First Egg Questions

MichaelL

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Hey everyone! Today my female laid an egg, I couldn't find her today in the enclosure so just figured she was in one of the hides because it was getting hot. Turns out she was behind a bush making a hole for an egg. This was her first time laying, and I'm thinking it may have been from a fall mating with the male, not spring mating because it's only March and she probably would have laid later. I have some questions.

-Should I keep the cap on over the container of the egg in the incubator? It is on dry vermiculite right now, with several dishes of water in the incubator. Not sure if the cap should be off to have access to humidity or not.
-Are first eggs usually infertile? She dug the hole and buried perfectly, not on top of the ground or anything.
-If this is her first year laying and she is towards the smaller size of laying females, should I expect more later in the season?
-In this pic does it look fertile? Or you can't really tell yet.
IMG_5317.JPG
Thank you!
 

MichaelL

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It's fine to just answer any of the questions you know, if you don't know all of them it's okay, any advice helps!
 

Yvonne G

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Hey everyone! Today my female laid an egg, I couldn't find her today in the enclosure so just figured she was in one of the hides because it was getting hot. Turns out she was behind a bush making a hole for an egg. This was her first time laying, and I'm thinking it may have been from a fall mating with the male, not spring mating because it's only March and she probably would have laid later. I have some questions.

-Should I keep the cap on over the container of the egg in the incubator? It is on dry vermiculite right now, with several dishes of water in the incubator. Not sure if the cap should be off to have access to humidity or not.

(edited - I made a mistake, haven't incubated russian eggs. Don't moisten the vermiculite)
Moisten the vermiculite. You can punch holes in the lid and leave it on, or leave it off. As long as you keep the vermiculite moist the lid doesn't matter



-Are first eggs usually infertile? She dug the hole and buried perfectly, not on top of the ground or anything.



This might be YOUR first egg, but it probably isn't the tortoise's first egg. I never toss eggs until/unless they burst or smell real rotten



-If this is her first year laying and she is towards the smaller size of laying females, should I expect more later in the season?



They usually lay four or five eggs in a clutch. Are you sure there was only one egg in the nest? She probably won't lay again until next year.





-In this pic does it look fertile? Or you can't really tell yet.
View attachment 321961
Thank you!



Can't tell for a week or more.
 
Last edited:

MichaelL

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Moisten the vermiculite. You can punch holes in the lid and leave it on, or leave it off. As long as you keep the vermiculite moist the lid doesn't matter







This might be YOUR first egg, but it probably isn't the tortoise's first egg. I never toss eggs until/unless they burst or smell real rotten







They usually lay four or five eggs in a clutch. Are you sure there was only one egg in the nest? She probably won't lay again until next year.









Can't tell for a week or more.
Okay I will moisten it, thank you. And regarding it being the first egg, I've had her since before she was breeding size and this seems to be the first time the mating was successful and she actually laid. I checked thoroughly and there was only one for sure. Thank you for the help!
 

Duckster RT

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My RT laid on the 3rd. Today candled them. I can’t tell. Note good. Nothing bad. Nice bright white but idk.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Good luck man! I'm still a beginner myself at hatching eggs. The ones that I hatched I just set the lid on top loose.
 

Tom

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Okay I will moisten it, thank you. And regarding it being the first egg, I've had her since before she was breeding size and this seems to be the first time the mating was successful and she actually laid. I checked thoroughly and there was only one for sure. Thank you for the help!
NOOOOOOO!!! Don't moisten the media for a RUSSIAN egg! Dry media. If you've already done this, stop reading immediately and go get it off the damp media!
 

MichaelL

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NOOOOOOO!!! Don't moisten the media for a RUSSIAN egg! Dry media. If you've already done this, stop reading immediately and go get it off the damp media!
Thank you! I will replace it immediately!
 

MichaelL

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NOOOOOOO!!! Don't moisten the media for a RUSSIAN egg! Dry media. If you've already done this, stop reading immediately and go get it off the damp media!
Luckily it was barely moistened so hopefully no damage done, the vermiculite is replaced with dry now. What do you think about the cap of the container being on or off?
 

Tom

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Hey everyone! Today my female laid an egg, I couldn't find her today in the enclosure so just figured she was in one of the hides because it was getting hot. Turns out she was behind a bush making a hole for an egg. This was her first time laying, and I'm thinking it may have been from a fall mating with the male, not spring mating because it's only March and she probably would have laid later. I have some questions.

-Should I keep the cap on over the container of the egg in the incubator? It is on dry vermiculite right now, with several dishes of water in the incubator. Not sure if the cap should be off to have access to humidity or not.
-Are first eggs usually infertile? She dug the hole and buried perfectly, not on top of the ground or anything.
-If this is her first year laying and she is towards the smaller size of laying females, should I expect more later in the season?
-In this pic does it look fertile? Or you can't really tell yet.
View attachment 321961
Thank you!
-Yes on the lid, but have some tiny air holes. I use an eighth of an inch drill bit and make two to four holes up close to the top.
-Humidity and water tubs inside the incubator are necessary, so good job there.
-Russians are the only species I know of that need to be incubated on dry media.
-FIrst eggs are usually dropped on the surface and frequently have no shell or partial shell. If she dig a hole and buried it, it is very possibly fertile.
-Most russians will lay two or three times per year, but this varies a lot. Sometimes one egg per clutch and I've heard as many as five, but that is unusual. 2 or 3 is pretty normal.
-Can't tell if its fertile by looking, but the egg looks good so far.

Read these for more info on egg care and what to do if it hatches:

Different species, but early hatchling care is the same. Lots of tidbits of info in this thread:
 

Tom

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Luckily it was barely moistened so hopefully no damage done, the vermiculite is replaced with dry now. What do you think about the cap of the container being on or off?
Good. Russian eggs will swell up and crack if kept on moist media.
 

MichaelL

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-Yes on the lid, but have some tiny air holes. I use an eighth of an inch drill bit and make two to four holes up close to the top.
-Humidity and water tubs inside the incubator are necessary, so good job there.
-Russians are the only species I know of that need to be incubated on dry media.
-FIrst eggs are usually dropped on the surface and frequently have no shell or partial shell. If she dig a hole and buried it, it is very possibly fertile.
-Most russians will lay two or three times per year, but this varies a lot. Sometimes one egg per clutch and I've heard as many as five, but that is unusual. 2 or 3 is pretty normal.
-Can't tell if its fertile by looking, but the egg looks good so far.

Read these for more info on egg care and what to do if it hatches:

Different species, but early hatchling care is the same. Lots of tidbits of info in this thread:
Thanks Tom!
 
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