Tonight, while tending to the eggs, I have to keep the sphagnum moss substrate in which they sit somewhat damp. So, every few days, check on it and usually have to moisten it. After doing that tonight, I decided to candle the eggs. Candling simply means holding an egg to a light source in order for the light to shine through the shell enough so you can see if the egg has been fertilized. I could not tell for sure on any of the eggs the last few times I looked although I thought I saw the red lines of veins in a couple of them. Tonight's inspection had different results. All of the eggs
So, the way it appears right now is that I may wind up with 5 hatchling Hermann's Tortoises sometime around February 25th or later. That would bring the total of baby tortoises that I have in my care to 7. I almost won't know what to do with them all. It is not legal, under federal law, to sell them, except for scientific or educational purposes, before they reach 4 inches in length. That will take a couple to a few years. I realize that under federal law, the intention of the law was not to keep hobbyist breeders from selling turtles or tortoises under 4 inches. The FDA clearly states, or once stated, on their website, that such sales were allowed for hobbyists. The thing is that NY State has a similar law and I am not too sure that they care if you are a hobbyist or not, chances are they might arrest someone for selling under sized turtles or tortoises. They make big deals over such silly things when local elections are upcoming and a district attorney wants to show how he is protecting the public from evil under sized chelonians. So, I likely will wait until they hit 4 inches before selling them to anyone other than someone who can show me they will keep them for scientific or educational purposes (and they have to promise to keep them alive and healthy, no weird experiments allowed). Hopefully I will still be around and in good health by the time they otherwise grow large enough to sell.
All the best,