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Ive handled puppies... kittens... fish.....even baby birds... but this was a first for me....
We currently house, two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, a Guinea pig, some fish...a red earred slider (turtle) a a painted turtle, and a red striped turtle....
now.... we are also caring for............. 8 soft shell turtles.
The back story....
DH loves turtles... always has always will... my boys have the same passion. One day DH was out fishing with his nephew and came across a Soft shell turtle just laying eggs and leaving her nest..... he was in awww by it... An hour later he comes across the nest again to find a racoon eating the eggs. Its his nature as it is mine... to save those babies. He scooped up all he coulld and brought home 10 soft shell turtle eggs.
We kept those eggs for two months, going by internet know how on how to keep them up... we didnt expect anything... but we tried....
August 2nd... Early Kyler was born...
Then Knuckles on the 4th, Avada....Digger... Thor... & Cookie on the 5th. Mr. Softie & Teensy Weensy on the 6th.
8 babies born from 10 eggs, two which didnt develop. 8 babies that wouldnt have survived if it wernt for DH... if it wernt for us.
I took care of these babies, I got them from their shell as hatchlings, I cleaned them up, I kept them in a hospital tank as their yolk dried up, I placed them in a bigger tank and I fed them.
They may not be alot to most people but they are precious to me.
today.... A little over a week old..... eating well... doing wonderful....
In Order... Early, Knuckles. Avada Kedavra, Digger, Cookie, Mighty Thor, Teensy Weensy & Mr. Softie.
Here they all are, about to eat.... We bucket them so we can see they are eating...
We are doing all we can to make sure these little ones survive. After 6 mths.... Two will be kept with us, one will go to my mom, the rest will be taken to our local wild life refuge. We would love to keep them all but the females will grow in size, about the size of a frying pan.. if not bigger... no way to house them but in a bathtub if not bigger. We will also be talking with The Memphis Zoo about housing... but if ifs not he best, Id prefer to take them back to the wild.
As of now our tank set up resembles the lake inwich they came from. The same sand, the same plants and even the same food. We are working hard to raise them as they would be in the wild.
Thanks for looking. If you view my FB link you'll see just how precious they each are. I documented each birth, I only wish I would have captured pics before hand, but I had no idea Id end up with so many much less any at all. It was and still is a beautiful experience.
oh wow, I've kept softshell turtles for years! how wonderful! (I have an asian one in my bedroom at the moment lol)
releasing them when they get bigger is a great idea, some softshell species in the US are endangered (you may want to check with fish and wildlife to make sure). To me, those look like Eastern Spiny Softshells which are listed as "least concern" so you're probably ok.
If you plan on keeping any, keep in mind the females can get massive by pet turtle standards (18" in diameter) so plan accordingly as they get a little larger, the males will retain their pretty coloring and have longer tails and the females will get more drab.
I kept one for a long time that was a rescue (her owners were dumping her into the sewer when I came along!)
When I was studying herpetology and doing wild turtle studies in college, we found that the biggest predator of baby turtles in Massachusetts was Chipmunks!
Looks like you are doing a fantastic job! those pictures just melt my heart and make me feel so fuzzy! lol
co-founder of Eco Nuts!
I'm a soap nut, laundry, diaper washing expert. Ask me anything!