Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Redfoot's daily life

8 am in the morning: "Hey Mom, where is our breakfast? You are late today"

Peanut exercises his leg muscles

Oops, that hubba hut is already taken

If Mom can find us here behind the grass?

Let me see, if she has something to eat

Can you please let me sleep a bit longer? It's only 8am!

Do I see food? Ok, I forgive you Mom to wake me up so early.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Second day in Pebbles life

Pebbles is a bit bigger than a quarter. she was very tired this morning, when I got her out of the incubator. But she had to endure some more pictures I made of her.

Her yolk sac is only half the size of what it was yesterday.

She got a nice warm bath with her siblings this morning. (Pebbles in the foreground)

Now look at Georgy. Isn't this the same face expression? Georgy must be her Daddy. Pebbles has the same look like her Dad.

After the bath she was fully awake and I could shot a close up of her. Isn't she adorable?
But that was as much as she could take today and I brought her back into the warm moist incubator, so she can go on sleeping, absorb her yolk sac and get stronger.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Peanut and Pebbles size comparison

Peanut on the left, tomorrow 6 weeks old, and Pebbles, hatched today. Amazing how much they grow in only 6 weeks, isn't it.

Hello world!!!

Pebbles has hatched. She is still a bit deformed, but that will straighten out in a couple of days. I cleaned her off the eggshell and put her between moist sphagnum moss back in the incubator. She will stay there until her yolk sac is fully absorbed. She is a fast one, other tort babies need 2-3 days from pipping the egg until hatching. She did it in only 24 hours. What a strong girl she is!! And an early birthday present for me :)

The first 1/3 is done

6am Sunday morning, the egg has cracked and the head and front legs are to see. When I saw her head, the name Pebbles came to my mind. Don't know why, but that is how I will call her. I hope she is a girl.
She is so cute and was sleeping when I looked, so I covered it up again and let her rest.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

There is a hole in the egg

6:40 pm Saturday. We now have a little hole in the egg. The little guy obviously can't wait to get outta there.

The little guy made some progress

5pm Saturday evening, 8 hours after the egg pipped it looks like this:

Can you see the difference between this morning? It should be open tomorrow morning. The little guy obviously is working very hard with his egg tooth.

We have a pipping egg this morning

This morning I saw a pipped egg. I am sooooooo excited, and hope it doesn't take the little guy too long to get out of it. Can't wait to see the new baby.

9 am Saturday morning

It usually takes a couple of days until they fully hatch. I will make more pictures as the hatchling progresses.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The outdoor seasan has began

Yesterday night I left the adults outside. It didn't get cooler than 58 degrees and I felt it was safe. I cleaned Cocoa's indoor pen out and threw all the soil and mulch in the baby outdoor pen. Lots of work, adn I still have to do the same with Georgy's and Daisyboy's pen. Uhah, you never get workless with so many torts.

anyway, the babies are enjoying the fresh air outside also, but I take them in during the night. Too dangerous with all the birds, cats and other critters around, and also too cold for them still.

Today they enjoyed their morning bath again, but under the blue sky

Ain't they the sweetest little cuddlebugs?

After their bath they had breakfast, this morning a mix of turnip, American violet, dandelion, hollyhock leaves, hibiscus leaves, carrots, mushroom, tomatoes and a little bite banana. Like every day I put some calcium powder from a cuttlebone on top of the food.

This is their little plastic bin, where I house them right now - but not too much longer and it will be only for the night to sleep in the house.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An other embryo lost

This morning when i checked on the eggs, I found an other one leaking blood. I got the egg out of the container and opened it. What I found was shocking.

The embryo wasn't dead, it still moved. I couldn't believe it and thought, maybe I shouldn't have opened the egg? I feel so sick right now. This little embryo moved it's legs and head, damnit!!!!

I separated it from the yolk to which it was attached and threw it in the garbage. My heart is bleeding, I probably made a mistake by opening the cracked egg, but how could it have a chance to develop fully, when it was already leaking 4 weeks before the hatch date?

I will never do this again. I may have killed this guy for nothing.
Not sure, if I want to write more today. I am pretty much turned off.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The new baby outdoor pen is in work

Last week I started to build the baby outdoor pen, as it gets warmer now every day and from next weekend on the gang will be housed outside day and night.

I bought 100 border stones from Home Depot and build them in an oval shape, close to the patio, so I can have an eye on my babies all day long, when I sit in my office on the computer.

I just put everything on top of the grass and sprayed the grass with round up concentrate weed killer. It doesn't work very quickly, because the nights are still cool and round up needs at least temperatures in the 80s to work well, so I had to wait a week and repeated the process.

When the babies get bigger, I can just buy more stones and enlarge the enclosure further back.

This is what the grass looks like after one week of weed killer spray. It turns a bit yellow now and the second sprayer hopefully will work a bit faster. I mowed the lawn today and threw all the cut grass into the pen. This weekend I will get the indoor pens empty, which means, lots of soil and mulch that has to be moved. All this soil and mulch I will throw in the baby outdoor pen and fill it up, then till everything and hope the worms will help me to loosen the soil, where it's still grass and weeds. I plan to fill it up to the second row and plant some nice shady plants into it, mainly greens that they can eat and also some small bushes, where they can hide under during the summer heat. I am very excited to plant this pen and get the babies to enjoy it. I hope they feel very cozy in it, once it's done. We still have all the eggs in the incubator and I should get some more babies shortly.

Stay tuned and watch my baby outdoor pen getting in shape. I will post more pictures as I go on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Peanut is now 5 weeks old

Peanut has grown 2 rings in only 5 weeks. He is the first one in the morning that comes out of the sphagnum moss to look around, if the breakfast is ready yet. It looks so cute, when only his little head is looking out of the moss, while his shell is still buried. He now reacts to my voice and when I start talking to him, he looks in my direction and his little toothpick legs carry him to where the voice is coming from.

They get their bath every morning before feeding, but like you can see, Peanut gets already impatient and wants to leave. He knows food isn't far away now.

They are so hungry every morning and don't waste any time to wolf the food down. This morning they had a mix of romaine, carrots, yellow squash, green squash, white mushrooms and strawberries.

It always amazes me in which harmony they share the food and don't bother each bother like the big ones do.

Stay tuned, new babies are expected to hatch at the end of this week. The eggs look good so far and I hope we will get 4 more babies to see shortly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A day in Redfoot's life

This morning the babies Kiwi and Peanut had a bath together. They both enjoyed it very much and didn't want to get out of the bowl.

After the bath they both got hungry and ate breakfast like little piggies. In the afternoon it got very warm outside and I thought it may be a good idea to bring them outside to catch some sun.

Little Peanut tried to stay as close as possible to his brother Kiwi, but Kiwi doesn't seem to have any interest in his baby brother (or sister). I guess he was too long alone to find pleasure in having company now. I hope this will change in a few weeks, when some more babies are on the way.
The big guys also got a day in the yard to catch some sun rays and boy did they walk up and down all day long. I bet they will sleep like in heaven tonight.

Cocoa on the left, Georgy in the middle and Daisyboy on the right.

Now, it's getting cooler and I will have to bring them back into the house. Hopefully they can stay outside soon, I am ready to clean their pens out for summer.