My Eastern Male Intro + a Question

Lyles

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Sep 29, 2014
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I've had Toby for about three years now after procuring him from a breeder in S. Carolina.

The following have been taken the day I received him. He was a juvie at the time.







Three years later, this is how he looks:







He is one of the most friendly boxie I've ever had. 0 retraction being approached and handled. I think this may be due to brain damage from heat stress while under the care of previous owner. It was very clear when I first received him, he would only stretch his neck out and not up, and was unable to bend the head down to eat. He would also just hang out stiff all the time. Three years under my care he has made some big improvements, now he is able to use full movement of his head and walks properly, as well as the urge to explore .

Now my question is this, by comparing the two sets you can tell that his orange coloring has dulled (most so in legs). You can see in the neck where color tries to be but is blotchy and inconsistent. I've always used a UVA/UVB lamp that I change out to their regular life cycle. I also give them both a mix of several box turtle commercial food with supplemented raw meats and fruits as a treat. I've tried beta carotene supplements to see if that would help but doesn't seem to do anything. I'd try to give them outdoor time to see if natural sunlight would help but we have an unstoppable fire ant invasion around these parts and I don't want to risk them being bit. Any suggestions as to what else I can try as far as food or supplement goes?
 

StarSapphire22

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Studies have been done on easterns and coloring with natural vs artificial sunlight. Natural UV gave more vibrant colors, especially if the turtle is exposed while young. Older turtles showed less of an effect, but can even regain color a bit after exposure again. This is all obviously over time, not after one excursion outside.
 

Lyles

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Sep 29, 2014
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Studies have been done on easterns and coloring with natural vs artificial sunlight. Natural UV gave more vibrant colors, especially if the turtle is exposed while young. Older turtles showed less of an effect, but can even regain color a bit after exposure again. This is all obviously over time, not after one excursion outside.

I've heard about that as well. Would love to build them an enclosure outside but I'm glad to keep the ants out of the house. Between the fire ants and the dislocated raccoons here it would be a death sentence to attempt an outdoor enclosure. Nothing is worse than losing your boxies to fire ants :( Never happened to me personally, but I've known other keepers that have lost whole herds one bad year.
 

terryo

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I took a little Eastern in about two years ago that was never outside and couldn't close his shell all the way so had to come in for the Winter monts. He was in poor shape when I got him, but his color has remained the same even though he has been outside for two Summers now. The little Eastern that you have is very similar in color to the another one that someone gave me from New Jersey. The one's here in NY, where I live have more yellow to them, but the one's I've seen in New Jersey look just like yours. It may be that is just his coloring and it won't change.
 

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