Skip to Content

What to Do If a Turtle Lays Eggs in Your Yard: A Guide to Ensuring Their Safe Hatching and Release.


If you’re lucky enough to have a turtle lay eggs in your yard, it can be an exciting and unique experience. However, it’s important to know what to do to ensure the safety and survival of the eggs and hatchlings. Here are some tips on what to do if a turtle lays eggs in your yard.

Firstly, it’s crucial to protect the nest from predators, such as raccoons, skunks, and crows. You can do this by fencing off the area or using a wire basket to cover the nest. It’s important to choose wiring big enough for the turtles to walk through once hatched and small enough to protect them from predators. Additionally, avoid using pesticides, fertilizers, and other lawn chemicals near the eggs as they may damage them.

Key Takeaways

  • Protect the nest from predators by fencing off the area or using a wire basket to cover it.
  • Avoid using pesticides, fertilizers, and other lawn chemicals near the eggs.
  • Call animal control if you’re unsure about what to do or if you’re unable to protect the nest.

What to Do When a Turtle Lays Eggs in Your Yard

If you find a turtle nesting in your yard, it’s important to take action to protect the eggs and hatchlings. Here are some steps you can take:

Step 1: Identify the Species of Turtle

Different species of turtles require different nesting sites and habitats. Identifying the species of turtle that has laid eggs in your yard can help you provide the best care and protection for them.

Step 2: Protect the Nesting Site

It’s important to protect the nesting site from disturbances. Mark the area with a fence or flags to prevent accidental damage. Avoid mowing or walking in the area, and keep lights off at night to prevent predators from finding the nest.

Step 3: Protect the Eggs

Turtle eggs are vulnerable to predators and environmental factors. Cover the nest with a wire mesh or screen to protect it from small predators like raccoons, skunks, and opossums. Avoid handling the eggs as it can damage them.

Step 4: Protect the Hatchlings

After hatching, baby turtles need to make their way to water. Provide a clear path for them to follow and protect them from predators.

Step 5: Provide Suitable Habitat

Turtles need suitable habitat to thrive. Consider providing a nearby pond or wetland for the turtles to live in once they hatch.

Step 6: Protect from Predators

Predators can pose a threat to both nesting turtles and hatchlings. Consider installing a predator-proof fence or using motion-activated lights to deter predators.

Step 7: Avoid Disturbing the Nest

Avoid disturbing the nest as much as possible. Disturbances can cause stress to the nesting turtles and damage the eggs.

Step 8: Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If you’re unsure about how to care for the nesting turtles and their eggs, seek professional help from a wildlife expert or animal control. They can provide guidance on how to best care for the turtles and their eggs, and may even be able to relocate the nest to a safer location.

Remember, turtles are an important part of the ecosystem and protecting their nesting sites and eggs is crucial for their survival. By following these steps, you can help ensure the survival of these amazing creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for turtle eggs to hatch?

Turtle eggs typically take between 60-90 days to hatch. The exact time can vary depending on the species of turtle and the temperature of the environment. It’s important to keep the eggs safe and undisturbed during this time to give them the best chance of hatching successfully.

What do I do if I find a baby snapping turtle in my yard?

If you find a baby snapping turtle in your yard, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Snapping turtles are capable of defending themselves, and the baby turtle will likely find its way to a nearby body of water on its own. If you’re concerned about the turtle’s safety, you can move it to a nearby body of water, but do not handle it roughly or try to keep it as a pet.

How can I protect turtle eggs in my yard?

To protect turtle eggs in your yard, it’s important to keep the area around the nest undisturbed and free from predators. You can use a wire basket or other protective covering to keep predators away from the eggs while still allowing air and sunlight to reach them. Avoid using pesticides or other chemicals near the nest, as these can harm the eggs.

How many eggs do turtles typically lay?

The number of eggs that a turtle lays can vary depending on the species and the size of the turtle. Some species may lay only a few eggs, while others can lay dozens or even hundreds of eggs in a single clutch. It’s important to keep in mind that not all of the eggs in a clutch will hatch successfully.

Do turtles come back after laying eggs?

After laying their eggs, many female turtles will leave the nest and return to their normal habitat. However, some species may remain near the nest to protect the eggs or to help the hatchlings reach the water. It’s important to avoid disturbing the nest or the surrounding area during this time to give the eggs the best chance of hatching successfully.

Is it safe to move turtle eggs?

Moving turtle eggs can be risky, as it can disrupt the delicate balance of temperature and humidity that is necessary for the eggs to hatch successfully. If you need to move turtle eggs for any reason, it’s important to do so carefully and with the guidance of a wildlife expert to ensure that the eggs remain safe and healthy.