Animal Stories - Ornate Box Turtle


Animal-World Information about: Ornate Box Turtle

   The western box turtle or Ornate Box Turtle is perhaps one of the most commonly available of all the box turtles!
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MsBeth - 2014-06-17
My daughter was given a Western boxie by some friends. We named her Digger. She LOVES to eat chicken (give her a thigh bone with a little meat left on it and it will be picked clean soon!), mangoes and nectarines. She is not much on tomatoes or green vegetables of any kind. Lettuce is not nourishing, so we don't do that. She likes tidbits of corn on the cob. When we can find them, she loves earthworms and snails! YUM! We made an enclosure from a very large cat box for her when we first got her and she was only about 2' long. She grew tremendously the first 2 years and now really needs a larger enclosure. We take her out in the evenings to let her get some exercise in the yard - but you have to watch her like crazy - she can really move when she has a mind to. We love the info on this site and LOVE our Digger!!

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Linda M - 2012-10-07
My daughter has a class pet, an ornate box turtle named Hulk. They feed him dog food and he will not eat anything else. Do you have any suggestions?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-10-07
    Western box turtles are omnivores and feed on a huge variety of food in the wild. In captivity, they are especially fond of live food such as earthworms, superworms, redworms, wax worms, crickets, pink mice, and even goldfish.

    In addition to this large variety of live foods, you can offer chopped fruits and vegetables. Finely grated dark green veggies such as lettuces and kale, and fruits such as melons, berries, cantaloupe, are also accepted (though not eagerly) once or twice a week.

    They will eat MAZURIĀ® Tortoise Diet and high-quality canned cat food (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.), but this should only be a small part of their overall diet. Many keepers choose not to feed cat food as it is high in fat and protein which can lead to obesity and shell deformities.

     
  • Priscilla Lane - 2013-02-19
    He will eat something else if they try feeding him something palatable. Dog food is very bad for him. Start with red foods like tomato and berry, turtles find red foods attractive. Ornates are very carnivorous, especially when young, so try food that moves, like nightcrawlers and crockets.
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Anonymous - 2012-10-15
Romane lettuce works every time.

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Claudia - 2012-08-09
I was given this turtle by a friend who could not keep it. He's fun to watch. My turtle will not eat tomatoes. He will eat the dead scorpions in our yard and was caught eating a dead baby bird still in shell!!!! It found it's home under the evergreen trees. I found it today sleeping, by our porch behind a bag of potting soil and a basket??? Weired!!! I hope he likes it hear but I occasionally see it by the gate wanting to crawl out. I leave in the desert and my yard is big enough to roam, sometimes I wonder if it is happy here.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-10
    If it wasn't happy, he would move on down the road.  He is happy/
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-08-10
    If he wanted to leave he would burrow under the fence.  This guys are very resourceful.  Make sure to have water for it to get in and out of.
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gin - 2010-08-19
My turtle loves to poop in her water dish! Refreshing!

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  • Anonymous - 2010-10-06
    Haha mine too.
  • Rainey - 2012-06-23
    lol My turtle does too, yesterday I found him sleeping in his water dish, poop one side the rest of the water on the other. But it was all mixed up..eww.. I HAD to take him out of there. lol when I did, he started waving his arms and legs and when I put him down he tried to go back. so I cleaned it out filled it with fresh water and returned him to his wet slumber
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Kayla - 2011-11-02
I bought my ornate box turtle through a radio show, called problem corner. Its a local call in about buying, selling or trading your things. Some people listen religiously. My mom heard someone was selling a turtle, so i jumped to it. When I met Fredricks previous owners, it was a child. The mother, when passing off this box turtle to me, set him on the ground to take a picture, started knocking the back of his shell to get him to stick his head out! Me, about ready to freak out, paid the lady and carefully picked up this poor creature. As soon as we were away, I told him he would never be treated so horribly! There's traces of paint still on the cracks of his shell...I brought him home, with the tank they gave me. Since that day, my Fredricks had the life. The only thing I think he lacks, is vitamin D. I live in alaska, we don't get much sun, but I try and take him outside to roam when I have free time...or if he is awake! I dont believe he has ever hybernated! His first year with me, he slept sooo much! I've vowed to NOT allow him to be in his cage all day or night! The only time he is in his aquarium, is when I just fed him and I have to go to work. Then that, he is a wanderer! I have a 1 bedroom apartment and he can go anywhere he likes! No boundaries! He loves worms! During spring summer and fall, I dig worms for him. Winter, I buy meal worms from the local pet store. Fredrick LOVES red foods! Strawberries above all! He eats only fresh salmonberries or he will devour tomatoes! Raspberries were a treat to!! I've tried all sorts of foods for him. He is very picky! I used to dice things up, try to get him to eat different things...he is picky! He would push the food around and ignore what wasnt red! He sleeps for days to weeks at time! In the winter, he sleeps for like a month, maybe 2, will get up and get some water, and go back to sleep. When I know he is awake, I have fresh water and a food dish in the bathroom, which he knows where it's at, he freely eats and has fresh water while I'm at work. His bed is on my bed. I have a folded up blanket all for him, he finds a comfy spot in the folds and we both pass out! Sometimes, when its really cold and he is up, I will set him on my collar bone as I lay in bed, throw the covers over us and we are both down for the count! I love my Fredrick and I can just tell that he is loving the new free life I have given him! One day, I will find him a female, add her to our happy home :)

