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Old 26-07-2018, 05:42 PM   #1
GemmaD
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Default Hatching tortoise - help!

My mum has been incubating spur thigh eggs and my sister is looking after them while she is on holiday. She didn't expect them to hatch but one is just hatching now!! We can't get hold of mum because she is in a different timezone but we don't know what to do with a new hatchling. Do we take it straight out the incubator or leave it for a few days? How soon will it need food and water? It doesn't seem to be moving much but has only broken some of the egg so far, should we be worried about that? Thank you for your help, we don't know what to do!
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Old 26-07-2018, 06:03 PM   #2
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I meant to say, he seems to have broken out using his leg instead of the egg tooth, should we be concerned, will he need help to get his head out to breathe?
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Old 26-07-2018, 06:39 PM   #3
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My Hermann hatchling did exactly the same and had her leg dangling out first. Leave the egg in the incubator. The hatchling might take a while to fully hatch. Sometimes they stay in the shell for a while as they absorb the yolk. Iíve only ever hatched one so my experience is limited but Iím sure someone else will be along to advise further soon.
Once Esme was fully out the egg, I transferred her to another tub in the incubator, with damp kitchen towel for her to sit on rather than the vermiculite. She had absorbed her yolk and the plastron was healing nicely so she had a shallow bath and had a drink and ate some clover. Some hatchlings donít eat for a while as the absorbed yolk can keep them going for a while.
I kept her in the incubator overnight and then because everything was healed, she went into her table. Others may advise you otherwise, but thatís what I did. Hope that helps in the interim.

Iím sure by the time you speak to your mum, the hatchling will still be in the process. Try not to panic, though I know itís hard not to. Good luck!
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Old 26-07-2018, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GemmaD View Post
My mum has been incubating spur thigh eggs and my sister is looking after them while she is on holiday. She didn't expect them to hatch but one is just hatching now!! We can't get hold of mum because she is in a different timezone but we don't know what to do with a new hatchling. Do we take it straight out the incubator or leave it for a few days? How soon will it need food and water? It doesn't seem to be moving much but has only broken some of the egg so far, should we be worried about that? Thank you for your help, we don't know what to do!
Gemma
I would wait until the hatchling is out of the egg before doing any thing then as below. You can leave over night, if just hatched.
I would take it out of the incubator, and soak the hatchling in shallow water as breaking out of the egg is thirsty work:0) then just put it somewhere in the warm (not too hot) as it's quite warm any way. It will not hurt to put the hatchling in a box or something suitable with an ordinary light. As it will probably bury down in the substrate in the box. It can take up to a week before they will it. But I always put in a small amount of weeds in just in case. As some hatchlings will eat straight away. The most important thing is to keep the hatchling hydrated, as dehydration is the biggest killer in young tortoises.
So I would bathe the hatchling at least twice a day.
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Last edited by sandy; 26-07-2018 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 26-07-2018, 07:10 PM   #5
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Thank you all very much, she's left him alone and he's tucked his leg back into the shell so is obviously OK!
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Old 26-07-2018, 08:26 PM   #6
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Do keep us up to date with progress.

Good luck.
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Old 29-07-2018, 01:09 AM   #7
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The little hatchling has broken a bit more of the shell (not much) and still isn't moving much... Is there a point at which we need to intervene or does it sometimes just take multiple days for a hatching? Naively I thought it would all be quite quick!
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Old 29-07-2018, 08:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GemmaD View Post
The little hatchling has broken a bit more of the shell (not much) and still isn't moving much... Is there a point at which we need to intervene or does it sometimes just take multiple days for a hatching? Naively I thought it would all be quite quick!
If you can see the nares, then gently drop some boiled water over them. As the hatchling might well be dehydrated.
Can you see if there is any yolk left at the bottom of th egg?
As sometimes they break the shell but still have a lavish egg sac, so then it will take longer for them to hatch. As the egg sac has to be absorbed, before they are free.
If it were me, if not completely hatched by midday today I would take egg and hatchling out of the incubator. Keeping the egg near a heat sorce ( I used an electric propagator) on damp kitchen roll. Keep the hatchling hydrated.
But this is always a risk. I have not lost a hatchling doing this, but as I say it is a risk:0)
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Old 29-07-2018, 09:14 AM   #9
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As itís been nearly 3 days now the little chap will probably be getting quite tired, as Sandy has said give it little droplets of water from the tip of your little finger. It will be ok to pick it up and try to have a look inside to see if there is much yoke sac, if there is a lot, he may just sit in the egg until itís absorbed, and this would be best for you too, itís quite tricky and risky dealing with a large yoke sac outside the egg. One of mine, just sat for two days with her head and front legs out, waiting for the sac to absorb, and I gave her drops of water, then when she was ready out she came.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thank you all so much for your help, I meant to update you... My sister gave him water off her finger, he hatched and seems to be doing really well! He hasn't eaten much yet but is quite lively so hopefully the food will follow soon.
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