Incubating soft-shelled eggs often involves placing the egg directly on a substrate that holds moisture well, such as vermiculite or perlite. Separating the eggs from the substrate by using egg trays can help save you time and prevent a number of risks. While it might seem like an unnecessary extra step and cost, we’ll explain how their use can provide a huge benefit to you and your hatchling crested geckos, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, or other reptiles.
Innovation In Incubation
So what exactly are egg trays? These plastic discs contain numerous narrow grooves into which eggs are placed. The grooves are lined with small bumps which secure the egg and keep it from being displaced from its original position. The entire disc is also covered with small holes which allow the free movement of air. The trays are also conveniently sized: the smaller size fits perfectly into a standard 8-ounce round container, and the larger size fits into a 128-ounce round container.
Improving on Traditional Techniques
If you nestle eggs directly onto the incubation substrate, maintaining the correct moisture level is key. Too much water in the substrate, and your eggs are at risk of mold growth or bloating from excessive water absorption, and too little water will lead eggs to desiccation; any of these can fatally damage a developing embryo. It can be both difficult and time-consuming to not only obtain, but also maintain that perfect ratio of water to substrate. So why not completely remove it from the equation?Egg trays separate the eggs from the media entirely, bypassing the need to maintain properly moistened substrate. Instead, the incubation substrate can be saturated with water at no risk to the eggs. This might seem like a minor convenience, especially if you aren’t incubating many eggs. However, there’s the additional benefit in that the fewer times you need to open up the container to access the substrate, the fewer times you are disrupting the egg. Some reptiles are at risk of impaction when hatching directly on substrate. Crested geckos, which shed within hours of hatching, are a good example. With the gecko wet from recently hatching, substrate easily sticks to their scales. During the first new shed the gecko will eat it, along with any stuck pieces of substrate. Even a relatively small quantity of consumed vermiculite or perlite can prove fatal for a newborn lizard.
Using The New Trays
For all of their advantages, egg trays are extremely simple to use. Simply place a layer of incubation substrate at the bottom of the appropriately sized container (don’t forget to ensure that the container has holes to allow airflow), saturate the substrate with water, and place the disc--held up by four legs--right over the substrate. While water can be used in place of a substrate, it is not recommended due to the risk of free-standing water splashing up, hitting an egg, and potentially weakening the eggshell. As water evaporates from the substrate, it creates a humid environment within the container, and the eggs draw water from the moist air.Egg trays provide a simple and inexpensive way to improve conditions for your incubating eggs. By keeping eggs separate from the incubation substrate and nestled in a secure groove, you remove the need to maintain the right ratio of substrate to water, eliminate the risk of impaction, and reduce how often you have to disturb them. [button-green url="https://new.joshsfrogs.com/c/egg_incubation" target="_blank" position="Conter"]Buy Incubation Trays Here[/button-green]