Turtles lay eggs as their way of reproduction. The eggs will then hatch and the small turtles will begin a journey of their own. It is a beautiful experience too. If you have a turtle as a pet, you should take care of the eggs properly until they hatch.
In this post, I am going to give you the best tips on how to take care of a turtle egg until it hatches. This will be a comprehensive guide that you can take a look at and by the end of it, see your turtle eggs to term.
Take a look at the best tips that I am going to give you. They are simple and will prove helpful when your turtle finally lays out all its eggs.
How to Tell If Your Turtle Wants to Lay Eggs?
The very first thing that you must know on how to care for turtle eggs is when the turtle wants to lay eggs. You should be careful about these tell-a-tale signs since if you miss them it will be too late. They include.
- The turtle will be seen as the land trying to explore the place and to get the right spot to lay in.
- The turtle will also dig some test holes in different places around the land to get a spot.
- The turtle’s walking pattern changes and becomes so much different than on normal days.
- When the spot is right the turtle begins to dig wholeheartedly.
NOTE: The turtles will use the front claws when starting to dig the hole. Then, later on, it will change to dig with the rear claws.
When Does The Turtle Lay Its Eggs?
Once the turtle changes to dig with its rear claws, it is preparing to lay the eggs. When the right depth of the hole is achieved, the turtle will lay its eggs and cover the place. It will leave the eggs and never come back to the eggs. So pay attention to when the turtle-hole is finally covered up.
What Next When You Find The Turtle Eggs?
When turtles lay their eggs and cover them, they will hatch naturally. However, if you remove them from the hole, you must place them into an incubator to hatch. In short, there are two things that you like the turtle owner can do.
- You can let the eggs to hatch naturally
- You can also take them out and place them in an incubator
My recommendation is to take the eggs and place them in an incubator. Here are the reasons why:
- It will be easy for the hatchlings to get out than it would have been for them in the hole
- There won’t be any effects of poor temperatures and improper care
- The cold will be controlled too as turtles require warm temps to actually hatch easily
Caring For The Turtle Eggs
If you have retrieved the turtle eggs to put them in an incubator, you must learn the right tips on how to take care of a turtle egg. Let me bring you up to speed with some of the best tips that you can go for.
First, get a vermiculite bag. Then mark every turtle egg at the top. Follow the same orientation that the mother turtle has set them on.
Once you have marked the top of the eggs with a felt pen, you can then extract them from their nest. This is very important.
Design a small plastic box that’s wide enough to hold the turtle eggs properly. Make sure the box has a cover.
Drill a few holes around the cover for proper ventilation. Proper ventilation is important for the eggs to hatch.
Get some vermiculite and mix it with the same amount of water in the box. The measurement of the vermiculite and that of water must be done by weight and not volume.
Taking that measurement as advised above will ensure that the moisture quantity that you get in the vermiculite is the right one that allows the eggs to properly hatch.
Take the mixture and put it in the box. Do not fill the box. You should spare a few inches from the top. Test the mixture to determine if it is ideal by pressing the top.
When you press, no water should seep out. Instead, you should remain with vermiculite that is clumped.
Now you can insert the turtle eggs in the incubator. Make a small impression on the vermiculite using your finger. Then insert the turtle eggs while following the same orientation just like when you extracted them from their natural turtle nest.
Now set the eggs into your incubator.
Important Tips When Caring For Turtle Eggs
There are some basic tips that you must know about reptile eggs if you want to have successful hatchlings. I have lined them here.
Reptile eggs are rubberier and very tough. Nonetheless, if you don’t handle them with care, they can still get raptured.
The other vital thing is that when depositing the eggs in the box, you must keep the top facing up. That’s why you have to mark them. The thing is, once the egg is laid, the embryo starts developing on the very top side.
So if you change the orientation rolling the eggs sideways or even upside down, there will be a high likelihood that the forming embryo will then die.
NOTE: Once you place the eggs in the incubator, you cannot change the orientation of the eggs at all.
Care Tips When Incubating
- Never change the orientation of the eggs
- Maintain the temperature at about 270 Celsius / 800 Fahrenheit
- Control the humidity inside the incubator at 80%
NOTE: How long the eggs will take to hatch depends on the turtle species and the conditions around the eggs. Nonetheless, the time frame is often between 60 and 90 days.
Taking care of the turtle and its eggs is more or less a delicate situation. However, if you have the right tips, you will find that the job is easy. Turtle eggs need close monitoring when they are hatching too. Remember, patience is the key to taking care of your turtle and its eggs. I hope this post has been helpful. You can also share it with your loved ones who love turtles so that they can share in your experience.