Red Foot Nesting

theguy67

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I've posted here a few times, and hope someone can help.

I have 2 adult red foot females and one male. Last week I found an egg out in the open, luckily I was there to retrieve it. I am not expecting anything to happen but it is incubating currently. This has led me to some questions. I assume there should be more eggs on their way. It has been VERY wet here this season. Just this week we have received rain every day.

First question- How do those of you who breed find the eggs in your pen/yard? I do not have a specified nesting site, but the pen is a decent size, and I have witnessed them digging up grubs before so I assume they are capable of digging in the existing soil (but they may prefer an easier substrate). Although, I am planning to make 1 or 2 nesting sites with a sand/soil mixture. It just baffles me to know how people know where to look for eggs without digging up the entire pen???? What is the common practice when expecting eggs? I have searched already, and read some ideas but most of it is only implied rather than proven.

Second question- Any clue to why she didn't bury the egg? I had a pile of top soil dumped in the pen for landscaping this week, so I can't imagine its from lack of a decent nesting site.

thanks
 

N2TORTS

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Feb 21, 2010
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In a short story my friend ....Redfoots are the masters of disguise when hiding nests. It usually boils down to how well you know your animal, her behaviors and the oh "so tell tell signs of a nesting female. With large open yards RF's will tend to lay up against a wall , bush , rock ect. My zone happens to be year around they nest and it usually is in late afternoon- nightfall. The signs of a wanting to nest Female may include ...a very restless gal pacing the enclosure, lack of appetite ...days even weeks before nesting, long un assisted soaks ( why important to have a large enough wading dish at all times for breeding females). Artificial environments have many key factors that one has to take into factor. ....hours of night/day , soil depth and temperature . All of my Reds and Cherries lay inside the Huts within the nesting box and outside in the yard as well. Taking accurate records about mating and time frames will also aide in "gravid" females. You may even notice a significant weight gain when pick up as well. Another route...is a 24/7 surveillance system that will allow you to reply time frames you may wish to view. I'ts no easy task .....I think many would agree to that .
Your female dumped the egg ...because it was not viable. This can be common also in a first timer and or young female not yet being with a male. This is a much better scenario than having an egg bound gal. Which leads to blockages and internal infections.
 

theguy67

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10 Year Member!
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
587
I see. That was a thought I had too about her "dumping them", but the egg isn't deformed or soft. My other guess was she may have been interrupted when laying as I have seen disturbed dirt in that same spot before. I assume, either way, we will know in a few weeks if it is fertile. Despite her dumping or otherwise, at least they are laying.

This brings up another question/issue. It gets very hot and dry here in Texas. Because of the dry summer last year, I put in a burrow (half 55 gallon drum burred). It is wet in there, but cooler than outside. They enjoy spending time inside when it is hot, and it helps tremendously with their shell coloration, and hydration from what I have seen. I would think that it is too cool for a proper nesting sight, if they are capable of determining that, but my question is would this be attractive to them for laying? I was thinking of adding another, but if I will never find eggs due to the burrows, I'm not sure anymore.
 
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