Monday, May 24, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: How to care mud turtle

Do You Know How to Care For These Cute Turtles?

Turtle ownership requires sufficient knowledge in proper turtle care. It is something that is not easy to do. It requires the owner's time and money. For this reason, if you are interested in owning a turtle, you must ensure first that you are ready to provide care and take responsibility.

First and foremost, you must determine which species is the easiest for you to care for. By doing so, you can assure yourself of happy turtle ownership, and, on the part of the pet, a happy life in captivity. If you are a novice, a mud turtle may be the best for you. They are cute, small, and generally docile. More importantly, mud turtles have the ability to adapt well to captivity; thus, they make good pets. Males have curved-in plastrons and long tails. The female mud turtles, on the other hand, have flat bottom shells and short tails.

The Mud Turtle is divided into 2 genera, the Kinosternon, found in North and South America, and the Pelusios, found in Africa. They are small, seldom growing longer than five inches, require little maintenance, and are commonly kept as pets. Due to their small size and minimal care requirements, they can easily be kept indoors or outdoors. If outside, make sure that they receive a lot of vitamin D3, which is important to the growth of the shell; if inside, provide them with a UVB bulb in order to receive the same amount of necessary vitamins. As their name suggests, this little turtle likes damp or muddy housing. If they are maintained outdoors, this is easily achieved. If not, make sure that they are kept in a large tank with clean water.

They require swimming and basking areas, which can be as simple as a pile of rocks placed near the water's edge to facilitate entry and exit. Make sure that these are smooth rocks to prevent injury. Put some water plants in its tank to make the mud turtle feel safe. The water should not be deeper than a few inches, thereby allowing them to breathe easily above the water and to swim properly. A filter system, heater, and regular water changes are musts in your mud turtle's housing. The water temperature should remain at

Originating in North and Central America, mud turtles can live for as long as 40 years with proper husbandry. They breed from March to May. Mud turtles, which have one to two hinges on their bottom shell, also hibernate during the winter.

Semi-terrestrial turtles, mud turtles are omnivores. They prefer to eat live tadpoles, snails, fish, insects, and carrion; but, they can also be provided with some plant matter, such as green, leafy vegetables. Young mud turtles require daily feeding. As they grow, feeding drops to two to three times a week. They also need calcium supplements for bone growth and for prevention of health complications. In addition, mud turtles, along with other turtles in the family of Kinosternidae, can release a stinking musk scent as a last defence against a dangerous predator.