Sunday, June 25

Weekend Turtle Blogging?

We interrupt this regularly scheduled edition of Weekend Dog Blogging to bring you these special newsbreaking tiny turtle photos!

Yep, I found a second one. Click here if you missed the first one.

It was so adorable I couldn't help it. How could I not keep it? (Despite the fact that it obviously wanted to fly away--and that I know next to nothing about keeping a pet turtle.) I have it near a window in the living room in a makeshift turtle house (rectangular plastic tub with wire cooling rack duct taped over the top).

In order to recreate a comfortable turtle habitat, I filled the tub with lots of freshly picked grass and weeds (dirt and roots still intact) and a shallow dish of water. I'm all out of strawberries (the only thing I know for sure that turtles eat), so I gave it mulberries, blueberries, spinach, and beet greens, plus a little iceberg lettuce (because that's what
Sam's pet tortoise has been living on for the past 36 years).

I haven't done any online research into turtle care because I think I'll probably set it free soon. Sure it's absolutely adorable to look at and all (once I peel off the duct tape, lift up the lid, root around in the grass wondering the entire time if it's escaped, and finally locate the little thing), but compared to what I'm used to around here, it isn't exactly a whole lot of fun. I mean, I have Cary and Donkey Doodle Dandy to constantly entertain me--not to mention the chickens. My new turtle doesn't do much.

I did put it on the hardwood floor this morning to let it run around a bit, and this immediately caught the attention of my 19-year-old cat, Gretel. Now she perches on her kitty condo (which is located next door to the turtle house) and stares into the plastic tub for hours.

So between now and Fly Be Free Little Turtle Day, any advice on caring for an itty bitty turtle is most appreciated. And yes, of course we need to name it. Dare I ask if anyone knows how to tell if it's a boy or a girl? (Update: Okay, we're skipping the sexing thing and just going for a gender-free name. You know, like Pat--only cuter.)

Barring any other interesting discoveries, Weekend Dog Blogging will appear next week at its regularly scheduled time.

July 24th, 2006 UPDATE: Just a note to let anyone who is worrying about the welfare of my adorable little find to know that he (yep, he's a he) was named and set free one week after I found him. I do have farewell photos that I hope to post soon.

Contents Copyright 2006


  1. Oh so cute! I've always wanted a turtle, but it's illegal to own one as a pet in NJ. Now I can live vicariously through you!

  2. Yes, the turtle is cute. . .now go wash those hands !!!

  3. It may not be a vegetarian turtle and may eat worms or insects. Do leaf lettuce instead of iceberg, which has no nutritional value. You may not be able to regulate the temperature in your bin well enough or adequately to keep it alive - be careful it doesn't overheat. It may be illegal to keep it - even for a little while - so do try to find out what species it is and what its requirements may be. Cute pics - I like wild creatures in the wild best. :)

  4. What a cute little guy, or girl! To determine the sex I think you lift the shell in the back a bit...just kidding!!
    That turtle is on a great diet, wow!


  5. It is like a little cartoon character. What a great face!

  6. ohh my god .. this is soo cute.. that precious little thing .. awww looks soo cute .. i want one too :)

  7. of course there is a web site: sexing your turtle. Theres a web sit for everything... LD

  8. Hi Everyone,

    Glad you like the turtle photos. Okay, I just spent some time at Lots of information, but I still can't figure out what kind of turtle I have.

    For those of you who are concerned about my turtle's welfare:

    1. It can't overheat as the "lid" is just a metal cooling rack I stole from my stash in the kitchen (e.g. tons of air gets through). said ambient air should be in the 80s, and we've got that.

    2. Sounds like many turtles eat meat when they are young. This one is small but I don't know what age it is. I will toss in some tuna (recommended) for it.

    3. Besides the iceberg lettuce, I did put in other greens that are found in my garden where I found the turtle.

    4. did give some pretty detailed and complicated instructions on how to figure out if you have a male or female involving checking for all sorts of things like puffy shells and sizes of claws. So. . .

    If you would like to suggest a name for this critter, please come up with one suitable for either gender.

