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Pregnant tort

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#1 Guest_nina_*

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:10 PM

Hey guys, I'm a bit stressed out here. My two Hermanns, 1 male 1 female, are enjoying the summer here in Denmark, which is great, but lately the male (Stel) has been very interested in the female (Carla). Today I just returned from Greece (been away for a week) and my dad who's been looking after them says that Stel has had his "thing" out when he has been mounting her. He's never done that before! He's always only been goofing around. No "thingy" in sight! And also, surprisingly, Carla is heavier than usual! He has been the heavier one for years. Could she have eggs inside her!? Oh gosh I just don't know what to do. I hope someone can help me out here :(


#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 09:54 PM

Hi you now have two options......

1. Take Carla to the vets for an xray - the only surefire way to tell!


2. Sit and wait! The only problem with this is they can take up to 4 years to lay if the 'conditions' aren't right!!!!!! Look for signs of a 'gravid' female...unusual pacing, digging, aggressiveness, etc. If you google 'gravid' tortoise it will come up with sites that have info on it.

IF she is gravid and lays eggs you need to collect them and without turning them place them in an incubator.

So once you've decided what to do you then have to decide whats going to happen in the future...if you don't want to breed then you will have to seperate them, if you do then make sure you have the required equiptment at the ready - incubator etc.

Can I ask what are there age's and how big is the female (length & weight) This is also important. If shes a small female she's at risk of becomming 'egg bound'. Also they don't normally get gravid until they reach a certain age/size.


#3 Guest_nina_*

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 08:48 AM

Thanks for your reply - I'm not sure how old they are (I bought them in a pet shop), but Carla is probably around 6 years old, Stel 5 years old. She weighs 628 grams, he weighs 611 grams. I would've thought they were far two young to breed. They are not that big. I realise that they can't live together anymore. Kinda sad since they usually get along fine and are "good friends". When I bought Stel I was hoping for a girl, but you never can tell when they are so tiny. Is gaining weight an indication of her being gravid? I don't have an incubator, even though it would be lovely with little ones :)

#4 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 12:16 PM


When you bought them you would've been given a certificate - article 10. It is illegale for anyone to sell a protected tortoise without one. SO if you didn't then the petshop you bought them from has broke the law and should be reported. If you have got the certs thaey will have the year of hatching on them which will give you an approx age.

The female ideally would be a min of 15cms plastron length for her to have a healthy pregnancy. Any smaller than this they risk becoming eggbound due to size, also it's said that over 10 yrs old is the ideal age to breed. But I think it goes more on size than age. I've heard of 5 yr olds having eggs! So technically they are a bit young/small but you never know!!!!

If she lays eggs you will need to put them in the incubator straight away for them to have a chance. If she does though unless you have the certs for Carla & Stels you won't be able to sell the babies - only give them away. So you really need to weigh up the pro's & cons of all sides of the coin!

Failing that, you could always get more torts - females - to even out the ratio and then Stels may loose interest which means you can keep them all together!!!! :P ;-)

#5 Guest_nina_*

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 02:42 PM

I do have CITES papers on them, but I suspect they may be wild caught. If I'm to believe the papers they are only 5 and 4 years old. Ok then, they will have to be separated for good - sad. I don't have enough room for more torts at the mo (I live in a flat, and in the summer time they stay in an enclosure in my folks' garden). I will probably have to get her x-rayed, I don't want her holding onto eggs and suffering :( I have thought about giving up Stel before because he was hassling her, but he's such a special tort that it'll break my heart to part with him. And I just don't trust anyone to take good care of him - like I do.

#6 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 04:50 PM

Hi Nina, me again!!!

If you are prepared to have eggs then keep them together!!! The chances are with their age/size nothings going to happen yet anyway, but as long as your prepared if it does. Provided he's not being aggressive with her then it'll be fine. If you find that he's hassling her so much that shes getting stressed, ie weight loss, then you will have to seperate.

Don't worry, one of mine is wild caught and from a shop it's nothing to be ashamed of! I now have a uk breeder so would never do it again but whats happened has happened.

I have him and another (younger) male in with an older female and they all get on fine. Frank occassionaly tries to mount her but as of yet he hasn't got his winky out! The younger male isn't interested at all. BUT in case anything happens I do have an incubator ready - like to be prepared! Plus also wishful thinking!!!!

;-) :P

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