I may be slow … but I get there!

Posts tagged ‘vermiculite’

Spotted turtle eggs, part 3!

As long as I’ve kept and bred turtles and tortoises, I’ll never get tired of seeing a girl lay eggs. Even more exciting is watching them hatch! Let’s all hope for babies in 2 months!

covered turtle nest

Spotted turtle nest

The morning after the female laid her eggs and covered the nest, I retrieved her eggs to incubate in a Reptibator, which is an incubator for reptile eggs. She’s an experienced egg layer and does a great job hiding her nest. In the wild, nests are vulnerable to predators on the land. It’s instinct; however, I’ve noticed it does take some experience to master the art of hiding her nest. My younger, smaller female Spotted doesn’t do a very good job covering her nests, yet!

After carefully scraping away dirt until the eggs appeared, I dug a little more to define the eggs. They’re mostly still buried, but you can see enough to count 3 white egg gems!

turtle eggs uncovered

Uncovered eggs!

These eggs seem larger than usual, although I haven’t had any Spotted Turtle eggs in a couple of years so maybe I don’t remember them clearly. I’ve also had many eggs from my musk turtles; those eggs are tiny, and maybe those are cluttering my mind. Anyway, once I had the eggs completely uncovered, they were ready for transfer to a plastic container with a layer of vermiculite. Vermiculite is a common incubation medium for reptile eggs because it holds moisture well. I wet the vermiculite, squeeze excess water from it, and spread it in the plastic container. I nestle each egg into the container and then the waiting begins. If fertile, they’ll hatch in about 60 days.

eggs in vermiculite

Safely placed in vermiculite

As they incubate, I check the temperature and humidity regularly. I want the humidity to be close to 80%, which is hard to maintain. Therefore, I mist the eggs frequently. I also placed some plastic wrap over a portion of this container because the eggs were slightly dented. They’ve plumped up nicely since doing that.

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I may be slow ... but I get there!