Who does not like pets? Cats and dogs are common animals to be a pet, but having a rare animal as a pet is interesting and challenging! Being a “rare” pet does not make it has to be a scary-looking and dangerous animal, you can also find yourself a cute one to be a pet. One of which is turtle. Its timid character and cuteness are several reasons you might fall in love with this reptile. You might not know but this amphibious animal is quite a playable pet. Turtle breeding is a raising trend nowadays, but do you know how to breed turtles?
Turtles by nature is an aquatic animal, it lives mostly in water. Its land-based family is best known as tortoise. Tortoise does not have web in its foot and it spends most of his life on land, due to its inability to swim. On the contrary, turtle is a good swimmer due to its web foot, just like a duck. Turtles can be further classified into freshwater turtles and sea turtles.
Due to a rising popularity in turtle breeding, you can start this as a business. If you are interested with the prospect, this article will help you in describing the easy steps in freshwater turtle breeding for beginner.
1. Prepare the pool
This is the first step in turtle breeding. Build a pool with islands in the middle of the pool. This is to create two different environments for our turtles, as it has to resemble turtle’s natural habitat. The land part of the pool can be filled in with sands.
If you have a limited space to build a pool, you can make one using a large sized bucket or aquarium filled in with bricks or gravels as the land part. Adjust the pool size with the number of turtles you want to pet. Use a clean water (at least well water) for the pool. Do not use water containing chemicals (e.g. chlorine).
Add a filtration device inside the pool to clean and purify the water over time, since turtles defecate frequently. The installation of this device maintains the clean environment and good health of your turtle.
2. Selection of the brood
You need a good quality broods for turtle breeding. Turtles normally start mating after reaching 5-6 years of age. A mature male is recognized from its hemipenis or genital, longer nails, and increasing tail size. However the mature female can be recognized from its flat abdomen (plastron), shorter tail and nails.
Healthy broods ensure a good breeding product. You should pay attention to the cleanness and health condition of the selected brood. You also need to check the strength of its shell. It is better to select a brood turtle with shiny, uniform pattern, and bright-colored shell.
Also pay attention to its eye condition: it should be bright, clean, and big. Dry and clean nose, active movement are also several signs for a healthy turtle.
3. Mating process
The female brood should be at least 5 years old and has a minimum shell diameter of 15 cm before mating it. To maintain the original lineage, you have to mate two turtles under the same species. The process can be described as follow:
- Put both broods into the mating pool
- Consider to replace a brood if they fight each other
- Also consider to replace the male brood if it does not moving toward the female. If they look fine and calm, then let it be for an hour.
- Put the female brood which has been successfully mated into other pool.
- Raise the temperature inside the pool to maintain its appetite, since a pregnant female brood will have a decrease in appetite.
4. Prepare the spawning pool
A pregnant female turtle will keep its eggs inside if it cannot find a right place to spawn/lay eggs. So you need to make one for the spawning process. You have to make a pool consisting a thick sand layer, and high land/water ratio compared to a normal pool as described in step no.1. You need to sieve the sand to segregate the sand with the gravel.
The spawning female will spend a lot of time on land, and it will find a good place/position to bury its eggs. Once the eggs have been spawned, you can place it inside an incubator to accelerate the hatching process. However you can let it rest inside the sand, as it will still hatch anyway.
Freshwater turtles are basically an easy animal to be raised. They can grow by themselves, you only need to frequently clean the pool and get the temperature right. A young turtle tends to prefer meats but it will start to like vegetables once it gets older. Some examples of natural feed for turtles are: fish, cricket, shrimp, tofu, papaya, cabbage, or worm.
6. Things to be noted
You need to pay attention for several things in freshwater turtle breeding:
- Keep it healthy by providing a correct and suitable feed.
- Let turtles bask everyday to strengthen their shells.
- If you raise your turtles using an aquarium you should at least change the water every 3 days.
- Although turtles like vegetables, do not frequently give them vegetable-based feed since it will have a bad effect to their digestion.
- Normally a big aquarium is enough to keep 3 or 4 turtles.
- As described above, you should use well water. However if you are really constrained to use water containing chlorine, it is best to let it rest overnight before adding it into the pool.
That concludes the tips for easy freshwater turtle breeding for beginner. It is not that difficult if everything is followed correctly.