Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

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Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

Post by Richard D. Lew » Thu, 12 Dec 1996 04:00:00



I rescued a common ordinary injured Box Turtle
off of the highway two years ago.   The turtle was
dewormed after a while, is otherwise healthy
and eats pretty good. It is a little sluggish  even
for a box turtle, but has a two hour active period
from 5 to 7 AM and then basically takes the rest of
the day off. The turtle has put on weight over the two
years and has kept it on.  Its shell has become
noticeablly bigger and has filled out considerably.

  The turtle recieves a diet of Repti-Min Aquatic
Turtle sticks and veggies.  I use this brand and kind
of food because that is the only turtle food that the
local pet store carries.  The protein concentration in
the Repti-Min turtle sticks is a little over 30%. Is
this too much for a Box Turtle ?  I hear these stories
of turtle kidney failure if the protein diet is too
high. I bought two different other kinds of "Box
Turtle" food which have protein concentrations of 15 %
and 18 %, or about half as much.  The turtle refuses
to eat these other kinds of turtle food.  Thinking
that I can outsmart the turtle, I mixed all three
kinds of pellets in the turtle food dish.  The turtle
then picked out the Rept-Min higher protein food and
ate it, while ignoring the rest of the chow.  

Do I have a problem here ? Or do I just have a turtle
that likes a little extra protein in its diet ?

Thanks    RIchard Lewis

 
 
 

Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

Post by TURTLEMA » Fri, 13 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Try earthworms, crickets, fruit (especially red), vegetables, (and meat
once in a while).
---Rick Van***

 
 
 

Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

Post by jeffrey a co » Fri, 13 Dec 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
(Richard D. Lewis) writes:
>(SNIP)
>Do I have a problem here ? Or do I just have a turtle
>that likes a little extra protein in its diet ?

>Thanks    RIchard Lewis

 Yes, if your turtle ate this diet for the rest of his life, which
could be 50-75 years, then it'll have a major problem. Probably die of
fatty liver disease or kidney failure in a few years. Luckily he likes
the Repti-min sticks so you can retrain his eating habits. It'll just
take time. Fix him his regular meal but add a little bit of the stuff
you want him to eat and don't give him the usual quanity. He'll eat the
sticks but he will be still be hungry and maybe will eat some of the
other stuff. Even if he refuses don't feed him anymore and at the next
meal do the same thing till he eats everything. Slowly add a little bit
more of the new food and less of the sticks till you have him eating
the new food. It may take months to retrain his eating habit but don't
give in. In the long run it's best for him. Tess Cook
 
 
 

Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

Post by Chris Weave » Sun, 15 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> I rescued a common ordinary injured Box Turtle
> off of the highway two years ago.   The turtle was
> dewormed after a while, is otherwise healthy
> and eats pretty good. It is a little sluggish  even
> for a box turtle, but has a two hour active period
> from 5 to 7 AM and then basically takes the rest of
> the day off. The turtle has put on weight over the two
> years and has kept it on.  Its shell has become
> noticeablly bigger and has filled out considerably.

>   The turtle recieves a diet of Repti-Min Aquatic
> Turtle sticks and veggies.  I use this brand and kind
> of food because that is the only turtle food that the
> local pet store carries.  The protein concentration in
> the Repti-Min turtle sticks is a little over 30%. Is
> this too much for a Box Turtle ?  I hear these stories
> of turtle kidney failure if the protein diet is too
> high. I bought two different other kinds of "Box
> Turtle" food which have protein concentrations of 15 %
> and 18 %, or about half as much.  The turtle refuses
> to eat these other kinds of turtle food.  Thinking
> that I can outsmart the turtle, I mixed all three
> kinds of pellets in the turtle food dish.  The turtle
> then picked out the Rept-Min higher protein food and
> ate it, while ignoring the rest of the chow.

> Do I have a problem here ? Or do I just have a turtle
> that likes a little extra protein in its diet ?

> Thanks    RIchard Lewis

WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING??? JUST FEED THE POOR THING EARTHWORMS
AND FRUIT AND VEGIES, BOX TURTLES HAVE A VERY SENSITIVE PALIT AND THEY
NEED GOOD TASTING FOODS TO BE HAPPY...GEEZZEE (POOR THING)
CHRIS
 
 
 

Need Help on Box Turtle Diet

Post by Donald L. Blancha » Mon, 23 Dec 1996 04:00:00




Quote:
>I rescued a common ordinary injured Box Turtle
>off of the highway two years ago.   The turtle was
>dewormed after a while, is otherwise healthy
>and eats pretty good. It is a little sluggish  even
>for a box turtle, but has a two hour active period
>from 5 to 7 AM and then basically takes the rest of
>the day off. The turtle has put on weight over the two
>years and has kept it on.  Its shell has become
>noticeablly bigger and has filled out considerably.

>  The turtle recieves a diet of Repti-Min Aquatic
>Turtle sticks and veggies.  I use this brand and kind
>of food because that is the only turtle food that the
>local pet store carries.
[...]

>Thanks    RIchard Lewis

It would help to know what kind of box turtle you have, or at least where in the
world you found it.  (Not all box turtles were created equal.)  I have had some
experience with Ornate (western) box turtles (the kind found here in Colorado,
USA (the internet is international, remember).

I have no use whatever for ANY prepared "turtle chow".  Each species of turtle
has unique dietary requirements; no "one size fits all" food can possibly be
correct for ANY of them!

Ornate box turtles are reported to be primarily insectivorous (that means high
protien), but probably get some vegetation along the way (they are sloppy
eaters).  This is probably true for other US species, as well.  We feed ours a
staple diet of earthworms,  waxworms, and giant mealworms, with regular
offerings of a variety of green veggies (not lettuce) and fruit (apples and
strawberries are often popular).  Occasional dusting with calcium powder is a
good idea, also.  

Our turtles probably eat too many wax worms; they are higher in fat, and our
turtles have trouble pulling back into their shells.  Wax worms are like turtle
candy; earthworms are a more balanced nutrition.  Occasional crickets are good
also, if they will take them.

_
Donald L. Blanchard
Morrison Natural History Museum (Volunteer)
Morrison, Colorado


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