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Turtles/Turtle eggs


QUESTION: Hello, I'm sorry for bothering you. I ride horses and have a thoroughbred named Troy. So anyway, they were cleaning out the outdoor arena and found turtle eggs, their either . The barn  manager gave them to me because I have six turtles (3 red eared sliders, 2 Mississippi maps, 1 yellow bellied cooter) so I know how to care for them, I've had them since they were the size of a penny, now their each over 5 inches. One is a foot long though, I got her when she was a juvenile. I have heat lamps, hear pads  and spare cages. I need to know how warm I should keep them and things like that. Thanks a lot!

ANSWER: Where the heck is this exactly? Is this near the coast or a marsh area? They should have been LEFT alone in place, because chances are because they were moved, if these are reptile eggs, that they are dead now or soon will be with you carting them around in a bucket. Reptile eggs are not to be turned over! If these are turtle eggs, they look like they could be terrapin or snapping turtles, which all would be illegal in your state to possess as I recall. You need to contact Harriet Forrester, Turtle Rescue of New Jersey, 176 Stillwater Rd., Hardwick NJ 07825 908-362-7747 to turn them over to someone who knows what to do with them if they are too have ANY chance of living. AND YOU NEED TO CONTACT HER TODAY! If they're still alive now, they have only a few hours to stay alive if you don't know what you are doing to care for reptile eggs already. Don't be selfish with their lives and foolishly try to keep them. Turn them over to an expert who already knows what to do if you want to save their lives.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you, they were gonna get crushed in the ring so they were given to me, my grandpa actually happens to be an expert, he studies turtles.

Hmm. well unless he's a biologist or wildlife rehabilitator then I'd doubt it, and if he's not then keeping those eggs is still most likely illegal in NJ because they look like Snapper or diamondback terrapin eggs to me. You need to get in touch with the wild turtle rehabilitator I gave you the information for. I think what you're not getting is that regardless of whether you think your grandfather is an "expert", if he is not a state accredited biologist or rehabber, then it is illegal to keep them.  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research and easily find the answer yourself. I have stringent standards that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me ANY question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer EACH of those questions to provide that background will result in your question being REJECTED. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and intermediate-advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,,, and a Dept of State Health Services certified animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house. I am most experienced in Chelonia (turtles&torts) with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata (lizards & snakes) with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question, in general, that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes first with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer.


I am an amateur herpetologist, with 20+ years experience in reptiles. I am a reptile rescuer and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service. I have medical and scientific resources available, and have had to learn herp medical care over the years. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct a few in the past, as it related to reptiles. My specific area of expertise is in Chelonians ( primary- Box Turtles ), Phrynosoma ( Horned Lizards ), and Crotalids ( primary- Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes ); though I have some knowledge and/or experience also with aquatic turtles ( primary- Red Eared Sliders ), tortoises ( primary-Sulcata and Horsfieldii ), monitors ( primary- Savannah ), many other smaller lizards, and with some colubrid snakes.

I am currently the caretaker of 5 Horned Lizards, 22 Box Turtles, 18 aquatic turtles, 7 fire Bellied Toads, 3 Green Iguanas, 1 Spiny Lizard, 1 Bullsnake, 5 Eastern Ratsnakes, 4 Great Plains x Eastern Ratsnakes, 1 Albino Great Plains Ratsnake, 1 Massasauga Rattlesnake, 1 Leopard Gecko, 7 Fox Squirrels, 2 Deer Mice, 2 Hispid Cotton Rats, 3 Merriam's Pocket Mice, 1 Cotton-Tail, 1 Former racing pigeon, and 1 Budgie. Previously: Leopard Geckos, Golden Gecko, African White-Spotted Wall Gecko, Mediterranean Geckos, Bahama Anoles, Ca. Kingsnake, Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Russian Tortoise, Savannah Monitor, and Eastern Cotton-tail rabbits.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My 20+ yrs of hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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