How to Breed Female Florida Box Turtles
- 1). House one male with your female. Multiple males may fight over a female during breeding season, and one male should be able to competently mate with multiple females. Consult with your vet about the housing you have for your turtles to determine if there's anything you need to change. In a healthy environment, turtles will breed with no assistance from people. However, if the temperature is too low or the cage is too small the turtles will avoid mating.
- 2). Wait for the turtles to mate. The male will mount and approach the female. Florida box turtle mating can be quite dramatic and the turtles may appear to be fighting, especially to novice breeders. Unless a turtle is obviously injured or you see blood, however, there's no need to intervene.
- 3). Look for the signs that your female is gravid. Gravid means "with eggs." She may become restless and begin digging and looking for a nesting location. As long as there is adequate substrate in your turtle's cage, you don't need to provide her with a special nesting location. After your female has laid her eggs, gently dig in her nesting location to uncover the eggs. Remove them from the enclosure without shaking or turning them.
- 4). Incubate the eggs in a humid, warm incubator. Florida box turtle eggs should be incubated at 76 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures tend to produce primarily male hatchlings, while higher temperatures will yield females. Provide moss as a substrate for the eggs and mist the moss daily to maintain humidity. The eggs should be slightly moist but never wet or dry.
- 5). Begin checking the eggs for signs of hatching after 45 days. The normal incubation period is anywhere from 50 to 90 days, but this can vary greatly. Baby turtles may take a few days to hatch fully out of their eggs and should not be disturbed. They will be born with a yolk sac that they will need to completely absorb before leaving the incubator and eating.