At present, it has become fashionable to start exotic animals at home, for example, a turtle. These exotic flora representatives are aquatic and terrestrial. If you take care of them correctly, then keeping a turtle will not cause big problems.
Where can a land tortoise live at home?
Many mistakenly believe that a land turtle can safely move around the apartment and does not need its own house. However, it is worth considering some points:
- do not think that a hard shell protects this reptile from a variety of external influences. It often suffers from colds, therefore, it is necessary to protect the turtle even from weak drafts;
- this pet can climb into a place from which it can not then get out. If the owner does not pay attention to it in time, the reptile may die of hunger;
- it can be accidentally stepped on and crushed.
Thus, a land tortoise at home should have a place to live. The best home for her is a special terrarium. He is obligatory should be horizontal, about 60 cm long and 40 cm wide. Such large sizes of the terrarium are needed for this animal to move freely and it is not necessary to fill it with branches and sticks too much.
The bottom of the terrarium is covered with a special coating, which is easy to care for. You can use a mixture of sand and clay, coarse gravel, hay or sawdust. Some mix these types of fillers. The optimal layer thickness should be three centimeters.
Terrarium heating and lighting
Land tortoise care includes heating and lighting of the terrarium. In vivo, these animals receive sufficient ultraviolet light. Lack of sunlight at home contributes to disease in these animals, therefore, two types of lamps are installed above the terrarium.
An incandescent lamp maintains the required temperature in the terrarium. Its power should be 60-100 W and it should be installed at a distance of 35 centimeters from the surface. As a result, half or 1/3 of the terrarium will be illuminated, and the temperature under the lamp should be about 35 degrees. The temperature in an unlit place is usually within 24 degrees.
An ultraviolet lamp provides the turtle with vitamin D and promotes the absorption of calcium, so necessary for its growth. If you don’t install it, the animal often develops rickets and other serious diseases. The lamp is installed in 40 cm directly above the turtle, because the glass makes it difficult for the healing rays to penetrate and the efficiency of the lamp may not be so great.
To keep the temperature in the terrarium all day, lay a flat stone under the lamp. It retains heat well from the lamp on and releases it when it is turned off.
Feeding a tortoise
Proper care of this animal includes proper nutrition. Its diet should be 90% of plant foods and 10% of animal foods. Raw meat that parasites can live in cannot be fed. Moreover, some products can be given every day, others – only several times a month.
Thus, the diet of a land tortoise usually includes the following foods:
- field herbs and houseplants: tradescantia, chickweed, aloe, stalks and leaves of peas, clover, alfalfa, rhubarb, sprouted oats, barley, thistle, plantain, sorrel, coltsfoot;
- vegetables: carrots, eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, radishes, beets, peppers, beans, horseradish, beets, cucumbers;
- fruits: apples, plums, mangoes, apricots, peaches, bananas, oranges, tangerines;
- berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon;
- mushrooms: champignons, russula, boletus.
As additives, turtles are given special dry food, sunflower seeds, dried seaweed, bran and soybean meal.
By the way, the tortoise can be given the following products only 1-2 times a month: dried seaweed, horseradish, dried yeast, onions, herbs, bran, garlic, rhubarb and asparagus. Once a week it can be fed with minced meat or seafood.
It is strictly forbidden to feed this animal with potatoes, poisonous mushrooms, eggshells, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts. Also, do not give her bread, cereals, milk, peel of citrus fruits, seeds of berries and fruits.
Turtle needs to be given fresh drinking water all the time. Can purchase a special drinker or install a heavy ceramic container in the terrarium. To keep the water warm, the drinker should be placed under the lamp.
Home Turtle Hygiene
Caring for turtles also involves keeping them clean. They often get dirty, digging in the soil, which is covered with the bottom of the terrarium, and the skin around the mouth is contaminated with food particles. That is why they should be constantly bathed. For this warm water is used, in which baking soda is added (1 teaspoon of soda is placed per 1 liter of water). Water is poured into a shallow bath and the turtle is immersed in it, leaving only the head on the surface.
First, the animal begins to worry, then calms down and freezes. After 20 minutes, it is removed and left to dry, after which the skin is smeared with a small amount of olive oil. The temperature in the room where the turtle is bathed should be 23 degrees, at a lower temperature it can catch a cold.
Land tortoise care includes personal hygiene. Categorically Do not wash the feeder and drinker in the kitchen sink.
How long can land turtles live?
Life expectancy of turtles at home is slightly different than living in a natural habitat. This type of domestic land tortoise, as the Central European, can live up to 40 years, while it practically does not get sick. Other species reach the age of 20 years, and land species live longer than waterfowl.
Thus, the maintenance and care of the turtle at home is not so complicated. Therefore, it can be safely purchased for your child.