How to take care of young turtles?
Turtles are relatively easy animals to keep, although you will need some special tools. Baby turtles don’t need to be treated much differently from large turtles except that you have to take extra care to protect them from any external dangers because they are so small and weak.
Determining the type of new tortoise when you buy it is very important. There are many different types of turtles that come from different parts of the world, so their diet and habitat vary.
1) Dorm preparation
1. Choose the appropriate type of housing.
Your baby turtles need a home, but it has to have certain characteristics in order to be successful. Glass aquariums that many people would use are not good for turtles because the sides are too high and there isn’t enough room on the floor. Also, turtles do not understand glass and can run into it; A wide, shallow container would be much better.
- A large plastic storage container will be suitable for making a dorm indoors (lid not required).
- You can make or buy a turtle table when you need a large container, which is a large wooden bowl on long legs.
Make sure it is exposed to the right UV rays.
Turtles bask in the sun in the wild to regulate their body temperatures and absorb vitamin D.
It is important that you mimic this exposure in captivity to keep the turtles healthy.
- It’s a good idea to let your turtle bask in natural sunlight for a few hours a week. Do not place a glass container in direct sunlight, as this may cause it to get hotter than it should be.
- Use a UV lamp to provide artificial sunlight when your turtles cannot access natural sunlight.
- The amount of UV exposure your turtle will have will depend on the species, but it ranges from 8-12 hours per day
2- Make sure that the housing temperature and humidity are correct.
All turtles need to live in warm housing. It’s a good idea to use heating lights to create gradient temperatures in the bowl.
The temperature on one side should be 22°C and the other 29°C. The right humidity level will depend on the type you have, so be sure to select it correctly.
- Desert turtles should be kept in dry dwellings while tropical turtles should be kept in moist dwellings.
- Some turtles may even need warmer housing, so know your species’ requirements.
- You can increase the humidity by dampening the substrate, especially in the area under the basking lamp. You can bend the lamp slightly to keep all the moisture to one side.
- This will provide your turtle with different microclimates to choose from.
3- Use the appropriate base material.
There are many different bedding materials available in pet stores, but not all of them are good for turtles. The ideal base layer for turtles is a mixture of loose soil and sand.
- Many may add some water into the soil and then mix it in well while getting rid of unwanted things in the process. This will extend the novelty of the substrate and reduce the number of times it is changed.
- Adding creatures such as earthworms, tail hoppers, and armadillos can help the substrate last longer by aerating and devouring food scraps.
4- Give the turtles places to hide.
Make sure to include different things that your turtle can hide under if she wants to. This will provide shade and security.
2) Keeping your turtle hydrated and fed
1-Provide drinking water. Make sure you provide your turtle with a shallow bowl of water to drink. Change the water regularly to keep it fresh.
- Don’t worry if it looks like your tortoise isn’t drinking much. Some species—especially those that are not native to arid climates—drink very little water, but it’s still a good idea to provide it.
2- Put your turtle in the water every week.
Every 1-2 weeks, you should place your turtle in a bowl of room temperature water for about 10-15 minutes. This will help keep the tortoise hydrated.
- Make sure that the water does not rise above the turtle’s chin.
Your tortoise may start drinking while it’s in the water, so make sure it’s clean.
3-Offer your turtle a varied diet.
All turtles need a variety of food to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Be sure to determine the type of turtle and feed it as recommended for that species.
- Desert turtles should be fed a mixture of herbs, leafy greens, and aloe vera flowers, along with a small amount of fruit.
- Grassland turtles such as leopard turtles should be fed a variety of herbs and green leafy vegetables. You should not feed her fruits, meat or other vegetables.
4. Give her vitamins.
Supplementing baby turtle food with vitamin D3 and calcium is very important as turtles can die without these
nutrients so don’t skip this step, multivitamins are also good for balancing nutritional needs.
- You can buy supplements in powder form at any store that sells turtle supplies, and you can also break up supplements that come in tablet form.
3) Keeping your turtle safe and healthy
Protect your turtle from predators.
Baby turtles are very vulnerable to predators because they are so small. Take extra care to protect it from animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons and birds.
- Make sure that other pets cannot reach the turtle’s cage if you keep it indoors.
- If you move your tortoise outside, be sure to cover its home with sturdy metal netting to deter predators.
2-Minimize your grip on it.
Baby turtles get stressed easily, so it’s important to avoid catching them too much. Gently patting and hand-feeding is fine, but you should wait until the tortoise is older and start touching it more.
- Be careful when touching the turtle so as not to stress it by flipping it over or dropping it.
- Do not allow children to hold the turtle for long periods of time or without supervision.
3-Prevent deformation of the shell (the appearance of pyramidal bumps in it). This is a deformity very common in captive-bred turtles that occurs when the shell develops abnormally, causing it to dent rather than smooth. This condition begins to develop in the first year or two of life.
- Aging may occur due to calcium deficiency and/or wet ratios. Try increasing your tortoise’s calcium intake by sprinkling its food with a balanced calcium supplement, or you can try increasing the humidity in its home.
4- Prevent respiratory diseases.
Respiratory diseases are very common in captive turtles. The term “fluid nose syndrome” is used to describe infections of the trachea in turtles. You can prevent your tortoise from developing this problem by making sure that your home is well maintained.
- Never give your turtle fast food, even if he seems to enjoy it. Always stick to the recommended diet for your turtle species.
- Take care not to wet the balm too much. There should always be a dry place available.
- Get your turtle exposed to as much natural sunlight as possible.
- Use a substrate material that is not dusty or getting into your turtle’s nose.
- It’s also important to reduce tortoise stress and be careful not to crowd the home with too many turtles.
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