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how often do box turtles...

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by Turtleann, Nov 11, 2009.

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  1. Turtleann

    Turtleann New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    eat and use the bathroom

    I have a box turtle. I was woundering how often they eat and use the bathroom.

    I have a plate of mix greens/fruites, Turtle food set out each night for him. a shallow dish of water as well as a waterbowl just in case he wants to to drink.

    I think he's eating the mix.. i do know he will every so often eat Mealworms. but I have not notied if he is using thepotty. he's otherwise active.

    we let him have some "family" time. we like to watch him walk around so we set upa safe area in our livingroom witha pet playpen for him to walk around in. and he moves fast.

    I was just currious. beacusein the summer during the day he's in a outside play area.... and i have of course can't tell in the grass if he's pooed.

  2. Kadaan

    Kadaan New Member

    Aug 30, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    I'm not sure how similar box turtles are to tortoises in regards to using the bathroom, but tortoises will poo a few times a week, not necessarily every day. I only notice mine pee when I give him his weekly soak, and he usually poos at that time too.

    At 4 months, my greek tortoise eats a fistful of spring mix every day.
  3. maggie3fan

    maggie3fan Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    Corvallis Oregon
    My box turtles don't have a bathroom in their habitat, so I don't know how often they poop or pee. It's 8ft long and about 2.5 feet across and full of substrate and driftwood and half logs and some rocks, but no bathroom. Hmmm, guess I need to add one...:)
  4. tortoisenerd

    tortoisenerd New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Welcome to the group!

    I assume all turtles torts have similar bathroom habits. Poop on more days than not. Pee depends on their water intake as they only expel urine and urates when they take in water, which is why you want to encourage them to drink and soak. What kind of playpen in the living room? Is it heated with a hide? Be careful as your house floor with no heat is very cold for a tortoise. You could compare it to you lying naked on it due to drafts.

    If you are concerned for his bathroom habits, keep him in an enclosure where you can see his output for a week. It is a great idea to take a fecal sample to a vet if you have not already done this so they can test for parasites (as well as bring the turtle in for a check up).

    As for food, you should definitely see that food is gone everyday. If you are not seeing a pile of greens a good portion of his size gone everyday, then you may want to check into health issues further. I do know that worms and pellets are more calorie dense so as it would be tougher to see how much is gone. How about putting out a smaller amount of one type of food to check up on what he is eating more so? Best wishes.
  5. Turtleann

    Turtleann New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    hello and thanks for the reply's.. I only posted to ease hubby's worries about Jasper.
    Considering it's getting colder out I told him that he will slow down a bit on things as we just got him over the summer.. and we kept him in a outside habitat during the day for natural sunlight.. I totaly believe in keepig things as natural as possible. and I am not sure i want to hibernate my turtles.. I also havewater turtles. who are outside in the day . and I did the same with them.. and they are just tiny baby's... so they only came in at night or if its storming out and very rainy they just stay in for the day... just like jasper for safty reasons..

    So now that it's getting cooler and we just got all our turtles.. I'm in the process of building their indoor winter home considering im not sure if we want to let them hybernate. as we enjoy them so much.

    as for the indoor play area.. It's in my living room wich is carpet. and it's just one of them "ferret playpen" things. and he is only realy in it a few hours sometimes less.. when he is showing he's not intrested in it anymore and wants to try to scale it we put him back outside.

    He is showing a real personal preference to my husband.. as when he picks him up he dose not go in his shell he will stay out of it an look round... when i pick him up he gose in and hiss's lol. but I also like to hold him close to my body. and cup my hands over him. I know turtles are said to not have feelings of love but I am someone who thinks that all animals must feel something.. esp with my water turtles.. They see us and they instanly go tot he side of their indoor tank and start to swim at it.. you open it to get them and they swim rite into your hands. and try to crawl up your arm.

    I'll try to put less food in the plate when he's inside. rite now i have him in our bathroom. we have huge doule sink bathroom with a counter that seperates the to sinks.. and under that counter is a area you can easily store boxes and stuff... I plan on turning this into the ultimate turtle habitat. hubby and i are going to get something big to slide in there and fill with some soil. then a box at one end with much deeper soil. to dig in.. and 2 heat lamps to hang poining down from the counder (like a hanging light). and I plan on putting a form of a "turtle house" in there to also hide in. then make a door to put in front of it to keep our cats out.

    witch by the way jasper loves to chase LOL!.. the cats come close to sniff him and he puts his head out and trys to crawl to them and climb them lOL.. the cats I think being young and never gonna have babys.. Treat our "smallpets" as their baby.. beacuse you ask them where's jasper and theygo to his gate and lay down. or if one of the kids take him out of it when i am in the otherroom.. and put him down and he starts to crawl away theywill fallow him and meow to tell me he's not where he suppose to b. they do thatwith our ferrets too (wich do not get out at all around the turtles heck no I know bettter.). but anyway.. thanks for the info. I'm sure he's doing his business outside. being he was givin to us we do not know his habbits. the family before just kept him outside toss food in his enclousre wich was byall means not for a turtle. and that was it.

    here he will get lots of interaction. but it is so funny to see him compared to our '"baby's" the waterturtles are half dollar size... then you get Jasper who is around 6" lol. Turtlezilla meets Turtle world LMAO
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Clovis, CA
    Hi TurtleAnn:

    I can tell from your post that you really love Jasper. Its also heartening to know that your husband is also worried about him.

    The most important things to remember about your indoor habitat is to be sure he has a place where he can warm up his body to at least 80 degrees. They have to be warm or they can't digest their food (and then they won't eat).

    Where do you live? I ask because I'm wondering what your winters are like. If it gets cold enough that a turtle would want to hibernate if living outside, then I suggest you make the indoor habitat his "most-of-the-time" habitat (during the winter months, I mean), with going outside only on warm sunny days. Turtles and tortoises don't like change in their routine, and going in and out all the time might stress Jasper out.

    I don't think I ever welcomed you to the forum:


    to the forum! Its good to have another box turtle keeper here. They're just the best darned creatures!!

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