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Eggs and Hatching - A Question for Breeders

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Nephelle, Oct 14, 2015.

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  1. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone!

    So I have a curiosity question for breeders. As a disclaimer, this is just a me wondering sort of thing, as I have no intention of breeding. It was just a question that crossed my mind, so I thought I would ask!

    I have seen many threads on people finding eggs, hatching eggs and incubators, and surprise hatchings found in outdoor enclosures. I've seen threads with one or two eggs hatching to over 20 box turtle babies!

    So, I'm wondering--do you always hatch out the eggs you find?
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  2. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ If your question is are all eggs fertile, no!
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  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I incubate all the eggs I find, but I don't usually hatch them all. Some just aren't fertile.

    Captive breeding gives people the animals they want without having to remove as many from the wild. It also gives us animals that are a lot less likely to be carrying diseases and parasites, than their wild caught brethren, and since they are captive hatched, they are already used to captive housing, handling and foods.

    I hope that in the future, when you are ready, you might reconsider whether or not you want to breed. I feel this is especially important with russians because of their low reproductive rate and because so many are still collected from the wild.
    Nephelle likes this.
  4. Carol S

    Carol S Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    I always hatch the eggs I find. In the Spring. I am always spying on my adult females to see if they are digging a nest. I hatched out 28 Russian hatchlings this year. :) I had around 16 eggs that were not fertile. 12 of them were from one female (Mean Girl). I do not know why none of her eggs were fertile this year. Last year almost all of her eggs hatched. :(
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  5. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    You guys are awesome, thank you for answering this question!

    I hadn't thought about the infertility rate, that would change a lot about needing/wanting to give them all a chance. I saw a post about the 25+ box turtle babies and it blew my mind haha. After reading some of the other posts, like @Jodie 's brand new baby, I can see how it's not as easy as it sounds and just because you have eggs doesn't mean you will have babies.

    @Tom - I won't say I haven't thought about it, however that is probably a long way off :) I have watched the videos and signed petitions for the WC Russian problem and you are so right that it needs to be shut down with healthy, CB babies. My partner and I are on a fast track to buying a house in the next year or so, so the timing of all this is actually pretty fun for possible future planning--I probably would never have factored tortoise-keeping into my must-haves for a property, but that is quickly changing haha!

    @Carol S - "Mean Girl" LOL hahahaha. No explanation needed there, right?! 28 babies!! That's soo many! Do you find it's easy to let them go to homes after you've hatched them out? I have a hard time giving my friends the baby plants I've grown from seed because I know they won't take care of them like I do LOL. Do you have a large piece of property where you keep them?
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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I just want to add to this discussion that I've met Carol and her husband and they are both fantastic people. I could hang out with either of them all day and have great conversation and leave with a smile.
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  7. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    Well, now I want to meet Carol and her husband!

    Come to Pittsburgh, Carol!! And feel free to bring along any of those 28 babies, too!

    haha! :<3::<3:
  8. Yvonne G

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

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    I incubate all turtle or tortoise eggs I find. Not all hatch, but I try.
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  9. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    At least in the German-speaking part of Europe hatchlings of testudo species don't sell well, the prices are going down every year. There are already way too many hobby breeders.
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    We have heard that from other European members too. Just the opposite over here. We are still importing them by the thousands. These imports are very cheap and many people still don't understand or appreciate why CB is so much better for what they want. Its getting better year by year though.
  11. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello. No demand on them? I wonder why. Do you have an explanation? If so, I'd appreciate an answer, thank you.
  12. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    Supply overtakes demand. They are very popular pets, but it's very common to have groups and almost every keeper wants to have hatchlings at least once and/or has surprise hatchlings from time to time.
    Tortoises are not like hamsters, they can outlive their owners and sooner or later everyone who wants a tortoise already has one.
  13. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks your reply as well as your explanation.

    What of the extremely cold weather in Austria and Germany? Wouldn't that too, have effect on demand?
  14. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    Not really. Hibernation is totally normal here, for adults as well as hatchlings, in Austria it's even required by law. Usually tortoises are hibernated in either a fridge, a cold frame or in the cellar. But even if they are left outside (that's NOT recommended, but it can happen for example when they've escaped or burrowed in the enclosure and the owner can't find them anymore) they have a very good chance of survival.
  15. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Very interesting.:) Thanks a lot your answer, appreciate it.;)
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Its too bad that our governments make it so difficult to ship CB animals internationally. The demand over here far outstrips the supply. Your European overstock could find some really nice homes over here in some areas with pretty nice tortoise weather climates.
  17. Nephelle

    Nephelle Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting point.

    I have read quite a few articles and petitions, etc, on the WC problem, but in none of them was a solution proposed.

    How do companies like Petco and the like manage to get around the import laws to bring WC tortoises in? Or is it not the US laws that would be the block in this line of thinking?
  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    There are importers that know the laws and know how to do this legally. They bring them in and pet shops buy them for re-sale.

    To be clear: There is nothing wrong with capturing some wild animals, exporting them to other countries and re-selling them to people for breeding colonies and pets. The problem can occur when TOO MANY are removed from the wild in too short a space of time. Rather than have more government bureaucracy that will only serve to foul things up worse, I propose a solution from within where we begin to eliminate the need and market for WC animals by providing a reasonably priced BETTER alternative through captive breeding. I don't ever want importation banned. We need fresh DNA from time to time. There are many reasons why we might want to bring in some new WC tortoises. I would like to leave that door open, but GREATLY reduce the demand through voluntary captive breeding efforts, not through ridiculous, inflexible, poorly thought out and executed government laws and bans.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  19. Jess84

    Jess84 Member

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    Here is the write up from the CDC about the laws surrounding the import of tortoises and turtles.

    http://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/turtles.html

    "CDC does not regulate snakes or lizards, but does limit imports of small turtles, tortoises and terrapins and their viable eggs. Turtles with a carapace (shell) length of less than 4 inches and turtle eggs may not be imported for any commercial purpose. An individual may import as many as six small turtles or six eggs or any combination totaling six or fewer turtles and turtle eggs for noncommercial purposes. This rule was implemented in 1975 after it was discovered that small turtles frequently transmitted Salmonella to humans, particularly young children.

    • Turtles with shell length (carapace) less than 4" and viable turtle eggs may NOT be imported for commercial purposes"
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