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More eggs
Posted: 14/05/2010 by janice

Click and drag me down to the editor Just thought I would let you know that Jet, one of our horsefields, has laid two more eggs today. We are so pleased with her. She has been digging holes for a couple of days and abandoning them so I made the sand/soil damp soit would not cave in around the area that she has been digging. It seemed to work as when I came in at lunchtime today I was fortunate enough to see her lay her eggs and then start to cover them over. They have now been dug up and put into the incubater with the others.Click and drag me down to the editor

Could anyone tell me how many clutches she is likely to have please. Click and drag me down to the editor


Ali, how are your eggs doing? Five must have been exhausting for your female. Do you bother to candle them or do you just wait to see if they hatch. I am in two minds what to do for the best.

Thanks, Janice.Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: More eggs
Posted: 17/05/2010 by tpgarlene

Hi Janice

Congratulations on the eggs!

Generally, a female tortoise can lay 2 - 3 clutches in a year, my hermanns have occassionally laid 5 or more clutches, but that is not the norm!  It is just a case of being tuned into her behavior, and making sure that there is always a suitable nesting area available for her to use.

I have candled eggs in the past, and it is really hard to be patient I know <g> but now I leave them alone, and disturb them as little as possible.

Let us know how you get on,


Arlene TPG

Re: More eggs
Posted: 17/05/2010 by janice

Thanks for your reply Arlene. We are so excited about the eggs. Have decided not to candle them and wait. The first two eggs are 4 weeks in now so a few more weeks won't hurt to wait.  I am pretty much in tune to Jets behaviour so will be watching closer as it gets near to another month down the line. She does make things fairly obvious.

We are looking into the type of home for the hatchlings at the moment and where to put them. I will be like a dog with two tales when they start to hatch. Watching her lay the eggs was wonderful, but the hatching will be fantsatic.  Very eagerly waiting.


Re: More eggs
Posted: 17/05/2010 by TPGDave

Hi Janice,

Congratulations to you and Jet.

I was lucky enough to have one of my Hermanns lay her first clutch on Saturday. She's a tortoise I've had from very small so a bit of a proud moment! She did a very professional job, nest dug, eggs laid and covered in an hour an a half!
on Saturday, a tortoise I've had f

Re: More eggs
Posted: 17/05/2010 by tpgAli

Hi Janice,

Really pleased about the eggsClick and drag me down to the editor Try not to touch them too much, as Arlene said it really tries your patience but its worth the wait. Ive learnt to guess over the years which ones are fertile without touching them, the colour of the egg helps and i find the ones that turn a "porcelain" in colour are more promising than the "pinky" coloured onesClick and drag me down to the editor This isnt 100% proof just what i have found.

My female (Sophie) who layed the five eggs has never layed since and none of them were fertile unfortunately so im still waiting for babies from her, she is my biggest female horsfield weighing in at 1200g, my biggest breeder is Scooter who is only 780g but a beautiful shape and colour and i got her from the 2001 Heathrow seizure where 700 horsfields were illegally imported into the UK, my boys seem to love her and each year she lays around 10 eggs are most of these are always fertile.

Good luck with yours :-)


Re: More eggs
Posted: 18/05/2010 by janice

Hi Dave,

Congratulations on your new clutch of eggs. I know how exited you must feel especially as you have had her from so small. Heres hoping everything goes well for you.


Re: More eggs
Posted: 18/05/2010 by janice

Hi Ali,

We have not done anything with the eggs since they went into the incubator. I am a little concerned about the colour of the eggs. From the first clutch we have one porcelain colour and one pinky colour. Out of the second clutch they seem to be pink at one end and white the rest of the egg. I know you said the porcelain ones were more promising but does that mean that the others wont hatch or do they not hatch healthy.  Is it something we did whilst digging up the eggs or do they just go that way. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. Feel a bit aprehensive. Hope for a replyagain, sorry.




Re: More eggs
Posted: 19/05/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Janice,

When you say they are porcelain at one end, do you mean the top of the egg?

With newly laid eggs the first sign of fertility is a small white area (almost like a shadow) on the top of the shell. This gradually becomes larger and eventually covers the whole of the egg. If you want to check, I would recommend you try holding a mag torch over the top of the eggs when it is dark (leaving them in situ). Move the torch around the egg (quite close) and you may see slight red lines inside the egg. I'll try and take some photos this evening of some of the eggs we have here to show you what I mean. This can start as early as the second day and is usually apparent (if fertile by the fifth day). Best not to throw them away just in case. They aren't always fertile and the level of fertility seems to depend on the tortoise. Other tortoises can lay a couple of fertile clutches one year and lay a clutch the next year and all of them will be infertile. How's the humidity?


Re: More eggs
Posted: 19/05/2010 by janice

Hi Darren, We are using a hovabater incubator and regularly top up the water  in it so I would think that the humidity is fine. We lift the lid daily to amke sure that fresh air gets into it, but only for a few seconds. Of the first clutch, one egg looks to have veins in it whilst the other doesnt. Of the second clutch, both eggs appear to be white at the top and pinkish at the ends. The white area looks like a large white band at the top going down to the bottom of the egg.  We were not going to candle them but felt that we had to to try to find out because of the colour of the eggs was concerning us. We still feel excited but aprehensive as well.

Thanks for taking the time to reply and sorry for being such a pain. Its worse than being pregnant.

Re: More eggs
Posted: 23/05/2010 by TPGDarren

The white band sounds very promising:-)

Re: More eggs
Posted: 27/05/2010 by tpgAli

Hi again,

The Hovabater is an excellent incubator and some of your eggs seem really promising so fingers crossed. Veins in the egg are a good sign too.  

You are bound to get dud eggs and we can never be 100% sure whether they will hatch or not and I know from personal experience that there is no time limit when they will. In the wild horsfield eggs have been known to go well over 100 days before they hatch. I have 4 females who have layed eggs over the years and each one's eggs are different, they can hatch any time from 58 days to 96 days - (this is just what i have experienced). I learnt my lesson after i read on a forum that if the eggs don't hatch by 80 days then they won't be any good, i opened one of mine at 87 days by gently tapping the end of the shell, i ended up cracking the egg and bursting a blood vessel and couldnt believe my eyes when i saw a perfectly formed baby due to hatch anyday. It survived a few days but it managed to burst its egg sac and drowned Click and drag me down to the editor It was a real active little thing and i think this is why the sac burst, its sibling hatched at 96 days and i always regret opening that egg. I learnt a valid lesson that day... "If in doubt DONT throw it out"


Re: More eggs
Posted: 28/05/2010 by janice

Thanks for your reply. We are on day 41 with the first two and day 14 with the second two.  I have never know time go so slowly but still fly by. It reminds me of when I was a child waiting for the holidays.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I will hopefully not do the same and leave them for a longer time if nothing happens. Everything is a learning curve at the moment and I appreciate the help and knowledge shared.

Will let the world know when something happens.

Thanks again, Janice.


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