Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 12 Vol 6 October 2010
Reptiles and Children In this Issue

Leopard Gecko - Ideal beginners reptileThose of us who love the reptiles we care for naturally hope our children come to feel the same interest and

commitment. There are many ways that even young children can participate in keeping and learning about

reptiles. The most important elements are to make sure the tasks we give them are age appropriate, educational, interesting and fun.

Caring for Reptiles: Young children can participate in reptile care by doing tasks as simple as filling a water bowl or opening a container. It doesn't take much for them to feel as if they are "helping". The degree to which a child can assist depends largely on his or her physical capability, maturity and ability to follow through. If a child asks to take on a specific responsibility, it's a good idea to discretely make sure he or she is able to carry it out over time and to allow a change of heart without getting upset. A child can learn through natural consequences: if he or she can't consistently meet the responsibility, the job will be reduced or taken away. Starting early, if the child is interested, has its rewards.

Many pre-adolescents and young teens have been able to participate meaningfully in a family reptile business or manage their own breeding operation.

Handling Reptiles: It's important to use good judgment when allowing children to handle reptiles by considering the safety of both the child and the reptile. Needless to say, handling venomous snakes is never appropriate for young children. There is a continuum of physical interaction with each reptile that can be decided on and changed as the child matures: "look only", "touch only", "handle with supervision", "handle independently". Advancing children along this continuum brings up many opportunities to teach about the animal, its characteristics and its needs.

ReptiTemp 500R

  1. Reptiles and Children
  2. Feeding Your Box Turtle
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Feeding Your Box Turtle

Florida Box Turtle

Box turtles are omnivores meaning they eat both meat and plants. Therefore you can feed your pet box turtle a wide variety of different foods. When studied in the wild it is known that box turtles will eat plants for about half of their diet and the other half is made up of meats derived from such sources as grubs, worms, and various insects.

When you set out to feed your pet box turtle keep in mind that they are by nature opportunistic eaters. That means that they will generally eat whatever is available. Knowing that, you should be able to feed them a wide variety of foods even if they tend to favor one type of food over another.

When feeding your box turtle, be sure to do so on a flat surface such as a rock as opposed to putting their food in dishes. This is a more natural approach and will help prevent their claws and their beaks from becoming overgrown.

No matter what you are feeding your box turtle you should always be sure that it has a good supply of calcium in its cage with it at all times. This can be in the form of boiled egg shells, plaster block, or even cuttlebone just as long as it is readily available.

Some box turtles will be pickier than others when it comes to meal time and this may or may not be a sign that the turtle is getting sick. To see if your pet box turtle is sick or just picky try to entice the turtle with some brightly colored foods such as strawberries or even cantaloupe. If that proves unsuccessful then try enticing the turtle with a little bit of stinky food like wet cat food. While this is a great food item to get the turtle interested in eating, don't feed your turtle cat food on a regular basis as prolonged use is not good for the shelled reptile.

If after two weeks your pet box turtle is still not eating then there is a good chance that it may be sick. Once two weeks time has elapsed you should consult with your veterinarian and have the turtle checked out to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong.

Healthy Habitat - 1 gallonHealthy Habitat - 1 gallon

Natural Chemistry's Healthy Habitat is specifically formulated to effectively eliminate odors and soiling caused by organic animal and food waste.

For use in any pet habitat, glass and other surfaces within habitat ie: heat rocks, gravel, artificial plants etc.  Safe for use on all strong animal/reptile odor sources and stains, can even be used when pet is in it's habitat!

  • Safe, yet powerful
  • All natural
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Easy to use
  • Unconditionally guaranteed 

Enzyme Technology
Natural Chemistry’s products are inspired by processes that occur in the natural world. Our patented technology uses trillions of natural enzymes and co-enzymes to break down undesirable organic materials safely and effectively...resulting in a healthier pet environment.

Feature Video


Battle at Kruger


Great video with buffalo, lions and crocodiles battling for a baby water buffalo - you may have seen it, but it is a great video, filmed live by tourists.

If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Elephants helpful destruction

Stupid ideas - turtle carry case

Cobras still reign supreme in many eyes

Python versus dog

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Get Paid to write an article

Keeping Reptiles will pay you to write and article. Ideally it will be 500-1500 words. These can be care sheets, funny stories, herp hunting trips, hints and tips or anything herp related.

Payment will be based on the number of words and published at editors discretion.

Tell Us What You Think!!

We would love to hear what you think of this (or any other) issue of Keeping Reptiles.

And of course, if you have any suggestions, photos, links, care sheets or whatever for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

These could also include:

  • Great herp web-sites
  • Why you pet reptile is fantastic
  • Funny things that happened
  • Dumb**s things that happened
  • Images you'd like to share.

Remember - there are lots of people who would love to hear your stories. Just e-mail me at: Reptile-Cage-Plans

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