Eastern box turtle strata and heat

McGinley

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An Eastern Box turtle has come into my possession. The person who had it before was very spartan in what they were providing in the way of food, water, and environment.

So, I'm trying to make headway on improving it's life.

I will have more questions I'm certain. But right now I'd like to know whether or not I can put dried corn husks on top of repti-bark.

Before getting repti-bark I put own some dirt and then husks. It immediately built itself a little hut with the husks and the hid under it.

I'd like to continue to give him this little bit of extra in his environment, but I don't want to do it if it anyway it's detrimental to his health or is just a bad idea when it comes to environment.

Second issue is it's under a ceramic heat emitter. Is this advisable? He/she has built that hut I mentioned right under the emitter. I looked under the introductory remarks and wasn't certain ceramic heat emitters were addressed

Thanks.
 

jeff kushner

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Congrats M! & WTTC....there's a huge amount of real talent here, pro level stuff. You can get a head start by reading the Box Turtle care sheets up above in the folder....they are really excellent!

Yes on the ceramic heater but try to build a rack, clamp-on's tend to cook turtles when they fall into the enclosure as has happened a few times since I've been here.

The BEST single piece of advice I ever got here; "Throw in a few leaves, she'll love you"


Also, with box turtles, thing "Boggy"....not "dry desert". They love to soak every day and eat daily as well when most active. Sometimes they hunker down for a week....

Where does he live? I assume indoors?

jeff
 

Yvonne G

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I don't have experience with corn cob, but I do have box turtle experience. What Jeff said is true, they love digging around in moist substrate, and sitting in their water. I don't know how corn cob bedding holds up in moisture. Does it get moldy? Does it degrade?
 

McGinley

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Congrats M! & WTTC....there's a huge amount of real talent here, pro level stuff. You can get a head start by reading the Box Turtle care sheets up above in the folder....they are really excellent!

Yes on the ceramic heater but try to build a rack, clamp-on's tend to cook turtles when they fall into the enclosure as has happened a few times since I've been here.

The BEST single piece of advice I ever got here; "Throw in a few leaves, she'll love you"


Also, with box turtles, thing "Boggy"....not "dry desert". They love to soak every day and eat daily as well when most active. Sometimes they hunker down for a week....

Where does he live? I assume indoors?

jeff
 

McGinley

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Hi Jeff. Yes, it's living indoors. Sorry for the delay in responding. I haven't done the leave thing yet, which I intend to, but the little guy munched on quite a bit of lettuce today and mealworms. I've been soaking them every morning and letting him drink while he's in there. I don't know if that is advisable, but he doesn't seem to make his way to the other watering hole. I'm thinking he's well hydrated and he's eating well, so whatever trauma he may have experienced before he came to me is fading. If at all possible to determine, it's almost as if he trust me more than he did a couple days ago. He doesn't seem so skittish and withdrawn when I'm around. I'm working on a new larger environment for him but in the meantime I would put him in the book as feeling good.
 

McGinley

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I don't have experience with corn cob, but I do have box turtle experience. What Jeff said is true, they love digging around in moist substrate, and sitting in their water. I don't know how corn cob bedding holds up in moisture. Does it get moldy? Does it degrade?
Hi Yvonne. Actually it's not corn cob, but husks that have dried out after the corn is harvested. There are few cops in there, but mostly the long dry husks. They are not absorbing moisture and they were bone dry when I took them from a field. The guy is enjoyed burrowing in it although it's probably not as enjoyable as going into the substrate.
 

jeff kushner

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They used to use those cobs for "toilet paper". Yup. I worked for a Farmer when I was 11, he had an outbuilding full of them(driedcobs) and he told me what they were for. At 11, I was scarred for life!

probably better than sand(bad) or dirt (semi-bad from what I've read here)....earthworms, crickets, those slimy white grubs that grow under boards on the ground, fruits, veggies....my Matilda ate steak last night but I don't really recommend it. I think Iceberg lettuce is poor in nutrition but the others are better.

Get thermometers so he has a warm and cool side.....they need low 80's for their food to be digested and putting him in the water isn't a bad thing....it seems to help them poop. Matilda(really a male) used to get up like an old man each day.....wake, look around, go to the pool for a swim and a dump, then look for something to eat....yeah, habits.
 

McGinley

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Love your post. I live on an old dairy farm and one of our outbuildings has a small room with a cross board for a seat. The board has a nice oval hole in it...
I'll take your advice about the foods. I actually pick up the girl (she's a girl—I assume) and out.her in the water. She doesn't appear to want to go find her bathtub.
 

jeff kushner

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Love your post. I live on an old dairy farm and one of our outbuildings has a small room with a cross board for a seat. The board has a nice oval hole in it...
I'll take your advice about the foods. I actually pick up the girl (she's a girl—I assume) and out.her in the water. She doesn't appear to want to go find her bathtub.

Bout time for some pics, don't you think M?
 

SurfHag

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Nov 11, 2023
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6
Location (City and/or State)
CA
An Eastern Box turtle has come into my possession. The person who had it before was very spartan in what they were providing in the way of food, water, and environment.

So, I'm trying to make headway on improving it's life.

I will have more questions I'm certain. But right now I'd like to know whether or not I can put dried corn husks on top of repti-bark.

Before getting repti-bark I put own some dirt and then husks. It immediately built itself a little hut with the husks and the hid under it.

I'd like to continue to give him this little bit of extra in his environment, but I don't want to do it if it anyway it's detrimental to his health or is just a bad idea when it comes to environment.

Second issue is it's under a ceramic heat emitter. Is this advisable? He/she has built that hut I mentioned right under the emitter. I looked under the introductory remarks and wasn't certain ceramic heat emitters were addressed

Thanks.
My box turtle loved snails, slugs and also hibernated. Congrats and enjoy!
 

McGinley

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Joined
Dec 3, 2023
Messages
16
Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
She was seen by a vet a few weeks ago. The vet was reptile savvy and ran a stool analysis. All was well there.

We know it's a she because she laid an egg while I was out of town. The egg deflated after a day. Non-viable to say the least.

Here's what I wrote to my wife after the vet visit..

Turtle is fine. Good weight. Eyes clear. Beak good. Bowel movements good. She.pooped in her box in the office. May be a male. No way of telling with the cloaca torn off, but there are hints of a ridge on the tummy males have to gain purchase when on top of a female. She has fat, a decent amount. That is determined by palpitating her tummy. She's been weighed. There is a tear in her anus that if it doesn't heal properly will need to be operated on. Pretty much a clean bill of health. Both back leg stumps are healed. Well hydrated. Respiration good.
 

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