Last Updated on June 21, 2020 by John B. Nelson
Do you have a male and female turtle in your backyard pond or tank? If yes, the female will be most likely to get pregnant during the mating season. Therefore, it’s of extreme importance that you know whether your female turtle is impregnated or not. But how do you do this?
Well, you can analyze the behavioral as well as physical changes in the female turtle to know about its pregnancy. Then again, what are these changes? And also, if you find your turtle pregnant, what type of care should you take of it?
These questions keep floating into us every day. Hence, we came up with this article on symptoms of a pregnant turtle and how to take care of it during pregnancy.
Let’s start then.
What Do You Need to Know About Turtle Reproduction?
As we talk about the pregnancy signs of a turtle and cares during its pregnancy, we must inform you of the basic reproduction process of turtles.
Let’s begin it with the mating season. Yes, turtles don’t come in heat likewise, cat or dog, as most people think. Instead, they have a definite mating season. The mating time may vary from species to species, but in general, as experts opine, most turtles will mate during fall and summertime. This happens mainly due to the rise of temperature, letting the turtles more active.
Next, you need to know about the sexual maturity of turtles. Commonly, turtles reach their sexual maturity at seven to ten years of age. But having said so, remember that it is variable from species to species.
And lastly, one little but useful information for turtle owners. We understand that you want some cute little turtles moving around your backyard, but please don’t force your male and female turtle into mating for the babies.
It might cause their immature death.
Pregnant Turtle Sign: Everything You Need to Know About Turtle Pregnancy
Now that we know hoe turtles give birth to their cute babies let’s focus on how to check the pregnancy of a female turtle.
For your convenience, we have simplified the process into three different categories. Also, we have left away from any jargon so that you realize the symptoms thoroughly.
Checking The Sexuality
I know you are thinking of me as a weird guy at this moment. But trust me, this is exceptionally crucial. I have seen many people who though their turtles were pregnant only to see that these were male much to their disparity.
So, even before you check about the pregnancy symptoms of a female turtle, make sure it’s a female and not a handsome male.
If your turtle is expecting, you will notice several changes in her behavior. It is quite apparent that she won’t be reading baby magazines, but if you know what to look for, there’re plenty of signs she will show you.
First off, she will eat less or not eat at all. This happens because if she is expecting to lay down eggs, she would be more interested in finding a suitable nest to lay her eggs for hatching. So, she will keep going here and there, in search of a proper nesting place. This limits her eating.
But, then again, remember that some turtles will overeat during her pregnancy. After all, every turtle has a distinctive personality. While searching for nest instead of eating is a visible sign of pregnancy, please, don’t disturb your turtle while she finds and builds her nest.
Also, a pregnant female will most likely show aggression towards the male and female turtles to safeguard herself during the critical time. Also, the aggressiveness can be seen towards the human. Lastly, if you rear turtles in the turtle tank, you will see her trying to top the tank wall to find a sandy area for breeding her eggs.
While tortoise won’t show any significant physical changes like mammals do during pregnancy, you can still check a major physical change to identify whether your turtle is pregnant or not. This process is called the ‘Palpate Technique.”
Here takes a look at the pregnancy checking technique:
- Lift your turtle gently.
- At this time, she will resist by kicking off. You should block her resistance and put your finger nearest to her leg close to the abdomen.
- Now, gently and slowly, apply pressure on her abdomen. If you find it flat and squishy, she isn’t expecting. However, if you experience a solid and rounded object, that’s her egg. Congratulations to you and your turtle.
Pregnant Turtles Care
When you see your turtle is expecting to lay eggs, she might need little extra attention. For instance, keep an eye on her food habits and make sure she is getting proper nutrition. Since she will be eating less, try to add food supplementary in her meal.
Then, also look at her health. During pregnancy, any small complications might cause severe issues to turtle health, which during regular time, won’t affect her at all. Some of the common health issues that you need to pay attention is:
- Red, swollen eyes
- Lack of appetite
- Shell problems
- Difficulty in breathing
- Spots on the skin
- Head swelling
- Weight loss
- Runny nose
If you profoundly notice any of these, consult the vet shortly because these signs may become fatal for a pregnant turtle.
Help Your Turtle Lay an Egg
The biggest caring you a show to her during pregnancy is to arrange a proper place so that she could lay eggs in peace. There’s two way to do it:
- Indoor: You can fill the two-third of a large container where the turtle will lay an egg. However, as your fill-up, the box with sands, pour some water on it to ensure the sand holds on to moisture. Lastly, place a lid partially on the container to create a shedding effect. This way, an expecting turtle will lay eggs indoor.
- Outdoor: it’s simple and straightforward. You only need to ensure that the expecting mother will remain safe from predators. Once she feels secure in the yard or nearby ponds, she will dig a nest to lay an egg.
If you want your turtle to give birth to her next generation, try to identify her pregnancy quickly. Once you can do it, it’s most likely to get a secure environment to lay down eggs.
Also, don’t neglect the signs of diseases during her pregnancy as negligence to these may cause death even. Always keep a close eye on her so that she remains calm and quiet during the pregnancy period.