1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

1 Clutch, 1 Egg, and an Empty Burrow

Discussion in 'Tortoise Breeding' started by Bri_Armentrout, Aug 20, 2016.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Bri_Armentrout

    Bri_Armentrout New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi Everyone,

    I have two California Desert Tortoises, 1 Male, 1 Female. We aren't exactly sure of the age of our Male, as we are the 4th owners - It was a "he comes with the house situation." When we first moved in, he was thought to be around 70... Our female we got as a hatching, around the same time with another from her clutch, but she was the only one to make it.

    Fast forward 15 Years. Last year was the first year our female laid an egg ( She's about 9" ). But to our knowledge, only 1 clutch was laid, and only 1 egg was found. Unfortunately our puppy found it before we did.

    This year I didn't want that to happen so I've been keeping a close eye on her. We have a very large backyard where they roam free, so sometimes we go days without seeing them. Any ways, I noticed early on in the week that she was "scratching and sniffing" multiple areas in the yard, and making test nests. Well today I go outside to check on the her - She is no where to be found... However, there is a nice shiny white egg sitting on TOP of a mound freshly dug up dirt.

    15 minutes later she was back to digging at her original spot, which lasted about 10 minutes. Then without laying any eggs, covered her whole back up and walked away.

    I'm so confused. Obviously I need to protect the egg, but I would much rather let it stay outside in a protected area, then going to buy an incubator...

    Any advice, tips, knowledge about what happened?

    Thanks!
    Bri
  2. Bri_Armentrout

    Bri_Armentrout New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    Here is a picture of Lucy with her Egg

    Attached Files:

  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    37,378
    Likes Received:
    13,697
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    82,013
    Likes Received:
    55,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    Well, the rules regarding desert tortoises have made your incubator-buying decision for you. It is against the law to artificially incubate desert tortoise eggs. The Department of Fish and Wildlife for California recommend not keeping males and females together, and they discourage allowing them to breed. If you happen to adopt a gravid female, you can leave the eggs in the ground to incubate naturally, but you can't put them into an incubator.
  5. Bri_Armentrout

    Bri_Armentrout New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    Thanks for your reply! From now on I'll keep them separate, however it doesn't solve my current egg problem. If I can't incubate it, and it's not underground already... Then what should I do?
  6. Chanchara

    Chanchara Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location (City and/or State):
    Cyprus, Croatia
    My tort several times did such things.
    Laid eggs, then buried, and then suddenly pulled down just one more egg on top of the earth.

    [​IMG]
  7. tortoise5643

    tortoise5643 Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Based on what Yvonne said, I would bury it about 8 inches deep, cover it, and let it naturally incubate. Putting a cage or something over it will protect it and allow you to locate it if it does hatch.
  8. Bri_Armentrout

    Bri_Armentrout New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I'm pretty sure she's going to lay more eggs. She's been digging non stop since she dropped the first. She has a hole she's currently digging that she has covered up about 3 times and gone back to every morning and restarted digging. Is this normal behavior?
Similar Threads: Clutch Empty
Forum Title Date
Tortoise Breeding Second clutch eggs this year sulcata May 31, 2019
Tortoise Breeding Clutches 5 And 6 Are Up! May 25, 2018
Tortoise Breeding first clutch Feb 8, 2018
Tortoise Breeding Clutch disaster Jul 21, 2016
Tortoise Breeding First clutch May 30, 2016

Share This Page