Just like chickens, mrs red-eared sliders will sometimes lay eggs also when lock haven’t mated through a male. They typically lay 7-11 egg at a time, and can place 2-3clutches in a solitary season. The good news is that these eggs are infertile, so over there is no have to worry about incubation or what you’re walk to execute with a bunch of baby turtles. However, woman turtles perform require special care when they’re gravid (pregnant) and laying. While on regular basis laying egg is component of keeping a healthy and balanced reproductive system for female red-eared sliders, it likewise takes a significant toll on your body.

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If you doubt that her turtle is gravid, take her to an skilled reptile veterinarian, or even a turtle breeder if you understand one. They can palpate she to feel for eggs, or take an x-ray. Execute NOT effort to perform this yourself — you may accidentally rest the eggs within of her, which have the right to turn right into a life-threatening problem.

Alternatively, if your turtle can’t lay she eggs, she might retain them, which causes a life-threatening condition called egg-binding. This is one of the large benefits of giving a shoreline-type basking area v deep substrate, together the female always has access to a nesting site and also the risk of egg-binding is greatly reduced.


When a mrs red-eared slider demands to lay she eggs, look because that these alters in her behavior:

RestlessnessAttempting to escape her enclosureMaking digging activities with her hind legsExcessive baskingLoss of appetite



Gravid turtles require extra food and also calcium to compensate for the nutrient they shed from forming eggs. Also if the egg aren’t fertile, her female will still have special diet needs throughout pregnancy and also after she store the eggs. Double-check she UVB bulb (it should be one Arcadia or Zoo Med — for an ext information visit here) and carry out extra piece of cuttlebone for calcium. She will likewise need extra protein. Offer entirety prey together as ideal fish and also even small birds/rodents, and also an extra sheep of pellets because that vitamins.


When your turtle is ready to lay, get a dark plastic tote and fill it through untreated topsoil at least 12” deep. Usage your hand or a trowel to mix water same throughout the soil to moisten it. If the soil is cold, allow it warmth to room temperature. Location the bin in a quiet, low web traffic area, then include your turtle and also partially sheathe the bin to assist her feel an ext comfortable and also secure. If the room is cold, girlfriend may include her warm lamp.

Give she privacy.

If you have actually a garden, you have the right to potentially take your turtle external to lay she eggs, however she need to be strictly looked after throughout the whole procedure to make certain she doesn’t run off and also get lost.

Remove the eggs after you have actually returned the turtle ago to she tank. If you suspect they might be fertile, freeze the eggs before disposing the them so they won’t hatch. Tortoise eggs (even unfertilized) make a great treat for various other reptiles such as blue tongue skinks, hognose snakes, corn snakes, and other omnivores and carnivores.

What is Egg-Binding?

Egg-binding occurs once female reptile can’t/doesn’t lay she eggs for one reason or an additional — the reason might be calcium deficiency, negative nutrition, not having actually a place to place the eggs, stress, disease, malformed eggs, or a cons in her reproductive anatomy. The most common reason because that egg binding in captive tortoise is absence of a perfect place for the turtle to lay her eggs or disturbance.

Egg binding is dangerous since unlaid eggs begin to “rot” inside a female turtle’s body, at some point killing her. If she no lay eggs, yet the symptoms persist, take her to an knowledgeable reptile veterinarian, as she might be egg-bound.


Ernst, C. H., & Lovich, J. E. (2019). Turtles the the joined States and Canada (2nd ed., pp. 444–470). The Johns Hopkins college Press.

Perez, N. (2015, may 16). Identifying a Gravid Turtle. RESTO-Aquatic Turtle owner (All types Welcome). Https://www.facebook.com/notes/resto-aquatic-turtle-owners-all-species-welcome/identifying-a-gravid-turtle/10153313740578966/

Is your Turtle Pregnant? Caring for a Gravid Captive Turtle. (n.d.). My tortoise Cam: Aquatic Turtle care Information. Re-cover September 26, 2020, from https://www.myturtlecam.com/caring-for-gravid-aquatic-turtles.php

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My surname is Mariah Healey, reptile husbandry specialist and also consultant. I have kept a range of exotic pets because that the bulk of mine life, yet I have functioned with reptiles especially for around 10 years.

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