Russian Tortoise Laid Eggs, but no incubator

Aubrie99

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Phoenix, Arizona
Hello! I am new here but my Russian tortoise laid 3 eggs in her outdoor enclosure today! This is not her first clutch, the first one was either infertile (most likely) or we incubated them wrong. This is her second clutch so I am more hopeful that they are fertile but with that being said I do not have an incubator or the funds to buy one at the moment. My tortoises live in an outdoor enclosure here in Phoenix, Arizona. I want to be successful with incubating these eggs but I feel that because I don’t have an incubator I will most likely fail. Anyways, if anyone has advice for me as this is my first time doing this I would greatly appreciate it!
 

MichaelL

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I would not incubate them without an incubator. I'd say your best bet is leaving them in the ground over there in Phoenix. It's a lot like their native range.
 

Tom

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Hello! I am new here but my Russian tortoise laid 3 eggs in her outdoor enclosure today! This is not her first clutch, the first one was either infertile (most likely) or we incubated them wrong. This is her second clutch so I am more hopeful that they are fertile but with that being said I do not have an incubator or the funds to buy one at the moment. My tortoises live in an outdoor enclosure here in Phoenix, Arizona. I want to be successful with incubating these eggs but I feel that because I don’t have an incubator I will most likely fail. Anyways, if anyone has advice for me as this is my first time doing this I would greatly appreciate it!
The eggs can stay in the ground for a while. Find a local feed store near you and get a Hovabator or Little Giant "still air" incubator. Or order one online:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KKRDQAE/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0145O6C0S/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

They are less than $70. The sale of one baby will pay for that. The babies go for around $150 now.

Once you have the incubator set up and running and you've verified the correct temp with a digital thermometer, around 87-88, for 48 hours, then you can go dig up the eggs. Don't turn them, and put them in dry vermiculite in a little deli cup or Tupperware container that will fit in your incubator. You can use dirt from the hole where they were laid if you don't want to buy vermiculite. Don't use perlite. Drill a few 1/8 inch holes around the top of the cup for ventilation. Fill up the water channels in the bottom tray of the incubator, and refill as needed during incubation. Keep the eggs and media dry, but the water in that bottom tray will provide the necessary humidity.

In about 60 days, you'll have new babies!!!

Read this for more info:

If you can't swing $70, send me a message. I'll order an incubator and have it shipped to you. Its a terrible shame that this species isn't bred more in captivity. They are fantastic little tortoises. Most people buy them from pet shops, and most of those don't survive. CB babies are the way to go. This is not charity, so don't let that stop you. You can send me a baby when and if they hatch, and you can keep the incubator for all the future eggs she will lay. If none hatch, oh well. I'm out a few bucks, but you'll be prepared next time, and the time after that, and the time after that. The more babies you produce, the fewer that will be shipped in from the wild. I'd love it if we could kill the import market by meeting the demand with CB tortoises.
 

Aubrie99

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May 14, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, Arizona
The eggs can stay in the ground for a while. Find a local feed store near you and get a Hovabator or Little Giant "still air" incubator. Or order one online:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KKRDQAE/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0145O6C0S/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

They are less than $70. The sale of one baby will pay for that. The babies go for around $150 now.

Once you have the incubator set up and running and you've verified the correct temp with a digital thermometer, around 87-88, for 48 hours, then you can go dig up the eggs. Don't turn them, and put them in dry vermiculite in a little deli cup or Tupperware container that will fit in your incubator. You can use dirt from the hole where they were laid if you don't want to buy vermiculite. Don't use perlite. Drill a few 1/8 inch holes around the top of the cup for ventilation. Fill up the water channels in the bottom tray of the incubator, and refill as needed during incubation. Keep the eggs and media dry, but the water in that bottom tray will provide the necessary humidity.

In about 60 days, you'll have new babies!!!

Read this for more info:

If you can't swing $70, send me a message. I'll order an incubator and have it shipped to you. Its a terrible shame that this species isn't bred more in captivity. They are fantastic little tortoises. Most people buy them from pet shops, and most of those don't survive. CB babies are the way to go. This is not charity, so don't let that stop you. You can send me a baby when and if they hatch, and you can keep the incubator for all the future eggs she will lay. If none hatch, oh well. I'm out a few bucks, but you'll be prepared next time, and the time after that, and the time after that. The more babies you produce, the fewer that will be shipped in from the wild. I'd love it if we could kill the import market by meeting the demand with CB tortoises.

Thank you so much for your response! Those incubators look more affordable for me so I believe I will be able to purchase one! Of those amazon links, is there one you would recommend over the other? As I said this is my first time and I want to do things right. I will leave them in the nest for now until I can get an incubator. I would love to contribute to captive-bred tortoise so I will do everything in my power to give these eggs the greatest chance of success. I've had my two Russian tortoises for about 10 years now and they are great tortoises. Thank you again for your informative response! I hope to order an incubator today so I can give these eggs the best chance at hatching.
 

Tom

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Thank you so much for your response! Those incubators look more affordable for me so I believe I will be able to purchase one! Of those amazon links, is there one you would recommend over the other? As I said this is my first time and I want to do things right. I will leave them in the nest for now until I can get an incubator. I would love to contribute to captive-bred tortoise so I will do everything in my power to give these eggs the greatest chance of success. I've had my two Russian tortoises for about 10 years now and they are great tortoises. Thank you again for your informative response! I hope to order an incubator today so I can give these eggs the best chance at hatching.
I've used both of those incubators. Both of them worked perfectly. Pick whichever one you like, but do use a separate thermometer to check the temperature. The Hovobator ones come with one of those old fashioned glass thermometers that do work, but I like a digital AccuRite one from Home Depot too.

Good luck and please keep us posted. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing new life hatching from a well cared for egg! This will also help you find buyers, if selling them interests you.
 

Aubrie99

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Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, Arizona
I've used both of those incubators. Both of them worked perfectly. Pick whichever one you like, but do use a separate thermometer to check the temperature. The Hovobator ones come with one of those old fashioned glass thermometers that do work, but I like a digital AccuRite one from Home Depot too.

Good luck and please keep us posted. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing new life hatching from a well cared for egg! This will also help you find buyers, if selling them interests you.

I just ordered the incubator and it should be here by Sunday! I will head to Home Depot soon and get the more accurate thermometer and vermiculite to give these eggs the best chance of success! Thank you again for the advice, I really appreciate it and I will definitely keep you updated! Thank you again!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Remember to not rotate the eggs when you take them out of the nest.
Carol, were my incubation instructions correct? Temperature, moisture, time frame, etc...? Please correct me if not, and add anything I missed.
 

Aubrie99

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Joined
May 14, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, Arizona
Just wanted to update- the eggs sadly never hatched. I am thinking (and hoping) that it was just an infertile clutch and not my failure. I appreciate the help everyone gave me and I am glad I have an incubator for future clutches!
 

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