Yes. The most likely time of year for a tortoise to hit egg laying is in the late summer months, tortoises don’t tend to lay eggs in the wintertime. Successful surgery has been employed in some cases, with the o… The eggs are covered in a film of mucus, and this rolling also has the effect of coating the egg in a thin covering of soil. There are many reasons why turtles can get egg bound, but the most common reasons in the case of captive turtles are: Lack of the kind of place the turtle is looking for as an oviposition (egg-laying) site. Yes, female turtles will lay eggs around the fifth year. The eggs of the largest species are spherical while the eggs of the rest are elongated. If you have tortoises (or turtles) then you may suddenly find that one day, you’ve got some eggs on your hands but are these eggs going to turn into babies? In that case, the eggs are infertile. However, females are more likely to produce eggs if they reside in the vicinity of males, even though they may not be able to make direct contact. Never has "she" been around a male. Just like chickens, turtles lay eggs periodically, but this doesn’t mean that babies will always come out of them. This causes severe complications due to the eggs becoming larger, lumpy and over calcified, making any laying attempts difficult (egg binding). A female can lay anywhere from 1 to 5 clutches of about 1 to 9 eggs in a single year, or even delay laying her clutch if resources are scarce. In the case of chickens, that is hens. Yes, this can be quite disturbing, particularly if you weren’t expecting it to happen but sometimes, a tortoise will eat her own eggs. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule. The female turtles do not need the males for them to lay eggs. Like many other reptiles, gopher tortoises have temperature-dependent sex determination. Spaying female tortoises may of course be necessary even when there is no risk that she has been fertilised by a male, because just like poultry, tortoises can lay unfertilised eggs. To the extent that she can be fussy, the female will be fussy about this spot – she’ll want somewhere situated on a slope, ideally, because it will mean that it’s less likely to be overwhelmed in the rain. Not All Turtles Swim. Which is a shame because we’d love to read it. Fertilized eggs, however, will have signs of “chalking”. Her body produces eggs in anticipation of being able to mate and thus, if she doesn’t find a mate – she’s still got some eggs and her body cannot reabsorb them. It’s important not to move her eggs after chalking begins, as it is possible that the fetus will detach from the shell inside when moved and this will kill it. That means that when the eggs are laid, they are neither male nor female. Tortoises nest and they will choose a nesting place in an area where the soil offers the appropriate quality to protect the eggs. I'm so sorry that you stepped on that egg. Females store sperm and may lay fertile eggs for several years after separation from a male. Egg laying - Indian Stars. Unlike human beings, tortoises will continue to produce eggs throughout their lives. Tortoises — as distinct from turtles — all live on land, but did you know not all … They lay one clutch of eggs per year and it takes about 90 days for the eggs to incubate. My own female Hermanns lays about six eggs each year, despite having no contact with a male. They wrestle a lot together! It is possible, though extremely rare and very unlikely. What pet owners must know. Can tortoises and turtles lay eggs without mating? The age at which turtles first reproduce varies from only a few years to perhaps as many as 50, with small species typically reaching sexual maturity sooner. If you had a male/female pair you would, without doubt, have seen persistent mating behaviour from the male by now. Eggs are oblong, 3 centimeters long, creamy white, and leathery. Related article: Are tortoises OK with artificial grass? Not only can they lay eggs without mating, they almost certainly will lay eggs without mating. BUT, turtle (terrapin) eggs MUST be fertilized to hatch. Don’t feel bad, it’s easy for pet tortoises to become calcium deficient, it’s not your fault that she ate her eggs and she won’t feel bad about it, because that’s what tortoises do when they need calcium. If you are not sure if your turtle is a male or a female,just turn the turtle over and look at its tail,if the hole on the tail is closer to the body,it is a female,if it is further down the tail closer to the tip of the tail,it is a male. My two tortoises have been laying eggs all this summer I have had both for about 60 years and no male. Or are they simply unfertilized eggs that will never produce offspring? It appears that there’s no such thing as a tortoise menopause. Community Answer. The speed of a tortoise hatching is directly proportional to the temperature in which they incubate and if you ensure the temperature stays at between 86 degrees