How do I encourage my adult Greek tortoises to breed?

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Hello,

I've never done breeding, and was wondering how to encourage my adult greek tortoises (Testudo Graeca Ibera) to breed? I'm already housing 2 females with 1 male in a big stock tub. What do I need to do?
any advice would be great!
 

Yvonne G

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It would be much better if they had more room - even outside. They may not breed in a small space like that because more babies would make it over crowded, too much competition for the space.

Separate the male for a month or so, then reintroduce him back into the group.
 
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t
It would be much better if they had more room - even outside. They may not breed in a small space like that because more babies would make it over crowded, too much competition for the space.

Separate the male for a month or so, then reintroduce him back into the group.
They have a very big outdoor enclosure. I just need help with encouraging them.
 

wellington

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Leave them in a large enclosure outside. Like Yvonne said, a stock tank is way too small for 3 adult torts. Btw, how old big are they? When they are of breeding age/size, they will breed. Possibly not old enough yet.
 
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Leave them in a large enclosure outside. Like Yvonne said, a stock tank is way too small for 3 adult torts. Btw, how old big are they? When they are of breeding age/size, they will breed. Possibly not old enough yet.
I should have said that I bring them in at night inside the stock tub. I house them outside in the big enclosure during the day. The 2 females are about 8 inches and the male at 7 inches. I bought them as a breeding group from Chris Leone AKA ( GardenState Tortoise). So for sure I know that they have bred before and laid eggs.
 

wellington

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If you have had them for awhile where they are adjusted to their new home then I would do what Yvonne suggested. Take the male away and keep him apart from the female for sometime and then reintroduce him back in. Good luck.
 

GBtortoises

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In most situations the tortoises have to first be completely secure in their new surroundings and establish a seasonal routine. This means not being subjected to a lot of handling or constant changes in their surroundings along with lack of stress and aggressiveness. The latter two, especially the aggressiveness, can come from housing a male with females. They really should not be maintained in the same enclosure and introduced for short periods only for breeding purposes. Most males of Testudo species are aggressive toward other males and females that enter their territory. They will pursue another male, attacking and biting to chase him off. They will also relentlessly pursue females to the point of exhaustion and or injury to the females and sometimes to themselves. In the wild these conditions can be escaped. In a captivity within an enclosure they cannot.
Testudo ibera are a temperate climate species which means that they are evolved to experience seasonal changes. These seasonal changes dictate all of their actions including breeding, hibernation and daily routine. In captivity they usually breed most successfully when changes in their environment (temperatures, light duration and intensity) change to simulate the same or close to the same conditions that they would experience in the wild.
Simply putting a male with a female is not usually going to guarantee true breeding. The male is going to pursue and mount the female continuously, but 99% of the time it's not going to result in anything but two worn out tortoises. Only when the female has experienced the changes in the environment that trigger her reproduction instinct is there going to be true breeding. When she is ready she'll eventually stop for the male, raise her rear a bit usually and allow him to mount her and do his thing. With newly acquired tortoises it generally takes some time, at least one and usually more often two or more seasonal cycles to create the environmental changes that take place to trigger the female to want to reproduce.
In other words it takes time and probably isn't going to happen overnight. Even with a bottle of wine and some Barry White music.
 

Tom

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Hello,

I've never done breeding, and was wondering how to encourage my adult greek tortoises (Testudo Graeca Ibera) to breed? I'm already housing 2 females with 1 male in a big stock tub. What do I need to do?
any advice would be great!

As has been explained, you need time. It may take years for them to settle in and start to breed. Tortoises don't like to be moved.

If it were me, I would get a third female of the same subspecies and after a long quarantine, let the 3 females live together. Then I'd get another male and make the two males live all alone most of the time. Once in a while introduce a male into the females territory for breeding. Once in a while and under close supervision, introduce both males and let them fight for a few minutes. Then remove one male and watch what happens. Male combat usually stimulates breeding. This is exactly how I house my SA leopards and it has been working great, but I don't have to do the male combat things as both males are crazed for breeding and don't need any extra help in that department. The males are so aggressive and relentless that I can't let them live with the females full time. I've seen many male greeks that behave this way too over the years.
 
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