Help (lays soft eggs on top of ground)

Gurty & Fred

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1st of all thank you for reading this, i need some advice on what if anything im i doing wrong. I have a female leopard who must be 25+ last year she laid around 6 eggs (her 1st time) but stood on them the shells were soft then she laid a further 4 eggs with hard shells, None of them were fertilised i do have 2 males that can visit her if they want to. This year she has done the same again laid 3 soft eggs on the grass. Is this normal? she has a calcium supplement over every meal so she cant be low in calcium? she has lots of areas she could dig if she wanted, lots of fresh food and grazing is she just learning? 66050571 10156631941605369 534112044052381696 o
 

kazjimmy

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What are your soil area looks like? Do you know what subspecies of leopard tortoise you have?
 

Gurty & Fred

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HI Kazjimmy she has all the flower beds and grassed areas to dig.
 

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Ben02

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Hi, im not involved with the tortoise breeding business yet but it sounds like it may be something to do with lack of calcium? Eggs need a lot of calcium to firm properly
 

Gurty & Fred

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Hi, im not involved with the tortoise breeding business yet but it sounds like it may be something to do with lack of calcium? Eggs need a lot of calcium to firm properly
She has calcium on every meal and has done for years? I was worried about over dosing on it to be honest.
 

Markw84

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Where are you located? From the look of the areas you show for the tortoises, it may be your weather and their temperatures. Calcium is also just one part of the mineralization equation. Also needs to be phosphorus and magnesium in the right balance. But looks like from the natural grazing available, that would not be your problem.

None of the 100s of tortoise eggs I've ever collected are soft at all - even when just laid. They feel like chicken eggs.
 

Ben02

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She has calcium on every meal and has done for years? I was worried about over dosing on it to be honest.
Maybe your tortoise is missing a vital nutrient? I know some people use supplements for that reason, I’ve never used any but I know a couple brands like Sticky tongue farms and Repashi super veggie
 

kazjimmy

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Summarize OP questions
1. Soft eggs and none fertilized
2. Lost ability to dig egg hole.

Someone plz help.
 

Sisypha

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I know my 'Pard girls aren't big diggers, but they're only 3yo. That photo shows a beautiful but really established (rooted!) garden; is there somewhere where there is open, diggable soil? They usually urinate to soften the soil before & during laying, but if root-bound everywhere she may be unable -or unwilling to bother- digging through grass to get to dirt, perhaps?
 

Sisypha

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p.s her shell was like this when i took her in she was around 6 years old.

I believe those three projections along midline of the carapace are a normal variant that just occurs in some Leos while others raised together but unrelated may keep a smooth carapace. IMO the rest of her shell looks splendid though, without any of the spinal abns. or shell asymmetry c/w Metabolic Bone Dz. If she moves well, w/ good leg "posture" and strength, she's probably in great condition…
 

Gurty & Fred

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I know my 'Pard girls aren't big diggers, but they're only 3yo. That photo shows a beautiful but really established (rooted!) garden; is there somewhere where there is open, diggable soil? They usually urinate to soften the soil before & during laying, but if root-bound everywhere she may be unable -or unwilling to bother- digging through grass to get to dirt, perhaps?
I will get on it make an area for just digging down no roots. [emoji5] past the green house is an area perfect.
 

Tom

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Calcium every day is wayyyyyy too much. I'll bet that is your problem. Even the correct amount of calcium interferes with the absorption of other important nutrients and trace elements. That is why you give enough, but not too much. With a great "wild" diet like what your tortoise is getting, you probably don't need any calcium supplementation. I don't use any for my adults anymore. They eat nothing but homegrown calcium rich foods all day. If you want to supplement the calcium, cut it back to a tiny pinch once or twice a week. Personally, I'd stop giving it at all in your circumstance.
 

Tom

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I will get on it make an area for just digging down no roots. [emoji5] past the green house is an area perfect.
My leopards dig in rocky soil that is so hard it will make sparks if you hit it with a shovel. In the course of digging their nests they dig up big rocks and have to go around big tree roots. Their nails are hard as diamonds. I once though the nail was too long and tried to use the dremmel tool on them. I use this dremmel tool with a sanding drum to do nails on big dogs all day long. The back nails on a leopard tortoise ruined my drum in a mater of seconds and did almost nothin to the nail. Then I broke the metal blade of a guillotine style dog nail cutter on them. I don't think your ground is the problem. These tortoises are built to dig nests in hard dry rocky soil.

I've never prepared or softened the ground for any of my tortoise species. The females do just fine on their own.
 
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