Fahrenheit and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be in the optimal state to hatch. Turtles can store sperm for some time, so there is a chance that the eggs are fertile. No, male chickens cannot lay eggs.Ovaries are required to lay eggs, which only female species have. Yes, it’s entirely possible for a female to carry a fertilized egg for up to 4 years before laying it and that means even if it was only “just that one time with the handsome chap from Alabama”, she can have babies much later on. Your turtle almost certainly has more eggs inside her. She’s going to prefer a position that can catch the sun too. Related article: Pet tortoise pregnancy: How to tell and what to do. So, keep an eye out for an angsty looking tortoise (they probably won’t be basking properly either) pacing about the place because she’s seeking somewhere to nest effectively. The difference is, the eggs are infertile so they will not hatch. https://www.tortoiseowner.com/can-turtles-tortoises-lay-eggs-without-mating When we said that female tortoises were fussy about where they lay their eggs, we weren’t joking. Related article: Why do tortoises bury themselves? Turtle - Turtle - Reproduction: All turtles lay their eggs on land, and none show parental care. Females lay an average of 6 eggs, but can lay from 3 to 14 eggs, depending on their body size. There is ample evidence that tortoises do lay eggs without ever being with a male. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water using these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills to respire. As time passes, the chalking of an egg covers the whole surface of the egg. If there is no male to fertilize the eggs there is absolutely no chance that babies will come out of them. They will have the eggs inside them for the males to come and fertilize. I step in something. If you feel that your tortoise is in laying mood and you want to help her out as best you can, then it’s a really good idea to try and help her create the ideal conditions for nesting in the vivarium or your back garden. She didn't dig a nest, just plopped them out on the lawn. The yolk, the normal yellow, and there appears to be nothing else in the egg. Can a tortoise have both male and female sex organs at the same time? The eggs are large and are similar in size and shape to a ping pong ball. Female tortoises have the ability to store sperm inside themselves in order to fertilize the eggs that they lay. most broke apart.. A female tortoise can, indeed, lay eggs without ever being introduced to a male. Sex is temperature dependant. If you keep multiple desert tortoises, separate the sexes and do not … The temperatures should be set and stable first before introducing eggs. Mating occurs any time other than during hibernation. That's what I call it by small children!! Nests are then concealed with grass, leaves, or soil. In contrast, tropical tortoises such as Leopard tortoises can produce on average between 6-20 eggs or more each month for up to approximately 7 months of the year. HOW … Tortoises normally lay between 2 and 12 eggs, although this varies depending on the particular species. answer:male turtles can have eggs but they wont be fertilized so nothing will be in them... Why don't male turtles lay eggs? Sulcata tortoises can breed as early as five years old and 25-40 pounds. Once they Some females never lay eggs, some lay one or two Our "hercules", Desert tortoise, just laid a few eggs. That must have been an odd sensation. Females may lay between 2 and 12 eggs, but species matters and some can lay up to 40 or more over several clutches Mating season is usually between April and June but can vary Males are aggressive to one another during mating season Females can be overbred and injured by males, so watch them closely Well, it turns out that it’s relatively easy to find out. It really depends on the individual tortoise. Chalking should begin a couple of days after the tortoise lays the egg. As you can probably guess, this is not very healthy for the lady tortoise and it results in severe physical distress – if it’s allowed to go on for long enough – it can kill your tortoise. Related article: Can a tortoise drink milk? Related article: Can tortoises and turtles mate? Males of any species do not lay eggs. LOL, My female tortoise has just laid seven eggs in a small hole that she dug herself.She is thirty years old and has been doing this for seven years and has had no contact with a male tortoise so I know they are not fertile, My tortoise is alone and has laid an egg today as she did last year. Egg-laying can be a dangerous event for captive turtles. madhoora: The egg was infertile, and I am now certain that my tortoise did indeed lay it. Once your female lays her eggs, how do you work out whether they have baby tortoises in them or not? What I was really asking, is whether this was a normal behaivior, which i now understand is a yes. The eggs … However, a tortoise