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Hatchling not eating

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by Tvansant, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    IMG_1090.JPG Hi,
    I've had my hatchling for two months. Until a few days ago all was well. I changed out her substrate and made it a bit deeper and it seems she just wants to dig and is not interested in food. I have switched up her food and given her her favorite canned dog food and she literally walks through it. I'm worried about her. She's so little !!

    I took the bulk of the substrate out today but she still doesn't seem to even notice her food. Any suggestions on how to get her to eat or what may be the issue would be great.

    Thanks
    Tracy ❤️
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  2. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

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  3. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    thank you !! I appreciate this !!
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  4. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  5. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    So I tried some blood worms and a frozen turtle mix. I tried cantaloupe and a canned sweet potato purée. Changed the uv bulb and did some longer soaks. Tried hand feeding with tweezers and today she literally walked through her food. It's like she's blind !!
    She walked through her food dish and proceeded to dig again.
    She was never like this she always ate as soon as I put her food down after her nightly soak. I'm worried how long she can go without eating.
    She has never been kept outside but she was found outdoors. Do they hibernate? Would this be something causing this ?
  6. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

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    They do tend to try to hibernate sometimes. They can go off food for many reasons. Let him/her figure it out. Keep offering food, eventually he/she will eat.
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  7. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply !! I wasnt sure If I should be trying to wake her up if she was in fact trying to hibernate !!
    So I usually find her buried and get her out when I get home from work. I then put her in a soaking tub under a uvb light for about 20 minutes because she isn't getting any light being buried all the time. I prepare her food. Then I let her walk around a safe area for about 10 minutes to exercise (she has a rear leg that is missing all toes).
    Then I put her back in her misted enclosure with her food.
    she is my first turtle and I just want to make sure I'm doing the right things. Up until lately this routine seemed to work for her. Her food from last night that she walked through I took out this morning and put a frozen omega one block of turtle food in her dish before I left for work. If she decides to eat it would be there : / I'm about to leave for my lunch to get a cuttlebone at the pet store. The people at the store are going to offer me a job there soon since I've been there to get various food every day this week so far :p If there's anything you would do differently let me know.
  8. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member

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    Try some small earth worms The wiggling should start her stack mod . And if you have her light on for 12-13 hours a day and the temps up she shouldn't want to hibernate.
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  9. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    Thanks so much for the info!!

    I ran into Walmart at lunch and got some nightcrawlers which I was told by another customer (the employees had no idea) are earth worms ?!?
    So I should just leave them to crawl around her enclosure with her not cut them up or anything ?

    Also is she getting the benefit of the light if shes buried ? It's on but I wasn't sure if she even got the benefit of it. I also have a ceramic lamp for heat. It only heats a certain area to around 82. Other areas go around 70-73. I have an infrared gun that measures the temperature and claims to be pretty accurate.
  10. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

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    Myself , I’d keep her in a pretty small container of soaking wet sphagnum moss , soaked enough to have standing water at the bottom ……I’d try for a constant 83 degrees most everywhere with a hot end of 90-95 or so , which can be achieved with a bulb type che ….. I’ve raised 5-7 in a plastic container that fit inside a 20 gallon long aquarium , I’d guess 11” x 15”-18” , for easily 10 months …… I wouldn’t use to big of an enclosure so as to not give her a spot to make a bad choice , too cold …. I think not only a lot of light , but as wide a spectrum of light as you can supply , I’ve used a 4 light fluorescent fixture with a 2 6500k bulbs , a 2800k bulb and a uvb fluorescent …….. hatchlings hide , it’s what they do , I’d have to think not being able to would stress them out …….. I doubt your going to get her to eat any vegetables or fruit , hatchlings eat mostly protein , I’d go to the bait store and buy red worms and maggots , I think crickets , and wood lice might get her attention , I’d offer soaked pellets all the time , for some reason mine always like hikari chichlid gold the best ……. looks healthy in the picture ......
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  11. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member

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    You better cut up night crawlers they are to big for a baby box turtle ! It will cough them up if they are to big .
  12. ColleenT

    ColleenT Well-Known Member

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    nightcrawlers are huge. i would see if you can find a small earthworm outside. Under old wood, or under a rock.
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  13. Tvansant

    Tvansant Member

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    Thanks everyone!! I changed out her enclosure yet again !! I put the remainder of spagnum moss soaked with standing water and had my boyfriend cut the worm. I didn't have the mindset. The segment of worm was still moving and.... she ATE IT !!!!!
    She was tearing it up !!! I feel so much better seeing her eat !! Thanks so much for taking to time to help !!! :)
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