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-02
    That is awesome and Frederick is so lucky to have you.
  • Rainey - 2012-06-23
    That's exactly how I am with my turtle Pete. As I am typing this he is tucked between between my arm and blanket. I found him on the side of the road, he was looking like he was about to cross, and I didn't want him to be hurt. I brought him back to my apartment and put him on the patio. I live on the second floor, so the closed fence looking part allows him to look out at the field without falling or running away. For the first two to three weeks he would go as far as he could to the edge of the patio and stare out at the grass, it kind of saddened me, for the first 3 days he refused to eat, but he drank the water i gave him. I diced carrots and apples and put them on a bed of lettuce and hoped he would eat it.(he didn't) Everytime I brought him in the house to wander he turned around to the patio and scratched at the window. (it broke my heart) I decided that I would set him free in a kind of woody area my family went hiking at on the weekend. Then came that faithful day when i cut a slice of apple, left him alone in my room and came back an hour later and saw TURTLE BITES IN THE APPLE!! lol I was so excited. But now all he eats are red apples (without the red skin) worms, and occasionally avacados. I'm worried that just red apples and worms on a main diet, isn't enough to keep him healthy. He refuses to eat anything else, not even strawberries. Once he ate some bread after my little brother gave him a corner of his sandwich, but that was just once. Now he wanders around the house, but TODAY, when i put him outside on the patio, he turned his little shell around and came inside and eased up next to my leg. I was elated. Now he eats from my hand, follows me around, and I put him on my collar bone as well and sometimes he falls asleep, for the most part, he just likes to relax and watch me. I take him outside for about and hour a day twice a day and watch him wander and explore. He usually ends up digging a hole and sleeping in it, then about 20 minutes after he's sleep I take him from the hole and place him on his 'sleeping pillow'
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Brenda Gordineer - 2012-06-10
I've found 2 box turtles in the past week. The first one obviously was a pet at some point because it's not afraid of people and will eat from my hand. I'm guessing its a female because she has brown eyes. Her shell has been repaired at some point, there's a couple of areas of a plaster like substance on it. The 2nd one won't come out of its shell when I'm around so I'm going to release it after my grand-daughter comes to see them later this evening. I'd like to keep the first one and this site has been extremely helpful on how to set up a habitat and what to feed her. Does anyone know if it's illegal to keep them in Oklahoma?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-10
    Can be collected and kept as a pet.  Can not be resold however.
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Connie Cruz - 2012-05-05
I have a ornate boxie and just love her. I am looking for another one. Everyone i know loves their boxie als and don't want to give them up. darn

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Squshy - 2012-04-23
I found a turtle that fits the discription and looks exactly like the photo. The turtle won't eat anything I don't want it to die. I kept it for my boyfriend please help...:/

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-23
    What have you tried to feed it? Temperature in tank? Heat lamp?
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Corin Stirbu - 2011-07-07
I tried giving my turtle a piece of apple, and carrot, and it just stepped on them haha, but then I put a piece of tomato and it ate it like it was nothing.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-07
    You got a fussy turtle there. Tomatoe is soft and the scent is stronger. He will learn.
  • Kayla - 2011-11-02
    My Fredrick is the same! I wonder if it's a red thing. I've tried all sorts of fruits, he is only attracted to red fruits! Tomatoes, raspberries, salmonberries (alaskan) and he LOVES strawberries!! Havent been able to try cherries yet!
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