2 years and still not 1 fertile egg.

NEtorts

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2 seasons. Dozens of eggs from my leopard tortoise. I have witnessed the male mounting and I assumed breeding her dozens of times….
and still not one obvious fertile egg…. Frustrating
anyone else have this frustration.
I do have 20+ eggs in the incubator and have not given up this season. But 8 eggs have been in there 6 weeks and when I candle not one sign of life.
 

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wellington

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First you should not use hay as a substrate.
Second, if they are housed together you need to separate them. Never pairs housed together. She is likely under too much stress if they are housed together.
Seperate and only put them together for breeding under supervision. The stress she is under may be the problem.
 

NEtorts

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First you should not use hay as a substrate.
Second, if they are housed together you need to separate them. Never pairs housed together. She is likely under too much stress if they are housed together.
Seperate and only put them together for breeding under supervision. The stress she is under may be the problem.
The hay is not “the” substrate…. There is a foot of soil in their shed. They munch on the hay and hide in it on occasion. It’s cleaned out often, She has no problem laying in the soil. Many many times. And the male is not in that shed all the time. Just during breed season …. I’m aware of the stress he can cause … thank you for your thoughts.. any others ?
 

wellington

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The hay is not “the” substrate…. There is a foot of soil in their shed. They munch on the hay and hide in it on occasion. It’s cleaned out often, She has no problem laying in the soil. Many many times. And the male is not in that shed all the time. Just during breed season …. I’m aware of the stress he can cause … thank you for your thoughts.. any others ?
@Tom
How old are they?
 

wellington

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Have you checked that the temps and humidity on the incubator is correct? Most will use a second source for reading temps as the one on the incubator can be off.
 

Tom

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2 seasons. Dozens of eggs from my leopard tortoise. I have witnessed the male mounting and I assumed breeding her dozens of times….
and still not one obvious fertile egg…. Frustrating
anyone else have this frustration.
I do have 20+ eggs in the incubator and have not given up this season. But 8 eggs have been in there 6 weeks and when I candle not one sign of life.
Diapause. Most leopards in this country are a mix of genetics, including South African leopard genetics. The eggs will likely never develop without a cooling period first. Even the eggs you have already been incubating can be cooled, and then tried again.

The breeder of my SA leopards lets them incubate naturally in the ground. The eggs are laid from May to November, so they can sit in the ground all summer and will not even begin to develop. Then Fall and Winter come and the ground get cold. It rains, there are nights that drop below freezing, 90 degree hot spells in January, etc... but those eggs just sit there. Things gradually warm in spring, and as the adults begin to lay again, last years eggs finally begin to develop.

I've tried many recipes to hatch them without much success. Finally, last year, I left a bunch of eggs sitting at room temp for months, gradually cooled them, and then put them in my garage fridge all winter. I pulled them out in spring, gradually warmed them and left them at room temp for about a month, and then popped them in the incubator. 80% hatch rate. Best I ever got. And the babies looked super healthy and vigorous.

So for your eggs: Pull all of them out of the incubator, and any new ones, and let them sit at room temp for about 6 weeks. Then cool them at 45-60 degrees for a few months. Then another 6 weeks at room temp, and then into the incubator at 86 for about 100-110 days. Its good if the incubator drops a couple of degrees at night too. There are some digital proportional thermostats that will do that.

Also, just because the male is mounting and grunting, does not mean intromission has taken place.
 

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