A few years earlier my turtle was acting a little strange lately so ns did some research and talked come a vet and I uncovered out that she is pregnant. In this article, i am going to share v you whatever that I discovered out throughout my research and from my talk with the vet. After ~ this article, you room going to be able to find the end if your turtle is pregnant or not, and if she is what you need to do.

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You can conveniently tell if a turtle is pregnant by in search of visual and behavioral changes. A pregnant turtle will have small bumps from the eggs on her plastron. A pregnant turtle will also display behavioral changes like changes in she diet, basking habits and she will try to escape the tank.

Before obtaining into more details around the visual and behavioral changes I want to repeat you the a turtle deserve to lay eggs also if over there is no masculine around. If over there is no male around the eggs will not it is in fertilized, yet there will certainly still be eggs. Now let’s start discussing the intuitive signs.

Visual Signs

Unfortunately, the visual indications are no too basic to spot. Unlike in the case of mammals, the ship of a turtle won’t adjust too much in size once it’s pregnant, so friend will require a manual approach.

When turtles space pregnant friend should be able to feel the eggs by gently poignant the plastron (the reduced side of the shell) of your turtle. Yet you have to be really careful as soon as you do this, depending upon the stage of the pregnant the eggs can be exceptionally fragile, and also you don’t want to cracked them.

Here is a overview on exactly how you must proceed:

Step 1

Gently choose your turtle up by the sides. Similar to in this picture:

Photo by The_Gut top top Flickr

Don’t choose your tortoise by the plastron and also the height of the shell, this can damages the egg if her turtle is pregnant. So don’t perform it like this:


Then gently place it through the ship up in your other hand. Placing your turtle upside under won’t have any negative effects top top its wellness if you store it this means for just a couple of minutes.

Photo through Anita Gould top top Flickr

Step 2

Now there space two means you have the right to check. The very first one is to placed one finger ~ above the plastron and also move it all over the plastron and see if friend feel any bumps. Typically when the egg are hard enough, they should slightly press versus the shell.

Step 3

When girlfriend feel one of these bumps you have the right to gently press on that spot and also see if the egg moves. If there is one egg you need to feel the the egg will certainly slightly push earlier after friend press.

Remember come press really gently, girlfriend don’t desire to ache the turtle or rest the eggs. However if you space able to feel the eggs, it usually means that their shell is quite hard already, so over there shouldn’t be any type of danger.

Step 4

If friend don’t desire to threat breaking the egg or hurting the turtle you can always go come a vet, most of them have actually a the majority of experience in act this.

The biggest problem with this an approach is the you shouldn’t be able to feel the eggs until your tortoise is at least halfway with her pregnancy. Therefore a far better way to find out if her turtle is pregnant is to look at transforms in she behavior.

Changes in Behaviour

The best means to recognize if a tortoise is pregnant is come look at she behavior.

In general, all alters in behavior mean that something is happening to her turtle. If you have a female tortoise those alters usually mean that she is pregnant.

There are rather a couple of behavioral changes that take place when a turtle is pregnant. Here are the most typical ones.

Ganges in Diet

When a turtle is pregnant the variety of foods the she eats will drastically change. Usually, a pregnant turtle will eat a many less, or she i will not ~ eat in ~ all, the reason they carry out this is since they favor to spend their time looking for a an ideal nesting site, rather of eating. 

There room a couple of turtles that prefer to overeat in a situation like this. While overeating is not the most common an answer of a turtle when she is pregnant, it have the right to still happen, after ~ all, every turtle is various from the rest, and also they all have actually a different personality.

Even if your turtle doesn’t have that much an are to search for a ar to lay its eggs, it will certainly still search for one, the its natural solution to this situation.


A pregnant turtle will shot to dig a lot. If your turtle is pregnant you can find she trying to destruction in the substrate that the tank, or in the basking area. This is also something that they do try to find a great nesting site.

Basking Habits

The basking habits of a pregnant turtle will additionally change. When a tortoise is pregnant she will readjust her baking habits, she might end up not basking for days since she is do the efforts to uncover a perfect place come lay the eggs.

Trying come escape

A pregnant turtle will try to acquire out the the tank. When a tortoise is pregnant she will do whatever that she have the right to to obtain out the the tank. She will try to destruction holes, she will try to rise over, she will try to swim through the glass, everything that can be done she will carry out it.

So if your turtle is showing every one of those indications then you should try to feel the carapace, or even far better go come the vet and also let that check. And if your turtle is truly pregnant climate you still have work come do.

What To carry out If her Turtle requirements to put Eggs

At this point, friend basically have actually two options, and also they all depend on her location and also what season it is. If friend live in a home with a yard and also it’s warm external then you have the right to go outdoors, if you nothing have accessibility to a yard or the cold outside then you must go indoors.

You must use those methods when your turtle appears really no hope to acquire out the its tank.

The outdoors Method

This is the simplest and also usually the best means to carry out things.

First, make certain that her yard is secure and also your tortoise can’t leave it, or merely make a smaller part of the garden secure and also that should likewise be fine. After you room sure the your turtle has actually no means to to escape you can take she outside and also let her find a good spot in the yard to lay her eggs.

