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RE: OK, any ideas?

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Posted by: relic37 at Fri Oct 29 13:24:37 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by relic37 ]  
   

Linda,

You've gotten lots of advice here. All I will add is my own personal experience. I'm not a fan of keeping baby box turtles in a nicely landscaped terrarium - not because it isn't a wonderful duplication of a natural environment, but because it makes it too hard to adequately judge how things are really going.

I keep my baby box turtles in opaque Tupperware-type under-bed boxes. I line the floor of the boxes with loose single-ply paper towels - the turtles can easily get underneath if they feel the need to hide. I keep a 100 watt heating element over one end and shoot for 85 degrees underneath it. The other end has half the original box lid in place to keep the humidity decent and drafts out.

I soak the turtles everyday in warmish water for drinking and to aid defecation. While they soak, I clean out the plastic box. After 15 minutes, I return them to a cleaned-out box with fresh moist paper towels and a plethora of fresh super-worms (either small or medium, depending on the turtles size.) Occasionally, I toss in some rolly-pollys. There is also some small tomato bits and slices of banana, which they usually ignore, but occasionally eat. Based on growth rates and size of the turtles, some eat lots, some eat just a little, and others have never been observed eating at all. But they all exhibit some signs of growth in the shell laminae.

The main advantage of this method of husbandry is the ease of cleaning the cage, and determining if they are eating. You count out the worms when you introduce them, and then count the left-overs the next day to see how things went. There is no place for the worms or rolly-pollys to hide (single-ply paper towels only - two-ply will separate when moist and allow the worms to crawl in-between the plys and hide), if they are gone, they were eaten. And left-over veggies and fruits do not get covered in soil/mulch/litter.

This method has worked well for me, but is certainly not the only way to achieve good results. Babies will be moved outside in the spring into a pen where they will start the next phase of life.

Good luck...


   

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