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How Many Babies Do Turtles Have? How Many Eggs?

Ed Malaker

Turtles can be a lot of fun to keep as a pet, and they can be fun to watch if you have a small pond or a stream on your property where they live naturally. One of the most common questions we get is how many babies turtles have and how many eggs they lay. The answer depends on what type of turtle it is, but the number of offspring is usually pretty low. If you would like to learn more about these fascinating animals, keep reading while we look at several types of turtles to see how many eggs they lay and how many of those eggs hatch to help you be better informed.

divider-foodHow Many Babies Do Turtles Have?

baby turtle
Image Credit: Gauthier Pous, Pixabay

Bog Turtles

Lay 1 - 6 Eggs
  • Bog Turtles are a critically endangered species found in small areas of the northeastern United States, like Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It’s the smallest species of turtle in America, and it rarely grows larger than four inches. Its head is dark brown or black ad there will be a bright orange, red, or yellow spot on each side of the neck. These turtles typically lay one to six eggs, with the average being three. Older bog turtles tend to lay more eggs than younger turtles. The eggs must incubate for 42 – 80 days, and during this time, they are extremely vulnerable to predators, and flooding and other bad weather can also destroy them.

Musk Turtles

Lay 2 - 9 Eggs
  • You might hear people call the Musk Turtle a Stinkpot, which is its common name. These small turtles usually grow to about 5.5 inches, and you can find them on the east coast of the United States and parts of Canada. They have a pointed snout with a sharp beak and yellow lines on the neck. These turtles usually lay between two and nine eggs, and they have a long incubation period of 100 – 150 days. Unfortunately, these eggs only have a hatch expectancy as low as 15%.
Common Musk Turtle-Unsplash
Image credit: T. Sauvin, Unsplash

Painted Turtle

Lay 4 - 12 Eggs
  • The Painted Turtle is one of the easiest to find turtles in the United States. It’s common in the eastern United States and across much of the north. It’s also a popular pet that you can find available from many breeders. These turtles can grow to about ten inches long, and they have an olive to black shell, and there will be red or yellow stripes on their legs, neck, and tail. These turtles can lay 4 – 12 eggs, and the western turtles tend to lay more eggs (7 – 12) than the ones on the east (4 – 5).

Slider Turtles

Lay 10 - 30 Eggs
  • You can find the Slider Turtle in the southeastern United States. It has an olive to a dark brown shell, and some turtles may have yellow patterns and stripes. These turtles lay many more eggs than the turtles we’ve looked at so far, and you can expect between 10 and 30 eggs per clutch.

Snapping Turtle

Lay 25 - 80 Eggs
  • People don’t usually keep Snapping as pets, but you can find them in many smaller bodies of water in the central and eastern United States. They spend much of their time in the water but tend to be less afraid of humans since they are at the top of their food chain. They are also another breed that lays a large number of eggs, and you can expect it to lay between 25 and 80 eggs that will need to incubate for 9 – 18 weeks.
Alligator snapping turtle on the road
Image Credit: Sista Vongjintanaruks, Shutterstock

Box Turtles

Lay 1 - 7 Eggs
  • Box turtles are another common turtle in the United States, and you can find them almost anywhere except a few states in the northwest. These turtles usually lay between one and seven eggs per clutch, and it is a common pet. It’s also the state reptile in four states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas.

Mud Turtles

Lay 2 - 5 Eggs
  • The Mud Turtle is an aquatic breed that you can find throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, and even South America. It’s similar but slightly smaller than the Musk Turtle. These turtles tend to have between two and five eggs that usually incubate for six to twelve weeks.

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How Many Eggs Does a Sea Turtle Lay, How Many of Them Survive?

Sea turtles are large turtles off the coast that spend their entire lives in the water. Unfortunately, the sea turtles you can find in American waters, like the loggerhead, green sea turtle, leatherback, and others, are all on the endangered or threatened list. These turtles can be up to five feet long and will usually lay about 100 eggs in the warm sand, which will need to incubate for about 60 days. The turtles hatch in unison to overwhelm predators like wild dogs, foxes, raccoons, and more that might be waiting. These events are “turtle boils” because their movement resembles boiling water, and it helps to improve the survival rate.

Unfortunately, many experts agree that as few as one in 1,000 sea turtles will survive to reach maturity, which is part of the reason there are so few in American waters.

Turtle Eggs
Image Credit: David Evison, Shutterstock

How Often Do Turtles Lay Eggs?

Most turtles usually only lay eggs once per year, but a few breeds may do so twice per year. The Keeled Box Turtle is one example of an American turtle that can give birth more than once per year.

divider-foodSummary: How Many Eggs do Turtles Have

Most turtles produce about 4 – 6 eggs per clutch and lay their eggs once or twice per year in a hidden location like under a log or other debris. The downside is that many eggs have long incubation periods that expose them to multiple predators and weather events that can compromise the protection the shell offers and reduce the number of expected babies.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and found the answers you need. If we have helped you understand these animals better, please share our look into how many babies turtles have on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Jarib, Shutterstock

Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.