From Egg To Baby Box Turtle – Breeding Tips And Tricks

Are you interested in breeding box turtles? Breeding box turtles can be a rewarding experience as you watch the eggs hatch and the baby turtles grow. In this article, we will share tips and tricks for breeding box turtles and taking care of the eggs and hatchlings. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned turtle breeder, you’ll find useful information that will help you successfully raise healthy baby box turtles from egg to adulthood. So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of box turtle breeding!

From Egg to Baby Box Turtle - Breeding Tips and Tricks

From Egg to Baby Box Turtle – Breeding Tips and Tricks

Breeding box turtles can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. From incubating the eggs to watching the hatchlings emerge, there are many stages to consider. In this article, we will provide you with tips and tricks for successfully breeding box turtles.


Before breeding box turtles, it is important to ensure that they are healthy and well-fed. Box turtles require a varied diet consisting of insects, fruits, and vegetables. It is also important to provide them with a suitable enclosure that includes a basking area, hiding places, and a substrate that is easy to dig in.

Once your turtles are healthy and comfortable, you can start to prepare them for breeding. This involves providing them with a nesting area that is separate from their main enclosure. The nesting area should be filled with a suitable substrate such as sand or soil, and it should be kept moist to encourage digging.


Box turtles mate in the spring and summer months. Male turtles will often exhibit aggressive behavior towards females during this time, but this is normal. If you have multiple females, it is recommended to have only one male per enclosure to prevent fighting.

When the male is ready to mate, he will approach the female and begin to circle her. He will then mount her from behind and begin to mate. Mating can last for several hours, and it is important to allow the turtles to mate naturally without interference.

Egg Laying

After mating, the female will begin to search for a suitable nesting site. This is why it is important to provide a separate nesting area. The female will dig a hole in the substrate and lay her eggs. The number of eggs can vary, but it is common for box turtles to lay between 3 and 6 eggs.

Once the eggs have been laid, it is important to remove them from the nesting area and place them in an incubator. This will ensure that the eggs are kept at a consistent temperature and humidity level. The incubation period can vary depending on the species of box turtle, but it is typically between 60 and 90 days.


When incubating box turtle eggs, it is important to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level. This can be achieved by using an incubator or by creating a makeshift one using a plastic container and a heat source.

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The ideal temperature for incubating box turtle eggs is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level should be around 80%. It is important to monitor the temperature and humidity level regularly to ensure that they remain consistent.


As the incubation period comes to an end, the eggs will begin to hatch. This can take several days, and it is important to allow the hatchlings to emerge naturally without interference.

Once the hatchlings have emerged, they should be placed in a separate enclosure that includes a suitable substrate, hiding places, and a basking area. They should be fed a diet consisting of small insects and finely chopped fruits and vegetables.

Benefits of Breeding Box Turtles

Breeding box turtles can be a rewarding experience that allows you to learn more about these fascinating creatures. It can also help to conserve the species by increasing their numbers in captivity.

Furthermore, breeding box turtles can also be a lucrative business. The demand for captive-bred box turtles is high, and many breeders are able to make a profit by selling their hatchlings.


Breeding box turtles can be a complex process, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it can be a rewarding experience. By providing your turtles with a suitable environment, allowing them to mate naturally, and incubating the eggs correctly, you can successfully breed box turtles and watch them grow from eggs to hatchlings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my box turtle is ready to breed?

Box turtles typically reach sexual maturity between 4-5 years old, although some may take longer. Males will have longer, thicker tails, and concave plastrons, while females will have shorter, thinner tails and flat plastrons. If you have multiple turtles, watch for courtship behavior such as circling, head bobbing, and biting. A female turtle will also lay eggs if she is ready to breed.

It is important to note that breeding turtles should only be done by experienced keepers, as it requires special care and attention to ensure the health and safety of the turtles and their offspring.

What is the best way to prepare a breeding enclosure for my box turtles?

The breeding enclosure should be spacious enough for both turtles to move around comfortably, and should include a basking area, a water source, and plenty of hiding spots. The enclosure should be kept at a temperature of 80-85°F during the day and 70-75°F at night. Substrate should be kept moist, but not too wet, to allow for egg laying. Provide a variety of foods, including live food such as earthworms and crickets, to ensure optimal health and breeding success.

It is important to thoroughly clean and disinfect the enclosure before and after breeding to prevent the spread of disease and parasites. Also, make sure to monitor the turtles closely during breeding to ensure they are not fighting or injuring each other.

How do I know when my box turtle is ready to lay eggs?

The female turtle will typically exhibit nesting behavior, such as digging in the substrate, and may become restless or agitated. She may also refuse food and become less active. It is important to provide a suitable nesting area, such as a container filled with moist soil or sand, in the enclosure. The nesting area should be at least 6 inches deep and should be kept at a temperature of 80-85°F. Make sure to provide the female turtle with privacy during this time, and do not disturb the nesting area until after the eggs have been laid.

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After laying the eggs, the female will cover them with substrate and may become less agitated. It is important to carefully remove the eggs and incubate them in a separate container to ensure their survival.

What is the best way to incubate box turtle eggs?

The eggs should be incubated in a separate container filled with damp vermiculite or perlite at a temperature of 80-85°F. Make sure the substrate is moist, but not too wet, and check the eggs regularly for signs of mold or dehydration. The eggs should hatch in approximately 60-90 days, depending on the species.

It is important to avoid rotating or moving the eggs during incubation, as this can cause damage to the developing embryos. Also, make sure to keep the incubation container clean and free of any contaminants or parasites.

What are some common health issues to look out for in baby box turtles?

Baby box turtles are susceptible to a variety of health issues, including respiratory infections, shell deformities, and nutritional deficiencies. It is important to provide a suitable enclosure with proper temperature and humidity levels, as well as a varied diet that includes calcium and vitamin supplements. Monitor the turtles closely for any signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal behavior. If you suspect your turtle is ill, seek veterinary care immediately.

It is also important to avoid purchasing wild-caught turtles, as they may carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to both the turtles and their owners. Always buy from a reputable breeder or pet store.

From Egg to Baby Box Turtle - Breeding Tips and Tricks 2

Box Turtles Hatching and What to Expect

In conclusion, breeding box turtles is a rewarding and exciting experience that requires patience, dedication, and attention to detail. By following the right tips and tricks, you can ensure that your box turtle eggs hatch successfully, and that your baby turtles grow up healthy and strong.

Remember to provide your turtles with a suitable habitat, including a basking area, hiding spots, and a variety of foods. Keep the temperature and humidity levels consistent, and monitor your turtles’ health regularly. With these measures in place, you can ensure that your turtles thrive and live long, happy lives.

Breeding box turtles is a great way to contribute to the conservation of these fascinating creatures, and to share your love of turtles with others. Whether you’re a seasoned breeder or just starting out, there’s always more to learn and discover about these amazing animals. So why not give it a try and see where your journey takes you?

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