Leopard tortoise laying eggs

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
Hi all, I just joined. *waves to everyone*

Our 14 year old Leopard, Pastie, has started laying eggs, with the first clutch being laid in October. So far, with the information we've been given, we determined that, despite his best efforts, Pie, her hubby, hadn't managed to fertilise her. She just laid another clutch this evening, of 8. We just want to make sure we're doing everything right.

So, my questions are:

As she's just started laying (and Pie, while being the same age, is considerably smaller than she is) what is usually the likelihood of fertile eggs?

What is the best incubation temperature for Leopards (we have them in a polystyrene box, with a reptile heat pad, and they're on a layer of Megazorb animal bedding).

Can the eggs be candled, and if they're going to show up as fertile, when is the earliest that would be?


She's been laying quite regularly, although this is her largest clutch (we were on the brink of taking her to the vet for a shot of Oxy as she'd been digging for the last week and not producing anything).

Many thanks guys. We're anxious, but very excited parents.

Bev x
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
5,094
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
At 14 your tortoises can easily be fertile. Size does matter too, and one large enough 1/2 the age of yours could be fertile as well.

The males are smaller with leopards and stars.

It is quite normal for us to see the first few clutches with very low fertility rates. Often, but not always, the first clutch can be totally infertile.

A good temperature to incubate is 87-88F. Should give a mix of males and females with a slight tendency towards female. But that assumes your thermometers are accurate, and temperatures do not fluctuate as incubation progresses over the next few months.

Yes, you can candle about 2-3 weeks. Most of us just go by watching for the eggs to "chalk". The eggs are an off-white and almost translucent looking when first laid. over the first 2 weeks or so you will see the color become a more pronounced white - like someone colored it with white chalk.

Read this post by our resident guru on things tortoise. It will get things going properly for you.

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-incubate-eggs-and-start-hatchlings.124266/

Good luck and keep the post up to date to let us know how things are going.
 

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
Many many thanks for your reply. I'll have a read of the post. I'd heard of 'chalking' but hadn't found an actual explanation. Thank you.

Bev x
 

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
One thing the post doesn't really say, that I could apply to how we're doing things, is the humidity. The author was saying about 300g of vermiculite to 300g of water. We're using Megazorb, which is recycled paper bedding. If you're not familiar with it, it kind of looks like what happens if you accidentally left a tissue in your pocket in the wash, lol. Sort of soft paper granules. Mostly used for horses, but we have all of our animals on it. Can anyone suggest a good humidity percentage to have the eggs in? Also, we're in the UK where it's winter, in case it's relevant.

Thanks again

Bev x
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
5,094
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
One thing the post doesn't really say, that I could apply to how we're doing things, is the humidity. The author was saying about 300g of vermiculite to 300g of water. We're using Megazorb, which is recycled paper bedding. If you're not familiar with it, it kind of looks like what happens if you accidentally left a tissue in your pocket in the wash, lol. Sort of soft paper granules. Mostly used for horses, but we have all of our animals on it. Can anyone suggest a good humidity percentage to have the eggs in? Also, we're in the UK where it's winter, in case it's relevant.

Thanks again

Bev x
Bev

I think the most used medium for incubating eggs is vermiculite. The stuff sold in garden centers for potting plants. Not Perlite, which is the white stuff, and you don't want white stuff in the vermiculite as some comes with some in it. Just pure untreated vermiculite. The main concern is mold and fungus growth you can get with many things left humid and warm for a few months. Vermiculite is very resistant to that.

As far as humidity, it you set up a container like Tom suggests in the post you read, the humidity inside the egg container will be between 80% - 95%. I always strive to keep humidity up at least to 80%.
 

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
Wow, Arizona! Awesome. You must be able to keep your Torts outside for much of the year if you need to, would that be right? I'm a town called Croydon, in Surrey, which is just South of London, UK. Grotty winter weather right now, but our Torts are tucked up inside.

Thanks for the welcome.

Bev x
 

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
Funnily enough I was just thinking of sharing some pics. These are a couple of years old (snagged out of my Facebook, I know I have somme more recent ones on disc somewhere).

Pie, male, smallest.
Pastie, female, HUUUUUGE!
(They're probably overdue for weighing actually, must get that done).

10153761676147203
(hope that works)

Bev x11782308_10153761675627203_4615973166048512770_o.jpg 10338340_10152861174457203_1396167531222411127_n.jpg
 

Bev Reeve-Robinson

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
13
We've had them for 4 years, a cousin of mine rehomed them to us as she knew we were animal people ( rescue anything that needs it if we can, all we haven't really had is primate and pachyderm, lol ), and they were 10 years old when we brought them home. I personally had never kept tortoises before, and although I'd always grown up with all sorts of animal, I didn't realise just how intelligent and expressive torts can be! I fell in love pretty much straight away. Myself and my hubby live at home with my Dad, who is pretty much their Dad too, and I find it very exciting to know that they'll still be with me into my old age. A few house alterations may be needed in a few years when they get to a certain size, but it wouldn't be the first time we've altered the house for the sake of the animals. Our spare room is converted into a freerange room for fancy rats, which I used to rescue until my health took a turn. Split into two halves so that both sexes can run around without us having a population explosion. :D At the moment, we have the 2 torts, 6 cats, 3 rats, 1 hermit crab, corn snake, bearded dragon, 2 ferrets and a pond full of fish (with a very interested wild Heron who thinks our pond is his personal buffet).

Sorry to bore, just thought a proper introduction was in order.

Bev x
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,351
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
That is quite the list of pets. Welcome to the forum. Beautiful leopards.
 

New Posts

Top