Recently, keeping at home rare and even exotic animals is in fashion. More and more families do not keep cats and dogs, but rabbits, ferrets, degus, iguanas, snakes and even hedgehogs. Not the last place in this row is occupied by turtles. Everyone knows the famous words of Uncle Fedor’s mother from the cartoon about Prostokvashino: “After work I get so tired that I barely have the strength to turn on the TV. In an extreme case, I will agree to a turtle in a box. ” It is widely believed that the turtle is an extremely unpretentious animal. Is it so? Yes and no. In this article, we will tell you how to care for a domestic turtle.
If you create good conditions for the tortoise, then caring for it will not be too difficult, and even a child can cope with this matter.
General information about turtles
Before you learn how to care for a turtle, it is important to understand what kind of creature it is. These animals are reptiles, and their oldest remains found by scientists date back to 220 million years ago. Turtles have undergone a long evolution, some species have disappeared, some have transformed. In modern science, there are 328 species! Initially, they are divided into land and sea, and land. on freshwater and land. A distinctive feature of the turtle is that it carries its own “house,” the carapace. This is a kind of skeleton that is outside and protects the animal from environmental hazards. The upper part of the shell, convex, is called the carapace, and the lower, flat, is the plastron. In case of danger, the turtle draws its head, legs and tail into the shell and thus avoids many dangers.
The section of zoology that studies turtles is called herpetology, and the veterinarian specializing in the treatment of these animals. herpetologist. This doctor knows best how to care for decorative turtles, and often works in zoos.
In many cultures, these reptiles are sacred, but some species are also used by humans for food.
Although the tortoise cannot purr, make any sounds that are pleasing to the ear and “understand” the owner like a cat, for example, many people enjoy watching this animal. It is very important to know how to care for the turtle, because improper care can cost your darling life.
What to do if you find a pet on the street?
The first thing to do if you find a turtle on the street. it is as soon as possible to determine its species and, first of all, to find out whether it refers to land or aquatic species. It will depend on what help you can provide her. To determine the type, you can contact your veterinarian or search for information on the Internet.
If you found a marsh or Caspian tortoise in the south of Russia, then try to quickly return it to its native environment, since, most likely, it lives in this area.
Trachemys most likely thrown out by negligent hosts or lost. You can try to attach it in good hands or take it by creating suitable conditions for it. Read about how to care for the rubella tortoise below.
If you found a Central Asian tortoise, then it is most likely lost by the owners on a walk. You can place an ad on poles and porches in the nearest area, maybe you can help the animal return to its terrarium. If the owner was not found, then it is necessary to arrange a spacious temporary or permanent home for the tortoise at home according to information on how to care for the tortoise.
What to do with a foundling?
The found animal, most likely, was without food and drink for some time, and dehydration was the main problem for the reptile. First of all, you need to put the turtle in a basin of warm water (water is poured to the chin) and keep it there for at least two hours. The turtle will get drunk and absorb liquid through the skin. This will strengthen her strength. After bathing, in no case do not lubricate the tortoise shell with vegetable oil, as this clogs the pores and leads to unpleasant consequences.
First you need to feed the turtle every day, and then every other day (if it is an adult). You can feed the animal with a mixture of herbs with vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes) and fruits.
Now let’s take a closer look at how to care for a turtle (we will describe several different common species).
The most common type of land tortoise is the Central Asian. As the name implies, it lives in Central Asia and is a thermophilic species. These animals are listed in the Red Book and are most often smuggled. Despite this, and, perhaps, due to this, they are the most common species in ordinary houses.
Some owners of turtles treat the animal irresponsibly, keep it on the floor in winter, sometimes not even knowing which battery the turtle is warming under. This is extremely harmful to the animal! Just look at the photographs of mutilated turtles, with rickety carapace, with cracks in the carapace due to furniture, to understand that it is necessary to create an animal suitable climatic conditions for it.
Here we will tell you how to care for a land tortoise. It is necessary to settle it in a terrarium, provide swimming, walking, food and ultraviolet radiation, as well as an incandescent lamp.
How to equip a terrarium?
The terrarium should be spacious for the turtle. For a medium-sized individual, a terrarium of the order of 80 cm by 50 cm is needed. If you plan to settle several turtles there, then the volume of the terrarium should be increased by one and a half to two times.
One of the important conditions for keeping turtles is the presence of an ultraviolet lamp. Ultraviolet, acting on the shell and skin of the turtle, promotes the absorption of calcium from food, because calcium is the most important building material for the shell. The UV lamp should be mounted at a height of about 40-50 cm, it needs to be changed on average once every six months. Such a lamp should burn for about the entire daylight hours, this is especially important in the winter season.
An incandescent lamp is also important. It creates warmth for the animal. The incandescent lamp should burn all daylight hours.
It is especially important to choose the right soil for covering the bottom of the terrarium. The soil can be either homogeneous or mixed, the main thing is that its particles are large, and the turtle could not accidentally swallow them. To cover the bottom of the terrarium, large sawdust or wood shavings, hay, river pebbles, medium-sized pebbles, etc. can be used.
Land Turtle Bathing
So, you have arranged a terrarium, that is, a house for a turtle. But the animal does not spend all the time in the terrarium! For health, she needs food, walks and swimming.
You need to bathe the turtle twice a week, in warm water, so that the water reaches the animal to the chin. In case of contamination, you can rinse the turtle with baby soap and a sponge, but be careful not to get the soap in her eyes or mouth. After swimming (10-15 minutes), the turtle is wetted with a dry cloth and placed in a terrarium under a glow lamp to warm up, it is important for the health of the turtle so that it does not catch a cold.
Walking with a turtle on the street is possible only if the air temperature on average for several days exceeds 25 degrees Celsius. Do not interfere, if the turtle wants to go into the shade, and do not take your eyes off it, as usually these small lumps become a target for dogs and children, and it just might get lost.
At home, you can let the turtle out on the couch; you cannot let the turtle walk on the floor: even if you clean it regularly, you are still not immune to dust.
You need to feed an adult every other day: greens, lettuce, grass, vegetables and fruits. You can use top dressing, which is recommended by your herpetologist.
A few words should be said about how to care for the aquatic turtle. Most often it is either a red-eared, or a marsh turtle.
For water turtles, you need a terrarium with water, with the same set of lamps as for land. It is important that the animal has the opportunity to get "ashore" on the island. Such a turtle eats most often in water. You can feed it with special food, seafood and small fish, shrimp in a peel and without, adding grass and greens to the food.
Together with the turtle you can keep fish and snails, as well as plant non-toxic algae.
Soil in the aquaterrarium is optional, but it is important that the transition from the water part of the terrarium to the land is rough (so that the animal grinds its claws).
Change the water in the terrarium as necessary, approximately once a week or two. The water temperature should be about 31-33 degrees Celsius.
If you like the red-eared turtle, how to care for it, you can ask at the zoo or read on thematic resources, as well as use the tips from this article.
If you are interested in how to care for a small turtle, then know: this is much easier than for a large one. Small turtles are considered to grow up to no more than 12-13 cm on the shell. These are the following types of turtles: flat-bodied, closing, musky and others. All they need. This is a spacious aquarium, competent care and balanced nutrition. Such turtles are extremely interesting.
So, the tortoise is easy to care for: a little grass, vegetables and fruits, comfortable housing, walking and swimming. that’s all she needs.