Leopard tortoise egg laying story

NEtorts

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Last night my 10-year-old female leopard tortoise. “Thor” decided to give us a clutch of 10 eggs.
3 1/2 weeks ago she laid and I did not know and ended up digging the nest up with my tractor.
I saw her digging and checked after she left the nest site but I could not dig the ground with my bare hands, could not scratch through the soil so I figured there’s no way she actually dug she was just searching for a site. Well I was wrong the only thing harder than this ground would be concrete, amazing that she dug a 6 inch deep hole about as big around as a baseball with her backfeet and then pack the soil in over top of the eggs so hard I couldn’t even tell she dug.
Long story short I was trying to soften up the ground with my tractor and ended up crushing 3 of the 7 eggs she laid. The only positive to this episode is that she had not been with a male for very long and I don’t think they will hatch even though I still have three of them in the incubator one of them rotted right off.

so last night I see her digging, I watched for hour, put her away at about 11 o’clock last night when she was all done packing up the nest

this morning at first light I carefully dug with a metal tool, amazingly hard ground again, and excavated 10 beautiful eggs. She has been with the male for the past five weeks so I assume these ones may be fertile. I have confirmed them mating. Fingers crossed these ones will produce fine young leopard tortoise babies. ?

I have read that no matter what you do to make nice easy nest sites that they won’t dig there they will find their own place and they will dig through the hardest of soils I dId not believe it but it is true, she wouldn’t touch the nice soil that I tilled up for her and dug 2 feet from it through the hardest ground in the pen.

thanks for reading and thanks for letting me share
chris
 

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wellington

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For the future, you dony have to let her bury the eggs. Get the eggs out as she is laying and let her bury an empty nest. I always moved mine to the side a bit and took the eggs then let her bury an empty hole
You can even catch them as they are being dropped.
Good luck
 

pacific chelonians

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I don’t know one of my females has been with a male for 10months and the eggs she layed last week were infertile
 

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NEtorts

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For the future, you dony have to let her bury the eggs. Get the eggs out as she is laying and let her bury an empty nest. I always moved mine to the side a bit and took the eggs then let her bury an empty hole
You can even catch them as they are being dropped.
Good luck
Thanks for the advice I was just so afraid that if anything bothered her she would stop laying and I do not want her to become egg bound I lost a Greek tortoise years ago because she couldn’t find a suitable nest in her habitat and she was egg bound and died
 

wellington

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You do want to be as secretive as possible. Just go behind her and you should have room to place a gloved hand and catch them as she plops them out. Or what I did is wait till she starts to bury them and that's when I would move her out of the way and collect them.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Good luck! Keep us posted.
 

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