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New baby box turtles


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#1 soquile

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:31 PM

I am going to aquire two baby box turtles. I had them when I was a kid but they were adults at the time, easy to keep and feed. I am not sure as to what to feed babies. I have experiance with turtles and tortoises as I have 6 RES, a sulcata and a desert tortoise. These babies will be kept inside in an aquarium with the sides blocked out so they don't feel like there is somewhere else to go. Substrate will be peat, moss,orchid bark, hidy log and water dish along with the proper lighting. I will find out what they have been eating but any other suggestions would be great. Thank you.

#2 TurtleDean

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:03 PM

Waxworms, peas, and strawberries is my suggestion, but box turtles are very picky eaters, you will find one eats one thing the other eats this and that and so on. Strawberries and peas are a good bet, and waxworms too.

#3 TerryO

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:06 PM

Most boxie hatchlings stay hidden under leaf litter, eating any small bug or worm that they find under there. I feed my babies pill bugs, small red wiggler worms, tiny calcium fed crickets, some blood worms in a little bit of water, and small butter worms. I usually don't start giving them greens or fruit until they are older. Then I make a mix of soaked mazuri with chopped greens, and fruit, with some chopped up worms on top.

#4 soquile

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:38 PM

Ok, pill bugs I have plenty of outside. Meal worms I can get ahold of at petsmart along with small crickets. I was also told to soak reptomin sticks and give that to them. Ever heard of that? Other worms are harder to get ahold of being in Arizona I can't just go dig them up in the yard. I am taking it that they are pretty much carnivorous as babys, so protien is not an issue?

#5 TurtleDean

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:15 AM

Baby Box Turtles are mostly Carniverous but you could start them on greens too, Strawberries are the best bet,

#6 TerryO

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 08:19 AM

I don't know how big yours is, but this is how I start my hatchlings. I put them in a little plastic tub in their enclosure, with a little bit of warm water. Then I give them some frozen blood worms...if they eat that OK then I will add some reptomin and gradually the pill bugs...etc. Of course you could give them strawberries, but I don't until they are well started eating protein. I only feed protein until they are at least 6 months old. I can only tell you what has worked for me for 30 years. I start water turtles off the same way. If you keep the feeding tub in their enclosure, they won't get stressed and are more likely to eat.
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#7 Samsonite

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 09:20 AM

Ok, pill bugs I have plenty of outside. Meal worms I can get ahold of at petsmart along with small crickets. I was also told to soak reptomin sticks and give that to them. Ever heard of that? Other worms are harder to get ahold of being in Arizona I can't just go dig them up in the yard.


A lot of petsmarts will sell containers of 'red wigglers', which are like tiny reddish colored earthworms. You can chop them if those are still too big.
Also, I recently found a nice website that will ship you live foods and other items like plant seeds for torts, in case you don't have access to such items in your area. Its called "Carolina Pet Supply". They sell 'phoenix worms', butterworms, and various other worms... Some are small sized and specially designed for calcium... good for a baby boxie. So thats one other thing you can try :) The phoenix worms I ordered looked perfect for a baby boxie. If you get them, read the can before storing.. I made the mistake of refrigerating ones I wasnt supposed to, so they didnt live long. Oops.

#8 TerryO

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 09:24 AM

You made a very good point. I order from Carolina Pet supply all the time, especially in the winter when I can't get any pill bugs. They ship very well, and everything comes fresh and quick.

#9 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 02:41 PM

I've been raising baby boxies for years and there is some great advice for you above...here is what I do and what works for me...

For the first year, feed and water daily. I do not feed my babies in their enclosure - I remove them and feed and water them separately. This allows them better soaks, helps them deficate and gets them all riled up and hungry. Baby earthworms that you find under your garden rocks, under mulch, etc. in your yard are a good starting point as they wiggle like mad and the babies love them. Baby crickets and, of course, the pill bugs mentioned above, but it is the moving food they go for at first. Three times a week I provide soaked Reptimin (green baby pellets) or the Omega 1 juvenile pellets. After a few months, start putting in various other items in with the pellets (i.e., bits of banana, strawberry, etc.). After they hit the one year or in the area of the 2" shell length mark, I treat them as adults. By that time they are eating a variety of foods and if you are not careful, they will become pigs, fighting each other for food, coming up to you and begging, etc.

You can lightly sprinkle vitamins/calcium on the bugs, worms, crickets but if you are providing soaked pellets, you don't want to over do it.

One other thing - do not let your hatchlings dry out for a long period of time; keep them slightly moist, not wet, and in a habitat where this is slightly damp moss or substrate in which they can dig/hide.

#10 TurtleDean

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

Excellent advice people, I am humbled and educated.
This should be archived somehow it is excellent advice from knowledgeble turtle keepers.

#11 soquile

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 09:58 PM

Thank you so much for all the advice. I will be starting them off right with all the tips I have received. Should be getting them tomorrow night and will post pics. Thank you again and wish me luck!

#12 TerryO

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 08:19 AM

Good luck and don't worry, you will do fine. Don't forget to post pictures. Baby turtles are the cutest!

#13 soquile

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:40 PM

Ok, got the babies tonight. I decided to go with the two year olds. They are about 3" in length. The new hatchlings were barely the size of a quarter and the year old ones were about the size of a silver dollar. I figured that the little bit bigger ones have survived and are past the iffy part. I got their setup done and will attempt to feed them tomorrow. Will get pics posted soon! Thank you for all the advice.

#14 TurtleDean

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:56 AM

good choice, hatchlings are a bit difficult to keep. Post pics soon!
This is one of my Box Turts with a Razorback while I was cleaning the Razorbacks tank

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Edited by TurtleDean, 17 April 2010 - 03:57 AM.


#15 croc 2-3

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:42 AM

I am going to aquire two baby box turtles. I had them when I was a kid but they were adults at the time, easy to keep and feed. I am not sure as to what to feed babies. I have experiance with turtles and tortoises as I have 6 RES, a sulcata and a desert tortoise. These babies will be kept inside in an aquarium with the sides blocked out so they don't feel like there is somewhere else to go. Substrate will be peat, moss,orchid bark, hidy log and water dish along with the proper lighting. I will find out what they have been eating but any other suggestions would be great. Thank you.

I feed my babies reptomin,mealworms,earthworms,& mauzuri

#16 TerryO

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:49 AM

good choice, hatchlings are a bit difficult to keep. Post pics soon!
This is one of my Box Turts with a Razorback while I was cleaning the Razorbacks tank


Razorback's are one of my favorites. I would love to see pictures.

#17 TurtleDean

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:54 AM

Check out my topic New Razorbacks on Musk Turtle section

Edited by TurtleDean, 17 April 2010 - 07:57 AM.


#18 turtlemann2

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 07:53 AM

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now that there is a cuttie :D

#19 Penny101

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

Yes I agree with TerryO young hatchlings like eating live things. Usually, you put them in a container with just enough water so the worms and other food you put in there are at mouth level. I'm not sure how late I am with posting but there you go! haha

#20 Paradon

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 03:46 PM

I also feed my baby box turtle some good quality, low fat, dried dog kibble soaked in water until it soft and some Reptomin with water sprayed on it to make the smell stronger in order to entice it to eat it. That the the protein portion which I only feed about once a week, but most of the time I feed it veggies and greens. Things like mustard green, parsnips, green beans, peas, collard green, butternut squash, yam, and maybe a little of fruits like cantaloupe, blue berries, black berries, and apples are welcome. He has double in size since I got him. For some reason mine will not eat red wigglers and night crawlers, but he likes appropriate size crickets and roaches.




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