Baby desert turtle diet and care

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Baby desert turtle diet and care

Post by Eric Madse » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00



I am new to this group and kind of stumbled on it, and boy am I glad! I
have a 1yr old desert turtle. I have since moved from a large house to a
large apt.  My little helmet has no where to walk other than our carpet.
He is very small and now lives in a 10 gallon tank. What suggestions does
anyone have? Is it okay for him to walk around indoors, he wants to eat
the carpet? We don't have any grass for him to walk on or around. His
tank is by the window which gets sunlight but not direct so it won't fry
him. I feel bad for him, he is so cute and has a great personality! I
also need help in the food I am giving him. I followed the vets advice
and give him lots of veggies, yet his eyes got real puffy. I bought some
vitamins to put in his eyes and food and he now eats veggies and cat food
with a vitamin sup. When I had a box turtle a vet back then told me to
give my turtle cheap canned dog or cat food. My streach would only eat
hamburger and changing his diet to veg. and canned food was hard. Helmet
loves the cat food and the veggies and his eyes and energy are up. Am I
doing the right thing? I need someones feed back please.

Please do not mail but post. This is not my computer. Thank you! I will
look for your post. Shelly

 
 
 

Baby desert turtle diet and care

Post by Andy C. Highfie » Tue, 13 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>I am new to this group and kind of stumbled on it, and boy am I glad! I
>have a 1yr old desert turtle. I have since moved from a large house to a
>large apt.  My little helmet has no where to walk other than our carpet.
>He is very small and now lives in a 10 gallon tank. What suggestions does
>anyone have? Is it okay for him to walk around indoors, he wants to eat
>the carpet? We don't have any grass for him to walk on or around. His
>tank is by the window which gets sunlight but not direct so it won't fry
>him. I feel bad for him, he is so cute and has a great personality! I
>also need help in the food I am giving him. I followed the vets advice
>and give him lots of veggies, yet his eyes got real puffy. I bought some
>vitamins to put in his eyes and food and he now eats veggies and cat food
>with a vitamin sup. When I had a box turtle a vet back then told me to
>give my turtle cheap canned dog or cat food. My streach would only eat
>hamburger and changing his diet to veg. and canned food was hard. Helmet
>loves the cat food and the veggies and his eyes and energy are up. Am I
>doing the right thing? I need someones feed back please.

>Please do not mail but post. This is not my computer. Thank you! I will
>look for your post. Shelly

The single most important thing to get right here is DIET. You
should cut out the cat food entirely. This will lead to excess
growth, severe shell deformities and, in the long term, to
irreparable kidney and liver damage. This is a herbivorous
tortoise, and herbivorous tortoises fed on the diet you are using
presently simply cannot be expected to survive. Box turtles and
desert tortoises are VERY different animals with TOTALLY different
environmental and dietary requirements. Feed a WIDE range of
green-leaf vegetation and use a good quality calcium and vitamin
D3 supplement daily. This latter is, in my opinion, vital.

It is dangerous to allow a small tortoise freedom of a room. Many
are accidentally crushed by doors, or underfoot as a result. You
also need to provide proper lighting and a correct range of
temperatures.

I'd strongly suggest that you contact your local tortoise & turtle
society and consult a few good turtle husbandry books for further
advice.

Andy C. Highfield
Tortoise Trust (U.K.0