Family Gets a Massive Surprise After a Turtle Lays Eggs in Their Compost

The family says they'll be guarding the eggs until they hatch.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jun. 6 2024, Published 1:20 p.m. ET

Woman documents turtle laying eggs in compost
Source: cortneytayla/TikTok

While most of us may look at a mountain of freshly delivered mulch or compost and see hours of backbreaking work, one sweet mama-to-be saw a safe place to start her family. A snapping turtle laid her eggs in a family's compost pile, turning their driveway into an incubation area for the growing family.

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Fortunately for the rest of us, the woman whose house it was documented the entire process, updating her fans on TikTok each step of the way. You can find out what happened to the baby turtles and their mom below.

turtle lays eggs in compost
Source: cortneytayla/TikTok
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A turtle laid eggs in a family's compost pile.

A Massachusetts family was shocked to see a massive snapping turtle bedding down in their newly delivered compost, which is what likely made Courtney Tayla grab her phone and start recording. She and her children — one of which gave the turtle the hilarious moniker Croissant Boston — delighted in feeding the reptile during her stay.

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Once it was time for Croissant Boston to hit the road, the family learned that she had left a little something behind for them to remember her by: 38 eggs! That's right, the mama-to-be laid her eggs and then took off, leaving Tayla and her family to figure out the rest. After hours of research and a sleepless night, Tayla said she discovered that the eggs were going to need a lot more TLC than she was capable of giving them, and she took them to a local wildlife center.

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While this news may have been distressing to Tayla's children, she said it was the best thing they could do for all those babies since they need very specific conditions to successfully incubate and hatch. That doesn't mean that the family is without experience in this area since the OP joked several times about how this wasn't the first time an animal mama left their babies in her care. Tayla explained that a similar thing happened with a hawk just one year prior.

As for now, the turtle eggs are safely in the hands of an experienced wildlife rehabber, and the Tayla family children have been promised that they can return to see all 38 of those babies when they hatch and are ready to be released into the wild. Talk about a happy ending!

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How long do turtle eggs take to hatch?

In her video, Tayla also stated there's a 60-day incubation period for these eggs. As for whether or not it's typical for them to spend those two months buried in a compost pile in someone's front yard, I had to do a quick Google search to see exactly whether the Tayla family's situation was an unusual one.

According to the Massachusetts government website, it's actually quite common for turtles to nest from May to July, and their preferred habitat does tend to be residential yards or fields.

Interestingly enough, it sounds like the Taylas may not have to say goodbye to the mama-to-be forever since some turtles like to return to the same spot when it comes time to lay their eggs each year.

Tayla better keep that wildlife rescue's number on speed dial because she may have a whole new batch of eggs to contend with next year when Croissant Boston makes her triumphant return for another round of egglaying.

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