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Caring for a baby snapping turtle is not really hard; there’s just a lot of time involved, and you need to make sure you create a good habitat and establish good practices to make sure your turtle lives a long time. The fact that they often live from 20 to 50 years (and can live more than 100 years) if cared for properly can be kind of scary to some people.

Get advice on housing and feeding your snapping turtle, as well as how to keep it healthy. Having a snapping turtle is quite a commitment, so think seriously before deciding if you want to keep one of these reptiles. A 10-gallon fish tank would be perfect for now; however, when your turtle grows to be 8 inches long, you’ll need to consider moving it outside or upgrading to a 55-gallon container. Line the tank with aquarium sand or smooth river rocks. When the turtle is young, it will need an island or a shallow flat stone for when it feels like basking in a warm spot. A heat lamp while they’re young (unless you live in a warm sunny place and plan to keep your pet outside). Turtles don’t make their own body heat and sometimes enjoy sunning themselves to regulate their temperature. The water in the tank should be shallow—about as deep as the length of your baby turtle’s shell. The bigger your turtle gets, the more gunk they make, so seriously consider installing a water filtration system. There are several ways to build nice places for your turtle to hide whenever it does not feel safe. One way is to take a 20-ounce plastic bottle, clean it out really well, cut both ends off, and put it in the water. What I do is use the rocks and sand in the tank to turn the bottle into a cave. In the wild, they’ll eat water plants, fish, frogs, pollywogs, newts, bugs, snails, worms, and snakes. You’ll probably just go to your local pet store to buy turtle food, minnows, worms, or crickets. Turtles will also eat a variety of home food, including bread and bologna. If you have the time and patience, you can also go out and catch bugs for this little guy to eat and just put them in the water. Food is one of the most important things for a turtle, but you must be careful not to overfeed or underfeed it. The common snapping turtle ( Chelydra serpentina ) has a brown or black shell (aka a carapace) that is rough and ridged when it’s young but gets smooth with age and a lighter-colored bottom (aka plastron). The mottled colors of the shell makes for great camouflage at the bottom of a pond. It has a largish head that’s shaped like a triangle, a pointy nose, a large mouth, a curved beak that’s shaped like a parrot’s, and a very long saw-toothed tail. On average, these turtles grow to have a shell that’s about 10–12 inches long and weigh from 10 to 35 lbs., but some get larger. The life span in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, some snappers live 100 years. When snapping turtles are stressed, they spray a musky odor (sort of like a skunk)! There will be a time when you will either have to get the turtle a very big tank, or hopefully you will have a pond near your house that it can live in. Some say that snappers are all snappy and will all grow up to be aggressive, but if handled often from a young age, they can become just as tame as other turtles. So no matter what great friends you and your turtle are, you need to be careful. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Do we have a turtle and its not moving or doing anything but o dont think its dead whats wrong with it This helps a lot I have a baby napping Turttle his name is speedy I have a question can they live in a sand habitat with water ? DO NOT feed your reptiles/amphibians bugs from outside that is horrible advice, you don’t know what those insects have eaten or gotten into. Is a all female/male turtles and tortoise bottom for male bumpy and for female flat?? My sister and I found a baby snapping turtle in the lake near our house. We have him in a 20 gallon tank with lots of minnows (from the same lake), a crayfish, and a small brim. It’s really cool to watch him stretch his neck up to reach the surface to breathe. 34 at 7am Someone found and gave me a tiny baby snapping turtle yesterday. I have her/him in a container with mud, grass, ferns, rocks, a small amount of water and I wrapped the entire container with a thick towel last evening in my barn. She will come inside today but since she is acclimated to cold, does she need a heat lamp still if she is in the indoors? I have had a baby snapping turtle and it has a rough black And brown shell. Aquarium with 3 bady snappers they have been fighting should thay be seperated. eats small fish, frogs, worms, romaine lettuce, and other greens. I saw a comment that asked if they should have a companion, I’d say that if you have a large pond or something like that, that you’re going to keep it in when it gets big it should be okay. I found an alligator snapper while I was lookin fo worms and crawfish. What types of Vegetables and fruit can a snapping turtle eat I found a baby common snapper at work in the parking lot i think it wandered from the rain and the mini pool it was in dried up, i’m gonna try to relocate it on a day off this is super