With the fashion of a Caretta Caretta sea turtles have become known and loved but we don't forget about them land turtles which, slowly slowly and very quietly, live for many years and can keep us company in the garden. These are animals that do not attract attention and that can be interesting to breed or at least to get to know closely. What attracts me about these creatures is perseverance, it seems unimaginable to always have to proceed with their phlegm, yet they do it and they live a lot. Will it be the secret of longevity, taking it slow?
What land turtles eat
Essential for survival is water, we must always provide one bowl of fresh water to our turtle and if we do not see it drinking it is not our business, it is an animal that manages itself but it is important that it always has something to drink at its disposal.
As for food, when we serve lunch and dinner to our land turtle, let's remember that these animals prefer fresh herbs and seedlings, but they can easily be adapted to dry ones, certainly less tasty and fragrant. One thing is certain and also obvious: the turtle is a vegetarian. So let's not think that it should be fed with insects, instead let's throw ourselves headlong into the sector "Various herbs”Trying to provide her with a number of options. A few examples? Dandelion, plantain, cress, alfalfa, parsley, clover, rose flowers and leaves, even prickly pear blades.
To feed the turtles we can also provide them with whole leaves of chicory, radicchio and Roman endive, sometimes even tomatoes but without exaggerating. You may be wondering if we can give fruit to these vegetarian creatures. You can, of course, but in moderation, without exaggerating, because it is not very digestible so the portions should be well dosed.
If it were up to them, they would gladly eat strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, figs and cherries, but then they would have stomach pains for hours. The solution is to get organized by giving the land turtles small but daily doses of these delicious "treats".
If the fruit is tolerated, indeed welcome if in small doses, foods of animal origin are definitely not recommended. Food of animal origin does not mean only meat but all foods of animal origin, including derivatives, because they are completely harmful to its health. We can make an exception forcuttlefish bone which, once in a while we can make available to them, is very useful for providing land turtles with the necessary calcium intake
Land turtle: enclosure
That they belong to the family of Testudo hermanni, to that of Testudo graeca or to that of the Testudo marginata, all land turtles love the open air and the external environment. Albeit slowly, they are animals that want to move freely, without constraints. This is why it is not recommended to breed them at home, they are animals that would suffer a lot if locked up in a home enclosure or in a terrarium, not only would they be sad but also risk getting sick.
Only in extreme cases is it allowed look after them in the home, for example if you are dealing with elderly and sick specimens that require precise care, otherwise we leave with joy that this lively but peaceful animal that proceeds in slow motion can enjoy the freedom it deserves.
It's almost funny to say it, but it has been found that the land turtles they love movement, they tend to walk all day, usually looking for the sun but occasionally also staying in the shade to relax without "cooking". Therefore, if we want to raise land turtles, the ideal is to have a fenced garden where they can roam freely without getting lost.
We can then build one space proportionate to their size, surrounding it with a wire mesh that protects them from predators and dangers, such as rodents. In the fenced area it is good that there are areas of full sun but also some in semi-shade.
When land turtles hibernate
There turtle it hibernates during the winter and does not do it to imitate other animals but to ensure full health. Hibernation benefits your metabolism. In the months from late October to February, land turtles take refuge in places where it reigns a temperature between 5 and 10 degrees, ideal temperatures so that they can consume their supplies without starving. Below 2 ° C the tortoise could hibernate and freeze, with brain damage.
When the turtle hibernates she must have an empty stomach, dig a hole to bury herself and protect herself and we can help her by protecting her refuge from possible flooding. For example, we can cover its hole with leaves and straw and in some cases with non-woven fabric.
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