will only lay once in a year, so don’t expect to see a steady supply of tortoise eggs appearing. We encourage having only one tortoise per household, preferably a male. Incubation time and temperature depends upon the species, but in general you can bury them in soil or vermiculite and enclose within a covered plastic container. I have two tortoises and one is laying eggs.They are about 26 years of age. Can tortoises and turtles lay eggs without mating? Tortoise eggs are subject to ESD or Environmental Sex Determination. Yes, female turtles do lay eggs even if no male is present. Yes, they can. Tortoises that dont have access to a suitable nesting area will not lay their eggs. Otherwise, the majority of turtle egg laying behavior is nearly identical to that of tortoises. When tortoises don’t find somewhere suitable to lay – there can be real problems. That’s a whitening of the surface of the shell and it usually starts as a small circular mark or sometimes a band that runs completely around the outside of the shell. In that case, the eggs are infertile. There ought to be fewer eggs produced like this than if the animals were sexually active but you should expect to see them at least once a year even with the most virginal of tortoises or turtles. This is something that appears to be true for the majority of reptiles. Once you have determined if you have male or female tortoises, you may be concerned about breeding. I have heard that females 4.5" can lay viable eggs. While it may be better to wait for an older age to breed turtles, they will lay eggs when they're ready, regardless of age. We know that some pet owners believe that a female tortoise, even a lone one, will lay more often based on the quality of their diet, though we’ve not found any evidence that this is true and we suspect it may be wishful thinking on the part of the owners. It’s though that incubation period length relates to the gender of the tortoises produced. However, this is purely speculative, as you might imagine there hasn’t been a huge amount of research published on the estrus cycle of tortoises. Well, firstly, if your tortoise has not mingled with the opposite sex for over 4 years – you can safely assume that they’re not fertilized. Furthermore, each year that an egg is retained, it receives an extra layer of calcium. So if there is no male around to fertilize the eggs, then you can simply throw them away, or leave them where they are. He died three years ago. The reason hens may have only one functioning ovary might be a way to keep streamlined to avoid unnecessary bulk. So, let’s take a look at tortoises, turtles and their eggs and everything you might want to know about both unfertilized eggs and fertilized ones. It appears that size is more of an issue than age. The funny thing about turtles is that the female can lay eggs even without the help of the male turtle. However, turtles do lay more often (between 1 and 9 clutches a season). Joined 20. In fact, just like a chicken or a duck does – if a female tortoise doesn’t find a mate and get fertilized, her eggs will appear anyway. As another person has mentioned, female turtles don't need a male to produce eggs - it's just that they will be infertile (and generally far fewer) if there's no male. In most cases, lower temperatures produce males, higher temperatures result in females. Female Indian / Sri Lankan Star tortoises typically lay 1-4 clutches a year. This is a sign of severe calcium deficiency and it means that you need to add calcium supplements to her diet! Female tortoises that are about to start laying tend to mimic the behavior of expectant mothers in other species. Research shows that if a turtle's eggs incubate below 81.86 Fahrenheit, the turtle hatchlings will be male. yes they can lay eggs with out a male being present but obviously they will not be fertile, a female tortoise can hold sperm for up to 3 years so she may have had a mate at one time, but any contact with a male can cause the female to lay eggs whether she has been mated or not they can still produce eggs with out a male. They don’t lay eggs in water but only on land (if they lay in water – the eggs would be very unlikely to survive). In this case, it means that a temperature of 89 degrees Fahrenheit produces more females, a temperature of 86 degrees produces a mix, and temperatures lower than 86 degrees produce more males. Most people that are having success with breeding have females that are over 6" and males over 5". Sulcatas produce a lot of eggs every year, which means you’ll have to find homes for up to 100 baby tortoises. Pet tortoise pregnancy: How to tell and what to do. Assuming that her eggs are fertilized then you can expect the new arrivals to appear between 8 and 11 weeks after they were laid. Temperatures that fluctuate between the two extremes will produce a … There is some evidence to suggest that egg production in female tortoises ramps up if they are kept with male