Hatching upside down

Momma Ling

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One of my leopard tortoise eggs is hatching upside down. The head and front legs have emerged from the shell. Should this be left alone or do I need to carefully turn the egg? Thank you for your help!
 

Yvonne G

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When a baby is breaking out of the egg, he actually turns around inside the egg to break the shell all the way around. Sometimes they end up on their back. I generally set them right when I see this. It's not harmful to move them once they start hatching.
 

Momma Ling

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When a baby is breaking out of the egg, he actually turns around inside the egg to break the shell all the way around. Sometimes they end up on their back. I generally set them right when I see this. It's not harmful to move them once they start hatching.
Thank you Yvonne! You are my hero!!! I appreciate you and all your informative wonderful posts!!!!
 

Toddrickfl1

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They can right themselves inside the egg but like Yvonne said it won't hurt them to move it. I would just leave it be.
 

Momma Ling

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Ugh, so conflicted! We had one in the past that pipped a good hole, we could tell he was upside down but he never fully hatched and died in the egg. This guy has progressed quickly, no sign of hatching yesterday and when I got up this morning his head and front legs are out. I'll leave him be with a constant eye. Luckily I have a good view without having to open the incubator constantly. I'll keep you updated. Thank you for the responses! You are all so helpful and I wish I had a found you a few years ago!
 

zovick

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Ugh, so conflicted! We had one in the past that pipped a good hole, we could tell he was upside down but he never fully hatched and died in the egg. This guy has progressed quickly, no sign of hatching yesterday and when I got up this morning his head and front legs are out. I'll leave him be with a constant eye. Luckily I have a good view without having to open the incubator constantly. I'll keep you updated. Thank you for the responses! You are all so helpful and I wish I had a found you a few years ago!
For what it's worth, I have bred tortoises for over 50 years and have had a couple babies drown in the albumin of their own eggs when they were not upright when they broke out and needed to start breathing air. Hence, I would turn it upright and make sure it doesn't have any albumin in its nose by touching it gently to make it pull its head in which usually expels anything in the nostrils. You can use a Q-tip to touch the nose and absorb anything coming from the nostrils.

Good luck.

Bill Z
 

Momma Ling

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Hello everyone! We had a successful hatch! I did leave him alone most of Tuesday but rolled him over before I went to bed. I woke up on Wednesday and he was straight up with his head and front legs in the air. I rolled him down and left him be but there was no progression. I kept finding him straight up and rolling him back down. I had increased the humidity in the incubator he was in and added a touch more water around him. Finally last night I decided to pull him and give him a bit of a soak. I have never seen a new hatchling drink as much as he did. I picked at the top of the egg a bit and dripped some water on it. Next thing I knew he was walking out of the egg. His belly almost completely absorbed. I put him in with some food and he started eating immediately. Glad I decided to intervene and it all worked out. Our tortoises have Ling names, Bubba, Dude A, Hatch. We've had a Carol, Spark, Dinga...this guy is Role, Role Ling. Thank you again for all you advice and I'm glad we had a good outcome.
 

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