Tortoises: how to maintain them and to feed

These reptiles love to move and can live up to 30 years.

Turtles as Pets are endowed with many positive qualities: they have virtually no smell and noise; they are not carriers of dangerous man diseases, care of land turtles (as well as many other reptiles) is simple and requires everyday worries. With proper care, animal will live in your house for decades.

Beginners most often contain steppe (also known as Central Asian) turtles. From his other land congeners they are distinguished by low rounded carapace yellowish-brown with indistinct dark spots. A regular sized turtles do not exceed 20 cm.

In the wild tortoises are active during the day, morning and evening, as day and night hiding in secluded places like under bushes and tree roots, in burrows that they dig themselves or “borrow” in rodents.

And in the annual cycle in these animals and provide a further two period of dormancy: summer and winter. Summer hibernating saves the animal from lack of feed and overheating. Because at this time his dwelling place mercilessly burning

by the sun. Well, in winter it’s still cold hide. In the comfortable conditions of home detention that rhythm can easily be disrupted.So don’t worry if the turtle shows good spirit and good appetite instead of subside. In General, the steppe tortoises tolerate slavery, quickly get used to the place and time of feeding.

CONTENT. One of the mistakes beginners — turtle allowed to live on the floor of the room. To do so is to expose the reptile to the risk of colds, infections, injuries. Remember — the tortoise should live in a terrarium!

For one or two reptiles suitable horizontal terrarium size 50 X40 X30 cm Although the prejudice attributed to these animals are slow, but they definitely need movement. Keep your turtles home with unnecessary items. At the bottom of the terrarium it is best to pour a mixture of coarse sand with clay with a thickness of about 5 cm, you Cannot take sand from a nearby construction site or the sandbox. It is a sure way to bring some illness. A good replacement sand will be a major clean sawdust. The sand can be changed once a month, and sawdust — to the extent of contamination.

Important parameters are temperature, humidity and illumination. The temperature in the terrarium is supported by incandescent lamps 75 watts, installed at a height of 20-30 cm from the bottom of the terrarium, the lighting is a fluorescent light. The temperature in the terrarium should be in the range of 27-29°C, and under the lamp is 35-38°C (so-called point vygreba).

Every ten days you can arrange a reptile bath for 15-20 minutes (temperature of water 25-30°C). The water should reach up to the turtle neck. Just avoid drafts!

FEEDING. In the warmer 2/3 of the diet consists of fresh grass, young shoots, lettuce, spinach, and 1/3 vegetables and fruit. Give them 2-3 feedings. Cold in 2/3 of the diet — steamed hay, the rest is juicy vegetables. Twice a week in the feed need to add specialized additives. The turtles are fed 1 time a day. Although turtles are getting moisture from succulent vegetable, but the drinker must be in the terrarium.

“Almost all ailments of tortoises related to the fact that they are being kept out of the terrarium. First, a huge risk to cause the animal injury. The turtle crawling around, and it can occur to pin down furniture, and a large dog can injure or bite through the carapace (this is the correct name of the turtle “shell”). Secondly, so easy to catch a cold reptile. You opened the balcony to air the room, and she hid somewhere under the battery. Here there and prihvatila the draft. The result is to treat pneumonia, warns veterinarian Andrew Marenin. — Also turtles often suffer from hypovitaminosis (lack of one or more vitamins in the body, aggravated by the shortage of UV radiation). That is why it is important to keep the animals in the terrarium to ensure the correct lighting. From lack of vitamins rescue special additives. I would advise to use products oil-based. They are better absorbed than powders.

Often people forget that they are dealing with herbivorous animals and are trying to feed them with sour cream, yogurt and meat. One day I watched as the turtle tried to feed even the sausage. These gastronomic experiments lead to diseases of the liver and kidneys.

Turtles are often helminthic diseases. This particularly applies to animals taken from the wild or purchased from unverified sellers — for example, in the poultry market. I note that for humans the risk to get an infection or parasites from turtles is negligible. But I would advise you to always after you posites with animals, wash hands with soap and water or wipe with disinfectant solution.

The main signs of any disease in turtles — the animal becomes passive, loses appetite. There may be swelling of the eyes (or they look sunken), discharge from the nostrils and mouth. Changing the color of the carapace, it becomes lighter. With the lack of UV-radiation and disorders of mineral metabolism carapace softened and even deformed”.

The young turtle with a shell size of about 5 cm will cost not less than 200 UAH. Larger specimens (about 10 cm) cost 250-300 USD. and even more expensive. When buying your terrarium, look for the sum from 300 UAH. Now pricenice equipment turtle homes: simple feeders and waterers — 20-30 UAH, special heating lamp — from 50 USD (but you can use incandescent lamp), a lamp for UV irradiation — from 70 UAH. The following is the filler for the terrarium (from 10 UAH), vitamin and mineral supplements (from 50 UAH), dry food (from 30 UAH). Overall, the appearance of a turtle in the house and its construction “from scratch” will devastate a purse of about RS 700-800.

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