Box Turtle Care Sheet

Debra Carson

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Derby,Kansas
Does this beauty have red eyes? or yellow eyes? The reason I ask is because all the ornate box turtles, painted box turtles and such that I have re-leased after healing, look like this one, but found out that red eyes tell it is a male.
 

Debra Carson

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Derby,Kansas
I have been rescuing turtles and boxies for years and years, I keep Gamera and Lil Bit in the same large kiddie pool in my basement jungle. They eat everything! Both are females Gamera is an Eastern Missouri and she is lucky to be alive, her shell so damaged by the cars, but she is well now, 8 years later. Lil Bit is a mis-placed three toed, dropped in my back yard by a blue Jay. she was the size of a quarter..Lil Bit has grown three times bigger in two years. They both live together, but they are not really "friends". And.. they are both females. Gamera was probably hit before she mated. We have never had males here long enough to breed. June 5th Gamera 2017 009.JPG June 5th Gamera 2017 009.JPG
 

siberianwolf

New Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Mississippi
Does this beauty have red eyes? or yellow eyes? The reason I ask is because all the ornate box turtles, painted box turtles and such that I have re-leased after healing, look like this one, but found out that red eyes tell it is a male.
Red and his plastron has a concave which assists males when the mate. I have found females have flat plastrons
 

siberianwolf

New Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Mississippi
I have been rescuing turtles and boxies for years and years, I keep Gamera and Lil Bit in the same large kiddie pool in my basement jungle. They eat everything! Both are females Gamera is an Eastern Missouri and she is lucky to be alive, her shell so damaged by the cars, but she is well now, 8 years later. Lil Bit is a mis-placed three toed, dropped in my back yard by a blue Jay. she was the size of a quarter..Lil Bit has grown three times bigger in two years. They both live together, but they are not really "friends". And.. they are both females. Gamera was probably hit before she mated. We have never had males here long enough to breed. View attachment 223904 View attachment 223904
That’s a pretty good idea for the kiddie pool. Are the kiddie pools relatively cheap. By the way those girls are so gorgeous.
 

ZappCatt

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
SF Bay Area, California
Thanks for putting this care sheet up.

I see that in 2017 it was mentioned that there might be an update. Is the current top post the updated one, or the outdated version? I ask since there were some questions and discussion about the temperatures in the indoor environment.

I would also appreciate any information about outdoor 24/7 enclosures for box turtles(Ornate Box Turtle in my case) and heated housing, etc.

I live in the SF Bay Area, so do not have a long period of freezing, but it is not unheard of to get a cold snap. We also have long periods of temperatures well below the "suggested" average temperature of an indoor cage.
 

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Cmv

New Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Yuba City, California
Thanks for putting this care sheet up.

I see that in 2017 it was mentioned that there might be an update. Is the current top post the updated one, or the outdated version? I ask since there were some questions and discussion about the temperatures in the indoor environment.

I would also appreciate any information about outdoor 24/7 enclosures for box turtles(Ornate Box Turtle in my case) and heated housing, etc.

I live in the SF Bay Area, so do not have a long period of freezing, but it is not unheard of to get a cold snap. We also have long periods of temperatures well below the "suggested" average temperature of an indoor cage.
You’ll be fine in SF. Box turtles are native to areas that get much colder. I live near Sacramento and mine are outdoors year round as well.
 

m irwin

New Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Dallas
My Ornate and Three Toed's (TT) are housed outside 100% of the time. As the leaves from Pecan and other tree's begin to fall, I gather them up and make heaping piles of them in their pen. The turtles will find them and usually go down for good sometime in November - not to be seen till March or April. The TT's seem to go down once and for all. A few of the Ornate's will go down on colder days but then on warmer days will crawl out from where they are hiding and sit in the warmer air. Warmer is a relative term - it may be only 55 degrees but that's warmer than the leaf pile, so they come out. They barely move though. Just sit hours motionless. As night approaches, they move back into the leaf pile. Hibernation seems to be harder on the Ornate's than the TT, which is odd since they are from areas of the country where it gets much colder and for longer then it gets here. Where I am we have clay soil that is difficult to dig into for me, let alone a turtle, so the leaves are where they go. In other words, they go into the leaf piles rather than down into the ground. So if hibernating outside, I recommend piling up leaves and they'll use them. On a ew especially cold nights I will put a sheet over the areas I think they are to protect from the wind. Whether that does anything I don't know but it makes me feel like I'm helping!
 
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