How and Why do you incubate your eggs the way do?

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by deebo, Oct 19, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. deebo

    deebo Power Seller Power Seller

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    2
    As the title says im curious as to why you incubate the way you do?

    What temps and what medium do you use? and more importantly why? Is there a specific reason or just because it is the way it has been done in the past? Not wanting to start an argument but i think eggs are designed to hatch under a wide range of conditions and just wondering why people choose the conditions they do.

    Looking forward to peoples responses.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  2. RSPcrazy

    RSPcrazy Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hawkesbury, NSW
    I incubate all my eggs, using the "over water" method. But instead of using 100% water, I use extremely wet vermiculite (this helps prevent water from splashing on the eggs, when moving the containers).

    I use to incubate my eggs directly in moist vermiculite, but I had to many problems with it. If I didn't get the water/vermiculite mix right for that species, e.g. mix it to wet or to dry, then I would end up killing my eggs. This became a real pain and I was always a bit paranoid, come egg season.

    The "over water" method, doesn't allow direct contact with the moist substrate, instead uses the moisture in the air in the container (which must be air tight for this method to work). So because the eggs aren't directly touching the substrate, it doesn't matter how much water I use, as the eggs can absorb the perfect amount of moisture from the humidity in the container.

    Since using this method, I haven't had any eggs die, due to incubation problems. No swollen eggs, from to much moisture and no shrivelled eggs, due to not enough moisture. I'm no longer paranoid during egg season, as I know I don't need to worry about them taking on to much or not enough moisture.

    That is how and why I incubate my eggs the way I do.
     
  3. NicG

    NicG Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    What do you consider "extremely wet" vermiculite? Do you have a visible water level (say) halfway up? What is the typical height of your vermiculite level?

    Why does the container lid need to be air tight? I haven't been doing that with my CTS eggs and maybe that's my problem. My thinking was by maintaining 90% humidity, that more accurately represents their natural environment. I had previously been thinking that my eggs were getting too wet, but maybe that's not the case.
     
  4. The Devil

    The Devil Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brisbane
    deebo has "stolen" one of my favorite sayings, Mother Nature has designed the eggs to hatch under a wide range of conditions and temps.

    I've been using the over water method for about 8 years and it's been great. My hatch rate is no different then when I was using vermiculite, it's just easier and less messy.

    As for "must have air tight container" for the over water method to work.....not so......there is no way my tubs are anywhere near air tight. The egg shelf sit about 15mm above the water, about 30mm in each tub. Over the 50 or 60 incubation days the water level usually drops from about 30mm to around 20mm or a bit below.

    As I rarely move the tubs I don't have to worry about the eggs being splashed and if they were to be splashed what does it matter. It's not like they are sitting in water, the water runs off.

    It will be interesting to read others thoughts about incubation temps.
     
  5. RSPcrazy

    RSPcrazy Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hawkesbury, NSW
    I do have a visible water level about halfway up the vermiculite. My vermiculite depth is between 20mm-30mm. My water level doesn't drop during incubation, as the water can't escape.

    The reasoning behind this method needing to be air tight, is the eggs are using the humidity from the air, instead of taking it directly from the substrate. So if the tubs not air tight, then you're loosing humidity, meaning the eggs are exposed to lower humidity levels and could dry out. That's the theory behind it anyway. But by the sounds of it, "The Devil" doesn't have any problems incubating with non air tight tubs.

    By the way, I open the tubs once a week for air exchange and every 1-2 days during the last 2 weeks.

    An exception to using non air tight tubs with this method, is having holes in the lid, but covering the holes with gladwrap, by placing gladwrap over the open tub, then closing the lid on top.
    The "gladwrap" allows for gas exchange, but doesn't allow moisture to pass through.

    @ "The Devil", is this by any chance the method you use? Also, do you add water to your incubator? or only in the tubs?

    I use to use the gladwrap method, but changed to fully air tight tubs, because one year, I didn't have the gladwrap tight enough on one tub (the eggs were due to hatch in a week, so they were loosing a lot of moisture). Humidity built up on the gladwrap, gathered at the lowest point and started to drip water droplets on one egg. All eggs were healthy with strong veins and I could see the pythons moving inside every egg, but by the time I noticed the dripping, that egg had swollen back up again, drowning the python inside.

    "NicG", If you're having problems using the non air tight method, then what extra harm could you cause using the air tight method? You never know, it could fix what ever problems you're having?

