Do they all lay eggs?

RussianRuby

New Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Mansfield
Hi all,

I've had my Russian for 2 years now but never seen an egg or any gravid behaviour. She lives alone but should I still be seeing her lay unfertilised eggs from time to time?

I found her dumped in a car park 2 years ago, I don't know much history but the vet thinks she is about 40 years old. She is healthy apart from some historical pyramiding. Her diet, temps, humidity all good (what you guys recommend).

Am I doing something wrong or do they only lay when they've been in contact with a male?

Thank you.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,882
Hi all,

I've had my Russian for 2 years now but never seen an egg or any gravid behaviour. She lives alone but should I still be seeing her lay unfertilised eggs from time to time?

I found her dumped in a car park 2 years ago, I don't know much history but the vet thinks she is about 40 years old. She is healthy apart from some historical pyramiding. Her diet, temps, humidity all good (what you guys recommend).

Am I doing something wrong or do they only lay when they've been in contact with a male?

Thank you.
It is much more likely for a female to lay eggs after she has had contact with a male. Occasionally, females which have not been in contact with males may lay eggs, but that is really rather rare, so what you are experiencing is the norm.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
It is much more likely for a female to lay eggs after she has had contact with a male. Occasionally, females which have not been in contact with males may lay eggs, but that is really rather rare, so what you are experiencing is the norm.
Really cuz I never heard that one. Always seen, read, heard, that just like lizards and birds, they do lay eggs every year, not as many as if they had mated and not as often, but always lay them.
Now from my understanding, russians live around 80 years give or take of course. At 40, that's half way. Unless the OP has had the tortoise since hatching, I would guess that the tort is much older by 10-20 years back then and may be too old to lay.
@Tom what you say/know?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,998
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I have a couple red ear sliders that come out of the pond each spring and dig nests and lay eggs, and I don't keep male turtles in my pond. However, even though I have heard that tortoises can lay eggs even having not been with a male, none of my female tortoises has ever laid eggs with no male around.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,409
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi all,

I've had my Russian for 2 years now but never seen an egg or any gravid behaviour. She lives alone but should I still be seeing her lay unfertilised eggs from time to time?

I found her dumped in a car park 2 years ago, I don't know much history but the vet thinks she is about 40 years old. She is healthy apart from some historical pyramiding. Her diet, temps, humidity all good (what you guys recommend).

Am I doing something wrong or do they only lay when they've been in contact with a male?

Thank you.
Pyramiding only happens in captive Russians because the typical advice on how to raise them is wrong. It is very unlikely that you have a 40 year old CB tortoise. Most vets know very little about torts. What was that age guess based on? Can we see a pic or two?

My experience is the same as Zovick and Yvonne. It is very rare for a female tortoise to lay eggs without a male present and in contact with her. It is possible, but not the norm. None of mine have ever done it.
 

MichaelL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
947
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
Pyramiding only happens in captive Russians because the typical advice on how to raise them is wrong. It is very unlikely that you have a 40 year old CB tortoise. Most vets know very little about torts. What was that age guess based on? Can we see a pic or two?

My experience is the same as Zovick and Yvonne. It is very rare for a female tortoise to lay eggs without a male present and in contact with her. It is possible, but not the norm. None of mine have ever done it.
I agree. In the wild, it would be an unnecessary waste of resources/ nutrients that could be crucial to the tortoise's survival.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,882
Really cuz I never heard that one. Always seen, read, heard, that just like lizards and birds, they do lay eggs every year, not as many as if they had mated and not as often, but always lay them.
Now from my understanding, russians live around 80 years give or take of course. At 40, that's half way. Unless the OP has had the tortoise since hatching, I would guess that the tort is much older by 10-20 years back then and may be too old to lay.
@Tom what you say/know?
I have bred and raised numerous tortoise species since 1958 and virtually none of the female tortoises ever laid eggs if they had not been bred by a male in the past few months.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I have bred and raised numerous tortoise species since 1958 and virtually none of the female tortoises ever laid eggs if they had not been bred by a male in the past few months.
Yeah I have never seen or heard that even on here. In fact, always the opposite.
Too bad the lizards and birds don't follow that rule. Those I have seen both have eggs even though never around a Male.
Good to know, glad you mentioned it.
 

RussianRuby

New Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Mansfield
Thank you everyone for you time and comments. I feel more reassured that it's probably just because she hasn't been around a male.

I'm looking forward to taking care of my moody little mistress for another 30 years plus. Thank you for helping me to keep her happy and healthy. X
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
8,769
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
That's been a question I've had for a long time but about box turtles. I rehomed one that I had had for at least a year probably more and she laid eggs. I've read that they can lay fertilized eggs even a couple of years after the fact.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top