Need Advice!! Box Turtles still Hibernating?

TurtleMama7

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Orange County, CA.
Hello, my husband and I live in Southern California (Orange County) and we were given a three-toed box turtle in December. She had always been an indoor turtle in a glass terrarium. In March we started transitioning her out into a beautiful turtle sanctuary that my husband built for her in our back yard. She explored a bit and then immediately went into her hide and stayed there. She buried herself so only the very top of her shell was visible. This behavior has continued since the end of a March. We brought her out a couple of times to make sure she was getting hydrated and she will eat Rolie Polies and a grub or two. I read about people feeding their turtles every other day! We are concerned that she is not getting enough nutrition but we have also been advised by some turtle owners not to force her to come out! We put food out every day early in the am and pick it up at night after dark, but she is not eating. Checking in with the turtle owner experts here - What are your thoughts? Advice?

Part II- since my husband built this beautiful turtle sanctuary, and was enjoying our turtle so much (when she came out), a week ago, we got two more box turtles that were captive raised from hatchlings, lived outside, also in So. California and are about 5 years old. Both of them have also retreated into their hides and have not come out! Same behavior. They were eating every other day before they came to us.

Is this normal? Anything we should be doing? Nighttime temps in CA are 50's, daytime is high 60-70's.

A picture of our turtle sanctuary is attached. I appreciate any thoughts or ideas about our boxie family ❤️

Thank you!
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 34

PJay

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,163
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
I had a newly acquired box turtle that did something similar, but eventually started coming out and exploring. It's just nervous about the new situation. What size turtle do you have? If its eating roly polys, I imagine it is pretty small. Make sure the turtle stays hydrated by soaking it in water up to where the top and bottom shells meet a few times a week for 30 minutes. While you are soaking it, offer some food in the water. When you return it to the sanctuary, which is very nice by the way, put it front of a dish of food near the hide. If it ignores the food and hides, that's OK, keep trying. Try to establish a repeatable routine involving food that the turtle can learn and start to feel comfortable with.
 

Nanchantress

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
90
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Your turtle sanctuary is beautiful! My box turtles do not consistently eat until the daytime temps are in the mid to high 70's and 80's. I feed them twice a week, occasionally 3 times. If you are still in the 60's sometimes, it doesn't surprise me to hear they are not eating well yet. I wouldn't be worried. But with 3 of them, just make sure nobody is getting bullied. I have 4, but everyone has their own enclosure. Also, i wait until the day has warmed up before I put their food out, and they only get an hour or less to eat before I pick it up again (due to ants). If they are hungry, they eat fairly quickly, but once they walk away they never come back for seconds. I'm in Albuquerque, just for reference.
 

TurtleMama7

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Orange County, CA.
I had a newly acquired box turtle that did something similar, but eventually started coming out and exploring. It's just nervous about the new situation. What size turtle do you have? If its eating roly polys, I imagine it is pretty small. Make sure the turtle stays hydrated by soaking it in water up to where the top and bottom shells meet a few times a week for 30 minutes. While you are soaking it, offer some food in the water. When you return it to the sanctuary, which is very nice by the way, put it front of a dish of food near the hide. If it ignores the food and hides, that's OK, keep trying. Try to establish a repeatable routine involving food that the turtle can learn and start to feel comfortable with.
Thank you! We will try this.
 

TurtleMama7

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Orange County, CA.
Your turtle sanctuary is beautiful! My box turtles do not consistently eat until the daytime temps are in the mid to high 70's and 80's. I feed them twice a week, occasionally 3 times. If you are still in the 60's sometimes, it doesn't surprise me to hear they are not eating well yet. I wouldn't be worried. But with 3 of them, just make sure nobody is getting bullied. I have 4, but everyone has their own enclosure. Also, i wait until the day has warmed up before I put their food out, and they only get an hour or less to eat before I pick it up again (due to ants). If they are hungry, they eat fairly quickly, but once they walk away they never come back for seconds. I'm in Albuquerque, just for reference.
Thank you!
 

AJK Aquaria

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Messages
300
Enclosure looks fantastic.

I'm in N. Illinois. We've had crazy weather since February, like most of the country. But I'd imagine you've been pretty steady in that area? My animals were hibernated in a fridge, then moved outdoors in mid April or so. Lots of cold nights into the 40s. Lots of rain. Even with night temps in the 50s and 60 days, the turtles were dug in. Little to zero activity. It's now in the 80s this week. Yesterday hit 90. Still had an animal dug in deep. Pulled him just to check on him yesterday. Today was in the 80s again but the animals are still a bit sluggish. Very little fruit has been eaten, but some were happy to get some crawlers the last 2 days. In early summer they'd probably eat 10 in a sitting if I kept giving them, but most seem content with 1 or 2. Once your nighttime temps rise a bit I think your turtles will perk up. Keep in mind I have little experience with this whole outdoor/hibernation thing, and my thoughts are based on 2 springs and the knowledge I've aquired here.
 

Eric Phillips

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
1,092
Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
Enclosure looks fantastic.

I'm in N. Illinois. We've had crazy weather since February, like most of the country. But I'd imagine you've been pretty steady in that area? My animals were hibernated in a fridge, then moved outdoors in mid April or so. Lots of cold nights into the 40s. Lots of rain. Even with night temps in the 50s and 60 days, the turtles were dug in. Little to zero activity. It's now in the 80s this week. Yesterday hit 90. Still had an animal dug in deep. Pulled him just to check on him yesterday. Today was in the 80s again but the animals are still a bit sluggish. Very little fruit has been eaten, but some were happy to get some crawlers the last 2 days. In early summer they'd probably eat 10 in a sitting if I kept giving them, but most seem content with 1 or 2. Once your nighttime temps rise a bit I think your turtles will perk up. Keep in mind I have little experience with this whole outdoor/hibernation thing, and my thoughts are based on 2 springs and the knowledge I've aquired here.

I 2nd this...my 3 toeds just now started to be more active. Most of them have been up from outdoor hibernation for about a month but not active nor eating much. With the temps now in the 80's they are starting to do their thing....I will say the melon and mangos were a hit yesterday;)
 

AJK Aquaria

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Messages
300
Hard boiled eggs, corn on the cob, banana, blackberries and apples have all been munched on so far for me. And the damn squirrels stole some food...
Back to the 50s today so not even offering anything until it warms up again.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top