Got a Double

Tom

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Also shows how much water they use to dig a hole and make a nest. I always soak them the day after they nest, which is every 3 to 4 weeks, all summer long. I can feel a noticeable difference in their weight when I pick them up after they lay eggs due to the weight of the eggs, and also the water they lose. Normal clutches are about 12 eggs. Sometimes only 10 sometimes 14.
 

Tom

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Somethings in the air 😉😂
Its pretty normal for them to lay all summer. These two nest make my total so far 102 for this season from three females. They will lay once every 3-4 weeks into November. I'll probably have around 200 eggs by the end of the season.

But there is something in the air for sure because my stars, which are normally winter layers, also keep laying eggs. These guys have never laid in summer.
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PA2019

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@Tom mind sharing the leopard females sizes? 200 eggs from 3 females sounds incredible. Does larger females mean larger clutch sizes or larger hatchlings?
 

Tom

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@Tom mind sharing the leopard females sizes? 200 eggs from 3 females sounds incredible. Does larger females mean larger clutch sizes or larger hatchlings?
These girls are 10 years old now. They hatched in 2010. I haven't weighed or measured lately, but they are around 35-40 pounds and about 22 inches.

You've got me curious now. I'll try to weigh and measure them tonight when I go put them all away and shut their doors after dark.

What gets me is the frequency of clutches, and the duration of the laying season. Sulcatas are probably the most fecund of all the tortoise species. Their clutch sizes are about 20-30 and about every six weeks from January to April. I'll usually get three clutches, and occasionally four, from each sulcata female. These leopard though, they lay 12-14 eggs every three weeks from April through November. They just don't stop. 8 or 9 clutches per female is normal for a season. This year, if they keep going, I'm on par to get over 200 eggs. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get more of them to hatch. Lots of experiments this year.
 

Lokkje

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Its pretty normal for them to lay all summer. These two nest make my total so far 102 for this season from three females. They will lay once every 3-4 weeks into November. I'll probably have around 200 eggs by the end of the season.

But there is something in the air for sure because my stars, which are normally winter layers, also keep laying eggs. These guys have never laid in summer.
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Is it too hot for a star in Phoenix? It was 118 yesterday. I had to flood some areas for the deserts to have some mud wallows in the shade in addition to having their burrows. Interestingly they went for the muzzle wallows and stayed in them and didn’t go back to the burrows until night. Would I cook a star? They are so beautiful
 

Lokkje

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Haha. Muzzle wallows. Mud wallows
 

Tom

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Is it too hot for a star in Phoenix? It was 118 yesterday. I had to flood some areas for the deserts to have some mud wallows in the shade in addition to having their burrows. Interestingly they went for the muzzle wallows and stayed in them and didn’t go back to the burrows until night. Would I cook a star? They are so beautiful
I have a friend in Phoenix that raised four Burmese stars there, mostly outside, and last I heard he was breeding them and getting babies.
 

BrookeB

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I can only imagine the excitement when they hatch. I so want to do this, even if it’s only once. I hatch chickens but for some reason tortoises seem like even more fun! Intimidating but fun!
 
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