Rather than subjecting eggs to such examinations, we recommend patience! Courtship techniques vary from species to species, but the common denominating factor between the entire Mediterranean groups is aggression. As a general rule of thumb, anything between 50 and days is applicable. The greenhouse will then be left like this for 12 hours a day, with full access for the gravid female to come and go as she pleases. The male then erects his penis known as a hemi-penis. The eggs hatch between August and October. The Heated Seed Propagator — Readily available at most garden centres, these can make quite a reliable incubator if used correctly.

You must log in or sign up to reply here. In general however nearly all prefer a site which is on a slope, is well drained and has light but relatively well textured soil which is easy to excavate. The egg tooth is only present for this jib and will be worn away as the hatchlings grow. We would look to a genetic incompatibility or poor incubation technique. Very sandy sites, especially those without plant roots to bind the sand together, are often not favoured. This means they can fertilize the eggs even if they have long since had contact with a male.

Add plenty of dark leafy greens, vegetables and their usual feed. Those species which produce softer shelled eggs are much more critical in this respect than those which produce hard-shelled eggs.

Any open wounds should be treated immediately and the animals separated. Below it, use a heating lamp.

The eggs are half buried in vermiculite within the incubator and small bowls of water are placed alongside to adjust the overall relative humidity accordingly.

The mating season is between April and June. Please try again later. The other problem is that at 9 yorsefield there is no guarantee what sex your tortoise is. Male tortoises when defending a territory from another male will resort to this courtship behaviour, even including mounting, but in this situation the ramming and biting is effectively used to dominate and ward off the offending male.


If so, we invite you to join our community! Tortoises are very particular when it comes to choosing a suitable nest site, for incubation purposes they need to seek out a place which receives all day sunshine and has very well drained earth.

Breeding and Incubation

What we do not recommend is relying upon airing cupboards or light bulbs as your heat source. Female tortoises have the ability to store sperm inside themselves in order to fertilize the eggs that they lay.

Are you interested in tortoises? The incubation temperature is especially critical.

How to Know if your Tortoise is Pregnant

This also has the added effect of coating the sticky eggs with soil, lessening the breakage possibilities even further. This does not eliminate risks entirely, but will help to significantly reduce them. A basic incubator is shown in the diagram below. What to do when your tortoise falls on its back – Duration: It is recommended to keep the mating encounters brief by only placing the tortoises together for a couple of hours a day for just a few days.

Hi there, First of all, we’d need to know about the habitat the tortoise lives in. Incubation Time The time scale involved between placing your eggs in the incubator and seeing them hatch varies between differing species and the temperature they were incubated at.

The hatchling may then sit in the egg for quite some time whilst its egg sac is seaason. The yolk sack would smother the developing hatchling if it was turned upside down. This is normal behavior for Russian Tortoises. Whatever system you choose, you absolutely must monitor temperatures carefully. Tortiose pregnant females typically display unusual and unsociable behaviour. Others lay up to Excessively high temperatures can lead to deformity.

Okay thanks for the advice. This website uses cookies in order to work correctly.

Don’t like this video? The Cannibal Generals of Liberia – Duration: Prevention is infinitely better than the ‘cure’ in this instance.

Breeding and Incubation

Breeding and Incubation One of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of tortoise keeping happens when your charges have offspring. At least not initially. This effect is noted even in highly accurate and stable incubators, and only seems to happen occasionally. Once embryonic development is underway however orientation should not be disturbed. Another way to tell is to ask your veterinary surgeon to X-ray a tortoise you suspect may be pregnant – although this is really only justified in ”problem” cases.


Every year the Tortoise Trust receives a large number of queries concerning eggs and hatchlings. If any doubt that the female is pregnant or not, we suggest taking the tortoise to a vet and getting an x-ray done. One single shot of oxytocin is usually enough to make the tortoise lay within a couple of hours or bringing her horefield. This method will normally prompt laying within a couple of weeks. The first thing to know about tortoise reproduction and pregnancy is that these reptiles reach sexual maturity at around years of age when healthy.

Once the pregnant female finds a suitable nesting area, sufficient to be able to incubate the eggs, she will proceed to lay the clutch.

In addition, the pregnant tortoises inflated hormone levels also contribute to the lack of appetite. If you do happen to have a fussy layer, you could try another method which often seems to work when the more traditional greenhouse method does not. Some weeks afterwards another stored clutch of fertile eggs will be allowed to grow to fill size, be shelled and eventually laid.

They do however cause unlimited health risks, any eggs which happen to develop inside the female are very likely to be malformed, usually too large or tortoiee to be safely express, this in turn can lead to peritonitis and death.