EMERGENCY!! I opened a 95-day old egg today and it's alive. What now?

Gijoux

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The yolk sac is 95% absorbed and he's definitely a little bigger!! I'm keeping him in the tupperware still, but now he's on a damp paper towel instead of the raw plastic - the lid opening is covered with a damp paper towel as ell. I picked him up and he seems pretty strong.
He's in the bathroom with a space heater which I periodically turn on and off. It probably gets into the upper 80's in there then falls back to room temp, which is currently 65 degrees or so. I have arugula growing in the yard, so I have put a couple of baby leaves in there the last couple days, but he hasn't touched them.
They just nibble a tiny bit at first. He should start eating soon. Watch that he doesn't start eating the paper towels. Did you save some of his egg shell? They do nibble on their egg shell too.
 

Gijoux

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I think the yolk sac is fully absorbed now. It is just a dried up patch on her abdomen (I think it's a "she"). So how long until she eats? Should I have drinking water in her container?
You should soak her a couple of times a day in warm water 95-100 degrees. She will drink during her bath. She will probably poop soon too. It can take a couple of weeks to poop.
 

Freddd

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How do I soak a tiny turtle? I've been pouring a few drops of water over her shell and body a couple times a day. But that's about it.
Also, she's been in the dark most of the time.
I don't have any turtle-raising equipment. I was planning on releasing her into the wild when appropriate, but I don't how best to make that transition, or how long it should take.
Thanks for the help so far, everybody!!
Here she is visiting the great outdoors for the first time.
20191019_170354.jpg
 

TammyJ

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She is gorgeous! what a sweetheart. But she looks scared. Lots of monsters out there!
 

Freddd

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I would still like to her to live in the wild so she can meet a nice man-turtle, but temperatures are dropping now (lows are in the 40s), so I don't know what to do. If I keep her too long, I imagine she will lose her ability to live in nature. But I don't want her to die because it's too cold. Does anybody have any suggestions?
 

TammyJ

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they head start turtles all the time , they have a much better survival rate ………. you just need to release it properly …….
Yes but what's "properly" as far as this little one is concerned? I mean, either he gets released with optimal preparation, choice of location etc., or he gets kept nice and warm and safe???
 

Gijoux

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How do I soak a tiny turtle? I've been pouring a few drops of water over her shell and body a couple times a day. But that's about it.
Also, she's been in the dark most of the time.
I don't have any turtle-raising equipment. I was planning on releasing her into the wild when appropriate, but I don't how best to make that transition, or how long it should take.
Thanks for the help so far, everybody!!
Here she is visiting the great outdoors for the first time.
View attachment 282380
I would use a small bowl in which I put enough warm water (100 degrees F) to reach just where her carapace meets her side. I would use a baster and pull water up into the baster and repeatedly pour it over her shell. The baster can be used to suck up any poops which you would squeeze out of the baster into a separate cup to later dump in the toilet. She should soak in the water for 20 - 30 minutes, 1-2 times per day. You want to do this procedure under a heating element so as to keep her warm. Keep replacing the water to keep it warm. I know nothing about returning her to the wild. I would guess she would need to be a bit older and you are sure she is eating and drinking well on her own. She is a beautiful creature.
 

mark1

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I would raise her indoors for the winter , put her outside in the spring , let her go into hibernation next winter , dig her up on a really cold day and put her in the fridge ...….in the spring when your ground is 40+ degrees . but she's still dormant , take her to a good hibernating spot in good habitat and bury at the bottom of a big leaf pile an inch or so in the dirt ………… seeing as she would have been born in your backyard , you could just provide her a good hibernacula in a pen , and leave her a way out of her pen when she comes out of hibernation the following spring ………. the zoo here releases blanding's turtles they raise indoors, they just take them and let them go , I think that's called a hard release ? not sure if there is any proof , but i'd think a soft release would be better ………. I think they take into account proximity of roads ……….jmo .
 

Freddd

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UPDATE 11-18-19:
I have been keeping her in an aquarium with about an inch of moss-covered dirt in the corner. Until last week, she had been eating occasionally. Meals included pieces of grape, cooked potato, beef, shrimp, and beef liver. I didn't have proper environmental controls - just a space heater in the bathroom that I turned on and off throughout the day, and a spray bottle for misting. About 10 days ago, she started digging her head into the dirt section of the aquarium when she slept. About a week ago, she dug herself almost all the way into the dirt (it's not deep enough for her to completely disappear), and has remained buried this whole time. I guess she's hibernating? Possibly due to lower temperatures? I saw her shift her position a tiny bit today, so I know she's still alive.
So what should I do now? If she's hibernating, what environment is optimal for survival? Should I wake her up to feed her periodically, or just let her be?
Thanks!!!
 

