Chahoua Trios? 3-ways? 3 Somes?

Dragonborn Exotics (Ryan)

Chahoua Hatchling
Messages
88
So after talking with Michael and hearing things from other breeders, chahoua trios seem to work out if all the geckos get along.

I plan on experimenting with this idea next season. I have a really nice male that would pair up nicely with 2 of my females. I had initially thought about just swapping him between tanks, but this could be more stressful for him than just have him living with two beautiful ladies.

Has anyone else tried trios? What are your thoughts or experiences?
 

Michael

The Chahoua Chamber
Staff member
Messages
337
Location
Atlanta, GA
I once bought a trio of geckos, and I currently keep two trios, so let me explain.

The first trio I bought (from someone local who was being deployed) was a disaster. One of the females was clearly the alpha and beat up the other female pretty bad. It didn't take too long before I split them up and isolated the female who was getting the short end of the stick. I tried to re-introduce that female a while later, and once again, the dominant female beat her up and she had to be removed.

As crazy as it sounds, over the years, I would say that female chahoua are meaner and more aggressive towards each other than male chahoua. Sometimes during mass cage cleanings, or just having out a few geckos at a time, I've seen females go after each other in a fairly aggressive manner. Males never seem to really care about the presence of another male, but I also don't leave them together unsupervised. Some ladies will bite each others legs, feet, tails, etc.

Because I'm short on males, I started experimenting with trios last year and had a decent bit of success. I think the ability for this idea to work hinges upon the personalities of the females involved. I have a handful of females who I know are very dominant and could never be in trios - these are the ladies who will go after their female friends in passing if given the opportunity. However, I have other females who are easier going, less dominant and more compatible with other females. My trios are comprised of such females.

Starting trios together definitely takes a lot of careful supervision, but I've had one that's been together for two seasons with no problems, and another that has been together since ~November 2018 with no problems.

My personal preference is for 1.1 pairs so that I can maximize the number of unrelated offspring I produce in a year, but with a shortage of males... or just because you want to try it, I think this idea CAN work as described above :)

Great topic!
 

Dragonborn Exotics (Ryan)

Chahoua Hatchling
Messages
88
I once bought a trio of geckos, and I currently keep two trios, so let me explain.

The first trio I bought (from someone local who was being deployed) was a disaster. One of the females was clearly the alpha and beat up the other female pretty bad. It didn't take too long before I split them up and isolated the female who was getting the short end of the stick. I tried to re-introduce that female a while later, and once again, the dominant female beat her up and she had to be removed.

As crazy as it sounds, over the years, I would say that female chahoua are meaner and more aggressive towards each other than male chahoua. Sometimes during mass cage cleanings, or just having out a few geckos at a time, I've seen females go after each other in a fairly aggressive manner. Males never seem to really care about the presence of another male, but I also don't leave them together unsupervised. Some ladies will bite each others legs, feet, tails, etc.

Because I'm short on males, I started experimenting with trios last year and had a decent bit of success. I think the ability for this idea to work hinges upon the personalities of the females involved. I have a handful of females who I know are very dominant and could never be in trios - these are the ladies who will go after their female friends in passing if given the opportunity. However, I have other females who are easier going, less dominant and more compatible with other females. My trios are comprised of such females.

Starting trios together definitely takes a lot of careful supervision, but I've had one that's been together for two seasons with no problems, and another that has been together since ~November 2018 with no problems.

My personal preference is for 1.1 pairs so that I can maximize the number of unrelated offspring I produce in a year, but with a shortage of males... or just because you want to try it, I think this idea CAN work as described above :)

Great topic!
This is some great information! I will definitely be coming back to this when setting up my trio this coming fall. I just bought a pretty decent 18x18x18 exo terra from a local. I think this might be a good space for the trio to inhabit.
 

ArborealsAnonymous

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
122
I have a trio going this season and two girls living together that I will introduce a male to next season. I was told by someone else to start the girls together when they are the same size and age and ~40g and raise them together and they will have less aggression. I don't know how true it is but its worked for me so far- I have had no problems with chahoua aggression. Though I have also had almost no aggression in my leachie pairings since i started doing my own thing too and they were THE WORST when I first started trying to breed them.
 

Michael

The Chahoua Chamber
Staff member
Messages
337
Location
Atlanta, GA
I've heard some people say that if you have one dominant female, you can let the two females sort out the power dynamic... but based on my first experience above, I've seen females REALLY beat each other up, and I would feel bad leaving a female in an environment like that where she is being attacked. I think it really does come down to personalities.

I will say though that in my trios, the male seems to favor one female over another. Not sure that is GREAT for the long term...
 

Dragonborn Exotics (Ryan)

Chahoua Hatchling
Messages
88
I've heard some people say that if you have one dominant female, you can let the two females sort out the power dynamic... but based on my first experience above, I've seen females REALLY beat each other up, and I would feel bad leaving a female in an environment like that where she is being attacked. I think it really does come down to personalities.

I will say though that in my trios, the male seems to favor one female over another. Not sure that is GREAT for the long term...
Some geckos are prettier than others Michael lol. Or maybe she has a really great personality. Or a nice round tail.... 😂
 

ArborealsAnonymous

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
122
Careful observation. I watch my girls and I can almost always pinpoint within a day or two when each girl will lay based on their behavior. I even keep track of each girls cycles from previous seasons in a spreadsheet and can usually predict out for the year with reasonable accuracy once she's dropped the first clutch.
 

Michael

The Chahoua Chamber
Staff member
Messages
337
Location
Atlanta, GA
So, I’m having to split up one of my trios this evening: White Noise x Whitewalker X Jera.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve noticed that Whitewalker seems a little stressed and maybe not as thick as she was. I’ve been watching her closely monitoring her diet and physical condition, and tonight, watched Jera snap at her and then saw Whitewalker flee to the other side of the tank.

Jera will be taking a solo vacation until I decide what to do with her at this point 🤷🏻‍♂️.

Even when things seem to be going well, you’ve still got to keep an eye on these guys when in trios.
 

Michael

The Chahoua Chamber
Staff member
Messages
337
Location
Atlanta, GA
A post on FB prompted me to come back and update this topic:

I ended up having to split both of my trios last year and will not structure another again going forward. I understand wanting to try it if you are short on males, but I would advise rotating a male between two females in different cages vs. trying to house them together as a trio.

As mentioned above, I notice that over time:
  • The male gravitates towards one female, and often won't breed with the other
  • One female becomes dominant and will attack the non-dominant female
  • These two things create a lot of stress for the non-dominant female, and she will often lose weight - sometimes to a very concerning degree
  • The physical fighting escalates and leads to biting and scars
Even in the past when I did keep trios, I noticed very weak egg production from one female, or mostly infertile eggs.

Overall... just not worth it IMO.
 

Dragonborn Exotics (Ryan)

Chahoua Hatchling
Messages
88
Thanks for your update! I took those things into consideration when this was first posted and you gave your two cents. Glad I did. This year I just decided to keep the females separate and rotate a male between two of them. So far it seems to be working. He was with female 1 for about 3 weeks. They copulated. Now he is with female 2 and there are signs of copulation. He will stay with female 2 until female 1 lays her first clutch. Then he will be switched back to her to repeat the process. Wish me luck!
 
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