Do not rotate the eggs - Reptile Forums

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Old 14-05-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default Do not rotate the eggs

We always here this in breeding sheets:

"Do not rotate the eggs vertically, it could kill the embryo".

I've been searching for a while and I cant find anything to for the basis of this advise. (other than the fact the reptile eggs have no chalazae)

Anyone know where this comes from? and are there recorded event than flipping the egg vertically would definitely kill the embryo?

Thanks.

ps. and yes, u guessed it. I have 3 eggs which were outside the snake coil and I just want to make sure I give them the best chance possible when I incubate them. The MUST have rolled away from the clump, so I need to know which way is up.
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Old 14-05-2010, 06:46 AM
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I know that chicken eggs must be turned a couple of times a day to develop properly. Reptile eggs, on the other hand, are usually laid and left in their original orientation. But I am not aware of any experimentation to see just how much a snake egg can be turned without damage and at what age an egg is most resistant to damage from turning. My gut feeling is that laying time is when they have to be most resistant.

I can tell you that once I accidentally dropped a snake egg three feet, and it went bouncing across the floor about 10 feet to the wall. That embryo did not survive. But in those circumstances a chicken egg shell would have just broken. So I don't call it a fair test.

And another time I was given some two day old snake eggs, and they sat on the floor of my car as I drove 40 miles to get home. Most of those eggs did not survive, but a couple hatched normally. On the other hand, the eggs were badly dehydrated when I got them, so I have no way of telling which eggs died of dehydration and which died of excessive movement.

For what it's worth, I'd just keep those three eggs in their present orientation.
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:06 AM
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Bird and reptile eggs are totally different. In bird eggs, the embryo is not attached to the shell - you will have seen from using a chicken egg that the yolk is loose and surrounded by the egg white. The yolk is the embryo, whichm if the egg had been fertilised, would eventually develop into the chick, with the albumen providing all the nutrients. The shell is also hard and so water loss/retention and oxygen transfer is not an issue. However, in reptile eggs, the embryo becomes attached to the side of the egg shortly after being laid. If the egg is turned, the embryo can become detached from the shell and die.
This is why bird incubators cannot be used for reptile eggs, as most of them have an automatic turning mechanism so that the egg is turned regularly. If this happened with reptile eggs they would all die.
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:59 AM
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You can incubate reptile eggs in any orientation quite a few of my corn eggs have been presented vertically stuck on to others in a mass.

Its just important not to turn them or move them from that presentation once incubation starts.

I believe it is possible to adjust presentation on a fresh egg so long as it isnt shuddered too much so the rolling would not be an issue if the egg was a few mins from laying but as i said once incubation starts and the egg is settled it needs to be left alone.
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Old 14-05-2010, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fzb2099 View Post
We always here this in breeding sheets:

"Do not rotate the eggs vertically, it could kill the embryo".

I've been searching for a while and I cant find anything to for the basis of this advise. (other than the fact the reptile eggs have no chalazae)

Anyone know where this comes from? and are there recorded event than flipping the egg vertically would definitely kill the embryo?

Thanks.

ps. and yes, u guessed it. I have 3 eggs which were outside the snake coil and I just want to make sure I give them the best chance possible when I incubate them. The MUST have rolled away from the clump, so I need to know which way is up.
In one sense it stands to reason that an egg has evolved to not being turned, then you shouldn't turn it, and reading about the structure of reptile eggs, I can see how turning could damage them, as Ian says above. However, I've never seen any research which provides evidence that turning eggs kills the embryo, and if so, why.

It seems to me that the advice not to turn reptile eggs is based on assumption rather than proof, although it's probably a correct assumption.

What is needed is someone to take a whole load of eggs and turn some of them to differing extents and at differing times during incubation, and compare hatching rates with a control sample.
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Old 14-05-2010, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Harris View Post
In one sense it stands to reason that an egg has evolved to not being turned, then you shouldn't turn it, and reading about the structure of reptile eggs, I can see how turning could damage them, as Ian says above. However, I've never seen any research which provides evidence that turning eggs kills the embryo, and if so, why.

It seems to me that the advice not to turn reptile eggs is based on assumption rather than proof, although it's probably a correct assumption.

What is needed is someone to take a whole load of eggs and turn some of them to differing extents and at differing times during incubation, and compare hatching rates with a control sample.
I am pretty sure that it has nothing to do with an assumption, but due to the physiology of the egg - by being turned the embryo becomes detached from the shell. The shell is porous to allow gas and water vapour transfer, with blood vessels attached to the shell itself. When I get 5 minutes I'll have a look in one of my old uni textbooks, I am sure it was in there. To clarify, turning vertically has nothing to do with it, turning full stop can cause the embryo to detach.
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Old 14-05-2010, 03:48 PM
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The only thing I'd dispute with the comment above is:

The embryo in a reptile egg sits on the underneath the top surface of the egg. Hence, it is wrong to say that flipping the egg with detach the embryo (which will then be at the bottom)

Most people say that flipping it causes the embryo to sit at the bottom and then is "drowned" in its yolk. Is there any evidence of this?

And if the drowning is true, then there must be a maximum degree of rotation before it drowns. picture this, embryo is on top, u turn the egg 10 degree, it's still relatively top. U turn it 90 degree, the egg is on a side wall.. will it drown? a full 180 degrees and its definitely in the bottom.

Firstly, I dont really believe the drowning theory. Its unproven and to simplistic. Surely evolution has accounted for snake eggs to be subject to some movement. Imagine is a female's nest is attacked by predators. In her defense of the eggs, moving her body and distending the coil, at least one eggs would wobble.

opinions anyone?

ps. Its healthy that we are discussing this. Too many care tips have no scientific basis. I hope someone with the means picks up on this and tries to prove the theory, one way or the other.
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian14 View Post
Bird and reptile eggs are totally different. In bird eggs, the embryo is not attached to the shell - you will have seen from using a chicken egg that the yolk is loose and surrounded by the egg white. The yolk is the embryo, the yolk is the food for the embryo whichm if the egg had been fertilised, would eventually develop into the chick, with the albumen providing all the nutrients. The shell is also hard and so water loss/retention and oxygen transfer is not an issue.if this were true the chick would suffocate long before it hatched! However, in reptile eggs, the embryo becomes attached to the side of the egg shortly after being laid. If the egg is turned, the embryo can become detached from the shell and die.
This is why bird incubators cannot be used for reptile eggs, hovabators are for birds as most of them have an automatic turning mechanism so that the egg is turned regularly. If this happened with reptile eggs they would all die.
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ian14 View Post
I am pretty sure that it has nothing to do with an assumption, but due to the physiology of the egg - by being turned the embryo becomes detached from the shell. The shell is porous to allow gas and water vapour transfer, with blood vessels attached to the shell itself. When I get 5 minutes I'll have a look in one of my old uni textbooks, I am sure it was in there. To clarify, turning vertically has nothing to do with it, turning full stop can cause the embryo to detach.
That sounds fine in theory, as does the 'drowning in yolk' theory, but is there any evidence to prove an effect?
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Old 18-05-2010, 02:31 PM
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I am with Ian on this one. It is about detachment of blood vessels. Reptile eggs are polar.

Eggs laid in any orientation can hatch as long as the orientation isn't changed after they are laid. If you have 3 separate from the others incubate them in the orientation they are currently in.
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