1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Box Turtle Hatchling Care Sheet

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by StarSapphire22, Jul 23, 2014.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
  2. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    1,151
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    ohio
    Obviously they’re native to your area , many folks would be of the opinion you should leave them be ……. I personally wouldn’t see a problem with headstarting them for one winter and then release them , done properly the survival rate is way better ……. I’d keep them in soaking wet sphagnum moss in a Tupperware container at 80-85 degrees with a small hotspot of maybe 90-95 at one end during the day , a light should work …….. the sphagnum moss can be rinsed and cleaned maybe 2-3 times before you need to replace it ……… I’d start them eating by always offering soaked turtle or fish pellets , been my experience that hikari cichlid gold which is red and seems to have a scent that most turtles like is a good choice to start ….. I’d go to a bait store and buy some maggots , that should start them eating for sure ………. As far as releasing them , seeing as they’re native to your yard , you should be able to release them properly , a soft release is best ………. Don’t let them come in contact with any other reptiles while you have them , if you plan on keeping them check your laws …….. it’s always worked for me …… and i would take them out and show them the food everytime i fed them , and then let them do whatever they want , always leaving food available ......
  3. GIJohnny

    GIJohnny New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Missouri
    Hi All,

    Just an update on the babies. Following the advise here an on other sites, we threw away the mealworms and baby crickets from Petco, they truly are clueless about turtles. The little ones scared us for the first two weeks of their life as they all wouldn't eat. I guess they were living off their yolk sacs. The 3 of them have developed very distinct personalities and it shows in their eating habits.

    Bagel, the smallest of the 3 started eating first. She (we have no idea on gender as yet, but it's easier to call them he or she until they get old enough for us to tell). is the oddball and seems to only want to be hand fed. We take them out every day for an hour of turtle time, which is generally placing the 3 of them in a large glass baking dish with about a half inch of skin temperature water. Once they've had their soak, we try to feed them. Bagel will sit on your hand and happily munch any turtle pellets (Omega 1 juvenile pellets) placed in front of her. She seems to snub food in her habitat but will eat 3-4 pellets a day from hand feeding. She is also the most adventurous of the 3 and explores the tank a lot while her siblings are burrowed and sleeping.

    Croissant will not eat from your hand, but once he's finished his daily soak, he will march around the tank gobbling up pellets like they are going out of style; we scatter them around for the shyer eaters. We've seen Croissant chow down 7 pellets in one walkabout. He'll usually go exploring for a bit after eating and the dive into a log or burrow in for sleep.

    Baguette (do you see a pattern here, my daughters named them) almost never eats where anyone can see him. Pellets disappear during their night cycle and he always seems pretty spry. After his soak he will usually head for his log cave and burrow in.

    Today they got a treat, we got in a shipment of 25 pillbugs from Carolina Biological. We took their food dish out of the tank and placed it on the floor with one bug and turtle at a time. Bagel and Croissant immediately started tracking the pillbugs movement and gobbled them up. Baguette watched the pillbug for a minute, ate a turtle pellet that happened to be in the dish and then went after the pillbug. We were so happy to see him eat publicly, we gave him a second one which he promptly gobbled up. I do wish there was cheaper way to get pillbugs, $26 (including shipping) is a bit steep for 25 pillbugs.

    Releasing them might be a tough sell for this brood of turtles. My wife, who has always declared that she hates reptiles, will never have them in her house or touch them, has grown very attached to the babies and spends a lot of time with them. She was even giving Croissant and Baguette carrot water baths when Bagel started eating a few days earlier than her brothers. She also has a major aversion to bugs (I keep telling her pillbugs are isopods and not insects, she doesn't care, they are bugs to her) but she was the one to fish the bugs out of the substrate they came in as my close vision is bad and the girls won't touch them. So we may have permanent additions to the family for the next 30 years or so. We know we'll need much bigger enclosures for each of them as they grow, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Our current goal is to keep them happy and well-fed.

    Thank you all for your advise and Colleen for your helpful links. I'll try to remember to take some pics when we do turtle time tomorrow and post them for you guys.
    ColleenT likes this.
  4. terryo

    terryo Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    8,959
    Likes Received:
    566
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Staten Island, New York
    Sounds great to me. Don't forget to post the pictures.
  5. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    i think you can leave the pillbugs in the substrate and they will continue to hunt for them. just keep some moistened pellets in the cage at all times and mist the substrate daily.
  6. GIJohnny

    GIJohnny New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Missouri
    My wife is very protective of the babies and mists the substrate every 3-4 hours. We put out both moistened and dry pellets because Croissant for some reason prefers the dry ones.
    breosaighit13 and ColleenT like this.
  7. GIJohnny

