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Saw an Eastern Painted turtle laying eggs yesterday on a path I live on. They were laid in a bad spot. How long before they hatch? I want to be there so I can move them to safety.

Hi Wendy,

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner; I was out of town and offline for a few days.

The incubation period is roughly a little over two months, but it can vary quite a bit depending on local temperatures, and could go as long as three months.  You won't know when the eggs hatch until hatchlings begin to emerge from the nest site, so about the best you can do is to keep a close eye on the nest at about the 65 day mark and keep watching it until day 85 if there's been no activity yet.  Don't disturb the nest and don't dig up the eggs.  This is very important, because moving the eggs can kill the hatchlings unless you're very careful.  Good luck, and let me know if I can help further with this.


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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