What does this mean and what should I do? What do normal droppings look like and how often is "normal"? It's a perfectly normal product of protein metabolism, but if it's being passed more than a couple of times a week, it can indicate too much protein in the diet.
Urates should be anything from totally liquid, to about the same consistency as toothpaste. If they're hard or gritty when they're expelled, this indicates dehydration which is common in terrestrial species kept in vivaria and if left untreated, dehydration rapidly proves fatal. The tortoise should be bathed immediately by standing it in a bath of shallow, luke-warm water.
This should be done daily, until the urates return to normal. Generally, this bathing should be done two to three times every week more often for hatchlings, who can dehydrate more rapidly than adults. If they contain undigested food, or are runny, then the possibility of parasites should be ruled out by analysis of a stool sample by your vet.
If this isn't the cause, then a low fiber diet is the likely culprit. This can be avoided by taking care to feed coarser foodstuffs that are closer to the diet of the species in its natural habitat.
Feeding too much fruit, especially to species that wouldn't encounter much naturally, can also cause diarrhea.
If they appear to be straining to produce feces or haven't gone for several days try more frequent and prolonged bathing, which can ease mild cases of constipation. If this fails to encourage defecation, a trip to the vet is necessary to rule out the possibility of an intestinal obstruction. The yoke sac provides them with nourishment until they do eat. Even after the yolk sac is no longer externally evident, internally it is still providing nourishment.
For Box turtles try tiny earthworms, slugs, very thin slices of peeled cucumber. Many times an earthworm is too large, so I break it up into several small pieces.
This causes the pieces of earthworm to wiggle and the excitement of several pieces "wiggling" will entice the new neonate to eat. Slugs are very slow moving. A newly hatched neonate does not have good coordination and will be able to catch the slug. For aquatics good starter foods are small worms and brine shrimp with perhaps a little romaine lettuce.
Some people have reported good success using well washed tubifex worms as a starter food. For tortoises generally the same foods fed the adults are used as starter foods. In exceptionally stubborn cases a small amount of nectarine, peach or cucumber can often tempt them but be sure to get them onto a proper diet based on the species as soon as possible once they are eating.
I have seen tortoises go three weeks after hatching before taking their first foods. How long does it take a sulcata to get really big? A fully grown sulcata can weigh as much as 70 kilogrammes, and will easily move a piano. Spurred tortoises are indeed fast growers, especially in captivity when they are often offered many times the amount of food they would eat in nature and often food far 'richer' than their natural diet.
Growth rates are largely dependant on the care given, but it is not uncommon for 5 year-old sulcatas to weigh in at 10 kilos or more - and by then they are not even close to halfgrown. In the wild, it would take over twice that time for them to reach that size due to the limited food availibility in the Spurred tortoise's natural habitat. How will I know if she has eggs? This is because if they had to wait till the perfect time many would not meet another turtle at that time.
Turtles and tortoises practice what is called sperm retention. The eggs developing is triggered by environmental factors which cause hormone production which triggers the formation of the eggs. The female then uses the stored sperm to fertilize the eggs.
I have had female box turtles lay fertile eggs three years after being separated from any male. The way to tell if a female turtle or tortoise is ready to lay eggs is based on simple observation. If it is an aquatic kept in a habitat without a large land area or adequate nesting area it will usually act as if it wants out and be very persistent about it. If it is a terrestrial turtle or tortoise it will pace, sometimes even stopping to sniff the ground.
This is a good indication that it is looking for a nesting site. At this point it is necessary to provide a nesting location for the turtle or tortoise. If you think the turtle may be gravid holding eggs and it refuses to lay when provided with a nesting location or it exhibits none of the indications noted above a veterinarian can take a radiograph X-ray to determine for certain if eggs are present.
Tortoises are terrestrial, which means that they live on land. Unlike aquatic turtles, tortoises lack webbed feet. Should a tortoise by accident fall into a pond or swimming pool it could sink to the bottom like a rock and drown. Also when planing an outdoor enclosure you must make sure that you do not build it in an area of your yard which will flood during a heavy rainfall, drowning the trapped tortoise.
If you plan to hibernate your tortoise outdoors do not allow it to hibernate in an area which may flood. Drowning the tortoise as it hibernates. There are some species of tortoise that can swim and enjoy doing so but they are the exception rather than the rule. Always study the natural history of any animal you wish to care for to ascertain its particular needs.
