For many terrarists and breeders the own breeding is a big goal.
The correct incubation of the respective eggs plays a major role here.
And this issue is already relatively complicated, so some things should be considered to finally achieve the desired goal.
During incubation it can happen, especially with newcomers, that some mistakes are made. The following article describes how the breeding succeeds and what needs to be considered.
1. incubate reptile eggs without substrate – For high humidity – More safety.
One way to achieve offspring is to incubate without substrate.
This is especially advisable for newcomers.
Because this avoids a little more the danger that the eggs get too wet. Which can lead to the death of the offspring.
At the same time, however, you can quickly rewet the eggs if they are too dry. To do this, simply place a moistened cloth on the eggs for a few hours or a day on a trial basis.
For incubation without substrate, a substrate is also needed, an incubation substrate that does not mold, but with which the eggs have no direct contact.
For these are placed on a grid and therefore absorb the required moisture in the incubation period only through the air.
The soil substrate is supersaturated with water in this method to maintain a relative humidity of approximately 95 %.
However, the eggs themselves should not be exposed to excessive humidity.
Therefore, when incubating them without substrate, they are placed in a container that can be sealed airtight.
In this way, it can be achieved that the eggs get the moisture they need far more gently, without becoming too wet and retaining too much water.
As soon as the time of incubation approaches the end, the lid of the can is opened and the resulting condensed water is removed.
This step should be repeated after two or three days. The only important thing is that the humidity is always kept at about 95%.
2. incubate reptile eggs in the substrate – For slightly lower humidity.
It is important that the temperature as well as the humidity are generated as naturally as possible.
Because if one of these two values deviates too much, it is very likely that the offspring will not hatch or will die during the breeding process.
In chickens, for example, the hen sits on the laid eggs for about 21 days until the chicks hatch.
Reptiles on the other hand, do not hatch their eggs themselves!
In smaller reptile species it can be observed, e.g. small lizards, that they lay their eggs only very superficially in the soil.
Larger reptile species are more likely to dig a tunnel and thus lay their eggs deeper in the soil layer for incubation.
Of course, this means not burying the eggs, because the eggs need oxygen!
Therefore, it is fair to say that different types of reptiles, also need adapted parameters during artificial incubation.
But in general, the parameters of temperature and humidity are quite close in reptile species.
The temperature can also be used to influence the sex.
Bird eggs are usually incubated much warmer than reptile eggs.
The incubator should be able to simulate this ideally so that the temperature and also the humidity come as close as possible to the natural values.
In order to artificially incubate reptile eggs in the incubation substrate, it is particularly important to gently moisten the soil and also to re-wet if necessary. Here your own experience is worth its weight in gold to increase the hatching rate.
However, it is always important that the eggs do not get too wet and soaked.
“As an example, you definitely have too much moisture in the substrate if you squeeze it with your hand and water drips off!”
What is the difference in incubation between manual semi and automatic incubator?
Here, the first thing to consider is the so-called egg turning in the device.
Reptile eggs are not turned, because the yolk does not turn with it, the embryo lies on the yolk, thus the embryo would suffocate.
Only bird eggs are turned, the yolk of a chicken egg, for example, turns with it.
Thus, they should be rotated about a quarter of the longitudinal axis about 4 times a day.
This can prevent the chicks from sticking tightly to the eggshell and thus disrupting growth.
Thus, if an incubator is used for incubation and the eggs must be turned manually, they must be turned over by hand.
In semi-automatic incubators, the eggs are usually turned by a manual handle using a turning device for the device-specific turning inserts.
Automatic incubators take care of this step all by themselves, so there is no need for human intervention.
Thus, only the respective value is read on a display and intervened if necessary. Automatic incubation can therefore save time and labor.
Furthermore, the automatic devices also usually perform automated humidification of the air.
Since, as already emphasized, reptile eggs are not turned, a fully automatic incubator makes sense if you want it to take care of the humidity independently.
If the above tips for incubation are followed, reptile offspring can be successfully obtained.