How long before hatchling starts eating?

Cybertort

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Hello, one of my old friend just had her first clutch of eggs pip and I am now a proud and nervous godparent to one (amongst more to come) baby star tortoise.

The hatchling pipped 4 days ago, crawled out 2 days later (in the incubator) and had its first pee when I soaked it yesterday. I presented it with cut mulberry leaves and wet Mazuri tortoise food yesterday and today but it has not started eating. It is still active crawls in the fenced area of the garden in the sun for about 30-40mins in the morning (I live in a tropical climate) before I put it back in a temporary tub when it falls asleep during the day and night.

My question to experience members is, how long do they usually start needing food and when should I be worried? Thanks for the advice.

IMG 1393

My harrowing first experience with the clutch:
 

Tom

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Hello, one of my old friend just had her first clutch of eggs pip and I am now a proud and nervous godparent to one (amongst more to come) baby star tortoise.

The hatchling pipped 4 days ago, crawled out 2 days later (in the incubator) and had its first pee when I soaked it yesterday. I presented it with cut mulberry leaves and wet Mazuri tortoise food yesterday and today but it has not started eating. It is still active crawls in the fenced area of the garden in the sun for about 30-40mins in the morning (I live in a tropical climate) before I put it back in a temporary tub when it falls asleep during the day and night.

My question to experience members is, how long do they usually start needing food and when should I be worried? Thanks for the advice.

View attachment 346990

My harrowing first experience with the clutch:
The baby needs to be in a brooder box set up for 7-10 days after hatching. The yolk sac needs to be completely absorbed and the umbilical scar completely closed up BEFORE the tortoise goes into an enclosure. It is in this brooder box set up that you introduce new foods daily and they will begin to nibble more and more each day. You should see their first poop after about 10 days.

Conditions outside are far too harsh for a brand new baby to be walking around.

Here is a thread on what to do:
At this point with your baby, I would not use paper towels on the bottom. Skip that and go to using flat leaves like grape leaves, or broadleaf plantain, pumpkin leaves, or even romaine if you don't have anything better.

Different species here, but this thread goes into much more detail and explains things more thoroughly. All the same care applies to both species, and I start my stars exactly as described in this thread:
 

Cybertort

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Thank you @Tom for the very essential tips!

I tried some grocery mix of (kale, romaine lettuce, arugula) and I saw it eating both the kale and romaine lettuce, no interest whatsoever in Mulberry leaves, Arugula nor wet Mazuri tortoise food...I will have to source more variety of greens. Will also line the box with more leaves.

I removed the wet paper towers after seeing it nibbling on everything like the thermometer, plastic lid, bottom of the box for fear of ingestion.

As you suggested, I let it sun tan in the brooder box for about 30 mins now in the early morning instead of the garden. Its plastron is not totally sealed up yet so I will wait a while.

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Tom

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Your brooder box is meant to simulate the inside of the underground nest chamber. It needs to be shoe box size, it needs to have a lid on it, and it should be damp and near 100% humidity all the time inside. This box should stay inside the incubator, or somewhere similarly warm. You can crank the thermostat in a large closed chamber up to the same temp as the incubator and put the closed shoe box in it.

An open topped box is not the way to go.

Keep introducing mulberry leaves and other things. As the appetite grows, the baby will sample more and more things. Let it be familiar with every type of edible tortoise food you can get your hands on. A food that they wouldn't touch yesterday might be devoured today. This baby stage is when all these new and different foods should be introduced. This is the time when the baby learns what is food.
 

Cybertort

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Ok, will put a lid over it and I’ll use a spray bottle to keep the area damp. My incubator is rather small so can’t accommodate the box but day time temperature is similar to the incubator at around 31 celcius/89 Fahrenheit and night time is about 28 celcius/83 Fahrenheit.
Your brooder box is meant to simulate the inside of the underground nest chamber. It needs to be shoe box size, it needs to have a lid on it, and it should be damp and near 100% humidity all the time inside. This box should stay inside the incubator, or somewhere similarly warm. You can crank the thermostat in a large closed chamber up to the same temp as the incubator and put the closed shoe box in it.

An open topped box is not the way to go.
 

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