Friday, March 20, 2009

Pet Turtle Care : Breeding Your Turtles

Pet Turtle Care

Pet turtles have become the basis of a booming pet business in the United States and a few other countries. A growing number of people are interested in having a unique and interesting pet that they do not have to devote a lot of time to caring for.

Turtles are relatively easy to care for and feed, as long as you have one of the four smaller species that are commonly seen for sale in the pet stores. The four most common types of pet turtles are the box turtle, the painted turtle, the sliders and the mud turtles. These turtles are small, are easy to contain, do not eat a lot and seem to adapt well to captivity.

Some people have taken up breeding turtles as a hobby or on a commercial basis. Breeding your turtles is certainly possible and can be a great hobby or a potentially profitable business, but there are some things that you will need to know to be successful.

For the turtle to breed, the turtle must feel safe and comfortable. To achieve this, the environment should be as close the natural wild habitat as possible. One way to accomplish this is to set up your turtle's aquarium outdoors, to expose the turtle to the natural progression of the seasons. This will cause the turtle to need to hibernate in the cold months, depending on your location, and you should take steps to prepare your tank to allow the turtle ample opportunity to burrow and hibernate when necessary.

Turtles generally come out of hibernation in late spring, around the month of May, and this is when they are likely to breed. During the breeding process, it is a good idea to watch the turtles closely as they can become overly aggressive. It is also a good idea to remove smaller turtles from contact with larger ones during this time for their own safety, especially smaller males.

After mating, the female turtle will go through a period during which the eggs are being produces. This time is analogous to a human woman's pregnancy, during which she is very tired, moody and stressed. The female turtle's body is putting a lot of resources into forming her eggs and needs to be watched very closely during this time. Once the eggs are formed and ready, the female turtle will want a secluded quiet place to burrow and lay her eggs. She will usually lay about 5 eggs, but this can vary.

You will need to arrange rocks, plants, sticks to create a number of secluded places for the turtle to feel comfortable choosing from. The turtle will need to have access to moist soil, 7 to 10 inches deep in which to burrow and lay her eggs. Once the eggs are laid and buried, you will need to make sure that the soil around them stays moist. The eggs will hatch in about 90 days. The young turtles will need to be kept indoors, in an aquarium and will need to be watched closely to make sure that all are getting plenty of food and are not being bitten by stronger siblings.