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help! -surprise spinster eggs


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#1 Guest_thistletime_*

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:00 PM

Our tortoise yesterday dug a hole and laid 9 eggs in the garden. Tati is something more than 25 to 30 years old and lives all year round in a large , mostly sandy soil garden. She hibernates from October to 1st week in April.
Although she has managed to go on her travels out of the garden a couple of times , this has not happened this year.
She ate well until a couple of weeks ago when she started relentlessly pacing round the garden. On Sunday she scraped a hole on a sunny slope, laid eggs and covered the hole up.
Two questions please - She seems ok and is eating again if a bit wheezy. Is there anything we should do/ anything special to feed her (she eats dandelions, clover and garden veg plus extra fruit and veg that we give her)?
Are the eggs infertile?
Any information welcome - it was a bit of a surprise!

#2 Guest_Saz_*

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:30 AM

Hi congratulations, ive not had any eggs from mine so im not an expert at the breeding/egg laying process yet.

I have read that you need to put the eggs in an incubator at a certain temperature. If you google for tortoise eggs then it will give you some tortoise websites that can give you more info what to do and im sure theres loads of people on here that can help.

Do you not have another tortoise? Has your tortoise ever been in contact with another one, because they can mate and the female can hold the sperm for years until she decides to use it.

Good luck and i hope everything turns out well for you

Saz x

#3 Guest_thistletime_*

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 01:54 PM

Hi Saz
Thanks for that, I'll google for egg info. No we don't have another tortoise but Tati has managed to go walkabout a few times in past years - and there are other tortoises in the area, but I don't know if she managed to pick one up!

#4 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 05:17 PM

Congratulations on your eggs. If you go to this site and then click on Incubators, it tells you how to make a simple one.
http://www.thetortoisehouse.com/
And here are some good pictures showing egg development (they are Horsfield eggs, but I imagine the stages are pretty similar)
http://russiantortoi...development.htm
And here's an authoritative article from the Tortoise Trust website on incubation.
http://www.tortoiset...incubation.html

Best of luck with the eggs.

Nina

#5 Guest_Saz_*

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 11:40 PM

keep us all updated on the progress and maybe post a few pictures as they are developing.

good luck

Saz

#6 Guest_l1277702_*

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:12 AM

It really is amazing news about your tortoise's eggs. I hope that they are fertile. It's like one of those stories you read in "Woman's Own" about a fifty year old menopausal woman unexpectedly having triplets. But happier! Keep us updated, good luck.

Beth x

#7 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:01 PM

Nina has given you the site to build a incubator, what ever you do don't turn the eggs, mark them with a felt tip so you know the top.
Tortoise can lay eggs same as hens, they don't have to mate to produce them, so don't build your hopes up, but you never know, it takes 56 to about 90 days for them to hatch, but normally around the 60 day time
Fingers crossed
Arnie

#8 Guest_tizzy_*

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 10:10 PM

The fact that she actually dug a nest, buried the eggs and covered them to me indicates they are fertile.Infertile eggs are layed haphazardly.
She may have been in contact with a male howbeit several years ago.
As Arnie quite rightly says she will retain the sperm until it is all used up.My Female has layed eggs again this year for the 4th year running but has had no contact with a male.
Good luck and keep us posted.

John

#9 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 05:18 AM

surely she has been in contact with a male in the last couple of years has she stayed some place overnight and they have tortoises normally some sort of mateing activity is needed to produce eggs even though they may not be fertile .have you any idea when this could have happened.if she had carried these eggs over a couple of seasons they would be heavily calcified and not viable ,if as i get the impression thses are fresh eggs i think your spinster has had a secret liason

terry

#10 Guest_tizzy_*

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 11:27 AM

Terry.
No she has not been in contact with any male whatsoever.
I have been reliable informed by B.A.T.K. that because tortoises are solitary animals and in the wild would only come across a male by chance, the females will retain the sperm for use when conditions are correct.Her eggs are not fertilized and shell produced until then.
So she can produce fertile eggs for many years. In the later years the number of eggs will reduce as the volume of sperm reduces.
I have had my adults for over 30 years but only after seeking advice did i realise they needed to to kept apart.
Sure enough after keeping them apart for 3 years, the first time i introduced the male to the female she was "responsive" and she has produced fertile eggs for the past 4 years.

John

#11 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:17 PM

Terry.
No she has not been in contact with any male whatsoever.
the first time i introduced the male to the female she was "responsive" and she has produced fertile eggs for the past 4 years.

John

im sorry i must have missunderstood you

terry

#12 Guest_tizzy_*

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 08:57 PM

Terry

Just to make it 100 % clear.
You originally said "surely she has been in contact with a male over the last couple of years"

As i said NO the only ONE contact she had was over 4 years years ago.

She can produce eggs and have them inside her for many many years, but only when the conditions are right IE temperature,humidity, the availability of a suitable nest site etc.etc. will she pass a number of eggs into the fertility chamber where they are obviously fertilised and the shell produced.

It is at this critical time that if the original conditions are not right she will not lay them and that is when the calcification problems can occure, and is the reason it is best to have a female xrayed before hibination.

Sorry if it sounds like i've harped on about it, but after 4 productive years and over 30 years as there keeper i think i am beginning to get to understand the breeding.

John

#13 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:15 AM

hello John the thing that got me interested in the first place was 9 viable eggs after 25years seemed strange that she had no contact with a male in all that time.but im not going to say any more as im the new boy here and i will trust your 4 years breeding experience

terry

#14 Guest_tizzy_*

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 05:16 PM

Hi Terry

Yes i would totally agree with you.

However Thistletime did say that she had gone walkabout several times over the last few years and that there were males in her area.

This is i am sure what has happened but that in itself is amazing.

Again as it was a clutch of 9 eggs would indicate fresh and higher volume of sperm.
They will have to be very vigilent with her next year as well, because i am sure if the correct condition apply she will lay again.

I am also waiting for my 7 to hatch in the next 2 weeks or so.

John




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