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Reasons for laying broken eggs.

Discussion in 'Tortoise Breeding' started by Anyfoot, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    One of our females has laid 3 clutches now. 1st clutch was of 5, but one broke. 2nd clutch was of 3 but one broke.
    This female always lays in the same spot, just over the edge of a flat stone. At 1st I assumed the broken eggs were hitting the stone as she dropped them in the hole.
    However today I actually watched her lay her 3rd clutch of 3. The first one came out already broken, the 2nd egg was fine and the 3rd came out broken.
    What are the reasons this could happen? She's about 13" SCL and the eggs are around 1.75" in diameter.

    Thanks

    IMG_20160404_202941.jpg
  2. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thin outter shell could be the cause...."aka Lack of calcium"? usually the female breaks them during the backfill of the nest. Maybe Carl and some others will chime in. Sorry for the scrambles and hope some "sunny-side ups soon":)
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  3. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jeff.
    They do have access to cuttlebone constantly, and eat a lot. That doesn't mean this female is eating enough though.
    Could it be if I'm not offering ideal laying conditions(indoors for now), that she's holding on to them for too long.
    Or could the fact that this female has quite a concave plastron play a part.

    Oh yeah, the redfoots like eggs sunny side up too. :D

    Look here's today's proof of the powder addiction. :eek:
    IMG_20160404_204254.jpg
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    I would have said thin shells too.
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  5. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Usually retained eggs will be "too calcified" and outward appearance of egg/shell will be rough to the touch and bumpy.
    I'll see if I have a pic ......I know I do ..:rolleyes:
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  6. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Should I just keep putting the cuttlebone in until they stop eating it? They eat a lot of this stuff, if I put lets say 3 or 4 cuttlebone in, they will devour it that same day. Lets put it this way, I've used a bag of 60 cuttlebone in 3 months, and they eat lots and lots of dandelions.
    Is it possible to overdose the calcium intake?
  7. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    No......No OD. The one thing I notice if too many are kept out and not eating they "go soft" sort of speaking. As well as a great source of calcium intake , also a great resource for keeping the beaks trimmed. Let them gnaw away !....
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  8. cdmay

    cdmay Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I tend to agree. The shell looks thin.
    If she is getting plenty of calcium there may be some other cause. Is your female very young, or just starting to lay eggs? Does she get natural sunlight?
    Time will tell, be patient.
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  9. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Here is an "over retained egg" excess calcification can be seen ........

    [​IMG]
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  10. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    I've only had her about 6 months. Her 1st clutch was very calcified. To my knowledge she's at least 12yrs old. The last owner used to keep them on 1/2" (0.5")deep substrate. So I assumed she had been holding the first clutch back. Clutches since have been fine, well looks like to thin now. The eggs are huge compared to any that the others have layed.
    I'm learning fast patience is needed with torting.
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  11. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's what her first clutch was like. In her first clutch 1 broke, 2 were calcified and 2 were huge. Still in incubation, but look like dudleys.
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  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Maybe the space between the top and bottom shells is too small for the eggs to fit. ?????
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  13. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    I'll have a look at this.
  14. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    This thread has suprised me and made me realize they need a lot more calcium than I expected when developing eggs.
    That ontop of them being in an indoor enclosure to long. I do take them outside as much as possible, but they miss out on the low 60f days. This should be eradicated this year.
    One last question.

    How do they get such a high calcium requirement in the wild?

    Thank you all. Very educational.
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  15. hingeback

    hingeback Active Member

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    How long after she laid the egg broke?(Curious) I think I've heard before that lack of calcium results in soft eggs. Btw happy birthday!
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  16. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    They broke as she was laying them. I think the first one was broke before it even started coming out. I saw yolk dripping out before I saw any shell. I don't know all the technical terms, but this suggests to me it broke on the way down the tube, which suggests week shell(lack of calcium), as the guys above said. Makes sense to me.
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  17. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    There are many sources of calcium in plant, fruit and nut based products they would find in the wild. Some examples might look like this...... 6 Dried Figs 82mg or a 1/4 cup Almonds 95mg, aside the fact RF's being omniviours just adds to the calcium base they would receive from ingesting bones of other dead animals ex: young baby chicks, rodents, the exoskeleton of insects and grubs are packed with calcium.

    None-The Less "Cheers My Friend and Happy Birthday! " .........
  18. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Thank you sir. Apparently I'm the age where life begins.

    I've started to grow 2 fig trees, so they should come in use some time in the future. Fed baby chicks for 1st time last weekend. Beak, feet, the lot. They all turned psycho when I got those out. Used to feed fuzzies, but got too expensive.
    As for nuts, I asked this question quite a while back and got no reply. Is it just almonds, or do most nuts contain calcium?
    What about fruit pits, do they gain any nutritional benefits from pits?
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  19. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Ahhh Heck .....cherish them younger years buddy......it's hell getting old, not so much the mind but the body starts to wear out...;)
    Back to going nuts.....

    Yes.... almost all nuts rank very well/high very for calcium intakeā€¦.as well as other beneficial vitamins.
    These varieties contain the most protein, fiber, B-vitamins, calcium, minerals, and vitamin E for the least amount of saturated fat:
    1. Almonds
    2. Filberts (hazelnuts)
    3. Peanuts
    4. Chestnuts
    5. Pistachios
    6. Walnuts
    7. Cashews
    8. Pecans
    9. Macadamias
    The seeds of a plant or fruit are typically rich in vitamin and mineral content. An important factor/function of a seed is to act as an energy and nutrient source for the new plant germinating from it. Hence it has lots of vitamins and minerals. I have a fig tree out front myself that I feed the fruit all the time to the Reds....they love it !
    hingeback and Anyfoot like this.
  20. TiffanyVL

    TiffanyVL New Member

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    I had the same problem. My tortoises laid broken eggs too. but then I added a mineral supplement 1-2x weekly and calcium withOUT vit D3 5-6 days a week, plus calcium WITH vitamin D3 1-2x week.
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