mark1

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I doubt she's hibernating , more likely stressed from suboptimal temps ...…...hang a che above the aquarium at a height that makes for an 85-90 degree spot and leave it on all the time ……… personally i'd feed her worms , maggots , and softened fish pellets , lot of the stuff your feeding I've never even considered , mine do fine ……… i'd take her out everyday and soak her in a small container within her container in a warm spot with a couple leaves to hide under , about 1/8" of water with food and pieces of redworms or maggots in it , leave her in it for an hour or so , make sure the temp is not to hot or cold ……….. i found one earlier this fall , he's been in the house since , all I needed was a plastic container , a che , a light , some tin foil , some sphagnum moss , and a couple $4 temp probes ……. the che is 100watt , I cover with foil as much or little as needed to keep the temp appropriate …… the moss is kept completely soaked , all he does is hide , unless I take him out and feed him , eventually they come out on their own ….. they do need kept at 80-85 degrees to thrive …….


 

Freddd

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Thanks. Is "ceh" a ceramic element heater? If so, would a 100 watt heater be good for an 11 gallon tank?
Also, I watched a video on turtle hibernation, and they said it can be dangerous to disturb hibernation, but they didn't go into more detail.
So, how can I be sure she's not hibernating? She really hasn't moved in 10 days. Or should I just not worry about it?
 

mark1

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to properly artificially take them out of hibernation , I personally can't think of any dangers to it , or have ever seen anything that appeared dangerous , I've actually done it quite a bit because it appeared it may be dangerous to leave them hibernate …..……. I think a 100watt che could possibly be too much heat depending on it's placement and tank covering ……. a couple temp probes would tell you what's safe …….
 

TammyJ

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Any changes? You are certainly putting a lot into this project! :tort:
 

Freddd

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I got a 100W ceramic heater, and the temp is now 85-95 degrees depending on whether or not the overhead light is on. I woke her up on Thanksgiving. She seemed totally fine and walked around in the tank pretty briskly for a half-hour (there is dirt, leaves, moss, and a large wood chunk in there), but she did not eat anything. Then she dug herself into the dirt and seems to have gone back to hibernating. It is certainly possible that she has moved around without me noticing, but she didn't eat any of the food that was in there and has remained in (or returned to) the same spot.
So, should I wake her up periodically so she eats? The overhead light is on a timer that is set to turn the lights on for 9 hours a day. Is that too short to keep her from hibernating?
 

Yvonne G

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Like Mark suggested, live food would be better.

I chop up my greens and veggies for the baby tortoises into VERY tiny pieces. For baby box turtles I take a spoonful of that mixture into a bowl and pour some juice from a can of cat food over it. Then mix it all up so the greens are coated in juice. Then I add some live wax worms or butterworms and mix it up again. Baby turtles can't resist something wiggly and when the bite for a worm they also get some greens.

Another trick I've learned is with blackworms (we used to call them tubifex worms). You can buy them wherever aquarium fish are sold. I put the baby in a bowl he can't climb out of then add warm water. Don't make it so deep he has trouble keeping his head out. Then add a pinch of the blackworms to the water.
 

Freddd

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Update. She seems to have been doing fine until today, when I noticed that one of her front legs was not working. It appears swollen compared to the other leg. Her diet has been almost exclusively earthworms for the last three weeks or so, although she ate a white grub two days ago. She doesn't seem interested in edible leaves, so her diet has been very limited. The worms usually have some dirt on them .. which she has swallowed along with the worm. I figured this was okay, since nobody is washing the worms in nature. She gets some sunlight in the tank and temps are 80-95 degrees.
Any ideas as to what could be causing this? She's very young, so I would guess that would limit the possible diagnoses. I'd rather not take her to the vet for financial reasons. I am planning on releasing her in the spring.
 

Cathie G

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Update. She seems to have been doing fine until today, when I noticed that one of her front legs was not working. It appears swollen compared to the other leg. Her diet has been almost exclusively earthworms for the last three weeks or so, although she ate a white grub two days ago. She doesn't seem interested in edible leaves, so her diet has been very limited. The worms usually have some dirt on them .. which she has swallowed along with the worm. I figured this was okay, since nobody is washing the worms in nature. She gets some sunlight in the tank and temps are 80-95 degrees.
Any ideas as to what could be causing this? She's very young, so I would guess that would limit the possible diagnoses. I'd rather not take her to the vet for financial reasons. I am planning on releasing her in the spring.
Actually, when earthworms come out of the ground naturally they don't have a lot of dirt on them. Rain drives them to the surface. Another TFO member suggested putting the earthworms in a flat shallow dish with water in it for box turtles. I would avoid dirt on the food for any animal.
 

TammyJ

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Can we get some pics of her if it's possible so we can see how the front leg looks?
 

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