    5. From what I read, it is legal for me to have this turtle in the house, even though it is less than 4 inches in length. I just can't sell it to anybody.

    And lastly, I really won't be keeping it in captivity much longer. Like I said in the post, it's simply not exciting enough compared to all of the other critters making my life crazy around here. And I, too, like wild animals in the wild. : )

    Even though I probably wash my hands literally two dozen times a day (at least), I understand your hand-washing concerns now--apparently some turtles can carry salmonella.

    I know. That face just gets me every time I look at these photos. I was so lucky that they came out in focus--I was holding the turtle in one hand and the camera in the other!

    Sorry! I saw those kitten pics (even told you how cute they were). Definitely wasn't trying to hone in on your cuteness. : )

  9. Bill & Libby,
    Your comment sneaked in while I was writing mine. Oh my. Well, I should have known there would be a website for sexing your turtle. But as I mentioned, I think I'm just going to skip that part and go for a name suitable for either a girl or boy, you know, like Pat--but cuter. : )

    Thanks for the link, though, LOL.

  10. Oh, so cute. My students would go crazy. Thanks for the tip for getting rid of pests. I'm going to check out that site.

  11. You don't have a true turtle there, he looks like a box turtle to me. Here in NY we have a couple terrapin species including the 3-toed and 4-toed, but I think in MO you have just 2: 3 toes and ornate.

    Looks like your guy has 3 toes on his back feet. :) Guess what kind he is!

    So terrapins aren't too much like turtles. They live in the woods more than the lakes. Although there was the time I was on a boat in Lake of Ozarks and found a box turtle *swimming* in the middle of the lake.

    Bulk up on the leaves and soil and hold off on water, only to drink. Turtles are omnivores but in truth are opportunists, eating whatever they come upon.

    Good luck with your baby. :)

  12. -Norbert

    -Harry (Hare-y...tortoise and the...oh, you get it...)




    -Everett (Everbearing Strawberries...Ever...get it?)

    Ok, that's it, I'm outta ideas... Couldn't find any names for turtle soup (like hosenpheffer)

  13. Ha! I knew you'd keep that baby turtle!(I would have too!)

  14. I always wanted a couple of turtles in the yard and name them Roto and Tiller. Get it "Rototiller" since I heard turtles like to cruise on the cool green lawn.

    Your turtle is quite animated...

    Anni :-)

  15. Too wonderful. You should send that pic to cute overload! They're chock full of mammals, they need more turtles.

  16. i live in mo on a small farm i raise sheep . horses . dexter cattle , donkeys minies and standard and the turtle you have is a box turtle common in mo. he will do fine on vegies and dried bugs you can tell male has a concave bottom females are flat just happened on you site have a great time with turtle

  17. Hi Farmgirl,
    Your blog is truly delightful. I love you pictures. My camera only does a good close-up job once in a blue moon. I went to school in Missouri, Tarkio to be exact. I met some great friends there.
    Anyway,maybe you would like to see my site (not half as good as yours) I have a food link under my profile. Thanks for making blogging a good place to go.

  18. i did tell you the story about when the tortoise ate my mother, didn't I? Definitely a carnivorous side to them!

  19. Ha! Love the pics of this little one. I think this would be a nice addition to your children's book!

    So. About these naming rules... "suitable for either gender"...

    You know what I say? I say HA! Rules are for squares! Name the critter Jeff! Your Mom would like it. Right Mom?

  20. I love your little turtles, wish I had some in my garden I do have a little garter snake which seems to be getting used to me pulling weeds and grooming my plants in his domain. I talk to him and he stops for a while as though listening to me.

  21. What charming photos! I could never resist "keeping a pet," especially one of a type I didn't already have. I don't know how you find the time to do all that you do... and keep us entertained with your blogs on top of it all! :-)

  22. And here I thought the the sheep were the cutest! Just adorable :)

  23. Fred (Frederick or Frederica)
    Charlie (Charles or Charlotte)
    Aris (turtle...geddit?!)
    (Turtle) E-Rad dude

    OK, it's been a long day...

