Due to research (albeit too late), I think I am over-feeding these guys.
I am working with a 'turtle guy' out of NJ who advised me to feed these three found hatchlings as much as they would eat. I think in part, he understands I am going to release them (or at least two of them), and wishes for them to be as big as possible. I was going to release them end of May, but I think I will wait until Spring next year (they are still too small to be safe from large fish and numerous waterfowl). I expect they may be more like 4+ inches next Spring and have a better shot at making it long-term.*
So I am ‘head-starting’ these little wild guys. We live in a gated golf community with lots of ponds and a feeder lake. It's a lovely place for a turtle to live and they seem to have a longer life expectancy in the wild. That being said, I think they are growing too fast...
I do plan to keep one of them because it seems 'special' in many ways. I don't think it has a nose. It looks as if it has a little hole where the pointed nose (with two little nostrils) should be. Both of the other turtles do have a well formed nose.
Anyway, all that being said, it's the growth I am concerned about. If I slow down to 3 Wardley reptile sticks per day, will this be sufficient? I typically give shrimp about once a week. They are approx. 3 months old and two are about 1.75", one is about 2.25". I am concerned about the growth due to the shell marks and research I have done. Perhaps it's normal to have this banding area around the scuts?
*If anyone believes the head-start turtles should be released sooner (to maintain their ‘wild’, please advise.)
- Dark space in between scuts looks to be about .125 inchs...