Red Eared Slider Won't Eat

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Charlemagne

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Hi guys! My mom found a red eared slider by the side of the road last Monday, and brought it home. She's pretty shy, and hides most of the day. She's missing three of her claws on her right hind foot, and a little chunk out of her shell. She's getting a little bolder. She likes swimming in my brother's wading pool, and we have plans to build her a pond!!!!!!! (I'm so excited!!!) But, our problem is she won't eat. We read that red eared sliders don't have saliva, and have to eat in the water, but now I'm not sure that this is true. We've tried everything: hamburger, watermelon, meal worms, earthworms, slugs, shredded carrots, dandelion greens, tomatoes, lettuce, turtle pellets . . .in short, everything we can think of, and we haven't seen her eat once. The only thing she might have eaten (that we've observed) is a dandelion stem, and not even sure of that. She spends most of her time out of the water hiding, but she's getting a little more brave. Do any of you guys have any idea of what we can feed her??? We really like her, and would like to keep her since she's injured, and can't swim well. COuld it be she's eating bugs at night? DOes she really have to eat in water? Thanks for your help!
 

TedsTank

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Unfortunatly, I recommend that you all return her to the nearest river, creek or pond. Here in Maryland is egg laying season and they won't eat, but are up looking for nest sites (we have the large Red Bellied turtles coming up to our yards to nest). If she doesn't get to lay her eggs she will/could just dump them in the pond...they won't hatch.

Sorry but I think eating isn't her problem...the nesting instinct is much stronger.

Getting her out of the road, and then returning her to safety, is a wonderful step in helping our enviroment, and a very honorable thing for you to do!
 
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Danionins.com

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DOes she really have to eat in water?
My son has two of the and I've never seen them eat except when they are in the water.

I would suggest you put it in the wading pool with something high enough that it can climb out of the water to bask. It should then be able to eat any insects that land in the water.

Dennis
 
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Charlemagne

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I would suggest you put it in the wading pool with something high enough that it can climb out of the water to bask. It should then be able to eat any insects that land in the water.

Dennis
I actually forgot to mention that we have done that. There's a pile of stepping stones in the pool, and she's got a little cover that she can get under to hide. There's a ramp leaned up agains the pool, and whenever we put her in there, eventually she always gets out. She seems to prefer being outside the water. Is this normal? It's getting up in the 90s every day here, so you'd think she would want to be in the water. What do you feed your turtles? Just the insects that fall in the water?

"we have the large Red Bellied turtles coming up to our yards to nest"

What do turtles require for a nesting place? She has a little "hut" made of a cot leaned up against the fence. It's got a pretty thick layer of mulch underneath. Would this do? She seems to like it in there, and will occasionally bury herself in the mulch.
Thanks for your help!
 

LyndaB

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Getting her out of the road, and then returning her to safety, is a wonderful step in helping our enviroment, and a very honorable thing for you to do!
+1..... She's a wild animal..... and she's probably very stressed to have been captured. Even though you and your mom want to give her a nice pond, you simply don't have the environment now to really help her. Please bring her to her home.
 

lorabell

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Is this a baby????? They have to be able to bask in order to digest anything.....(u can use a reptile light...full spectrum I believe is what u would need)....also get some feeder guppies......in the wild they would chase their food..and whenever Ive had them....guppies always worked
 

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I agree on the guppies or feeder goldfish but the number one thing my turtles can not resist is raw chicken liver! They get in huge fights over it and they are just like a cat with catnip. They love it but feed them in a separate tank as they make a BIG mess.
 
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Charlemagne

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Wow! Chicken liver! Never would have guessed that! Ok, she FINALLY!!!!! ate a couple of turtle pellets today!! We may try getting her some feeder goldfish sometime. She DOES have a way to get out of the water. She can get partially or totally out of the water, or out of the pond altogether. The pond is mostly in the shade (it gets in the 90s already, and we didn't want to go out and find turtle soup!) but she can get out by herself (and frequently does) and there is always some part of the yard in the sun that she can get in. Thanks for your advice! Will keep you guys updated on the pond! I'm so excited about that! Dad's looking at a 200 gallon kit w/ a light and a fountain!!!!!
 
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Charlemagne

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+1..... She's a wild animal..... and she's probably very stressed to have been captured. Even though you and your mom want to give her a nice pond, you simply don't have the environment now to really help her. Please bring her to her home.
Thanks guys, but it's really not my decision. My parents have to decide. I did tell Mom about your suggestions, so they know, but it's in their hands.
 

ocpetd

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Water turtles can go for several days without eating. In whatever setup you have him in, do you have the proper lighting? They don't have an appetite unless they have heat.
 
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Charlemagne

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Well, she's outside, so it's always hot. Gets in the hundreds some days, in the 90s on most. She(or he) had a big meal yesterday! S/he ate a whole bunch of turtle pellets, and 2 meal worms. My dad kept throwing in pellets for like 15 mins, and she ate most of the time! YAY!!!arty0024: So happy!
 

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That's kind of a problem too. Since they can't control their body temperatures, they need to go in and out of heat to keep at the right temperature. If she's in direct sunlight, and doesn't have the option of going out of it when she's hot, she can overheat. Maybe your parents should see this thread. I really think you guys should let her go for her own good. Maybe it would help if your parents saw these messages first hand. If you guys do actually want to keep her, which I don't recommend, it will be an expensive, space-consuming, long-term endeavor. Aquatic turtles need at least tens gallon of (well maintained) water per inch of their adult size. For a turtle that can grow up to 12 inches, that means you'll need at least a 120 gallon tank to take care of her properly. Are you sure you're up for the challenge.

I found a care sheet you may want to look at:

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm
 
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Charlemagne

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Thank you very much for the caresheet jclee! It was very helpful. I will see if my parents will read this thread. Her pool is not in direct sunlight all the time, and she has a little "cave" that she can go under to be in the shade if she wants. We have built her a little platform out of stepping stones so that she can get up to bask, or rest on a lower one in the water. She can get out of the pool by herself, and has done so fairly frequently. We will probably get a 200 gallon pond kit. Wouldn't that be alright since your caresheet says females need a minimum of a 125 gallon tank? I'm assuming that is their entire environment. She would then have 200 gallons of swimming area, and all of our backyard to be in. Thanks again for the caresheet! I really appreciate the help!
 
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