Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Chelonia husbandry

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Sarah Pellett

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Introduction

  • Appropriate enclosures and good husbandry are critical to establishing normal behavior in captive chelonians Chelonia social behavior Chelonia behavior problems.
  • Unfortunately, poor husbandry and environmental conditions are the primary factors contributing to illness in captive reptiles including chelonians.
  • The captive environment should encourage natural behaviors of a particular species, lend itself to easy maintenance, prevent escapes and minimize stress.
  • Familiarity with the natural history of the particular chelonian will dictate whether it is preferred to house them singly, in pairs, or in groups.
  • New acquisitions for an existing collection of chelonians should be strictly quarantined for a minimum of 60 days Quarantine.
  • See also Captive welfare for more details on animal welfare in general.
Print off the Owner Factsheets on Housing your terrapin, Housing your tortoise, Terrapins as pets and/or Tortoises as pets to give to your clients.

Enclosures and housing

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Environmental enrichment

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Aquatic chelonia

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Terrestrial chelonia

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Pellett S, Stocking D & Wissink-Argilaga N (2015) Tortoise feeding and nutritional requirements. Comp Anim 20 (4), 240-245 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • The Tortoise Table (2017) Plant Database. Website: www.thetortoisetable.org.uk. Last accessed 26th February 2018.
  • Rivera S (2017) Chelonians. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 183-196.
  • Girling S J (2013) Reptile and Amphibian Housing, Husbandry and Rearing. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 267-271.
  • Mohan-Gibbons H & Raiti P (2010) Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins. In: Behavior of Exotic Pets. Ed: Tynes V V. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 33-43.

Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Ballard & Ryan Cheek: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician © 2017, and Simon J Girling: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets © 2013, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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