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Ground beef??

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by ekj040510, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. ekj040510

    ekj040510 New Member

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    I cant get my hands on some worms for my babies (box turtles(2)). I was told you can give them ground beef just the same. I tried giving them some but they didnt seem too interested. I am going to end up buying the worms Wal-Mart sells (in the blue tub). Any opinions/suggestions????

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  2. supremelysteve

    supremelysteve New Member

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    You don't want to put them on a steady diet of ground beef. It's too high in fat and not enough of other essentials they need. But do what you can to get them feeding, then switch them to a healthy regime. You say they are babies? Try pill bugs (rolley-polleys). I start my babies out on pill bugs. They are slow isopods that move almost constantly, and are easy to catch and eat. They don't jump and can't crawl on very smooth surfaces, so they're less likely to escape. Look in flowerbeds, under leaves, logs, etc. Avoid areas that have been recently sprayed with insecticides or fungicides. Don't worry about fertilizers.
    Find the smaller ones, and they should love them!
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    Hi Stephanie:

    I wouldn't use ground beef. Like Steve said, its too fatty.

    I think the blue tub of Wal-Mart worms is red worms, right? They sometimes have a pretty pungent smell, and I don't think they're very palatable. But if you can get the turtles to eat them, that would be a fine food source.

    Get a big tub, fill it with garden trash (leaves, weeds, etc) maybe a bit of soil and, if you can get some, some horse manure. You can add kitchen garbage too (banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells) and newspaper. Put in a couple tubs of the Wal-Mart red worms. Make sure to keep it moist. the worms can't live in dry soil. You can turn it with a shovel occasionally to keep it oxygenated. After a couple weeks of living in this medium, your worms will be cleaned out and the turtles should eat them readily. You should be able to have enough worms to keep your babies fed.

    I chop up fruit and veggies very small and put a little handful on the feeding station. Then I place a few worms or meal worms or super worms on top of the pile and put the babies around it, quickly moving out of sight. They eat the worms and get a taste of the fruits and veggies in the process, and pretty soon they'll eat the fruit and veggies on their own.
  4. Angi

    Angi Active Member

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    For my worms I let the horse manure sit for about a month before I add it. I now have mine in a pile that I cover. In the tub they were getting too hot during the summer. I also have rolly pollys that come to live in my compost pile. I get a worm breeder news letter every month so if you PM me you email address I will forward it to you. Believe it or not raising worms is very enjoyable. I also move the pile and use the castings for fertalizer. Growing meat for your boxies is not that hard :)
  5. ekj040510

    ekj040510 New Member

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    Great info! I will definitely look into making compost for worms. I gave them a cut up strawberry this morning and they both ate willingly. I just wanted some source of meat for them. I will get the walmart worms and see how they like those and then start my composting. Thanks A LOT!!!:D
  6. yagyujubei

    yagyujubei Active Member

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    I have used very lean ground beef occasionally without problems.
  7. GeoTerraTestudo

    GeoTerraTestudo Active Member

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    In the wild, box turtles have a diet that is almost half fruit and almost half live invertebrates, with carrion, mushrooms, vegetables, and even dung making up the difference. Wild box turtles often scavenge the carcasses of birds, rodents, and deer. You can buy live invertebrates like crickets, super worms, and wax worms at most pet stores. Barring that, you can buy live earthworms or night crawlers for your box turtles at stores that sell live fishing bait. You can buy canned box turtle food at pet stores as well. This is a bit like canned cat food, except it's for box turtles. It contains some meat, as well as fruits like apple in it. It smells like it tastes pretty good, and it can be a part of a good diet for a box turtle.

    If you are having trouble finding these things, though, or if you want to vary up their diet a bit (which can be a good thing), then instead of using beef, I would use chicken because it is leaner. Being omnivores, boxies still need to eat other things as well (like some fruits and vegetables), but using a lean meat like chicken would be better for them than a fattier meat like beef. Box turtles fed a lot of beef tend to get fatty livers and die prematurely. Make sure that animals eating meat have enough access to water, because when you eat meat you get more Nitrogen, so your kidneys need more water to get rid of the excess. It's a perfectly normal process, but if an animal is dehydrated (be it a human, dog, cat, or turtle), then it could get renal failure, so make sure they have enough to drink. Also, remember to use cooked meat, not raw. It's more for your benefit than theirs. Turtles are happy to eat raw meat, but then they could become carriers for Salmonella, which could put you at risk.

    PS - Don't let your captive turtles or tortoises eat dung or carrion, because although there are nutrients in these foods, there are also diseases. I have at times caught my boxies or redfoot tortoise chowing down on poop or a dead rodent outdoors, but I didn't let them continue doing this, because of the risk of contracting dangerous bacteria or parasites.
  8. ekj040510

    ekj040510 New Member

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    Great! I will take notes on this one...lol thanks alot guys, i appreciate it


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