helpful. I found a baby snapping turtle and I’m gonna try to keep him as a pet,will he eat lettuce? I found a baby snapping turtle yesterday it’s about the size of a 50 cent piece. Just wanted to tell you thanks for your very helping snapping turtle care page!! I found one while digging in a puddle for tadpoles to raise, he has become one of the coolest and active pets I’ve ever had. I have a baby snapping turtle ,it is very cute but hard to take care of ,pet helpful.com is actually very helpful thanks. I found a baby snapping turtle today and it was the end of the day before we figured out what it needs. Thanks for the info, I have had my cst for 2.5 yrs now, and he hasn’t eaten in the last 4 days, I have been letting him spend night time hours out of the water, just the last few nights, since he has stopped eating, thinking maybe he is trying to hybernate, Wondering how to go about letting him do that but don’t know how to go sbout it, any info would be great, Thankyou this was really helpful because i just got a wild snapping turtle (saved it from winter that is comming soon) Something I only know because my son and found a baby on our back pourch… We made a nice habitat for the little guy. Then I started looking on line for what we would need to help him grow healthy and came across the Mass state laws. Whoever this author is, they shouldn’t be advocating the feeding of grocery store meat….especially bologna. Chicken and turkey are fine in small, infrequent amounts (cooked), but beef isn’t, unless it’s liver or heart, and processed meats like bologna are DEFINITELY not okay! (They’re too fatty, and snappers aren’t meant to process mammal fat like we do.) Picking them up by the tail isn’t that damn bad and its the best way to handle a wild one.. This is illegal in many states and provinces and has a serious negative impact on the wild populations, which are already in serious decline due to road mortality and loss of habitat. My babygirl got a snapping turtle what kind of water should wr use thank you Hi I love snapping turtles and mine bite me and will they eat strawberries Im 13 years old and i dont want to pay for a baby snapping turtle but i have a creek in my back yard how do i find one. Jim as the turtle matures it’s under shell will become more defined if male it’s under shell will have a slight umm dent which makes it easier for it to mate you want to in the future if you get some more if female more of a flat/poking out under shell if you do decide to breed though make sure you have a place you can let her roam but not run off so she can lay them don’t go check leave her for awhile sometimes they fake lay eggs if they feel threatened and if they don’t have some where to lay them she will die I’m a heavy equipment operator and was gonna backfill a trench that was excavated the day before. I saw something moving near the drainage pipe and recognized a very small snapping turtle. I brought him/ her home and the little turtle has been doing OK. His/ her name is Scub…short for scuba. What’s the best diet and optimum environmental temperature during their hibernate months if in captivity? Found two baby snapper, there are hibernating right now, so I brought them home and put them in a safe place. This article make it sound easier than it is to raise a snapper.. always consider 10 gallon per inch of shell that is the minimum they get very larg and I would recomend getting a big tank to start (mine is 150 gallons) when my turtle reaches about 10-15 inches I plan on making an outdoor pond for him he is currently 5 inches in shell length they eat a lot! I have a 32 year old, 75 pound snapping turtle and he is one of the best pets i have ever had, he is a huge gentle giant, I also have 3 dogs and he acts just like them he walks around the house with them he plays with them outside, he looks at himself in the mirror, he watches TV. Several years in a row I have found baby alligator snapping turtles outside my apartment building and I have caught and released them in a safer environment. But anyone that is wanting to keep turtles as pets needs to understand that they have to have the right environment and it can be expensive to a novice. The proper lighting, water filtration, food, supplements, and housing because if they are kept properly they grow fast and a 10 gallon tank may be fine now but they will outgrow that in just a year or two. I think you should advise that snapping turtles are wild animals and should not be in an aquarium or cage in a backyard. Got a baby snapper myself and he or she idk IT loves the fresh watter/air Snips is the name Dosnt seem to eat much but I give it lettis, bread, lil bit of ground beef, bugs and even organic veggies. Snips likes the fresh air in the morning after a night in the tank. Found a badass today he’s a little guy but he was pounding down a worm got a cement plastic mixing tub set up a spot to swim,eat,sun an bugs,looks like Tigg is a keeper…..to much. I dig fish worms for it, and cut them into little bite size pieces. I just found a baby aligator snapper earlier today when i was grooming my horses and im going to give it to my biology professor as a class pet I have a lil problem my turtle neck is bent and it wont eat

