Keeping turtles in the garden - important preliminary considerations & information on species-appropriate husbandry

Keeping turtles in the garden - important preliminary considerations & information on species-appropriate husbandry

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Turtles are among the oldest living animals in the world. No wonder that more and more of these fascinating animals want to be kept in the garden. However, there are some things to consider.

Turtle in the garden

Although they have populated the earth for over 200 million years, they have been increasingly displaced by humans, so that many species are now even threatened with extinction and are strictly protected. In the past century, however, people have started to accustom European tortoises to humans and keep them as pets. However, this should always be considered carefully.

Considerations before purchasing

Turtles are becoming increasingly popular in pet farming. Nevertheless, they are exotic among pets and, like all wild animals, very sensitive. So the attitude is pretty demanding and should be well thought out. After all, the animals can get very old. For a correspondingly long period of time, they must also be well maintained and appropriately housed. In principle, individual husbandry should be completely rejected, as this can lead to behavioral disorders in the animals. If you decide to keep, it is best to buy at least two animals.

A little hint:

Tortoises fall into a frozen state. This is exactly why a purchase in spring is recommended when you wake up again.

Housing the young animals in the terrarium

After you have decided to keep turtles, you still have to think about their housing. After all, the turtle is only kept appropriately outdoors. Only very young animals belong in a terrarium for some time. This should then be equipped as follows:

First of all, the terrarium should be as large as possible and open at the top. In order to equip this perfectly for the animals, it is best to use garden soil for the floor, which you always keep nice and moist. Of course, a few hiding places in the form of roots, grass or stones and a heat lamp should not be missing in the terrarium.

This is how the outdoor enclosure should look

➤ Location:

While the boys are spending their first weeks in the warm terrarium, you can start building and equipping the outdoor enclosure. Since the animals need a lot of heat, it is best to choose a sunny place on the property.

➤ Size & surface:

If the animals have then exceeded the weight of 200 grams, they are free to move around in the outdoor enclosure. For the outdoor enclosure, a turtle is expected to have at least 10 square meters. Each additional animal requires an additional five square meters. Even if turtles move slowly, they need a lot of space.

However, an open lawn is never suitable for the outdoor enclosure. It has to be well structured and varied. In any case, grass is not suitable as a base in the entire enclosure. Gravel and stone surfaces are ideal.

You may hardly believe it, but turtles can climb very well. You should definitely consider this with the height of the border and its design.

➤ Equipment:

For young animals weighing up to 200 grams, you definitely have to think of a shelter in the enclosure, because for them, the free run is still too big and dangerous when it comes to predators. In warm, dry weather, you can still leave the roof open. Important: Like the terrarium, you must always illuminate and heat the shelter. For the protection of adult animals, however, you can provide cold frames or a small, heated greenhouse.

There are also numerous hiding places in the outdoor enclosure. In addition, both sun and shade places must be available. In addition to a feeding and drinking point, the turtles also need covered areas with heat lamps, where the animals can warm up.

Planting in the enclosure is also useful. In addition to all kinds of wild herbs, you can e.g. also place shrubs as natural shade.