However, for some species it can be extremly difficult to keep a water bowl inside the enclosure. In those instances, it is recommended that the tortoises are given the opportunity to drink several times weekly. It assists in keeping your tortoise hydrated, which in turn helps to keep the tortoise's system flushed. No matter what type of tortoise you have, soaking should be a regular part of your care schedule. In the wild tortoises have different ways to keep themselves hydrated that are not always duplicated or possible in captive care.
For instance, many species of tortoises from arid climates will dig long, deep burrows which they retire to during the heat of the day. In these burrows, the humidity may be much higher than outside in the sun. This "microclimate" humidity keeps the tortoise from dehydrating, which helps to prevent problems that captive specimens may develop, such as bladder stones. The tortoise does not always need to actually drink while soaking in order to hydrate itself. Tortoises are also often able to absorb fluids through the cloaca.
Depending on the species you keep, soaking frequency should vary. Although two - three times per week at the very least is a good schedule for a hatchling, a juvenile can be soaked twice a week, and an adult the same. To correctly soak your tortoise, the water should be lukewarm and no deeper than the juncture between the bottom shell plastron and the top carapace. You should soak for at least five to ten minutes each time and make sure the tortoise is clean and dry when it goes back in its enclosure.
People at the pet stores went on and on about it. Salmonellosis, or food-borne disease. Results from a complex of environmental contamination and infected humans, mammals, reptiles, and birds. Reptile - associated salmonellosis is not a new phenomenon; in the early 70's pet turtles were responsible for an estimated , cases in the US each year, leading to a ban on all interstate shipment of pet turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches.
After this ban, there were an estimated , fewer annual cases of turtle-related salmonellosis ocurring in children from 1 to 9 years of age. Now, all animals are possible carriers of salmonella; let me state, however, that it is not their the animal's fault if the owner becomes ill.
The illness comes about due to improper hygiene practices associated with caring for these animals. Kitchen sinks should NOT be used to bathe the animals or wash the animals' dishes, cages, or aquariums.
If bathtubs are used for these purposes, they should be throughly cleaned and sanitized afterwards. Basically, yes, turtles can carry salmonella and we can get salmonellosis from them; HOWEVER, if we follow a few simple common-sense guidelines and good hygienic practices, we can greatly reduce, if not eliminate completely, our risk for catching this disease from our beloved pets.
Below are the three reasons I feel are most important. It goes without saying that the compromises one is forced to make when trying to satify the needs of, f. Chelonians naturally harbors many organisms that, while not posing any danger to the carrying animal, might be lethal to an individual of another species.
This risk, according to some, is especially large when the species in question originate from different parts of the world, while the risk is said to diminish but not disappear if the animals in question are captive bred and raised. The breeding behaviour in many species is quite rough, involving butting, biting and ramming, and while a female of the same species is 'built' for that particular type of rough handling, a female of another species is most likely not equipped to come out of such an ordeal unharmed.
Can I have turtles in with the dogs? Someone will inform me that their dog mauled their turtle or tortoise. These people are nearly always shocked, as their dog never showed any interest or aggression towards the chelonian in the past. Dogs can not be trusted with turtles and tortoises. Often after years of indifference the dog will suddenly decide that the tortoise is simply a bone that moves. This dog had shared a room in the house with the tortoises for six years prior to the attack.
The turtle needs to be able to have its head out of the water without straining its neck. I find that the plastic "coaster" used under flower pots to catch excess water are ideal for this purpose.
You will want the size coaster that the turtle can easily crawl in and out of. How often and how much should I feed? Observe it's activity level and note whether it is an omnivore, herbivore or strictly a fish or insect eater.
A chelonian in an indoor terrarium may not require as much food as one which lives in a large outdoor enclosure. Also a herbivore will need more food, more often then the same size omnivore.
A pinky mouse is packed with a lot more calories then the same volume of dandelion greens. Therefore study the natural habits of your animal and keep accounts of how much, when and what you offer. Keep regular weight measurements and make adjustments if you notice weight lost or gains. After awhile you'll learn the specific requirements to keep your individual animal well fed and healthy.
What kind is it and can I keep him? What does it eat?