[split] box turtle won't eat

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lovelyrosepetal

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Hi, I am new to this site, but I have a few box turtles and I have done a lot of research. There are some box turtles, the ornate box turtle, who's diet is 90% insects. The ornate box turtle is one of the hardest to keep in captivity. What would you recommend if you have one of those who won't eat? All help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi lovelyrosepetal:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

I'm not a turtle expert, but it has not been my experience that ornate box turtles are any more carnivorous than the other types of box turtles. In fact, my hatchling ornata will eat "tortoise" food younger than the 3-toes and easterns. I keep my hatchling box turtles in a tub right next to a baby Texas tortoise. And every morning I'll give the Texas tortoise a mixutre of chopped up greens. One morning I said, "Oh what the heck..." and I also put a dollop of chopped up greens in the hatchling box turtle enclosure. All of the ornate babies came right over and started eating.

If I have a box turtle that doesn't eat, I soak it in Gerber strained carrots and while its soaking, I'll drop in some night crawlers or red worms. Box turtles can hardly resist eating something that wiggles.

Also, if your turtles are new to you, they are pretty shy at first and don't like you watching them while they eat.
 

katelyn0974

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Hello. My ornate stopped eating, then I found out he didn't have enough calcium in his diet. I would do meal worms and let them sit in gut load formula for two days then feed it to my turtle. Seemed to work because like the above comment says, turtles can hardly resist moving food. :) good luck and I hope he gets to eating!
 

Saloli

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Assuming you have proper and functioning lighting or if kept outside. I would suggest either grasshoppers or crickets as these make up a large portion of their diet in the wild. They make up a large portion of the obt's diet like snails/slugs and worms do of the eastern's diet. You could also try dung beetles if you can get them or similar grubs/beetles. That is if there are no medical reasons for the turtle not to eat. I've not had any issues with any of the ornates I've had. I have had more issues with easterns. In my opinion ornates are the easier of the two species to keep though I wouldn't say either are easy species.
 
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