Ornate Box Turtle Care Sheet

Ornate Box Turtle Care Sheet

Ornate Box Turtles are available in different color morphs. We recommend starting with them as babies to grow alongside them. Each has their own personalities and it tends to be easier to work with them as babies instead of fully grown.

These turtles are terrestrial and will spend most of the time on land. In the wild, they are mostly active during the day and enjoy basking in the warm weather. They are easy to scare and the slightest movement or sound will make them react. These amazing turtles have great personalities and like to be personable.

6 things you might not know about your Ornate Box Turtle

  • Ornate Box Turtles can grow up between 5 to 7 inches in length. (12cm to 18cm)
  • Most typically live between 45 to 50 years. The lifespans are determined by their environment and quality of life.
  • They are native to the Central United States. An area that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to Wisconsin.
  • Box turtles in captivity can become ill if they are subjected to overcrowding or poor housing.
  • Most box turtles prefer big open pens with shady areas and access to direct sunlight.
  • Box Turtles are able to recognize their owner’s voice and touch.

How do I set up my Ornate Box turtle habitat?

Most prefer outdoor enclosures but there are a few different setups you can consider.

You will need the following:

  • Outside pens or enclosures should have rot resistant walls that are between 20 to 25 inches tall. The soil needs to be well-drained with a barrier at least 10 inches underground. This helps prevent any escape attempts.
  • Your turtle will need shade along with sunny spots. This helps them regulate their temperature.
  • Shade can be created by using a ground cover or a small log. Small shrubs can also be used to create a solid environment.
  • Your turtle will need access to water at all times. You can use a large shallow water pan. This helps with drinking and soaking.
  • Your habitat will need to include an entrance and exit so the turtle can easily move back and forth from the water and a flat surface for them to bask out of the water.
  • For indoor enclosures, you will need adequate space, proper temperature, and humidity, proper lighting, and heat. They will also need fresh water. Space is essential to creating a great environment.
  • We do not recommend using any plastic plants. This will help prevent them from eating the fake scenery.
  • You will need a proper thermometer to make sure the indoor enclosure is the right temperature and the right humidity level.
  • Stay away from using pine or cedar wood chips, sand, or any clay-based bedding. These products are not suitable for your turtle.

Ornate Box turtle care – Temperature & Humidity

Keeping the right temperature and humidity is very important to ensure your turtle’s life quality is second to none.

  • Air temperature needs to be 80 degrees in the enclosure. If the area’s temperature is lower you will need a room heater or an infrared light to help maintain temperature.
  • We recommend keeping the basking site next to your light. The site should be between 85 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never place heating or light sources too close to the turtle. This can help prevent any overheating or damage to the eyes from direct light.
  • Creating a light/dark cycle is healthy for your turtle. We suggest keeping the lights on for atleast 12 hours a day.
  • When you do turn off the lights make sure the temperature remains at 75 degrees. Any drop below that could potentially run the risk of the turtle going into hibernation.

Lighting for your Ornate Box Turtle Habitat

  • Make sure the stationary light you are using is placed outside of the enclosure.
  • Your light should be placed 18 to 24 inches from the turtle.
  • Never place the light in a way where it can fall into the water. This prevents the turtle from burning or worse killing itself.
  • Using an ultraviolet light will help provide the turtle with a sense of its natural habitat.
  • We do not recommend filtering the light through glass or plastic
  • Anything plugged in should be used with a ground-fault interrupter and held outside and above the enclosure if possible. This will help reduce the risk of electrocuting the turtle.

What do I feed my Ornate box turtle?

Keeping a well-balanced diet for your turtle is essential. We recommend using a variety of items to feed your turtle.  Most Ornate box turtles for sale prefer earthworms as a staple diet.  Since they are omnivores they will need a variety of plant-based items. We recommend using commercial turtle pellets to ensure they are receiving the right amount of nutrition. This should be fed along with dark green vegetables or other non-toxic aquatic plants such as water lettuce or anacharis.

Ornate Box Turtles can also enjoy sliced vegetables like carrots or squashes. It is not uncommon for these types of turtles to enjoy shrimp, earthworm, or goldfish as treats. The diet should include a variety of fresh plant materials and protein sources. They can be messy eaters. Chlorine free water needs to be available for drinking at all times. Dehydration is a big concern and you might want to consider soaking your turtle for 10 to 15 minutes a day while they are young to ensure they are well hydrated. You turtle should be fed daily.

Turtle store offers the best tortoises and turtles for sale!

Here at the turtle store, we offer a wide variety of aquatic turtles for sale.  Some of our most popular water turtles for sale include Slider turtles for sale, and mud turtles for sale.  In addition to these freshwater turtles for sale, we also offer pond turtles for sale.  Pond turtles include species like the 3 striped mud turtle, musk turtles, and rarer stuff like an Albino slider turtle, or a lemon lime red eared slider turtle for sale.

Captive bred real turtles for sale online

All of the baby turtles for sale and adult turtle for sale here at the turtle store are 100% captive bred.  Our baby turtle for sale inventory includes some of the most colorful, hand-raised captive-bred turtles for sale you will ever find.  Our on-site biologist works with our box turtles for sale as well as our water turtles daily and oversees care and breeding.  Like all of our reptiles, our turtles both baby box turtle and water turtles come with a full health guarantee.  The turtle store customer care team is available nearly round the clock via email to answer any questions you may have regarding the care of your new animal.  If you’re also considering a tortoise for sale, check out our sister website, Tortoise Town, which focuses on baby tortoise for sale.