How do you take care of a wild baby snapping turtle?

A tank. ….Sand and rocks (some nice big outside rocks would do. ….A heat lamp while they’re young (unless you live in a warm sunny place and plan to keep your pet outside). ….Water (non chlorinated, just like fish tank water).

Do baby snapping turtles eat lettuce?

Plants that pet snapping turtles will eat and are available at pet stores include duckweed, water hyacinths and water weeds. They can also eat romaine lettuce, mustard greens and other leafy greens.

How long can a baby snapping turtle go without eating?

However, young turtles, and baby ones in specific, usually didn’t develop their hibernation abilities properly, as they’re still in the building stage where they need a lot of proteins. That’s why juvenile turtles are only able to last for about a week or two at maximum without food.

Humans have long held a fascination for turtles due to the way they retreat into their shells when they’re threatened. Sadly, there are many species of turtle that are almost extinct today, and the snapping turtle is one of those species.

Snapping turtles are mostly found in North America, and since they’re hunted for their meat, they are endangered. In this guide, we’ll discuss what baby snapping turtles eat in the wild and what you need to feed one that you’re raising in captivity as well. Small animals the snapping turtle eats in the wild include carrions, birds, frogs, shrimp, smaller turtles, fish, crayfish, snakes, spiders, worms, small animals, and even amphibians. It’s important to note that this species of turtle will eat anything you throw in its cage, so you want to be careful what you’re giving them. Make sure that you ask your exotic veterinarian about the use of supplements to ensure that your pet is getting all the nutrients and minerals he needs to be healthy and thrive in a captive environment. Snapping turtles need a wide amount of calcium, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to ensure they’re healthy. While live food can give your turtle the protein he needs to thrive and leafy green vegetables will add to his calcium levels, supplements help as well. There are a ton of commercial foods on the market today aimed towards baby snapping turtles and all profess to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, these turtles are famous for using the bathroom in their tank while they’re eating, and that can end up being one big mess for you to clean up. Simply take your baby turtle and his food and put him in a separate aquarium or small container. It is essential to keep fresh water in the main tank so he can drink whenever he gets thirsty and feels the need. This concludes our guide on what baby snapping turtles eat in the wild and what you should feed them as pets . Remember, these babies are almost extinct and are certainly endangered, so if you adopt one as your very own, it’s important to take excellent care of him. Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.

If you are interested in keeping snapping turtles and you want to do everything it’s in your power to raise a healthy and strong turtle, then setting up an appropriate diet should be first on your list.

In this article, we’ll answer some of the common questions people have when it comes to the baby snapping turtle diet. Baby snapping turtles are omnivores which means that diet has both animal and plant origin. If you want to be successful in keeping snapping turtles, try to replicate what they eat in the wild by adding additional supplements, as well. In general, baby snapping turtles should eat foods that consist of both animal and plant origin. In general, most pet stores have live foods in stock, so you won’t have a problem finding one. Baby snapping turtles enjoy eating blood worms, fish, shrimps, and all kinds of other animals. To make your life easier, and to not clean the tank after every meal, set up a different container and feed the turtle there. Leave the turtle around 30 minutes, monitor the situation, and when it’s finished, take back to its tank. Supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals, and you’ll raise a healthy and happy turtle. To stay on the safe side, feed juvenile snapping turtles once or twice a day. They actively forage for food, on the other hand, adult snapping turtles wait and surprise the prey. Baby snapping turtles are cute and irresistible when they are younger, however, as they grow older their appearance and behavior start to change.

How to Care for Baby Snapping Turtles

A Baby Snapping Turtle Is a Lifelong Commitment

Caring for a baby snapping turtle is not really hard; there’s just a lot of time involved, and you need to make sure you create a good habitat and establish good practices to make sure your turtle lives a long time. The fact that they often live from 20 to 50 years (and can live more than 100 years) if cared for properly can be kind of scary to some people.

They Start Small and Grow Big

When a snapping turtle is a baby, it is very cute and hard to resist. However, they tend to get really large (up to 18 inches long and 86 pounds heavy!) and can be destructive or unhappy if placed in the wrong environment. Having a snapping turtle is quite a commitment, so think seriously before deciding if you want to keep one of these reptiles.

How to Build a Good Turtle Habitat

If you decide you want to keep a baby snapping turtle, here are some things that you will need:

What Do Snapping Turtles Eat?

Snapping turtles are omnivores and will eat a whole bunch of stuff. In the wild, they’ll eat water plants, fish, frogs, pollywogs, newts, bugs, snails, worms, and snakes. They’ll even eat a small mammal or a baby duck!

What do I feed my pet turtle?

You’ll probably just go to your local pet store to buy turtle food, minnows, worms, or crickets. The young ones are crazy about mealworms, guppies, and ghost shrimp. Turtles will also eat a variety of home food, including bread and bologna. Chicken, beef, turkey, and fish are all good, too. My turtle just loves bologna! If you have the time and patience, you can also go out and catch bugs for this little guy to eat and just put them in the water.Even if you do buy the turtle food at the store, it’s a good idea to give your turtle fresh food, too. Don’t forget the vegetables! At least half of the turtle’s food should be fresh and “green,” as in lettuces and other greens.

Don’t overfeed or underfeed your pet!

Food is one of the most important things for a turtle, but you must be careful not to overfeed or underfeed it. If it looks like its skin is unfolding out of the shell, then it is overfed. If it goes in its shell, and you can barely see it, then it is underfed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Snapping Turtles

Below is some more important information for aspiring (or first-time) turtle owners.

