The box turtles have begun their procession toward winter sleep. Brown Eyes and Bama have stopped eating, to an point, although Big Turtle and Mama Turtle continue to eat. The ornate turtle is not eating at all (a month ago she would devour everything in sight). I can get Brown Eyes to eat wax worms but that is about all I can get her to eat. As always, vitamin A problems always loom about and this time of year I have the greatest concern as I do not want them going underground without sufficient amounts of vitamin A in their system.
The final question is who will sleep and who will stay up for the winter. Big Turtle has not gone under since I got her years ago - she is simply either too big or too old. Mama turtle did not last winter. Only Brown Eyes and Bama slept. Fall starts a little later here in Alabama than it does in Oklahoma where all these turtles originate. The short of it is this begins careful observation of all behavior.
Of course, Frankie the sulcata will not hibernate. It will be interesting to see how he is this year as this is the first that he will spend it entirely outside.
October 5, 2005
Frankie's fence took a week to get installed. The North and East side of the fence is a privacy fence, the South end is a coated chain link, the West is 1/2 privacy and 1/2 chain. The chain portion will get a screen at the bottom 1/2 so Frankie will not try to run through it. The chain is also buried five inches to prevent pushing through and digging under. We added cement to the dirt that buried the chain. The North side is reinforced with four braces to prevent the wind from blowing it over (remember Hurricanes abound in this area).