The crested geckos like any other reptile will undergo the process of brumation or hibernation. As being the owner of the crested gecko you will notice the change in their behaviour during the autumn season which means during the months of September and October the hibernation period of the crested geckos will start and it is an important period in the life of a crested gecko for their survival.
You can notice this in every reptile as they go into their hidings or burrows when they need to hibernate or brumate. It is a common practice among all the reptiles and we will discuss about the hibernation or brumation of crested gecko in this article.
- 1 What is Crested Geckos brumation or hibernation?
- 2 Why do crested gecko brumate or hibernate?
- 3 Cause of hibernation or brumation in crested gecko
- 4 Brumation time period for the crested gecko
- 5 How to care for the crested gecko while brumating?
- 6 What changes occur during brumation or hibernation?
- 7 Things to consider After the brumation period
What is Crested Geckos brumation or hibernation?
The brumation or hibernation in a reptile is a time period in their life where they will completely stop eating and they will not even defecate and also will not perform lots of other activities. The crested gecko will not sleep while bromating but will be less active compared to normal days.
The reason why they stop eating is that their metabolism slow down. But like other animals in hibernation they go for a complete sleep but the crested gecko do not sleep, they just become less active.
Why do crested gecko brumate or hibernate?
As we know that brumation is essential for the survival of any reptile even for a crested gecko it is an important process. The main reason behind this is that the crested gecko is not capable of raising its body temperature when there is a change in seasonal weather and that is why they have to go through the hibernation process.
The long period of inactivity or as it is also called as the suspended animation helps in increasing the life span of the crested geckos. They are preserved in the cold weather when the environmental conditions are not in their favour.
Another reason is that the brumation also have a positive impact on breeding of the crested geckos as during the bromating period the females gains the strength for breeding and in males the sperm production is triggered during this period.
These are the reason why brumation or hibernation is important for the crested gecko and that why they go under this process. The reptiles that are away from the warm regions and dwell in colder regions usually go under this process of hibernation.
Cause of hibernation or brumation in crested gecko
The reason for brumation is that the crested gecko are cold blooded and this means they are not able regulate the temperature of their own body as their body temperature is dependent on the environment. So their body do not function properly during winters and they are not able digest food properly which leads in to slow metabolism rate and the crested gecko eats less or even stops eating and they due to this they become less active.
So in order to survive in cold temperatures the crested gecko brumate. Also there are lots of hormonal changes inside the body of the crested gecko which is also one of the reason the crested gecko hibernates. This clearly indicates that for the crested gecko in order to survive and to expand their life expectancy they need to brumate during the winters.
Brumation time period for the crested gecko
The time period of brumation for the crested gecko depends up on the situations, in some cases it lasts for a longer time span and in some cases it only lasts for few weeks. The brumation period for crested gecko can be as long as 4 months and also it can only last for one month for some of the crested geckos. As the brumation period usually depends up on the duration of the winter season.
Longer the winter season and the colder surroundings will be colder which will also increase the brumation time period for the crested gecko and if the winters are shorter the time period of brumation will automatically decrease.
So it clearly indicates that the brumation time period is directly related to the temperature and climate. So as the owner of the crested gecko you should be aware of the duration of brumation of your crested gecko as you need to care for your pet at this time period.
How to care for the crested gecko while brumating?
While crested gecko is bromating you need to take care of them as you will notice they will eat more before going into brumation, so you should be aware of everything that you should for them while they are going on a brumation period as they need your support to survive this brumation period. You should keep in mind the following thing when your crested gecko is about to brumate or hibernate:-
- The most important thing is that the crested gecko should be fully grown that means the minimum age of the crested gecko should be at least 1 year. Then only it is safe for the crested gecko to brumate. For this you need to be aware about the age of your crested gecko. The crested gecko should not be allowed to brumate when they are at a younger age.
- You should be aware that your crested gecko should eat properly before it is going on brumation and if they are not you should feed them well. As the food eaten will act as the fat reserve which will be used when they will go on brumation for a long time period. So do make sure that you should feed them well and they will survive through the brumation period comfortably.