  24. Puka, as in Puka shell.
    Shelby, or Jumbo. I wonder if you could mark his shell in some way,to see if he sticks around after you set him free. Farmgirl, could you give us a update on Cary? How is his leg? I loved the picture of her nibbling greens in your garden!

  25. Way too cute! I love turtles--my dad spent a considerable amount of time trying to fortify and refortify various turtle pens when I was growing up. I like Puka as a name. Or Pita.

  26. so cute your turtle i had some but they grew and i had to put them on a garden near other turtles...i live in a city so you understand my problem...
    kisses wonderful blog

  27. (Turtle)Cheesecake 'cos he's a sweetie.

  28. Yay, you found another one ;-)

    Maybe you will like these names for she or he:

    Tanglewood T. Turtle

  29. Husband (who has his uses) came up with:

    Recall (Turtle Recall)
    Fertile (Turtle)
    Turn (Turtle)
    Neck (Turtle Neck)

    Enough already!

  30. Love your blog for the dear pictures and enticing recipes. It's blueberry season here in the Shreveport LA area and farmers are advertising pick your own - we need to try your breakfast bars. Your turtle looks like 'Myrtle' to me. Hope she lives a long life and doesn't get soft-shell. There's something you can add to the water to prevent soft-shell - someone with current turtle experience will come up with it.

  31. Ooooohhh, that turtle is soooo sweet! I would really like to be the one holding it...

  32. Time to caption the turtle's reaction:

    Picture #2 (because I can't think of one for number 1): "Huh?"

    Pic 3: "What..."

    Pic 4: "The..."

    Pic 5: "Crap!"


  33. Thats so sweet that even my
    coal-like heart couldn't stop me from going "awww!".As for names,I suggest:


  34. Love reading your blog and looking at your adorable pets.
    I grew up in Texas with turtles in the back yard. Your turtle looks like a common box turtle. I would suggest if you do keep it inside that you add some dirt to the container you keep it in. Turtles like to bury themselves. You can also feed them some can dog food. They love watermelon, cantaloup, and corn.
    The person who posted about the color of the eyes is correct but you can't tell at such a young age. Just guessing, I would say your turtle was hatched this year.
    Enjoy it for a few days then let it go be in it's enviroment. They are really cute!

  35. How about Yertle the Turtle from the Dr. Suess book.

  36. I've been addicted to watching old Asian monster movies lately. I'm not sure if you are familiar with them. There is one hero of a monster called Gamera. Gamera is a fire breathing, flying turtle who protects Japan from other monsters and loves childen!

    Who knows, maybe you have a little crime fighting Gamera on your hands!


    It must be Filbert. Just LOOK at that pootums.

    PS...iceburg lettuce is pretty much a no-no for most critters. As mentioned before, it has no nutritional value and can cause diahrea

  38. It looks very box turtleish to me. I have had a few turtles in my life Um about 8 I have never had one that young but to sex a box turle I think someone already mentioned, if the bottom is flat its a female and if there is an indentation its male, this is so the male can ehh? If you want entertainment from the dude give him a night crawler, mine would always pass out flat after wrestling one.

  39. definitely box turtles. i've had six, and they all loved eating strawberries! please take good care of them:

  40. definitely box turtles. i've had six, and they all loved eating strawberries! please take good care of them:

  41. I can so hear the collective "Awwwwww!"

    And you made it into Cute Overload!!

  42. I love the little turtles. I actually have two little ones myself I just got from the Turtle Guy. He can actually Mail them. I dont really know the procedure but I think it has something to do with ice and Hibernation. But if you want to know more about them or want to get a few of your own, the turtle guy sells them with turle tanks Rocks, Fake plants, and some dry landing areas. check out my site at to learn more and possibly get your own.

  43. The idea of having 'wild' turtles wandering around in your garden is fascinating. They're an exotic pet here in Estonia, and I'd probably freak out if I'd see one in just roaming outside:)

  44. Hey- Your pic of your turtle is internet famous -complete with "300" reference-(scroll down the page a bit)

  45. ..and you can't do run on internet addys in the comments section:


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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