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laying eggs
Posted: 22/05/2009 by lorraine

how do i no if my tortoise is pregnant and what is the first sign that she is going to lay eggs.

Re: laying eggs
Posted: 22/05/2009 by tpgadmin

Hi Lorraine

Usually there is a change in the female's behaviour, but rather than me go into details here we do have a couple of really good articles on the web site detailing the question you are asking.  The first one is 'Signs of a Gravid Tortoise' and the other is 'Nesting'.  You can find both of them by clicking on 'The Tortoise' in the green column at the left of this page and then look them up under 'Captive Breeding'.  Get back you us if you have any questions once you've had a good read.


Re: laying eggs
Posted: 02/08/2009 by Chrystal

Hello I purchased a Russian Box tortoise from Petco pet store in Boson, Massachusetts USA about 2 ears ago and recently she seems to have gotten very fatter or bigger and she is acting strange, scratching a lot more and she seems to be very very active recently, she eats well and I vary her diet. I started looking for answers and came across the term, gravid on the website: I think my tortoise may be gravid she is displaying what seem like signs and the weather has been hot and humid, she has been moving around actively scraping downward to the bottom of her enclosure for about 2 weeks now, then she walks about wildly even after I place fresh food in there. I am going to get more substrate, she already has a heat lamp and fresh water after I will add more substrate and see what she does but if I need to call a vet can you tell me what it typically cost for eggs to be induced? What kind of cost am I looking at, no one at Petco ever mentioned this could happen at all. When I bought her about 2 years ago she was in an enclosure at Petco with other tortoises and the staff was unsure if they were boys or girls. I knew she was a girl after I got her home cause I looked it up info online. I never knew she could or would ever produce eggs alone, I really do not want her to have egg retention. I was just laid off so I need to have some idea of the cost of a vet visit, for an xray or possible indiction or other possible cost scenarios. I plan to call the vets number they gave me when I bought her at the pet store. Thanks

Re: laying eggs
Posted: 02/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Chrystal, Click and drag me down to the editor

There isn't a Russian Box

Here are some care sheets for a Russian tortoise:-

and a photo to ensure this is what you have.

When you say she is digging is she scraping the substrate with her front
legs or rear legs?

May I ask what enclosures you have for her please and what lighting you use?
What substrate you use?
Also what is the temperature under the heat lamp and at the cool end of
your indoor enclosure?

Sorry for so many questions


Answered on other thread also Click and drag me down to the editor


Kindest Regards

Re: laying eggs
Posted: 02/08/2009 by Chrystal

She is scraping with her front legs, she is in a huge glass aquarium tank, no water or anything in it and she has been in ther since I got her I have read that that is not th best choice so I plan to get a kit and make another enclosure for her and in Summer we usually take her outside but have not due to a lot of rain this year. I also noticed today that I saw a spot under her water dish when I changed her water where there seemed to be a small fuzzy patch, probably some mold, due to moisture or wetness from me refilling her tank and water being trapped under neath it, that has never happened before but I think because it has been very rainy and humid and hot maybe that caused that. I am taking all substrate out and cleaning her tank today. Her tank has air slot around it and an open top plus another spot in the tank that is a air hold/opening, not big enough for her to get out of but it does let air circulate. Her heating lamp is a ceramic heat lamp, I believe it is 75 to 100 and actually I have been thinking about her UV light, maybe that light has worn out because recently there was an electrical outage in my neighborhood and when the electrical company turned the power back on, some of my electronics were fried, meaning they had to be replaced or repaired, so her ligt may have been effected too. , I will buy another one today. It still lights up when I turn it on but sometimes the uv quality dies and this one may be at that stage. I will clean her tank, change the light and maybe even get her a new heat lamp ad see if this helps. Also it has been cold wet and rainy this whole Sumer but recently it has been really hot and humid. Maybe she has just grown a little and gotten fatter so she wants more space or wants out??? I don't know. She is very very smart and she knows me and I love her.

Re: laying eggs
Posted: 02/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Chrystal,


Itís quite likely she isnít gravid and there is another issue. Would you please let us know what the temperatures are in your vivarium (under the basking area and at the cool end) please?

A vivarium does not permit a good airflow due to lack of ventilation and so maintains a stable, almost one, temperature throughout the whole of the vivarium. A tortoise needs a cooler area to enable it to thermoregulate (cool-down), but also requires a basking area of around 90deg f. It could be your tortoise is getting too hot, is maintaining too high a temperature for too long or it may just be that tortoise cannot comprehend glass barriers and is trying to walk through the glass.

Vivs are also far too humid for a species of tortoise that requires a drier environment and can result in respiratory problems.

The best plan would be to get her out of the vivarium and, when sheís not outside enjoying the sun, have her in a tortoise table. There are some photos here that may give you some ideas:-


There are also care sheets here which may help:-



Best Regards


Re: laying eggs
Posted: 03/08/2009 by Chrystal

Thanks so much I will get her out and try to get her a better set up very quickly. She deserves that. I also thought she might be getting too hot as well, last Summer she did fine in my house but this year may just be far too humid and muggy. I put some nice vivid pictures around all the exterior walls so she has some scenery but I agree with you she may be just trying to walk through the glass because she is smart and only digs on the one side that has no exteriors pictures, she see me and perks up right away, she is so smart, I love her and I have some extra stuff I can put on that one part of the glass that is exposed. Thanks so much I will do what you suggested. I love her a lot and she deserves to have more of what she needs.

Re: laying eggs
Posted: 06/08/2009 by VivTPG

Hi Crystal, it could be that she is digging to try to escape the heat?  Also, the furry substance you mention is definitely mould which will give off spores that can cause respiratory disease.

You sound a very caring owner and once you have made the changes I bet your tort will be a lot happier, please let us see some pics of her in her new enclosures.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor


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