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Indian star hatchling eating paper towels !

Discussion in 'Indian Star and Burmese Star tortoises' started by snowy, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. snowy

    snowy New Member

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    Need help!

    My Indian star hatchlings are trying to eat damp paper napkins from their current house.

    Number 1 hatched on 7th June on his own. He had a sack which is now absorbed completely.
    Number 2 hatched yesterday with my assistance, he had shell membrane stuck on his eyes and sack. His sack is also absorbed a bit.

    I have kept them both in boxes lined with damp paper towels. I soak them daily for 15 minutes, they drink water too and then apply Vaseline on the sack. My room temp varies between 25 C to 30 C. The outside precipitation is 80% however to make sure that its same in the hathcling house I spray it with water and make sure its not wet.

    Issue : I have given them nicely shredded spinach, cucumber, coriander leaves and hibiscus leaves but they continue to eat paper towel. Please help.
  2. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

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    Get rid of the paper towels!
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I only use paper towels for the first day or two and then I switch to using grape, mulberry, or broadleaf plantain leaves for the bottom of their brooder boxes. You can skip the paper towels entirely if you want. Since they are eating it now, I would remove the paper towels immediately.

    25 C is a little too low. I would shoot for 30-33 in the brooder box.

    No need for the vaseline.

    I would not feed spinach to babies at all. Cucumber is taking up stomach space and offering little nutrition. Coriander is oaky once in a while, but not every day. Tender young hibiscus leaves and an occasional flower are great food items.

    I think a 15 minute soak is enough, but lately I've been doing at least 30-40 minutes and sometimes and hour. I like it better.
  4. snowy

    snowy New Member

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    Thank you so much ..However one guy still has lil of sack..would it be fine if i put him on hibiscus leaves ?
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Yes. If my babies hatch at the right time of year, I start them on big flat leaves instead of the paper towels.

    Often, they push the towels or leaves out of the way and just lay on the flat plastic bottom of the shoe box. This make their plastrons super flat, and does no harm.
  6. snowy

    snowy New Member

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    Guys, I have tried every type of food suggested. How long do they take to start eating after coming out of the egg?
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Have you read this thread? It will help explain some things I think:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-incubate-eggs-and-start-hatchlings.124266/

    They can be sustained on the contents of their yolk sac for a couple of weeks. Some start nibbling right away and others take a few days to start nibbling. Its usually 7-10 days before they start eating noticeable amounts. Just keep putting in a pile of the correct food types every day for them to get used to and nibble on. This is another reason that the warm temps I mentioned are necessary. Low temps kill their appetites.
  8. snowy

    snowy New Member

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    this helps Tom. Thank you so much
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