    If there's one thing I've learnt during 13 years of keeping reptiles. It's if you have a problem, don't continue doing the same thing, thinking it will go away on its own. It doesn't. Keep changing what you're doing until the problem is fixed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  6. The Devil

    The Devil Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I have no open containers of water in my incubator nor do my tubs have holes and I definitely don't use glad wrap.

    I doubt if snakes in the wild have access to glad wrap.

    I have heard keepers talking about airing their eggs, I don't. With not having a sealed lid there is air movement all the time. The temperature in my egg tubs usually varies by .2C and even at that small change in temp there is some contraction and expansion of the air in the egg tub.

    Yes, I do see humidity build up on the lids but I don't worry about it. If it drips so what, one or 2 drips is not going to kill an egg.

    I started using the over water method after being told about it by Solar17 in 2006. My hatch rate prior to 2006 using vermiculite was better than 90%.
    My hatch rate since changing to the water method is the same.

    Reptile eggs are TOUGH......
     

    Attached Files:

    • 4963.jpg
      4963.jpg
      File size:
      82.4 KB
      Views:
      183
  7. zulu

    zulu Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    4,102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Earth
    The apidites here get cooked in their own juice ( vermiculite poured in straight from sealed bag) ,the rest get a fair bit of water added by spraying and turning the vermiculite.
     
  8. NicG

    NicG Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks for the detailed info, RSPcrazy. I will definitely seal my holes going forward.

    Does anyone have a good procedure for 'reinflating' eggs without drowning them?
     
  9. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,941
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    on the coast
    Over water. I find it cheap, easy and works well.
    I was taught how to do it by the founder of the method, and can't fault it.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Pythons Rule

    Pythons Rule Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Central QLD
    I'm doing the same thing this season and for the same reason I am determined not to loose anymore babies. and to make sure the mould stay away I am using 2 methods.

    1. 5mils F10 in the water/verm mix (very wet)
    2. I powder the eggs as soon as they get put in the container with tinia powder.

    so far no mould, so far no eggs have died.
     
  11. Wing_Nut

    Wing_Nut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    WA
    Three sheets of clean toilet paper over the eggs, drip water on it until it's soaked up all it can and leave it for 48 hours.
     
  12. Jimie

    Jimie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morphett vale sa
    with the over water method how do you stop the eggs rolling if you move the containers in the incubator
     
  13. The_Geeza

    The_Geeza Suspended Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    Just sprinkle some verm mix around the base of the eggs
     
  14. Jimie

    Jimie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morphett vale sa
    bit of food for thought thankyou
     
  15. reptalica

    reptalica Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North east suburbs, Melbourne.
    Just curious as whether the above methods work the same with dragons as do snakes????

    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. Camm8

    Camm8 Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    With over the water. What do you do if some of your eggs are stuck together after hardening? All the pictures I see the eggs are all separated.
     
  17. mungus

    mungus Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,087
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Newcastle, NSW
    I agree 100%.
    The tubs dont need to be sealed 100%, i like a bit of air flow...........
    I drill a hole in the side of my container to put the temperature probe through so i know the temp in the MIDDLE of my clumps of eggs.
    The hole allows air in the container and out under the tinny gap between the top of the tubs and glass lid i use.
    Slight humidity builds up on the side of the tub and under the glass lid - perfect imo.
    I also turn the glass lid over every 2-3 days later in the incubation process and fan the eggs slightly to allow them fresh oxygen.
    Having them 100% sealed for the whole incubation proccess in small tubs can effect the eggs / hatchies.
    Seen clutches with deformed hatchies due to this error.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I personally wouldnt put that amount of water over any eggs !
     
  18. RSPcrazy

    RSPcrazy Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hawkesbury, NSW
    You can keep them in a clump if you want. I try to keep them clumped if I can, but sometimes they need to be separated.
     
  19. Shiresnakes

    Shiresnakes <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#B200FF;">Shir

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Miranda, Sydney, Australia
    Interesting, I've never heard of the F10, thanks for the tip .... I will have to add this to my process as an extra measure.Btw, we use both over water and vermiculite, but prefer the vermiculite as it's given us very positive results for years now and I have a small hole at vermiculite level :)
     
  20. xterra

    xterra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    QLD
    IMG_0390.jpg
    Camm8 I used have always been worried about tearing the eggs so just left them clumped. Similar to RSPcrazy with wet vermiculite and just a cheap tub from coles.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page