- You should know whether your crested gecko is healthy or not. If your crested gecko is sick you should not let your crested gecko brumate as it can be very dangerous for them and in some cases they will not even survive the brumation period and they will die. So only healthy crested gecko should be allowed to brumate otherwise provide them with safe and warm environment in order to prevent them to go on for the brumation.
You should be aware of all these factors and only then let your crested gecko go on brumation. If not even one of the factor is fulfilled it will be very risky for the crested gecko and in some cases you can also lose your lovely pet. So be aware and also careful of the conditions of the crested gecko and let them brumate or hibernate safely without any risk or fear of losing them.
What changes occur during brumation or hibernation?
During brumation or hibernation lots of changes occurs in the life of a crested gecko and also there are lots of adjustments done at this time period. You have to help your crested gecko during their hibernation period and also adjust their lifestyle according to the need of the hour. You need to understand everything that is happening with your crested gecko only then you will be able to help your cute little pet.
Change in diet
There will be change in the eating habits of the crested gecko, when you will know that the crested gecko is bromating you should stop giving food to them as during brumation or hibernation they do not prefer eating food. But do not forget them to give water as this time also they need water to survive.
You should not feed them with food as you used to give them under regular conditions, so be careful at the time of hibernation. As the crested geckos who are captivated in the terrarium are mostly dependent up on their owners for most of the things, so you should be responsible enough and understand the change that is going in their body and provide them with whatever they need.
Adjusting of temperature and light
You should be prepared for the hibernating period of the crested gecko and you should be able to do the adjustments with temperature and also light. As you know that the hibernation occurs during the winter season, so you should adjust the light and the temperature according to the season.
So in order to prepare the crested gecko for brumation you need to slowly adjust the temperature and the lighting of the terrarium so that the crested gecko’s body will be able to adapt to this change quite easily. The temperature should be adjusted to 68 degree Fahrenheit during the day and 64 degree Fahrenheit during the night time in order to prepare the crested gecko for the hibernation period and these adjustments should be made slowly, do not abruptly set the temperature to these value.
While adjusting the light inside the tank, also you need to keep in mind that this adjustment should also be slow. So to prepare the crested gecko for the hibernation process you can change the lighting during the day by adjusting the artificial light amount that is received by the crested gecko. You can even provide the windows that can blind slowly when the terrarium gets the natural sunlight. So be careful while adjusting the lights in the terrarium for the crested gecko so they can hibernate in the appropriate light that is need by them.
Importance of hiding areas inside the terrarium
You can even create hidings for your crested gecko if you want. You can add a hiding place inside the terrarium of the crested gecko or you can change the settings of the things that are kept inside the tank of the crested gecko in order to create a hiding for them for the hibernating purpose.
The reason to create a hide is that they feel safe inside them and also they can hibernate in peace in these hidings as they will not be easily disturbed in such places. You can get the hide box from here.
Although providing a hiding place for the crested gecko is not necessary but you can provide them just for their happiness and also for their comfort, so that they can feel relaxed while using the hides.
Things to consider After the brumation period
Once the brumation period is ended you can do lots of changes inside the terrarium in order to make the crested gecko comfortable and also to prepare them for a normal life again. You should slowly adjust the temperature and the lighting inside the terrarium to the usual ones, but remember do not make changes abruptly do that gradually so that the crested gecko can adapt to these changes.
The most important thing is feed your crested gecko with their favourite or the food that you would give them normally with lots of nutrients as they have not eaten for a long time. But crested gecko will not just start eating food after brumation, it will take time to come back to their daily routine.
But you should not stop them feeding, irrespective of the fact that they are eating or not. Once they will be back at the summertime, they will start eating, do not forget them to give water as they need to stay fresh and hydrated. Trying giving them fresh water everyday as it will be good for their health.
So be friendly with your crested gecko at this time and let them take time to come to their normal life. They will take time, but will be back to their normal life as soon as the summertime will come.
You should be able to understand and love your pet as they need lots of care and support when they are going for brumation or hibernation. They will be less active and would not eat so you should be sensitive with them as they have to survive this period and they cannot do that without the help of their owners.
So be supportive to them and love them unconditionally as you are the only support for them and because of your support they will go through this period smoothly and you would love to see them come back to their normal life and enjoy their company and their activeness inside the terrarium.