Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Hatching Day

As you may recall, Mrs. Snapping Turtle chose the little bank in the barnyard, near the ring, as the best spot to lay her eggs back in late May.  I made a note of the spot, and watched the calendar as the average 60-90 days of incubation passed (see my post from 5/19/2011 for a photo of Mom Turtle).
Well, this past Sunday, I was cleaning tack and noticed a chicken running around with what I thought was a chunk of trimmed horse hoof in her beak . . . but wait!
The little black chunk turned out to be a (not injured) newly hatched snapping turtle!  After shooing the chickens away, I counted 18 total hatchlings.  They are perfect miniature versions of the adult turtles.
Turtles need to stay within their home habitat, which is small (never pick up a turtle in one place, drive home with it, and release it there -- it will not survive in a strange location).  BUT, since these were brand new turtles facing a tough commute past hungry chickens and horses' hooves in the pasture, I gave them a lift down the hill and released them near the edge of the wetlands.