Baby turtles hatching!

2 Jun

The first baby Red-ear Slider hatched last night. His little head and front legs are out of the shell and he spent the whole night that way.

I cannot believe that a baby turtle can dig it’s way out of 5 inches of packed dirt where it was deposited by it’s mother. After digging into the soil to get these eggs out a few months ago, I almost gave up until I finally hit the cavity where the eggs were. After 2 months that soil has to be like cement. I just can’t comprehend how the turtle can get out of there. It must take days.
My little turtle was under an inch of Coir, which is shredded Coconut husk. It appears to have worked well for holding moisture and I only removed a few spots where it looked like a bit of mold was growing.

Five eggs were laid on March 18. One was no good, so now there are three to go.

Let me say that I KNOW that there are millions of Red-eared Sliders spread out across the world. In many places it is illegal to have one and is probably a death sentence if you are caught breeding them.
But I was raised in the 1960’s, where every pet-shop and dime-store had baby Red-ears for sale. They would cost about a dollar. They also sold a little plastic “habitat”, ugh, wrong word, a little plastic prison, and also sold “turtle food”, which was made by Wardley’s, and this turtle food was Ant Eggs.

Yes, ant eggs. Nothing else, just feed your little turtle ant eggs, put him in a quart of unheated water, set him on the dresser, and watch him die a slow death in a few months. Fun for the kids!!

My first Red-ears fared only slightly better than that. We put a pair into a 10-gallon metal frame tank (slate-bottom), and had a plastic ramp for them to crawl under the incandescent light, no UV rays, so the end result was the same. Two turtles who never made it to adulthood.
For that reason only, I have never bought anything made by Wardley’s. I think they are still in business and probably sell some good stuff, but I will NEVER buy anything with their name on it. Just can’t do it.

Already I am seeing a future when my big female Slider lays multiple clutches of eggs every year and I will have nowhere for them to go. I will have to ignore the eggs she lays and, worse than that, I should destroy the eggs if I find them. But for now, atonement is the word of the day.


4 Responses to “Baby turtles hatching!”

  1. Johno June 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I don’t get it. Are these turtles illegal or something?

    • fishtanx2011 June 3, 2012 at 4:42 am #

      No, not illegal here, but they are an invasive species in many parts of the world. They were introduced through the pet trade and, in some cases, have become the dominant turtle species, which means the local turtle populations can’t compete. In the U.S. that is a problem for the Western Pond turtle.

  2. DCM June 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Great video! We have a turtle that lays eggs on our shore (Swan Lake, MT) but I have yet to see them hatch… Someday…

    • fishtanx2011 June 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Baby turtles are just so damn cute, even baby Snapping Turtles are cute! I wonder what kind you have at the lake? Are they Western Painted Turtles?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: