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    Care of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

    Metal Maniac
    Metal Maniac

    Male Number of posts : 2242
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    Registration date : 2009-03-05

    Care of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) Empty Care of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

    Post by Metal Maniac on Fri 03 Apr 2009, 12:58

    Care of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

    The Eastern Box Turtle is one of the many common "pet" turtles. Unfortunately lots of people buy one thinking it can be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium with some lettuce and a water dish. Most of the turtles kept that way end up dead after a week or two. Their care is much more complex than this and I feel sorry for all the box turtles who have died because of this. Eastern Box Turtles are very active and intelligent creatures, therefore they will require a large cage, preferably outside. A 30 gallon tank is the minimum for one box turtle; for 2, a 75 gallon is needed. I recommend making some sort of box turtle pen in your back yard if you live where the climate is suttible for keeping one outdoors. Click here to find out how to make one.They live from south Main down through Georgia and then west to Michigan. I have tried many substrates and have found that the best ones are bark chippings and this product for reptiles called bed-a-beast. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.Bed a beast is messy and hard to clean up and change.The biggest disadvantage to bark chippings is that while your turtle is feeding it may ingest some of them. A good way to prevent your turtle from eating the bark chippings is to make sure your animal's food is always kept in a dish at feeding time. Which ever one you use you should mist there cage every couple days to make sure that it doesn't get to dry in there cage. Along with a substrate in your turtle's cage you will also need some sort of hide box, water dish and food dish. You can simply construct a hide box out of a small cardboard box, or there should be a variety of ones for sale at your local pet shop. You want a hide box that is big enough for your turtle to get into or under but not so big that your turtle will feel insicure. If you have room in your tank I would suggest sinking a shallow (no more than two inches deep) pan into your tanks substrate so that your turtle can bath and drink. You should change the water if it starts to look dirty or get in the habit of changing it once every week. All a food dish has to be is a small dish that can hold lettuce, blueberries and all those other vegtables that your turtle will eat. If you are using bark chippings you may want to put a nother food dish in the cage for insects. The tempeture in the cage should be between 70 and 85 fahrenhieit with a basking spot of 95. If it drops into the low 60's for to long your turtle will probobly start to hibernate. You can tell if this is happening if your box turtle has stopped eating and is starting to dig and burrow more.The heat can be provided with an under tank heat pad. Never use "hot rocks" as they can burn your turtle. I also think that full spectrum lighting would be good but isn't neccesary if you take your turtle out side often. You do need some sort of lighting though. Eastern Box Turtles need a large range of food. They are omnivores so they need plants and animals to eat. For the plant half they can be fed any green leafy vegetable, except iceberg lettuce which has few nutrients in it and should never be fed except as occasional treats. They also like apples, carrots, potatoes, yams, dandelion stems and mine really likes blueberries, along any other fruit or vegetable that you or I eat. Now, for the animal half, your turtle is going to need to be fed about 12 crickets or an earth worm about every 2 weeks. You can also offer your turtle mealworms, live pinky mice and beetles from your yard. One word of advice to the beginner: turtle keeper, do not feed your turtle the prepared food at your pet shop as a sole diet. For the most part, this was an overview of their care and not a full care sheet. If you still need info on box turtles, E-mail me or buy the book Box Turtles by Jordan Patterson, (TFH publications, 1994).

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