If you want to aid her discover a location to lay her eggs much faster then you have to wet the ground before you let she out. Turtle usually select to lay their eggs in locations with wet earth. 

If you use chemical fertilizer for your flowers or plants, girlfriend should shot to store the turtle away native them, that not an excellent for your health.

The outdoors technique is ideal since you don’t have to do as well much and is similar to what happens once a turtle is pregnant in the wild.

The indoors Way

For this technique you space going to need:

Mix the organic soil v some sand and also then fill about two-thirds of the container with the mixture. The container needs to be a huge one, otherwise, the turtle will certainly feel trapped in and won’t feel comfortable enough to place the eggs. Shot to avoid any kind of kind of pesticides or fertilizers, castle are poor for the turtle.

After you placed the mixture in the container spray some water over the soil until it’s a little moist, after ~ that partly cover the container v the lid, this method the turtle will have a lit area and a contempt dimmer area wherein she have the right to lay the eggs.

Before put the tortoise in the container make certain that the temperature the the room is not also cold or also hot, and that there are no various other people approximately or other animals that can disturb the turtle.

Now you have the right to safely place the turtle in the container and wait for she to place the eggs. It have to take her between 2 and 3 hours to lay every the eggs. You can shot to watch at she while she is act this yet she might feel intimidated and also won’t lay any type of eggs, if that is the instance then you need to leave she alone.

Even if the whole procedure of laying the eggs deserve to take between 2 and 3 hours, your turtle could have a details time that the day when she wants to lay her eggs, for this reason the best thing that you deserve to do is to ar the container in a well normally lit room, and also leave her the whole day at she disposal, part turtles could want come lay your eggs in the morning, some throughout the night, there is a certain time the turtles lay egg at.

Now let’s view what you have the right to do v the eggs.

What to execute With the Eggs

Now the the eggs have actually been laid friend basically have actually two options, and which one friend will pick depends if the eggs room fertilized or not, and also the time you have actually at her disposal.

The simplest way to understand if the eggs are fertilized or not is this:

Did your female turtle connect with a male turtle recently?

No. In the case, the egg are most likely not fertilized, ~ all, you need a masculine turtle come fertilize the eggs.

Yes. Then there is a an excellent chance the the eggs are fertilized.

What to perform if the eggs room not fertilized

If the eggs are not fertilized then you have the right to just litter them away, no babies will certainly come out of them at this point. Or you deserve to always try to eat them, i personally haven’t make the efforts them however I heard that they taste similar to chicken eggs. If the eggs are fresh you deserve to safely cook and eat lock if girlfriend want.

So if the eggs room not fertilized no baby turtle will come the end of them so you deserve to basically do whatever you want with them.

What to carry out if the eggs space fertilized

At this point, you have two options.

Option 1. If girlfriend don’t have actually the time to take treatment of the eggs you deserve to just throw them away. Not everybody has actually the time come take care of turtle eggs, and also then baby turtles, so it’s completely understandable if friend don’t desire to store them.

Option 2. If you desire you can constantly incubate the eggs. The procedure is not very difficult but girlfriend will need to do a few things come make certain that the eggs will hatch. Yet taking treatment of tortoise eggs is one more subject the I’ve already covered in an additional article. If you desire to keep the egg or you are just curious just how you can take treatment of tortoise eggs then check out this article: exactly how to Take care of turtle Eggs.

Extra Tip

Before you begin checking if your turtle is pregnant, it’s a an excellent idea to an initial check if your turtle yes, really is a female.

I recognize that it can seem a little weird, but you really need to check this first. If your turtle is male then over there is no possibility of him being pregnant. Even if your turtle shows behavior changes comparable to a pregnant turtle, if the a young it might mean something fully different.

So before you start checking if your turtle is pregnant very first make certain that that a mrs turtle and not a masculine turtle. If you nothing know exactly how to check if her turtle is masculine or female check this write-up out: exactly how to phone call If your Turtle Is masculine or woman (with Pictures).

Common Questions

How long do turtles remain pregnant? The period can different a lot based upon the species, yet in general, it have the right to last almost everywhere from 3 to 6 months.

Can pet turtles have actually babies? Yes, pet turtles room biologically similar to wild turtles, for this reason they deserve to have babies just like wild tortoise can

Will a tortoise eat its very own eggs? Yes, if the eggs space not fertilized, occasionally turtles will eat the eggs if they room hungry.

Final Thoughts

So, in stimulate to discover out if her turtle is pregnant, you deserve to either shot to feel her plastron and see if you deserve to feel any type of eggs, or you have the right to look at she behavior and also see if there room any major changes.

The reality that her turtle is pregnant shouldn’t change the way you take treatment of her. Girlfriend just need to offer she a ideal place to lay she eggs when the time comes, therefore this shouldn’t influence you too much.

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I expect this article answers every one of your questions, but if you still have actually some unanswered inquiries you can always leave a comment down below and I will answer the as soon as possible.