Russian Tortoise breeding

Riley Nigh

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I am wanting to start a small business breeding Russian Tortoises but I have a few questions before I start. I live in cold areas and can only do it indoors. Do the tortoises have to mate again after the first clutch in order to have more fertile eggs? What size of terrarium should I have at a starting colony size of 3 tortoises (one male two females)? After they lay eggs should I separate the male? What method do you use to store the eggs in an incubator?
 

dmmj

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if you do this indoors you have to dedicate an entire room to 1 breeding colony not many people can do that
 

Yvonne G

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What David meant is Russian tortoises, even though they are a small species, require a pretty big space - about 4'x8' for just one tortoise. Since you 'll be wanting a colony, or at least 2 females and one male, you would need a very big space. In a small space, the females wouldn't be able to get away from their very aggressive male partner. Male Russian tortoises have been known to bite off the female's eye lids and front leg scales, and they harass the females constantly, so you need a big space with lots of sight barriers and hiding places so the females can get away from him. Most of our breeders have them set up outside where this doesn't present such a problem.

A female tortoise can retain sperm for over a year, but I'm not sure if that means more sperm after a clutch has been fertilized or not.

Because of his aggressiveness it's a good idea to have the male in his own habitat.

I use several Little Giant Bird Brooders to incubate tortoise eggs. This past year I was given a Zoo Med Reptibator and I'm liken' it pretty darned good.
 

Riley Nigh

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I can make a 55-110 gallon tank. Would a size in thoes numbers work? I will only use these three tortoises for a while and separate the male afterwards, so I don't think I need a huge terraium.
Also when I incubate the eggs what kind of box do I put them in? I already have an incubator.
What do you prefer for nesting boxes?
Also my female hasn't laid slugs yet and she is 6''. Is there something that will help influence her to lay eggs? Or is she just not ready yet? Thanks for the responses!
 

Riley Nigh

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Jan 8, 2017
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What David meant is Russian tortoises, even though they are a small species, require a pretty big space - about 4'x8' for just one tortoise. Since you 'll be wanting a colony, or at least 2 females and one male, you would need a very big space. In a small space, the females wouldn't be able to get away from their very aggressive male partner. Male Russian tortoises have been known to bite off the female's eye lids and front leg scales, and they harass the females constantly, so you need a big space with lots of sight barriers and hiding places so the females can get away from him. Most of our breeders have them set up outside where this doesn't present such a problem.

A female tortoise can retain sperm for over a year, but I'm not sure if that means more sperm after a clutch has been fertilized or not.

Because of his aggressiveness it's a good idea to have the male in his own habitat.

I use several Little Giant Bird Brooders to incubate tortoise eggs. This past year I was given a Zoo Med Reptibator and I'm liken' it pretty darned good.
^ forgot to reply to your comment
 

Yvonne G

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I can make a 55-110 gallon tank. Would a size in thoes numbers work? I will only use these three tortoises for a while and separate the male afterwards, so I don't think I need a huge terraium.
Also when I incubate the eggs what kind of box do I put them in? I already have an incubator.
What do you prefer for nesting boxes?
Also my female hasn't laid slugs yet and she is 6''. Is there something that will help influence her to lay eggs? Or is she just not ready yet? Thanks for the responses!

No. There isn't a glass tank big enough for an adult Russian tortoise. Glass tanks' gallons are measured in volume (up the sides), A Russian tortoise doesn't need 'volume' he needs floor space. We recommend for ONE russian tortoise, a 4'x8' enclosure.
 

Yvonne G

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I can make a 55-110 gallon tank. Would a size in thoes numbers work? I will only use these three tortoises for a while and separate the male afterwards, so I don't think I need a huge terraium.
Also when I incubate the eggs what kind of box do I put them in? I already have an incubator.
What do you prefer for nesting boxes?
Also my female hasn't laid slugs yet and she is 6''. Is there something that will help influence her to lay eggs? Or is she just not ready yet? Thanks for the responses!

No. There isn't a glass tank big enough for an adult Russian tortoise. Glass tanks' gallons are measured in volume (up the sides), A Russian tortoise doesn't need 'volume' he needs floor space. We recommend for ONE russian tortoise, a 4'x8' enclosure.
 
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