.

Nutritional Content Of Meat

The nutritional content of the two aforementioned types of meat-based foods has been given below:

CHICKEN (Raw 100 g)
Calories120
Protein22.5 g
Fat2.6 g
Iron0.4 mg
Calcium5 mg
Phosphorus213 mg
Potassium334 mg
Nutritional content of meat

The key takeaways from the nutritional analysis of chicken are:

  • It is a very poor source of calcium. Chicken has a ratio of calcium to phosphorus at a staggeringly low value of 0.02:1, which is 100 times lower than the recommended ratio of 2:1!
  • Chicken has a high protein content but it has no fiber and lacks other macro and micronutrients that are required for the healthy functioning of a crested gecko.
  • Not only is chicken a poor source of calcium, but it is also rich in potassium. Thus, it reduces the absorption of calcium from other sources too in the body of a crested gecko.

Too much chicken can lead to a deficiency of calcium and other micronutrients in your crested gecko and make it more susceptible to the metabolic bone disorder.

The nutritional content of beef is given below:

BEEF (Raw 100 g)
Calories504
Protein19.3 g
Fat46.3 g
Iron1.3 mg
Calcium19 mg
Phosphorus158 mg
Potassium274 mg
Nutritional content of beef

The key takeaways from the nutritional analysis of beef are:

  • Beef is very high in calories and has a lower level of proteins when compared to chicken. Too much beef can cause your crested gecko to become obese.
  • The level of calcium in beef is higher in comparison to chicken but it is still staggeringly low. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in beef is merely 0.12:1 – which is still far below the ideal 2:1 ratio.
  • Even beef has high potassium. So, too much beef can cause calcium deficiency in your crested gecko and make it more prone to metabolic bone disease.

While chicken and beef are both rich in proteins, they lack important macro and micronutrients that your crested gecko requires. Moreover, they are both sources of potassium and can lead to calcium deficiency in your crested gecko.

How To Feed Meat to Crested Geckos

If you do want to feed meat to your pet crested gecko, you should keep the following pointers in mind:

1 – Stringent Portion Control

Give very controlled portions of chicken or beef to your crested gecko. Do not indulge in a lot of meat-based foods for your pet.

Not only will an excess of meat cause calcium deficiency due to high levels of potassium, but your pet crested gecko will also be at risk of becoming obese.

2 – Only Occasional Meat Treats

As with the size of the portion, you should also exercise control over the frequency of feeding meat to your crested gecko. Meat should only be given as an occasional treat.

3 – Size Of The Pieces

Chop up the meat into really small pieces. Preferably take only boneless pieces of meat to feed your crested gecko.

Small, boneless pieces will be easily digestible and reduce the risk of impaction in your crested gecko.

4 – Only Unseasoned Meat

We love a juicy, seasoned, spicy piece of steak or chicken – but the same is not true for our pet crested geckos. For them, the meat should be completely unseasoned.

Any kind of spice could cause irritation in the throat of your pet crested gecko. Sometimes, the smell of the spice may repel your pet and it will not eat the piece of meat at all.

How Often Can You Give Meat To Crested Geckos?

meat
Meat should be given as an occasional treat

Give very occasional treats of meat to your pet crested gecko. Giving some very small chopped pieces of meat with every third or fourth meal could be a good idea.

Avoiding excess meat for your pet crested gecko will keep it safe from any unwanted consequences such as impaction or calcium deficiency.

Summary

Meat is a favorite for many humans. But crested geckos don’t really eat meat. It is not a part of a crested gecko’s natural diet.

Meat is hard to digest and can either cause impaction, or in the worst case, it can turn rancid inside the digestive tract of your pet crested gecko and make it fall sick due to infections.

However, meat is very rich in proteins. So, with proper precautions and portion control, you can give some meat to your pet crested gecko as an occasional protein-rich treat.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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