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Thread: Anyone know how to take care of a turtle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    conway,sc, usa
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    Anyone know how to take care of a turtle?

    My son found a little turtle(about the size of a half dollar) in our pool when we took the cover off for the season. We put it in one of those big whiskey barrels and I need to know what to feed it and do I need to put any vegetation in there with it? He is a common river turtle of South Carolina.
    His name is Herman. I am surprised he has lived this long. I am giving him fish food that we had left over from the gold fish that died in that whiskey barrel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Windham, Vermont, USA
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    You can buy turtle food at the pet store, probably on the same shelf as fish food! How fun that you found him. Most turtles just need water to swim in, and a place where they can climb out and dry off and sun themselves. What kind of turtle is it? There's a good turtle care site on our links page that will help, too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    I suggest taking him to the vet to find out what kind he is and if he is alright. You may want to make sure he's not a snapping turtle. They start off that small and they get huge.


    Also, I've never met a turtle that didn't like earth worms.


    I have a box turtle. He's a land dweller unlike your turtle. He eats almost anything except candy. I feed him lettuce everyday and mix it up with different types of fruit. Buy the smallest feeder fish you can find too, when he gets a bit bigger. Try finding earthworms, bugs, etc. Also, make sure the whiskey barrell has a rock or a beach in it, for him to get out of the water. Even though he may live in the water he needs to come out and bask in the sun. He could drown otherwise.
    At a pet store, I over heard the petstore owner say to someone about a turtle "ya, they don't need anything in their cage, just newspaper." Wrong!! just think of yourself living in a small box with nothing else. Turtles love to explore and find food. Mix up the cage furniture every once and a while to give him variety. He'll be happier. Make sure that the cage gets equal amounts of sun and shade too. Does the cage have a filter? You'll need one, or you'll need to change the water frequently. They go to the bathroom in the water everyday.


    But remember you have to find out what kind he is and whether or not he lives mainly on land or water. Does he have webbed feet? If so, then its most likely he needs to live in the water. Since you found him in the pool, I bet he is an aquatic turlte.


    If this seems like too much trouble, you may want to set him free in a near by pond or stream after he gains his strength back.


    hope this helps. post his picture here and I'll try to figure out what kind he is.

    Give us an update on how he is doing too!!!!


    thanks,
    Ben

    ------------------

    Igor Inc. (c)2001

  4. #4
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    Also,

    Any plants that you decide to put into the cage, make sure they aren't poisonous to turtles. I think that turtles can eat almost anything. I'm not sure about that though. I've read that they are immune to all mushrooms. I've seen Igor eat mushrooms on a walk through the woods. He was fine afterwards. Turtles can choke on things though. Luckily that has never happened to Igor or Izzy.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2001
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    conway,sc, usa
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    Thanks for the info Ben E Gas. You sure know a lot about turtles. I can't believe that you take Igor for walks!
    This little fellow is a plain ole' swamp turtle, I don't really know what kind, but I see them everywhere around here. The water is brackish. I think he maybe a box turtle.
    He has webbed feet, green head, yellow eyes, greenish brown shell, yellowish underneath.
    I wish I could put pics on this thing but I don't have a scanner or anything. I am getting a guy at work to do it for me. Then I will try and put up the pics of "Herman"
    and yes, he has a few bricks as perches and some aquatic plants I got at the nursery.
    He is doing good so far!

  6. #6
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    Glad to hear, Herman is doing fine.

    What have you been feeding him?

    I'd say he isn't a box turtle, as most box turtles don't have webbed feet and aren't aquatic. Some are though, so you may be right. If he can close up completely in his shell, then he is a box turtle. Turtles have different ways of pulling into their shells. My box turtles have hinges on the bottom of their shells which allows them to pull their limbs all the way inside and close up their shells, sealed off from the rest of the world. When they do that, you cannot see them at all. Except for their shell, ofcourse.

    Take a trip to the library and lookup turtles too. That'll help. Or when you're in the book store look through a book on reptiles and turtles to identify which one you have.

    ------------------

    Igor Inc. (c)2001

  7. #7
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    Here are mine:


  8. #8
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    Here is a great site that will help your little friend:

    http://www.micronet.net/users/~turtl...s/exotics.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Awww...Look at Igor and Izzy! Such cuties!!
    Annibale, here are some of the things I feed Yertle, my turtle: lettuce, tomato, strawberries(he adores them), spinach, tuna fish, dried shrimp treats from the pet store, sardines, grapes(remove seeds), hard-boiled egg yolk(he goes crazy for those, too), etc.
    My mom just got a little turtle, Lilly. She said that Lilly absoulutely LOVES steamed cauliflower(cooled down, of course). I'll have to try that with Yertle. Oh, don't be alarmed if he doesn't eat every day. Yertle will sometimes eat every day for a week or two, then he won't eat at all for a few days, sometimes even a week.
    They also need access to clean water at all times. I let Yertle roam the apartment, so I have a little "swimming pool" for him with a ramp so he can go for a dip whenever he pleases.
    Good luck with little Herman. Turtles really are lovely creatures. They're just so gentle and beautiful.

  10. #10
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    Hi Thelma!

    That's funny you just mentioned grapes and taking the seeds out first. On one of those websites, I just read that box turtles have a lot to do with the spread of plants and fruit. As the seed has a better chance of germinating, if it passes through a turtles digestive system. I know this is true of some birds of the rain forests too. Some fruits won't germinate unless the seed passes through a birds digestive system. But since you're not trying to grow any fruit trees in your apt. it's probably better to take them out.

  11. #11
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    Ben,
    Really?? That's pretty funny, I didn't know that!
    No, I don't think I would have room for any fruit trees in my apartment, although I'm sure Mr. Turtle Guy wouldn't mind it one bit!

    Thelma

  12. #12
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    Jun 2000
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    Windham, Vermont, USA
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    Originally posted by annibale16:
    Thanks for the info Ben E Gas. You sure know a lot about turtles. I can't believe that you take Igor for walks!
    This little fellow is a plain ole' swamp turtle, I don't really know what kind, but I see them everywhere around here. The water is brackish. I think he maybe a box turtle.
    He has webbed feet, green head, yellow eyes, greenish brown shell, yellowish underneath.
    Maybe he's a painted turtle? They are very common aquatic turtles spread over most of at least the eastern half of the US. See Gabby http://PetoftheDay.com/archive/1998/April/20.html the baby turtle on the left side. Is that what he looks like? A snapping turtle doesn't have green or greenish brown anywhere - they are stricty dirt and tan colors when they are babies, so I'm sure you haven't got a snapper on your hands!

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