New to box turtles, need some help and advice

Ashbee

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
2
This is Timmy, we believe he is a 20+ year old 3 toed box turtle (please correct me if I'm wrong). He belonged to my husband since he was a small child, but for the past 10 years he has essentially been "neglected" because my husband moved away for college and left him with his family who really didn't care for him much.
We recently "adopted" him back and have since changed his bedding (from corn cob to coconut substrate and organic, non fertilized potting soil) got him on a regular feeding schedule and have tried to get him to eat a more balanced diet( previously he ate only lettuce, then switched to tinned Papaya turtle food, then to zoomed box turtle tinned food). We have tried to keep his humidity up( where we live the humidity normally is 10% tops) and it stays around 40-50% now. He is also eating zoomed box turtle pellets, reptile munchies dried veggies (both soaked until soft), the tinned zoomed food, we sprinkle calcium powder on his food once a week, and have recently discovered he has an extreme love of blackberries.
I don't know how exactly he lost his beak, but we think it was some kind of infection. He has no problems eating but I am wondering if there is anything we can do to help it grow back, or if it ever will.
His shell is also very dry looking and is peeling, which I didn't think happened to box turtles.(yes, he does have a flag painted on his shell... it happened maybe 20 years ago and it doesn't seem to bother him.) The peeling has not gotten worse since we took him back, but it hasn't gotten any better. We have been trying to regularly put on shell 'lotion'-for lack of a better word- but it didn't seem to make a difference.
He absolutely loves to soak in his water dish, and will do so for hours at a time. Mostly half in half out (like the picture) but sometimes he will almost completely submerge himself.
We have been trying to take him outside for a few hours a day when the weather permits. Being in Utah the temperature isn't sutable for taking him out year round, but he does enjoy it when it's warm and will run around the yard.
He has recently taken to digging into his substrate and moving his log and food dish around and digging under them too.
Timmy is a very social turtle and loves to listen to conversations, interact with people, and has a personality a mile wide. He lets you know when he's hungry, dislikes the food he's given, or wants a fresh bath ( even if it's just been changed).
We want to give Timmy the best life we can, and any help anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
IMG_20170411_113023.jpg IMG_20170315_173730.jpg IMG_20170412_124906_154.jpg
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,049
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi, and welcome!

Yup, it's a male three toe (terrapene carolina triunguis) that has been kept way too dry and whose beak has been allowed to grow too long. When the beak grows too long, it eventually breaks off, and the break usually happens not in a place where we want it to. In your turtle's case it broke off way too high. I'll bet at that time it was pretty painful for him. The sides need to be trimmed too, just a little on both sides up to the point where it broke off.
 

Ashbee

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
2
Hi, and welcome!

Yup, it's a male three toe (terrapene carolina triunguis) that has been kept way too dry and whose beak has been allowed to grow too long. When the beak grows too long, it eventually breaks off, and the break usually happens not in a place where we want it to. In your turtle's case it broke off way too high. I'll bet at that time it was pretty painful for him. The sides need to be trimmed too, just a little on both sides up to the point where it broke off.
That's what we figured... Unfortunately. Is there anything we can do to help the healing? We don't know when his beak broke off, but it's been at least 4+months. Also, what would be the best way to file down his beak? As far as the peeling goes, will it go away with time and the increased humidity or is there something else we can do?
 

the Turtle Shepherd

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
301
Location (City and/or State)
nowhere
snails, mash them up, will make his everything grow very fast :) your turtle is crazy low on iron and calcium and it shows everywhere: live big fat bugs, eggs, cooked dark meat chicken, bananas, your turtle is terribly mel-nutritioned
 
Top