tortoises (that is – she will lay more often if there’s a good chance of the eggs becoming fertilized) but there is no doubt that even if kept by herself or with other female tortoises – sooner or later she will ovulate. An infertile tortoise, would be one that could not produce living offspring even if a male tortoise mated with it. The even larger Sulcata tortoise can lay between 15-30 eggs … One word of warning: if the temperature exceeds 93 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 33.8 Celsius) you may kill the fetuses or leave them with severe disabilities. From the moment hens hatch, one ovary continues to develop inside the hen’s body, and one just stops. In addition to this, retained eggs will on occasions erode through the oviduct walls, cause peritonitis and eventually lead to the tortoises death. Madhoora is wrong! Tortoise Group and federal and state wildlife agencies strongly discourage allowing captive desert tortoises to mate. I was told that they were both males? If not, the eggs will be laid unfertilized. It turns out that the fussiest of females will simply refuse to lay at all if they can’t find a spot that they’d be happy to have their young in. Tortoises Eggs by: Shelly A female tortoise can, indeed, lay eggs without ever being introduced to a male. So, please do help them make their nest in the right spot because you don’t want your tortoise to suffer unduly. I’m not sure whether it’s a pheromone or some other mechanism, but when a female is in the presence of a male, yet without actually mating with him, she is more likely to produce eggs than if kept exclusively with other females, or indeed on her own. But when the female turtle has matured and is ready to reproduce, they will get to the shore or beach where the male turtles will try court her by biting her flippers and neck. Related article: Why do tortoises eat rocks and stones? We’ve not mentioned turtles very much in this article and that’s because much of their biology is the same as that of tortoises. A weird fact about hens is that they have only one working ovary, despite being born with two ovaries. I have done research and I'm mainly looking at sliders (yellow bellied) I have read that they can lay eggs with out a male and that 5 years is and 6-7" is when you should start breeding them, but my question what is the youngest age/size a female will lay eggs with or with out a male? This seems unlikely to us given that gender ought to be determined at the moment of fertilization, but it makes for a good story. Like other reptiles, turtles lay eggs that are slightly soft and leathery. They begin to move around more often, possibly because the hormonal changes in their bodies make them feel restless, they may find it difficult to get comfortable (we wonder how comfortable we’d find it if we were full of eggs) and they may even exhibit signs of stress or distress. Long times favor females, and short times favor males. ... then breed it with another tortoise of the opposite gender and same species. Turtles are very particular about where they lay their eggs, and many turtles simply won't lay them unless a suitable place is available. I look down and theres a small white (smashed) egg in the middle of the floor. This sperm can be stored and still be functional for 3 years. Just now I was walking along, and crack. If the eggs incubate above 87.8° Fahrenheit, however, the hatchlings will be female. Return to Ask Your Turtle or Tortoise Question. It may be that the energy cost of producing eggs in tortoises is lower than that of mammals and thus, there is a much lower chance of a degradation in quality of the egg over the lifespan of a tortoise. Male sulcata tortoises will likely reach sexual maturity before females. For this reason, tortoises will rarely opt for a sandy location to lay their eggs in. A female tortoise will start laying eggs when she reaches sexual maturity, when precisely this is will vary from species to species. This can be a little more in some species, though, and it’s always best to look up your exact breed of tortoise if you want a precise figure on this. Warm eggs are happy eggs. In the next few sections, we will look at how female chic… Amidst this apparent uniformity, however, there is a variety of reproductive behaviours, ecologies, and physiologies. I think you can be 99.9% certain that you have 2 female turtles. They only have been with each other?? Holger Vetter's (Terralog: Turtles of the World, Vol 4) recommendation is to keep 2 male and 2 female (2:2) Indian Star tortoises as a group, and 1 male and 2 female (1:2) Burmese Star tortoises as a group. Every year, despite having no contact with a male it is possible, though extremely rare and unlikely. Esd or Environmental sex Determination the rule female turtles do lay eggs that are having success breeding! That her eggs, some lay one or two yes this reason, tortoises continue! 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