Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lady's first egg hatched today!

Lady's first egg finally hatched! She is a healthy and perfect little Russian tortoise hatchling, and weighs 16g.
Finally out! 
This wee baby had NO hurry to get out of her egg. She didn't pip until day 68, and then she sat in there, looking out of the little hole she had made, for 3 days! When we came home from church today, she was finally out of her egg.

The lopsided shape will even out in a few days
She was rolled diagonally inside the egg, so she is still quite lopsided, but that will even out as her shell hardens, and she'll be a normal little oval baby. Look at her little nuchal scute (it's the one right above her head) - it's split in half, making it look like a perfect little heart!

16 g of pure cuteness
She is dark, and very domed. Her Mom and Dad are both sunflower yellow with black markings, and very domed, so she's going to be a beauty!


  1. Hello, this is my first time at trying to hatch my Tunisian tortoise eggs. I have them in an incubator, the temp is between 80 and 85, the humidity is 80.
    There are only 2, the first was laid the begining of October, the other one 2 weeks later.
    The oldest egg is completey chalky white and heavy, but I cannot seem to "candle" it to see anything. The later one is still translutent, pinkish colour. You can see the liquid inside and a dark blob on top, a bit like a spirit level, but the dark blob has not got any bigger.
    Could any of these eggs be fertile, or might I just be looking after 2 dead eggs. Can you offer any advice please. Thanks.

    1. Hi Natalie,
      congrats on your eggs! :)
      It sounds to me like the 'oldest' of the two eggs is getting ready to hatch. Towards the end of the incubation, the little tortoise fills out most of the egg, so you can't see much when you candle.
      I hope when you candle, you do it without shifting or lifting the eggs - just shining a bright light from above. Messing with the eggs can knock the developing embryo around, causing problems.
      The second one might not be fertile if it didn't chalk over - but I wouldn't discard it. I would leave it in the incubator until it reaches 120 days, since there sometimes are late bloomers in eggs. ;) Check the incubator 1x daily, since I bet the first egg will likely hatch in the next few weeks!

  2. Thanks for the answer. Fingers crossed then, lets hope one of them hatches then. In 2,3,4 weeks as a guide then. If it does, I must not mess with it?? Leave the baby to get out the egg altogether on their own? Should I put them in a seperate enclosure away from the adults? Sorry for all the questions.

    1. When the egg starts to pip (when you see that the egg is starting to hatch), you can carefully move the egg out of the incubation substrate, into a small Tupperware container with moist paper towel. Cover half of the container, and leave it in the incubator. That way when baby comes out, it won't eat the substrate by accident.
      You are correct - don't assist baby as it hatches. It might take a few days - I've had babies just sit in their egg, looking out through a hole, for up to 4 days! They do this if they need to keep absorbing the yolk sack. When they are ready, they come out.
      Once baby is out, leave it in the incubator for about 1 week, but soak it daily in very shallow water for about 10 mins, and mist its shell 3 or so times daily. Then you can move it to a little enclosure. You definitely want to keep baby separate from the parents! Baby shells are very soft, and you don't want to risk injury.
      If you send me an email to mossyrockdesigns(at) I can send you a PDF file with a care sheet for baby tortoises.

  3. I absolutely looooove the lopsided baby!


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