Sulcatas laying eggs

ryanlubeck1

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Hello everyone! My sulcata tortoise just laid her first clutch of eggs today. There was 9 and I dug them up and put them in incubator now. I understand that they can lay multiple clutches per year normally a few weeks in between each clutch. But does that only happen if she has been bred in between each clutch? I read somewhere that some clutches can be fertile and some infertile. And that she can hold a males sperm for some time. Just a little confused on how many clutches she will lay.
Side note: The male is in a separate pasture and they were together for a few days to mate but they are now separated so she can lay her eggs and relax.
 

wellington

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My leopards did not have to be bred after laying to lay again. Im sure it's the same with all tortoises.
 

Tom

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Hello everyone! My sulcata tortoise just laid her first clutch of eggs today. There was 9 and I dug them up and put them in incubator now. I understand that they can lay multiple clutches per year normally a few weeks in between each clutch. But does that only happen if she has been bred in between each clutch? I read somewhere that some clutches can be fertile and some infertile. And that she can hold a males sperm for some time. Just a little confused on how many clutches she will lay.
Side note: The male is in a separate pasture and they were together for a few days to mate but they are now separated so she can lay her eggs and relax.
They can lay multiple clutches from one mating. Some species can store sperm and make viable eggs for years. Anecdotally, sulcatas only seem to retain this ability for a few months. Fertility goes down with each clutch and after about 6-9 months, fertility is usually at zero. I speculate that this is why sulcatas copulate so often and with such vigor compared to some other species.

They usually lay 3 clutches a year with about 6 weeks in between. They typically start laying in December or January, and stop laying in May when it gets hot here again. I've had years where some females only laid one or two clutches, and I had one year where every female laid 8 clutches, but that only happened once.

Check this out:

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