You may recall that we have two clutches of veiled chameleon eggs in our incubators. The first clutch of 51 eggs was laid near the end of February. The second clutch of 33 (larger) eggs was laid near the end of April.
You may also recall a discussion in our house where Mr. Summy and Child #2* expressed a desire to turn over all, or at least half, the eggs to the pet store for hatching. But I, a huge lover of challenges, wanted to try hatching the eggs at home, despite past failures.
At the risk of jinxing the entire operation, I'm here to report that ALL the eggs are still going strong! This is longest we've gone without losing any eggs. In the past, eggs have shriveled up or gone moldy! It's tough to keep the humidity just right in the incubator.
Here's the method I've come up with that seems to be working. (Knocking on wood!)
An egg is starting to shrivel, collapse in on itself.
Syringe + bottled water to the rescue! I dribble water from the syringe tip INTO THE SOIL AROUND the shrivelling egg, making sure to never get the egg itself wet.
Ah....all is right with the world. The egg all plumped up again. Sometimes it takes a couple of hours for the egg to absorb the water. Sometimes a couple of days.
Following are the variables I've changed with these two clutches:
1. the delivery of moisture to shrivelling eggs
We used to spray around the eggs in trouble. Now, I'm injecting the soil around the egg with water.
2. I'm draping a tea towel over the little window in each incubator. This keeps it darker in the incubator.
3. I'm "cooking" the eggs at a lower temperature--below 80.