Possible nesting behavior in young Aldabras? - video

dd33

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We have had our three Aldabras since September 2018. They were imports so they should have hatched sometime in early 2018 making them about 6 years old now. I think they are pretty big for their age, the largest of the three was ~105lbs back in October but has lost a little weight recently.
Over the summer we noticed that they started spending more time exploring far away parts of their pasture. Then when things cooled off about 2 months ago they started to stay out at night instead of returning to their nightbox for the first time in 5 years. About two weeks ago they started to root around in the dirt and it really looks like they have some sort of urge to lay eggs. This is the time of year for Aldabra egg laying in Florida.

Take a look at the video. This location was previously a small mound of top soil and compost that we made several years before we put the tortoises in. I would guess it was about a cubic yard of dirt which they have completely leveled out over the last couple of weeks. All three of our Aldabra will come to this area and do this. We have not seen them dig any holes with their back legs yet. The largest animal attempted to stay in the area overnight but I finally went out and moved her in around 11:30pm when I noticed that she hadn't started to dig yet.

Any experienced Aldabra keepers ever seen an animal this young think about laying eggs? I believe @ALDABRAMAN has said he has a female in the 120lb range that lays so we are close on size. There is another Aldabra breeder in SW Florida that has had a 13 year old female lay eggs and we are a long way off on that.

 

AZApple

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I second Alliegator. The video was darling, including the very end. I would have said there’s a new smell in the area. Perhaps you have a new cat in the neighborhood?
 

dd33

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You need to have a talk with them. They need to use their back legs not front lol.
Young teenager's are always backwards lol
Yeah, I have been told it takes them several years to figure it out and to expect them to lay eggs on the surface, dig holes then poop in them and so on.
I think the huge surface disturbance may be normal for Aldabras. I have watched a female Aldabra lay eggs at a friends house and she tore up the ground for a few days before finally laying. See below:

IMG_59251.jpg
 

wellington

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Seems almost all first time females of any species lays on top of the ground their first time.
My leopards always did test holes. With the Aldabras being so much bigger, I'm sure their test holes and area around it is more like craters then holes. Their feet alone is just about the size of a leopard lol.
If there a possibility of them having eggs yet?
 

dd33

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Seems almost all first time females of any species lays on top of the ground their first time.
My leopards always did test holes. With the Aldabras being so much bigger, I'm sure their test holes and area around it is more like craters then holes. Their feet alone is just about the size of a leopard lol.
If there a possibility of them having eggs yet?
I haven't dug the entire area up but I have poked around a bit and didn't find anything. It just seems so unlikely, too small, too young, no male...
I thought about taking them to get x rays to satisfy my curiosity but that seems a bit excessive.
 
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