I incubate the tortoise eggs in home made incubators which can be constructed for under £60 each. A box measuring L60cm x W50cm x H50cm is constructed out of chipboard, and an 80w tubular heater is screwed diagonally on the inside base. A very sensitive, Habitat, ‘pulse proportional stat’ controls the heater.
A slatted shelf is fitted 20cm above the base to place the trays of eggs on, and a piece of baton is screw all the way round 5cm from the top and a perspex viewing lid is laid onto this. A chipboard lid is fitted on the top with a doweling peg in each corner to keep it secure.
The eggs are placed on a 3-4cm deep, soil/peat mixed bed, inside ice cream containers. Two ice cream containers are filled with water and kept topped up during incubation to maintain humidity at between 65%-80%. Temperature inside the incubator is maintained at 31.5°C – 32°C, hatching starts occurring at about 55 days.
Tortoise eggs incubating