Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cocoa laid 7 eggs yesterday

She abandoned her nest from a day before, although it looked pretty perfect for me. But little do I know what a tort mama's specific nest requirements are. She went to sleep early that day and woke up around 5am in the morning. Walked restless around and dug 2 more test holes until she finally decided to stay with one. I had some work to do and didn't watch her for an hour, and when I came back she had already everything covered!!! After only 1 hour this time. Wow.
I wanted to dig the eggs out, but she wasn't as exhausted as she usually is after egg laying and still took a sun tan and nibbled on her cuttle bone. I could not dig the eggs out while she was watching me, so I waited patiently until she finally went into her hide and fell asleep. I got a spoon and dug and damnit, the first egg cracked. It wasn't very deep like usual and I was wondering why she laid it so close to the surface. I carefully removed the soil with my hands and found a second egg. I thought that was it, because I couldn't see any more, but still removed some more soil and saw 3 more eggs some inches down. Once I had removed those, there was a 7th egg all the way down on the bottom of the pen. She must have dug very deep this time.
7 eggs, that was her biggest clutch so far, and she was not even exhausted.
I put all the eggs in the incubator and now I have 3 fertile eggs from the last clutches and the new 6 ones.
What I was wondering how she could carry all these huge eggs inside of her. They must have filled her out completely. What a wonder nature is.
I bathed her today and she feels a lot lighter than before now. Time to give the girl a good meal!

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