    GIJohnny New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Missouri
    I'm not the greatest of photographers, nut here's some pictures of the babies as promised:
    Baguette.jpg Croissant eating.jpg Croissant.jpg Bagel chowing down on a pellet.jpg Soak time at the pool.jpg
    breosaighit13 and ColleenT like this.
  8. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    Ive just recently joined and I have been concerned with my hatchling not for eating in a couple days. He is a hybrid between an eastern box turtle and a three toed box turtle. He is around 2-3 months old and I got him a week ago. He is in a 40 gallon breeder aquarium. He ate two mornings out of the week and hasn’t ate again. When he ate, he ate a couple cut up red worms. I also leave out spring mix and mushed up pellets that he doesn’t touch. He also hasn’t drank water since he ate a couple pieces of the red worms that I fed to him in shallow warm water. Today I tried giving him meal worms but he didn’t eat those either. He is always hiding and doesn’t come out unless I unbury him to eat. One side of the tank is about 80-83 degrees and the other side of the tank is around 76 degrees. I also have a UVB light that I turn on for him. I have a coconut substrate that I moisten multiple times a day. The night time temp gets around 73 degrees. He has a half log in the aquarium as well as fresh water he can get in to soak and I recently put a plant in the aquarium.
    I am not sure why he isn’t eating and why he stays buried all day unless I take him out. If you guys have any suggestions or information I would appreciate it. Thank you.
  9. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    he isn't eating bc he is in a new environment and change always stresses them out. You should be soaking him daily. Babies dry out easily. turn the heat down. Box turtles don't need so much heat. That might be why he is hiding in the dirt. Box turtles are natve to the USA, not a tropical region, like many other reptiles. Give him a cool side of the tank. Room temperature should be good enough. Offer small earthworms, or scrambled eggs.
  10. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    Okay thank you. What Is a good temp for the warm and cooler side of the tank?
  11. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    i think 82 is fine for a warm side, and room temperature/no heat source on the cool side. keep offering food, eventually he will eat.
  12. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    Are pieces of red worms good for him to eat? Red worms and earthworm are too big for him so I need to cute them in pieces but make sure acouple pieces are still moving. I also have some mealworms. Should I continue to feed him in a very shallow dish with warm water?
  13. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    yes you can cut the worms, but they can eat more than you think. Mealworms are not good for them, bc the phosphorous to calcium ratio is not good for them. i am not sure what you mean by feeding him in a shallow dish with water? The worms don't need to be fed in water.

    this article has a section for feeding babies toward the bottom. it is long.

    http://www.boxturtlefacts.org/Feeding_North_American_Box_Turtles.pdf
  14. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    Awesome thank you. I will try this out!
    ColleenT likes this.
  15. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    I have done just about everything I can do as well as feeding him in a secure place and he still hasn’t ate in about a week? I offer food to him daily and leave greens out. I’m worried that he’s starving. Will he eventually eat if I keep offering food?
  16. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    1,358
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    yes
  17. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    1,151
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    ohio
    myself i'd keep a hot spot of about 90 and let the low end be 80 , and very wet , soaking wet sphagnum moss works well , it can be cleaned by rinsing a couple times before it needs replaced ............. i've raised them in soaking wet sphagnum moss with standing water on the bottom , and no water dish , without a problem ......... he's not going to eat greens , soaked fish or turtle pellets offered all the time , red is a good color for the pellets , maggots , worms , or just about any bug you can find ....... best place to feed him is in the container he lives in ......
    breosaighit13 likes this.
  18. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    I talked to the guy yesterday and told him what is going on and he told me he is only 30 days old. That explains why I can’t get him to eat I’m doing what he said and he still isn’t eating. We will have to see if I need to exchange him for a yearling.
  19. NikkiW18

    NikkiW18 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    Hello, I am currently feeding my yearling box turtle earthworms in shallow warm water as told. But I noticed every time my turtle eats a worm he has to spit up some water. Is that normal or should I start feeding him his earthworms out of the water?
  20. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Mississippi
    I have never fed my box turtle worms in water but it should be concerning. My three toed box turtle Gaston is 13 and has eaten them just fine without them in water
Similar Threads: Turtle Hatchling
Forum Title Date
American box turtles Three Toed Box Turtle Hatchlings Jan 27, 2019
American box turtles Box Turtle Hatchling Tank with Substrate May 7, 2018
American box turtles Overeating 6-month old ornate box turtle hatchling? Mar 14, 2018
American box turtles Box turtle hatchling questions Oct 18, 2017
American box turtles Smallest Box Turtle Hatchling Here Oct 10, 2017

Share This Page