Tag Archives: Red-eared Sliders

Hay pellets for Russian Tortoises

11 Mar

20190311_101148267717302070265714.jpg

Russian Tortoises are grass and weed eaters. In the Wintertime I feed them fresh greens from the grocery store and also these Timothy Hay pellets.

20190311_0955358718668392068818971.jpg

I bought this 40 pound bag at Theisen’s, a farm supply store.

20190311_0957263792119070335757529.jpg

I spray water on the pellets to soften them.

20190311_0959332160105506641975211.jpg

They eat a lot of Collard Greens and Kale.

20190311_1016301003608792841508208.jpg

Occasionally sprinkle Calcium powder on the tortoise food. Once a week is good.

20190311_1017422792007160026214384.jpg

I found a good use for these thin limestone pieces. They make a nice dinner plate for the tortoises.

20190311_1004371318853743662009052.jpg

These Redfoots can eat the greens and pellets, but they also get fruits and some protein (cat food).

This 40 pound bag of pellets will last me 10 years. Now I need to get a rabbit.

20190311_1005027352044427393845756.jpg

Annnnd one more tortoise picture because we love tortoises!

20190311_1006065287145200632675919.jpg

Annnd, one more picture of my turtles eating Collard Greens. A Red-eared Slider and a Northern Red-bellied Cooter.

Advertisements

My Yellow-Bellied Slider is not.

10 Mar

20190310_1634173047246938332572854.jpg

The big turtle I got a couple years ago has baffled me. She’s so dark. She disappears in the pond and then rises out of the depths. I call her The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

20190131_204227.jpg

I thought she was a Yellow Belly because she had a yellow belly, sorta.

This winter I have noticed the colors in her shell are changing. She has gotten lighter and I see red edges on the shell. The plastron (bottom) has become more orange or pink.

20190131_203954.jpg

I wondered. Is she really a Yellow Belly? I posted that question online and got my answer in a matter of minutes. My Yellow-Bellied Slider is a Northern Red-Bellied River Cooter.

She is mainly vegetarian. Her favorite food is Guppy Grass (Naja guadalupensis). She is peaceful, graceful and still growing.

It makes me wonder…how did a Northern Red-Bellied River Cooter end up in an animal shelter in Eastern Iowa?

This picture of wild Red-bellied Cooters confirms the identification of my turtle.

baby turtles in 2016

17 Jan

I found two nests from my Red-eared Slider in 2016. Each clutch had six eggs.

See the eggs! The Mom always picks a nice warm, rainy day to go digging.

I incubated the eggs in a plastic tub. I put a layer of sand on the bottom with a heat source, then a smaller plastic tub with moist coir (coconut fiber), and that small tub loosely enclosed in a clear plastic bag to hold humidity. I set the temperature where the eggs were  to about 80-82 F. (27 C)

20160527_155320.jpg

20160527_155411.jpg

20160527_154628.jpg

20160527_155820.jpg
The first group of eggs never developed at all. From the second group of eggs I had 5 hatchlings. They took 70-80 days to hatch.

20160902_153533-1.jpg
20160828_083921-1.jpg
After hatching, the babies sit for a few days absorbing their yolk sac. Then I place them in shallow water with smooth rocks to crawl up on.

20160902_190202-1.jpg
I have a UV light over them but I also put them outside whenever possible. Their shells harden up and they eat like mad. Mostly bloodworms, shrimp, and earthworms. High protein for fast growth.

20160901_1536410-1.jpg
They are so cute but I can’t keep them. I advertise them and give them away to good homes. I ask a few questions. It’s easy to tell who knows what they are doing. I don’t expect miracles, just an honest effort to give the babies a good home.

20160907_125333-1.jpg20160907_182423-1.jpg20160907_125254.jpg

Turtle eggs June 13, 2014

14 Jun

I was watering the plants around the pond and I almost didn’t spot the momma turtle under some flowers. She doesn’t leave the pond except for one reason, to lay eggs.

CAM03094I made a nice sandy beach for her last year but she was 15 feet away from that. All my hard work…

CAM03095She left no trace of a nest, except that I had SEEN her digging. She fills it back in and packs it down and it’s virtually invisible. Here I have removed the eggs, feeling like Roy Chapman Andrews in the Gobi Desert, and left a  spoon in there to show you how deep she goes, through hard ground and full of plant roots. Amazing.

CAM03096Here they are, seven eggs!

I added a layer of mixed vermiculite and coir (coconut husk fiber) over the eggs, then put the container into ANOTHER container which has a bed of sand in it, then put that on a shelf with a heating pad underneath. All the sand is so the heat radiates into the container evenly, no hotspots.

I’ll get a picture of the egg incubator thing and post it soon, and I’ll keep it moist and mostly covered. You check back in a few months, okay? We’ll find out if I am the foster parent of septuplets.

 

 

An indoor turtle pond

6 Dec

Here’s a photo of my four aquatic turtles in their winter quarters, a 100 gallon horse trough.

My 3 Red-eared Sliders and one Western Painted Turtle

These turtles live outdoors in my backyard pond in the summertime. The biggest issue with water turtles is that they become big messy poop machines. This year I acquired a Fluval 204 canister filter. Wow, what a dream, no noise, no mess. I clean it less than once per week. It makes having these turtle so much easier.

If you have big fish in big tanks one of these Fluvals is the way to go.

I’ll post some photos of my outdoor turtle pond sometime soon. It might help to ease the winter blahs.