Hatching Tortoise Without the Shell

Tom

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Very interesting Tom! I get probably 100 eggs per year with the smallest of cracks and have never had a single one hatch, I wonder what the difference is between our experiences?

As for how I went about doing it... Nothing crazy. I took a Solo cup, put some plastic wrap over it, cracked open the already cracked egg, dumped it into the plastic wrap, folded the plastic wrap back over itself and the egg, and sealed it off with a rubber band around the rim of the cup.

I'm sure this will take a few tries to perfect. I tried this as part of a series of other "egg saving" tests where I tested several different ways to seal the cracks in different eggs but none worked. I wish I had tried this method bypassing the shell altogether with several different eggs in hindsight, that'll be next laying season for sure. Fingers crossed I have beginners luck and this little guy makes it to full term.

I will keep everyone posted on this thread throughout the journey!
Fascinating! You've clearly got some development happening there. I can't wait to see how this will work out and what we will learn. Thanks for posting this.
 

tortoiseplanet

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Theoretical Experiment:
Poke a few micro holes for air exchange, increase the humidity, and sprinkle a very slight amount of Calcium without D3 or egg shell powder on the top of the embryo.

The holes will allow air exchange, the humidity will prevent it from drying, the calcium will be absorbed by the embryo.
 

Arizona Sulcata

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Theoretical Experiment:
Poke a few micro holes for air exchange, increase the humidity, and sprinkle a very slight amount of Calcium without D3 or egg shell powder on the top of the embryo.

The holes will allow air exchange, the humidity will prevent it from drying, the calcium will be absorbed by the embryo.
I like that idea! I will definitely give it a try next time!
 

CarolM

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Giving my best go at hatching a Sulcata without the egg shell. Most of you probably know that some of the eggs get cracked during the nesting/laying process. When that happens it always dries out and I've never had one hatched even with the slightest tiniest cracks. I decided to take one of those cracked eggs and bypass the shell altogether. So far so good... Here is its progress on day 15. View attachment 242639
Wow. I have read about this before. I really hope you are successful and will be very interested in following your thread right to the end. Thank you so much for letting us be part of the process.
 

CarolM

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Yes, I remember someone mending cracks. I don't remember who or if those eggs every hatched.
This is very interesting. If this works, which I hope it does. I'm going to feel like such a failure as I have only gotten 6 eggs to hatch out of about a 100. Not the reason I gave up breeding but a small part of it
Wondering, did you take great care to be sure this was all done in a sterile way? I would even think any air exchange would have stopped the progress.
Please keep this thread updated along the whole process.
I second and third and fourth that. [emoji3]
 

CarolM

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Wow. I have read about this before. I really hope you are successful and will be very interested in following your thread right to the end. Thank you so much for letting us be part of the process.
If I remember correctly this was done with great success by a Japanese scientist with a chicken egg.
 

Arizona Sulcata

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Just an FYI for anyone who wants to follow... I tried posting a video of the heartbeat but it wouldn't let me do it here. I will post updates here but more often so on my Instagram @AZSulcata and Facebook page Arizona Sulcata. The video can be seen there.

It's crazy how fast it is changing from the first picture I posted two days ago. Yesterday there was a visible heartbeat which couldn't be seen the day before, and this morning the head is much larger and moving along with a more defined eye.
 

Yvonne G

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I wondered about the air tight plastic wrap too. If I'm remembering correctly, the embryo absorbs calcium from the shell, and oxygen gets through the shell too. But obviously your air tight plastic wrap is doing ok. I'm anxious to watch the growth.
 

Arizona Sulcata

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UPDATE:

Around day 25 there appeared to be a bubble that formed on top of the yolk and I didn't think much of it. The next day I checked on it and the embryo and yolk had collapsed. Not sure why, possibly from me handling too much. Not entirely sure but that's my best guess.

Here is another one from a different clutch. It is on day 46, still progressing nicely. This is the furthest I've had one get so far. It's not clear in the photo but its shell has started to form which I'm very excited about!! ZomboMeme 21072018141903.jpg
 

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