So, it's my first time having a pet and it turns out that one of my turtles is a female. I have come to that conclusion after extensive researching and because of her behavior.

These days she has been acting weird. She showed all the signs of being gravid. Since I have put her in sand she has started to dig in it (just like I read that the females do so when they are in preparation to lay eggs).

I put her in sand just today and I'm scared to move her. I also feel that I might have harmed her previously when I tried to hold her down when she was being aggressive.

Currently she is in the nesting area that I prepared for her. But I feel that the area might be too small for her.


Can you please tell me in detail what I should do in the future?

I'm also scared to move her in order to see a vet. Please advise.

  • 2
    Welcome to Pets SE! As it stands your question is a bit broad - can you narrow down what specific issues/goals you want help with? Apr 30, 2019 at 10:39

1 Answer 1


Female turtles lay unfertilized eggs without ever having seen a male turtle. It is like chicken that lay eggs without "a chick in it".

If they do not have chance to lay these "empty" eggs, they will become ill and eventually die.

As far I know, the turtle wants to make the decision of when and where to lay her eggs herself. She should be able to reach the sand location at her own volition. You must not move her there. This could be difficult, but here you can see some examples how it could work. (Site is in German language, but all links in the pointed list show pictured solutions for sun and sand places. For example "Eiablageplatz" means "egg laying place")

(My own yellow bellied slider absolutely won't accept it if I catch it from the water. It is like a big predatory bird would take him as dinner...)

Another tricky thing is the composition of the "sand". For example if it is dry, the turtle can't dig a hole, because the sand runs back into the pit. To mix sand with soil is a solution for this. You can test the mixture, if you try to dig with a spoon in it: it should be easy to dig, but the walls of the hole should be stable.

The location of this place is essential, too. Your turtle is a smart one. She "feels" the water level and always chooses a place above that level, so her eggs won't become wet.

Another point, because you write "one of my turtles":
Your turtles, like mine are " loners" most of the time. This means they stay alone until they want to match and make little turtles. Because of that it will be tricky to keep them all together. If they are grown you need a lot of place if you want to keep all together. For example everyone needs a separate sun place (basking spot) because the biggest turtle will chase the smaller one off. But this biggest turtle wants to stay at the sun place as long as possible... so the smaller in fact can't use the sun place ever.

To transport my turtle to the vet I use an old towel. I water it and catch the turtle with one hand from water. In the other hand I hold the towel and wrap it around turtle. Then I put all together in a big bin and open the towel. The towel stays in bin as padding and water reservoir.

  • Thank you for replying. I did get what u we're saying but my turtle did let me carry it. Not just that I don't really think it can actually go to it's nesting area which I prepared cause not only is my turtle in it's tank currently (after 2 hours of being in the nesting area - got to know about this on YouTube) it's nesting area is pretty far and I just don't know what I should do. Can u suggest me something please? Should I leave it in the hands of a vet?
    – Kim Ji Gi
    Apr 29, 2019 at 13:10
  • I do not know an alternative to a permanent available nesting area. As I know, there should be no problem in other turtles... You should find a permanent solution, because this will be not the last or only time your turtle need to lay eggs. I hope, you will find a fitting solution for your circumstances. Apr 29, 2019 at 13:52
  • 5
    If you have sorrow about the health of your turtle, you should ask a vet. This site can not replace the knowledge of a turtle-educated vet! Apr 29, 2019 at 13:58

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