Cornwall family hatches nine snake eggs in a yoghurt maker

The eggs were found in compost and incubated in a yoghurt maker. Credit: Tim Fuge

A family from Cornwall have hatched nine grass snakes in a yoghurt maker after finding a clump of eggs in their garden.

Tim Fuge, from Tremar, near Liskeard, said he accidentally unearthed 10 snake eggs at the beginning of July while turning over the soil in his compost heap.

Having disturbed the eggs, he decided to incubate them in his yoghurt maker in an effort to save them.

Had he left the eggs in the compost heap, Mr Fuge said it was unlikely they'd have survived as turning the soil disrupts the temperature.

By incubating the eggs in the yoghurt maker, Mr Fuge was able to set the temperature to exactly 28 degrees giving them a greater chance of survival.

The family first noticed signs that the eggs were going to hatch last Wednesday (August 23), after seeing movements in the eggs.

Mr Fuge said nine out of the ten eggs hatched successfully.

The eggs started to hatch on Wednesday 23 August. Credit: Tim Fuge

Describing looking after them, Mr Fuge said he and his family enjoyed the process of learning how to rear them.

"It's been so much fun, and quite a good exercise in patience for my three boys," he said.

"We were really worried that they weren't going to hatch for a few weeks, and with the kids going back to school next week, we were thinking, will the school let them have a day off if we say the snake eggs are hatching?

"So it's a relief that it's all happened before they have to go back to school!"

While the whole family were invested in the hatching, Mr Fuge said for his seven-year-old son, who has been "obsessed with snakes for years", it was particularly exciting.

"They've all been interested, but Aidan, the seven-year-old, was kneeling on the kitchen worktop, gazing at the snakes eggs as they hatched, for about nine hours straight."

Mr Fuge said the grass snakes were about the length and width of a pencil when they hatched.

The grass snakes were about the size of a pencil when they hatched. Credit: Tim Fuge

The family released all nine grass snakes back into the wild on Sunday 27 August, near to where they were found.

Mr Fuge said they were "very lucky" to have been able to rear nearly all the grass snakes successfully, and are hoping to be able to see them again if they return to the garden.