Laying Eggs Tonight! + an Introduction + a couple questions

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benA

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I've have been trying to find some time to load up some pics of my leopards. I raise Pardalis Pardalis Leopards and tonight has proved to be the perfect moment because my female, Aphrodite has just started to dig a hole for her second clutch of the year. She laid her first clutch 29 days ago.

I have a photo of Aphrodite and Hercules on the neighbor's sidewalk, a photo of our new hatchlings from this spring (9 total, have sold 6, have three left), and then a shot of Aphrodite hard at work tonight. Aphrodite is 8 years and this will be her 6th clutch.

Question for anyone - I know that eggs should not be turned once incubation starts, but I would imagine that it is safe to turn them over when digging them up? I mean its pretty hard to pull them out of the dirt without turning them at all.

Another question - What are typical hatch rates? is that the right term? what percentage of eggs typically hatch?

Thanks everyone, Ben
 

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dmmj

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Welcome to the forum
I don't raise leopards myself (yet) but I think the general rule is no turning after 24 hours or so, once the embryo settles into position. If I am wrong someone will be along to correct me soon. As for hatching rates I think it mainly depends on the tortoise and the previous year of success, but again I could be wrong.
 

DesertGrandma

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Thanks for posting the pics Ben. Nice looking babies. Interested in hearing more about your tort family.

Are Aphrodite and Hercules your only adults? Notice one of the babies in the photo is very light.
 

TortieLuver

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Hi Ben~Yes you are right and so is dmmj. If she just lays her eggs, than you can dig them up gently and place in the incubator within the first 24 hours without worry of placement. You can clean them off too if they are covered in mud. I like the nesting chamber within your setup. I have that for my stars when they are indoors. You are also dealing with pps rather than pbs and the theory is that they have a diapause that is needed to break. What you were doing in a past thread sounded good to me. That too is what I do with the pp eggs. I am in the process of trying different methods and mediums to figure out the best way to get the highest hatch rates. My hatchrates appear to be very high, but often just varies from tortoise to tortoise and species to species. For example, one of my Leopards has a 100% hatchrate, but then last season I had another Leopard (same age, same methods, same time) had nice looking eggs but none hatched. I am usually at 80-100% but that also depends on the species too. My sulcatas I always get 100% hatchrates for the first 3 clutches and then clutches 4 and 5 seem to have low hatchrates. Thanks for sharing your tortoises, your lil ones, and your experiences with us. I think pps too are a different to incubate and hatch out than pbs. Most people that I know breed in the SW leave all of their pp eggs in the ground because that is the only way they are successful.
 

jackrat

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Nice leopards,Ben. Seems like everyone's leopards are laying.
 

yagyujubei

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Congratulations Ben, Hercules and Aphrodite look great. Added to the fact that thay've spent a lot of time indoors, bred, layed, and sucessfully hatched, is a great achievement. Is this her second clutch then? How many did she lay the first time? How many in the new clutch? Sorry for sounding like an interrogation. I think it was you that took a series of pics of one of yours sitting on the same rock. If you get a chance, I think many here would love to see the growth progress.
 

benA

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yagyujubei said:
Congratulations Ben, Hercules and Aphrodite look great. Added to the fact that thay've spent a lot of time indoors, bred, layed, and sucessfully hatched, is a great achievement. Is this her second clutch then? How many did she lay the first time? How many in the new clutch? Sorry for sounding like an interrogation. I think it was you that took a series of pics of one of yours sitting on the same rock. If you get a chance, I think many here would love to see the growth progress.

yagyujubei - thanks for the note. Yes, this is her second clutch of this year. She laid 5 in the first and 7 yesterday. Last year she laid 4 clutches and no eggs have hatched from the first two, only the 3rd and 4th. We'll see what happens with these! This turned out to be quite the deal the past two days. Right after I posted that pic of her digging she stopped digging and walked away, after a hour of digging. This happened 4 or 5 times. Sinc this is indoors she only has one place to dig and for every clutch so far she starts digging on the plywood floor of the enclosure and I have to move her over to the dirt. She simply won't start on the dirt by herself. Every other time she the digs in the dirt and lays her eggs. This time she refused - she would start to dig and the walk to a spot 12" away and walk in circles and then try to dig there. After a day and 5 trys I threw up my hands and cut a new hole in the floor and dropped a new tub for dirt. Before I had a chance to fill it she came near and started to dig in the dirt tub that I had tried to get to dig in! So now I have 7 new eggs and a new hole that I have to fill. I might post this dilema as a new thread at some point because i wonder if she has some instinct to not dig in the same place twice? Because she is inside, eventually I will run out of options!

I will post the growth pics in another thread in a little bit.

Ben

TortieLuver said:
Hi Ben~Yes you are right and so is dmmj. If she just lays her eggs, than you can dig them up gently and place in the incubator within the first 24 hours without worry of placement. You can clean them off too if they are covered in mud. I like the nesting chamber within your setup. I have that for my stars when they are indoors. You are also dealing with pps rather than pbs and the theory is that they have a diapause that is needed to break. What you were doing in a past thread sounded good to me. That too is what I do with the pp eggs. I am in the process of trying different methods and mediums to figure out the best way to get the highest hatch rates. My hatchrates appear to be very high, but often just varies from tortoise to tortoise and species to species. For example, one of my Leopards has a 100% hatchrate, but then last season I had another Leopard (same age, same methods, same time) had nice looking eggs but none hatched. I am usually at 80-100% but that also depends on the species too. My sulcatas I always get 100% hatchrates for the first 3 clutches and then clutches 4 and 5 seem to have low hatchrates. Thanks for sharing your tortoises, your lil ones, and your experiences with us. I think pps too are a different to incubate and hatch out than pbs. Most people that I know breed in the SW leave all of their pp eggs in the ground because that is the only way they are successful.

TortieLuver - thanks for the comment. Do you get high rates with your PPS as well as your PBS?
 
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