How to provide a good egg laying environment?

scottbot84

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My adult female Burmese star laid unfertilized eggs on the ground readily and without issue last year, but this year has not laid to my knowledge.

A recent X-ray showed healthy eggs and at that time a few test holes were dug. She was then moved to a new location after I purchased a new home.

The new pen I constructed is larger, as is the yard she is allowed to roam in when I am at home in the afternoon. I've also increased calcium supplementation and offered foods high in calcium.

Currently she appears healthy, eats well,and is active. My concern is that I am not providing a good site to deposit eggs.

Does anyone have a list of requirements from experience? I plan to add more loose soil and inclines to the current pen as a start. Pen size is about 10 x 15ft, yard size is about 1/10th acre. Pen is shady but receives sun throughout the day until late afternoon. Yard us mostly partial shade with some full sun.

I'm also a bit surprised the eggs have not simply been laid on the ground as they are definitely unfertilized.
 

Markw84

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Please put your location in your avatar info. Where geographically you are located makes a big difference in the answer to so many questions when it comes to tortoises.

First of all, this is exactly the wrong time of year for a Burmese star to lay eggs. They are winter layers. Eggs are laid late Sept through early Feb. Fully calcified eggs in a platynota this time of year is abnormal. But, not knowing where you are, perhaps your indoor conditions/lighting cycles, and the sun altitude this time of year "look like" winter for her programming??

Soil temperature and humidity seems to be a trigger when choosing a nesting spot. You will see a female constantly "smelling" the ground testing it for a place she will try. If given a choice, they seem to like a slight incline and close to or under a bush. In Myanmar, the eggs laid in at least partial shade have the best chance at hatching most years. They are extremely good at digging even in quite hard soil. But if encountering a root, or pipe or larger rock, they will abondon the hole. I like to provide spots of good clean substrate that packs well to hold shape, but not too hard, just for ease of laying.
 

scottbot84

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Bloomington, IL, USA
Thanks, I'll add that info later today

I'm currently in Bloomington, IL USA.

My notes from last year had eggs laid infrequently until about this time, year before that was the first year eggs were laid and I only saw a few. One of the later ones last year looked like it may have been retained for a bit, all others looked healthy.

A X Ray from the last week in March showed 5 eggs that appeared to be in a healthy position. It's possible some were laid by now, but I have not seen them. I am considering another visit to the vet soon but want to make sure address husbandry issues first to avoid reoccurrence.
 

scottbot84

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Bloomington, IL, USA
Update on this post - Last fall I needed to induce the female in question to get her to lay, but a few nights ago she laid a clutch of 10 eggs!

The three things I changed were:
1. Increased calcium supplementation.
2. Improved diet quality.
3. Additional topsoil and a slight incline within the indoor enclosure I use in the winter.
 

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