How do you know if your turtle is a snapping turtle?

The common snapping turtle (A snapping turtle can’t hide as well as other turtles can, but it can move around more easily: On land, it raises its body up so that only its tail touches the ground. It has a largish head that’s shaped like a triangle, a pointy nose, a large mouth, a curved beak that’s shaped like a parrot’s, and a very long saw-toothed tail. It has no teeth, but look out for that beak!

How big do they get?

On average, these turtles grow to have a shell that’s about 10–12 inches long and weigh from 10 to 35 lbs., but some get larger. Some very fat captive snapping turtles get to be over 80 lbs.!

Why is it called a “snapping” turtle?

A snapping turtle won’t attack a human unless threatened or provoked, especially if it’s on land, but it can defend itself, and snapping is its best defense. It has very strong beak-like jaws and can move its head very far and fast. A snapping turtle can cause serious damage to a careless handler. The turtle might warn you with a hiss before it snaps.

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How long will it live?

The life span in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, some snappers live 100 years. The average life span is 30 or 40 years.

From Baby Turtle to Grown-Up

As your turtle grows up, he will get bigger! You should take this into consideration. There will be a time when you will either have to get the turtle a very big tank, or hopefully you will have a pond near your house that it can live in.

How to Handle a Snapping Turtle

However, you should never, ever release that turtle into the wild! It will not have the ability or the skill to survive. Plus, it can introduce pathogens, viruses, and bacteria into the wild (things your turtle has built resistance to but the wild turtles have not!), so don’t do it!

What Do Snapping Turtles in the Wild Eat?

There are two species of snapping turtles, the alligator snapping turtle and the common snapping turtle. Both are endangered, and both are native to North America. Both of these breeds are omnivores and eat animals, plants, insects, and fruit.In the wild, they tend to hunt and eat animals more than they eat plants and fruits. Small animals the snapping turtle eats in the wild include carrions, birds, frogs, shrimp, smaller turtles, fish, crayfish, snakes, spiders, worms, small animals, and even amphibians. So, as you can see, if it’s smaller than they are, a snapping turtle will hunt and eat it if they live in the wild.

What Should You Feed Your Pet Snapping Turtle?

While it’s best to take direction from what these same turtles eat in the wild, don’t feed your baby snapping turtle food that you catch outside, as it could contain unknown parasites or pathogens that can hurt a snapping turtle that’s being raised in captivity.There’s commercially-made food that is designed especially for your turtle, but you need to feed them a balanced diet that includes live food as well. It’s important to note that this species of turtle will eat anything you throw in its cage, so you want to be careful what you’re giving them.Make sure that you ask your exotic veterinarian about the use of supplements to ensure that your pet is getting all the nutrients and minerals he needs to be healthy and thrive in a captive environment. Feeding him the right way is key to raising a baby snapping turtle to adulthood and beyond.

Supplements and Live Food

Your snapping turtle needs certain supplements to ensure he grows into adulthood and is healthy. However, you also need to make sure that you feed him a balanced diet of live food as well. Always make sure to source your live food from reliable sources and don’t overdo it on feeding him live food either, as it can make him sick.

Why Does Your Baby Snapping Turtle Need Supplements?

Turtle supplements are essential if you want your baby snapping turtle to be healthy well into adulthood. While you would think that your pet turtle would be getting all the nutrients and minerals he needs from the live food and commercially prepared food you give him, he doesn’t. Snapping turtles need a wide amount of calcium, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to ensure they’re healthy. While live food can give your turtle the protein he needs to thrive and leafy green vegetables will add to his calcium levels, supplements help as well.Vitamin D is important for proper shell development, and the other vitamins and minerals he needs to be healthy and happy are included in these supplements as well. When looking for supplements for your turtle, you can find them online, at your local pet store, and in some cases, even the local department store.

How Do You Feed Baby Snapping Turtles?

When it comes to live foods and your turtle, they eat pretty much the same thing that baby snapping turtles eat in the wild. There are a few foods that you can feed to your snapping turtle listed below. As previously stated, make sure to source these foods from a reputable, organic source for the best results.

Give the Turtle Food in a Small Container

The best way to keep your turtle and his food clean is by using a small container to feed your baby snapping turtle in. Unfortunately, these turtles are famous for using the bathroom in their tank while they’re eating, and that can end up being one big mess for you to clean up.Simply take your baby turtle and his food and put him in a separate aquarium or small container. Let him eat, wait at least 30 minutes, then move him back to his original tank. It is essential to keep fresh water in the main tank so he can drink whenever he gets thirsty and feels the need.