My son found a very small baby painted turtle on the concrete in our back yard today. He already picked it up before I was outside. We have made a habitat for him with water from our pond, some earth and sticks and stones. I dug up some small worms from the garden and there are some very small bugs I can see on the surface of the pond water. Should we keep him until he gets a little bigger or put him back in the pond tomorrow. He was found very far away from our pond.
Name of Animal: painter
Hello,It's kind of you to care about this little turtle. Female turtles bury their eggs in soil away from a pond. When the babies hatch, they find their way to water. Since the turtle you found is so tiny, it is probably a new hatchling that was just making its way toward the pond. The very best thing to do with it would be to release it tomorrow near the water.If you choose to keep the turtle, even for a little while, you do need to be aware that turtles are much more difficult and expensive to keep than we would imagine. They need specific kinds of light, water filters, etc. I'll give you a summary, and a link to a website where you can learn more about care.The turtle will need a basking light (which produces heat) over the dry area of the tank. The basking area should be kept at 88-92 degrees (29 to 32*C). The rest of the tank should be around 80*F. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture. You'll also need a submersible aquarium heater that will keep the water in the low 70*'s. It's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because they won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out the UVB rays. Both the UVB light and the basking light should be left on for 14 hours per day.The following site has a care sheet for painted turtles. You can use it as a checklist to be sure all conditions and diet are right.http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-eastern_painted.htmWithout all the proper conditions, the turtle will get sick. Fungal infections, respiratory infections, and Metabolic Bone Disease are common. For the most part, I believe releasing the turtle tomorrow would eb the best thing to do. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope that whatever you decide to do, it will work out well for the turtle.Anna
Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.